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Re: WM (KDE) themes - current plan

> However, "is looking similar to one" a big problem ? If so, sawmill
> seems to contain a theme that resembles QNX, for example.

The only response so far I've had from debian-legal on this issue:

[ begin quote ]

This was a large issue several years ago, when a number companies
sued each other for infringement of copyright on the "look and feel"
of their products.  The FSF organized a boycott of (at least?) one
of the companies involved, and it was a hot issue for a while.
The FSF might still have material about it on their web site.

I think the suits were dropped and there was no real resolution in
a legal sense, but the general conclusion in the industry was that
the "look and feel" of a product was not bound by copyright -- at
least, I haven't heard of anyone even trying to sue over that since.

Note that building a theme that "looks similar" is different from
actually copying graphics and icons.  The graphics have their own
copyright, and if they're complex (such as in a Star Wars theme),
it might be difficult to make new ones that look similar without
in the process creating derived works.

In some cases, if the theme contains logos or product names, you
might also run into trademark law.

Richard Braakman
(Occasionally has lunch with a lawyer)

[ end quote ]



Ben Burton
benb@acm.org  |  bab@debian.org
Public Key: finger bab@debian.org

As long as war is regarded as wicked it will always have its fascinations.
When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
	- Oscar Wilde

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