No One Likes A Tattletale, Except Of course, Zynga

“No one likes a tattletale, Danny… except of course, me.” Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), Caddyshack.

An interesting twist in the Zynga lawsuit with Vostu over game stealing – At least one Vostu employee, and a source says there are more – has approached Zynga with “evidence” of just how overtly Vostu was copying popular Zynga games. A source tells me that these employees are asking for payouts from Zynga to turn over the information.

Two thoughts on this. First, this is really bad for Vostu if it’s true (and I think it is) – if you tell employees to just go copy something exactly there’s a good chance that someday that’s going to become publicly known. Second, I wonder if these employees understand that they are going to get sucked into this litigation now whether they want to or not, and there’s little to no chance of getting any kind of payment from Zynga. Their best bet is probably to simply hope for a Zynga job offer once the dust settles.

23 thoughts on “No One Likes A Tattletale, Except Of course, Zynga

  1. Ankur says:

    Exactly, how can they even think about going to Zynga. I am not a lega expert, but can’t they be sued by Votsu for leaking company information?

  2. Steven Rosenberg says:

    What amazes me is that an educated “tech” employee would attempt to turn honesty into a payment. Even if basic morality doesn’t smack one in the face, is there no awareness of the daily stream of similar screw ups in the media?

    • Well, if honesty is in short supply, it will get payment regardless of what basic morality suggests. I just hope these guys paid a lawyer to approach Zynga and negotiate this for them.

    • Thom Kozik says:

      I don’t think one can discount the differences in values or cultural / industry “maturity” of a Vostu employee in Brazil, with the typical mindset of Valley folks.

      Not making any judgement whatsoever — I’ve recently had fantastic game development done by stellar engineers in South America. What I’m trying to convey is that the morals & standards by which we may be operating in the U.S. (however loose) are not the same as those in other markets. Witness China.

      So it’s shouldn’t amaze anyone that an engineer in Brazil sees big rich Zynga here in the US, and looks for an opportunity to make some extra cash. I wouldn’t expect them to even be aware of the legal implications under US law, that now sucks them in as witnesses.

  3. Steve says:

    Welcome back Michael.

  4. “hope for a Zynga job”… after trying to get paid for trade secrets stolen from a previous employer. In that context, it does not matter whether Vostu copied Zynga games or not – I have all sympathy for whistleblowers- but none for people who go behind their employers’ back to make a quick buck.

  5. They should have watched Damages!

  6. Zynga’s games are a lot like Maxis games but it’s hard to prove it.

  7. Extortion and blackmail, sounds like a movie

  8. Johny Miric says:

    Man, you are busy on Sunday, 4 posts! That’s what unemployment does to people.

  9. John Best says:

    No honour amongst thieves?

  10. mark says:

    uncrunched? i thought this was a dieting site??

  11. GADEL says:

    This is very interesting development. Leaking internal info in the hope of getting signed up by Zynga? 🙂

  12. Who wants to hire a tattletale?

  13. says:

    “They just told us to copy tumblr” facebook designers at SXSW right after facebook added “sharing” to statuses

  14. sundropdev says:

    It is perfectly legal to copy pixel for pixel the user interface of a piece of software. UI is not copyrightable. And cloning software is also not illegal it happens all the time.

  15. When the lawsuits become more interesting than the games… Thanks for ALL the entertainment Zynga.

  16. Shadowlayer says:

    Not quite mike, vostu is in brazil, and it’s a pain in the ass to get anyone extradited from there

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