A glance at the title of The Software IP Detective’s Handbook by Bob Zeidman would lead one to believe that the “IP” in the title is the acronym for “Internet Protocol” which is the primary communications protocol used for relaying packets across the Internet. This is not the case, as “IP” in this instance refers to “Intellectual Property.” The primary focus of the book is software Intellectual Property, its authorship and ownership, and the not so commonly known field of Software Forensics. Software Forensics is all about examining the content of binary object code or readable text source code files to determine whether or not the software code in question is legitimate or has been copied from another source. Often, the focus of Software Forensics is to examine both the functionality and literal expression of the software itself.
The author provides excellent background information regarding intellectual property, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets as they relate to software, its development, and its ownership. This is presented in an easily readable and understandable manner and in itself is justification for examiners, computer programmers, and litigators to purchase this book. However, the author goes far beyond this understanding and provides methods to compare and measure software, referred to as “software source code differentiation.” Through the use of software developed by the author, he provides a mathematical methodology to compare software programs to determine whether or not software plagiarism has occurred. Specific chapters address how to detect copyright infringement, patent infringement, and trade secret theft. This book, which also contains an excellent glossary of terms and a list of references for each chapter, should be a welcome addition to both Digital Forensics and Software Forensics Examiners. -John J. Barbara