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legality of mimicking the Windows look and feel

 
 
jaredmac@gmail.com
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      12-12-2006
This is a bit off-topic. I was wondering what the legal relationship
Sun has with Microsoft when they mimic the look and feel of, say,
Windows XP in Java.

Would the illegal bit only be if a Java app had the XP look-and-feel on
a non-Windows XP computer?

If so, presumably it would be similar copyright violation if a Java app
impersonated a Mac app on a non-Mac.

Jared

 
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Steve W. Jackson
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      12-12-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> This is a bit off-topic. I was wondering what the legal relationship
> Sun has with Microsoft when they mimic the look and feel of, say,
> Windows XP in Java.
>
> Would the illegal bit only be if a Java app had the XP look-and-feel on
> a non-Windows XP computer?
>
> If so, presumably it would be similar copyright violation if a Java app
> impersonated a Mac app on a non-Mac.
>
> Jared


I don't recall where I've read information on this topic in the past.
But you'll find that the Mac LAF isn't available with the Windows or
Linux Java installations, and the Windows LAF isn't available on Macs.
The entire reason, from what I read, has to do with copyrights. You
might want to do a little web searching on the topic for more details.
But it's apparently illegal to copy the Windows LAF files, for instance,
to another platform for use with your Java app.

= Steve =
--
Steve W. Jackson
Montgomery, Alabama
 
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jaredmac@gmail.com
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      12-12-2006
> I don't recall where I've read information on this topic in the past.
> But you'll find that the Mac LAF isn't available with the Windows or
> Linux Java installations, and the Windows LAF isn't available on Macs.
> The entire reason, from what I read, has to do with copyrights. You
> might want to do a little web searching on the topic for more details.
> But it's apparently illegal to copy the Windows LAF files, for instance,
> to another platform for use with your Java app.


Interesting. Thanks for the response. So if I were interested in
creating a Java app that mimicked iTunes's appearance (but not its
functionality), and ran on all platforms, that would be a copyright
violation? I'll do some more searching.

Jared

 
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Daniel Pitts
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      12-13-2006

Steve W. Jackson wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
> > This is a bit off-topic. I was wondering what the legal relationship
> > Sun has with Microsoft when they mimic the look and feel of, say,
> > Windows XP in Java.
> >
> > Would the illegal bit only be if a Java app had the XP look-and-feel on
> > a non-Windows XP computer?
> >
> > If so, presumably it would be similar copyright violation if a Java app
> > impersonated a Mac app on a non-Mac.
> >
> > Jared

>
> I don't recall where I've read information on this topic in the past.
> But you'll find that the Mac LAF isn't available with the Windows or
> Linux Java installations, and the Windows LAF isn't available on Macs.
> The entire reason, from what I read, has to do with copyrights. You
> might want to do a little web searching on the topic for more details.
> But it's apparently illegal to copy the Windows LAF files, for instance,
> to another platform for use with your Java app.
>
> = Steve =
> --
> Steve W. Jackson
> Montgomery, Alabama


It was my impression that Windows LAF used native components, and thats
why it wouldn't work on anything non-native, but I could be mistaken.

 
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Mich
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      12-13-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> This is a bit off-topic. I was wondering what the legal relationship
> Sun has with Microsoft when they mimic the look and feel of, say,
> Windows XP in Java.
>
> Would the illegal bit only be if a Java app had the XP look-and-feel on
> a non-Windows XP computer?
>
> If so, presumably it would be similar copyright violation if a Java app
> impersonated a Mac app on a non-Mac.



When MS created Excel they got sued by Lotus and the suit got thrown out
because Lotus could not claim rights to the look and feel.



 
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jaredmac@gmail.com
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      12-13-2006
> When MS created Excel they got sued by Lotus and the suit got thrown out
> because Lotus could not claim rights to the look and feel.


On the other hand, Apple got xTunes to change its
name/appearance/functionality because it was too similar to iTunes.
Perhaps that one didn't go all the way to court.

 
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Andrew Thompson
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      12-13-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
....
> Interesting. Thanks for the response. So if I were interested in
> creating a Java app that mimicked iTunes's appearance (but not its
> functionality), and ran on all platforms, that would be a copyright
> violation? I'll do some more searching.


For the slight chance of stopping yet another
PLAF abortion (or something that should have
been aborted in the planning phases) I will point
out the following.

The user wants the damn program to look and
feel, just like all the *other* programs on their computer,
and would generally prefer that to some (trivially)
cute 'borders'.

Therefore the best PLAF (for the user) is generally
whatever lookAndFeelForPlatform(?) the JVM produces.
(I think that only leaves the Linux folks to stress over the
fact they chose Motif, when GTK is offered).

Andrew T.

 
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Daniel Dyer
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      12-13-2006
On Tue, 12 Dec 2006 22:16:51 -0000, Steve W. Jackson
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>
>> This is a bit off-topic. I was wondering what the legal relationship
>> Sun has with Microsoft when they mimic the look and feel of, say,
>> Windows XP in Java.
>>
>> Would the illegal bit only be if a Java app had the XP look-and-feel on
>> a non-Windows XP computer?
>>
>> If so, presumably it would be similar copyright violation if a Java app
>> impersonated a Mac app on a non-Mac.
>>
>> Jared

>
> I don't recall where I've read information on this topic in the past.
> But you'll find that the Mac LAF isn't available with the Windows or
> Linux Java installations, and the Windows LAF isn't available on Macs.
> The entire reason, from what I read, has to do with copyrights. You
> might want to do a little web searching on the topic for more details.
> But it's apparently illegal to copy the Windows LAF files, for instance,
> to another platform for use with your Java app.


I believe that the Windows LAF files are provided with other platforms'
JREs but that by default you can't use them. I remember that I was able
to sub-class the Windows look and feel with Java 1.4 to make it usable on
Linux, although it didn't look that good (presumably because it normally
depends on features of the OS). I think it is a breach of some licence or
other to deploy such code.

Dan.

--
Daniel Dyer
http://www.dandyer.co.uk
 
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Bent C Dalager
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      12-13-2006
In article <(E-Mail Removed). com>,
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>Interesting. Thanks for the response. So if I were interested in
>creating a Java app that mimicked iTunes's appearance (but not its
>functionality), and ran on all platforms, that would be a copyright
>violation? I'll do some more searching.


In itself, it doesn't sound like a copyright problem, but if you use
Sun's libraries to do so when they haven't given you a license for it,
it certainly might be.

More likely, the native LAFs may be protected by trademarks or patents
or both. The whole IP situation wrt software is a complete mess and
you should consult with a lawyer before trying to do anything you
believe might be suspect.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

Cheers,
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - (E-Mail Removed) - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs
 
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Mich
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      12-13-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
>> When MS created Excel they got sued by Lotus and the suit got thrown out
>> because Lotus could not claim rights to the look and feel.

>
> On the other hand, Apple got xTunes to change its
> name/appearance/functionality because it was too similar to iTunes.
> Perhaps that one didn't go all the way to court.


"Quatto Pro was the subject of a major lawsuit by Lotus against Borland.
Lotus argued that Quattro could not copy Lotus 1-2-3 menus (it did, by
design). Borland supplied the 1-2-3 menus as an alternative because
keystroke compatibility was needed in order to run macros in 1-2-3
worksheets. Borland argued that just as all cars operate in the same way,
Lotus could not rationally "own" the way its program behaved. The district
court ruled in favor of Lotus, but the appellate court ruled that the 1-2-3
menus were functional and not copyrightable. The case went all the way to
the U.S. Supreme Court which split 4 to 4 (Justice Stevens recused himself).
This left the lower court ruling intact, which was a victory for Borland."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quattro_Pro


 
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