Copyright Infringement Requires A Lot More Than Vague Similarities
from the ain't-the-same dept
Michael Scott points us to a story about a lawsuit accusing Adobe of copyright infringement for its InDesign software product. The complaint was from a company called Brookhaven Typesetting Services. The judge sided with Adobe -- and it isn't difficult to see why. What is difficult is figuring out how or why Brookhaven thought it had a case. The company apparently had a page layout software product called K2 back in the early 90s. At some point, the company tried to license it to Aldus, who had a popular page layout software called PageMaker -- including sending Aldus the source code. Aldus, of course, was eventually bought by Adobe, and Adobe eventually released InDesign as a replacement for PageMaker. So what's the complaint? Well, when InDesign was in development, its code name was K2. So, yes, it was a similar page layout software, and the code name was the same as Brookhaven's product name. So you could see where Brookhaven would be initially suspicious. But the problem was that there was no fire behind the smoke. A comparison of the two products' source code showed no similarities whatsoever. The product was clearly entirely separate. Yet, once Brookhaven lost the case... it still appealed, only to have now lost again. For some reason, some people seem to think that any similarity at all is copyright infringement, but that's simply not true.