About a year and a half ago, Wired reported that Google was being sued by a small company called Affinity Engines because of the code used for Orkut.
The suit alleged that Orkut Buyukkokten -- the engineer who wrote Google's Orkut social networking site and named it after himself -- reused Affinity Engines code when developing the Orkut site. Orkut Buyukkokten used to work at Affinity Engines.
What ever happened with this? Did Orkut steal the source code? I've heard rumors that Google is utterly in the wrong here, but the court case still is slowly grinding its way through. If there is evil to be found here, it seems to be buried under enough legal slime that it may be years before it is fully exposed.
But, looking at how Google's social networking site has languished, I can't help but think that this controversy is at least somewhat responsible. If Google was concerned about liability, they'd have a big incentive to discontinue development of Orkut.
What do you think? Was the code stolen? If so, is it a violation of Google's "do no evil" mantra? If not, why does Orkut seem to have been abandoned by Google?
Update: A few months later, the court case appears to have ended. When I inquired about it, I got the following statement from Michael Kwun at Google: "The parties have resolved their differences in this matter and have agreed not to share the terms of the agreement. We are very pleased with the outcome."