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  1. #1
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    copyrighting foo on the web

    Hmm, is it the "look and feel" of my interface, the metaphors of my widgets, or the precise structure of my code?

    Where does the expression of an idea begin and end?

    How far does it extend?
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  • #2
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    Philosophy aside; for those who display a copyright message, what are you intending that to encompass?
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  • #3
    fci
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    The content. The websites which attract the most visitors usually have 'killer' content. Content is worth protecting.
    I think most websites look the same so it is unlikely you can actually copyright a design / look / feel / etc... although it is not hard to find someone

  • #4
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    The creator of original intellectual property is automatically the owner of the copyright.

    What this means of course is that most disputes arising from copyright infringement hang on what "original intellectual property" actually means.

    If you may need to dispute someone else's use of your work in the future, you should declare your ownership by placing a copyright notice on each page. This is about as much as you can reasonably do without going a bit crazy and mailing dated copies of each page to your lawyers to be locked in a vault.

    Information: http://www.patent.gov.uk/copy/

  • #5
    raf
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    well, i once heard a chef saying: "i'm not afraid that people copy my recipes. it's my creativity and emphasis on quality that ensures my future success."
    i believe it's the same with webdesign.
    Posting guidelines I use to see if I will spend time to answer your question : http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

  • #6
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    Personally, I would tend to agree with that.

    As long as people don't use it to excuse blatant content theft.

  • #7
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    Yeah, it seems like many of the scripts out there are ripping off ideas from operating systems and applications (even the icons), so I guess that's all fair game; or is it?
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  • #8
    fci
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    http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?s...&tid=156&tid=4

    some of the replies..
    One hat I wear is that of a designer. I probably spend about 1 - 2 months out of the year doing artwork for Web sites and applications. I have provided the design work for hundreds (if not thousands) of Web sites and programs in one way or another, as you will see below...

    Steal your ideas, mine have been ripped off more times than I can keep track of and I assure you no one is ever going to be able to do anything about it.

    I see it all the time, some slick looking site based on another designer's ideas, and it hurts bad when it is my own work getting stolen. I have had companies provide me with other people's conceptual sketches (in some cases, sketches from friends of mine that I already know have not been paid for) and ask if I can do the same thing cheaper. I have had people ask me how I pulled off some neat trick in Flash, gone to their email domain and seen my work being copied frame for frame. I have found watermarks in content I made showing up in other people's sites and been told no visual idea belongs to anyone. Originality stopped being a virtue in 1997, why even try?

    You should steal whatever artistic concepts you think you need, cutting and pasting screenshots into Photoshop should be sufficent for any purpose. Intellectual property is a joke unless you have an army of lawyers, and it still costs too much for most companies to come after you unless you are costing them big bucks. Consider buying a scanner so you can steal ideas from magazines and newspapers as well - ESPN the Magazine is a great source of content to lift and maybe it will keep my stuff safe.

    Just put 'Artisitic Genius' on your business card and tell people you are Picasso's evil twin. Go spawn children and steal... uh... 'study' their crayon drawings for use in your work. Carry Silly Putty to lift tattoo outlines directly from people's skin and pass them off as your own. Spend all your time at hotels and pay for your meals by signing them off to other people's rooms. Give up technology and just start mugging people, same thing. Phish.

    If anyone ever calls you on stealing artwork, refuse to acknowledge the 'similarities', tell them to bite you and claim they stole YOUR ideas. If they still bug you, find out their phone number and threaten their families in the middle of the night. It works.

    M
    STEAL, uh, i mean "homage" any image (OBEY ALL PERTINENT COPYRIGHT RULES, AND DON'T "HOMAGE" FROM MAJOR SITES THAT ARE KNOWN TO EMPLOY LOTS OF LAWYERS!!!!!!!!!)

    you can be a good citizen and ask, or you can homage them and alter them enough to make them "yours"

  • #9
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    Bear in mind a few of those replies are tongue-in-cheek though.

    Copyright enforcement only becomes difficult when it's something like an interface image or a logic pathway that has been copied. Steal a photograph that is provided under a limited license, or original text that is part of a paper or article, and it's a whole other world of legal recourse.

  • #10
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    Concerning the actual programming, it must be more of an ethical issue (which I consider important). As far as intellectual ownership goes, perhaps it comes down to that of literal syntax; after all, many of those who are attaching licenses to their "products" seem to be creating nothing new, in essence. Just you wait, mine will be "different".
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