Scoof is a tool for doing IP auditing. It is under rapid devlopment only occasionally. It is a somewhat grandoise reaction to the current contraversy in the IT industry over IP rights, patents, plagarism etc. The program takes the source code of input files and generates MD5 hashes of overlapping sections. Comparing the hashes of two similar programs may yield matches only where the code is "identical" within very strict limits.
Scoof is not suitable for daily plagiarism prevention activies. It is believed that using a hashing approach on a daily basis would encourage obfuscation while failing to prevent plagiarism. Instead Scoof is intended for one-off use as part of a due dilligence review or in the context of a specific legal controversey.
Managers concerned about the legal risks of plagiarism by staff programmers should conduct a reveiw of training, recruitment, and resourcing procedure to ensure staff possess strong ethics and have time they need to act professionally.
Scoof does not use any such technique but in theory in may be possible to detect plagarism not though measures of binary equality but through measures of significant similarity. Do achieve this DNA alignment techniques (Royce, Necaise 2003) may be used, simply by replacing the 4 DNA bases with other symbols such as syntax marks and identifiers. Scoof doesn't do this either - yet, but its something the author is interested in implementing.
This is a refinement of an earlier roadmap published on the project page.
Scoof is licenced under the GNU General Public Licence.
This page does not constitute business advice, and may be complete moonshine.
Scoof was created by Simon Gibbs, an IT contractor.