by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 12th 2009 11:56am
Dan writes in to point out that SAP's Business Objects subsidiary is apparently looking to abuse both copyright and trademark law to limit who can create training course and materials for its software. The company is sending out letters telling training and tools providers that it's copyright infringement to use any screenshots of their software and that it's trademark infringement to use the names of its programs. Both claims are blatantly false, of course, but appear to be how SAP/Business Objects is looking to corner the training market on its own software, forcing "authorized" training providers to pay them extra and blocking competitors out of the market. Using screenshots of software is clear fair use, and using a product's name in the course of a training manual is, in no way, trademark infringement -- as long as the training material doesn't imply that it's the "official" or "approved" training manual for the software. This is rather disappointing from a company that has built up a decent reputation in the last few years for being more open about these kinds of things.
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