A little design rip-off - Apple style

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by one3, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. one3 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I realize this happens A LOT on the web, but I wanted to illustrate one example of BLATANT copying of a design / illustration that's appropriate to this forum as it's Apple related.

    The original - .Mac 'sphere':
    http://store.mcetech.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/DotMac-box.jpg

    The rip-off:
    http://www.2large2email.com/

    I'm not sure how people can think it's OK to do something this obvious. I'm not sure if it's the client that said "Make it look just like the .mac sphere" or if the designer just copied the "sphere" and got it past the client who'd never seen the .mac version.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #2
    They think they won't be caught, and they don't realize how much they can get punished if they get caught.

    Someone should report it to Apple Legal.
     
  3. one3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Good suggestion - I just sent them a quick note regarding it. I'm sure it'll be fairly low on their priority list but I thought it was worth mentioning nevertheless.
     
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    #4
    I personally don't feel that's a rip-off. The logo they have goes very much with their product and logo. There may be some simple similarities, but frankly there's a chance the person who created the logo has never seen the .Mac package logo.

    A blatant rip-off would be like the person who posted here (some months ago) about someone ripping off their site and even leaving his name on the site. The rip-offers were that lazy about it, and the sad part was it was a guy who clams to do web design. How very sad. That's a blatant rip-off.
     
  5. one3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    You really don't think this is a blatant ripoff --- just "some simple similarities"?
    Hmmmm.....
    [​IMG]
     
  6. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

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    #6
    Well, we all could argue about this to sway opinion but in my mind only one thing truly matters -- was an image trademark or copyright infringed upon.

    So I checked the USPTO Tess database of trademarks and found a .MAC entry here, a live record.

    Now, see where it says, "Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING" - that refers to a trademark image association, which according to the people who maintain TESS:

    The MDC code is 1, and there is no DSC field that I could find.

    So officially, that image is not trademarked. Apple could sue anyway under a littany of other laws in their state that govern intellectual property, once they prove they created the original image and maintain it exclusively for their customers. Lawsuits of this magnitude are rare because of the expense, of course, plus policing the Internet is next to impossible so Apple would only sue if it was a direct competitor and to their advantage to stifle them.

    Next I opened the original Apple image in my Adobe PS and went into File -> File Info and copyright status is unmarked (blank). Not that every image on the Internet should include this information, including author and company contact information. But, lacking a TESS trademark record, a lazy graphics designer could nearly copy the .MAC image in question and argue the overall intellectual property copyright displayed on the Apple site does not include that specific image simply by viewing its properties.

    Is it wrong? Yes. Is it unethical, sure. Is it illegal -- doesn't look that way.

    -jim
     
  7. one3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Wow Jim you really went all out on this one :) I'm impressed.

    My only caveat here is that "the original Apple image" may not actually be an original Apple image as it's a product shot from an online store reselling the .mac package. True they may have gotten it from Apple directly but who knows what happened after that.
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #8
    Copyright IS ENFORCEABLE even if it's not registered at the time of infringement.

    If something is registered before infringement, the copyright holder has additional rights.
     
  9. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

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    #9
    @one3:

    Thanks, heh. The Internet isn't the wild wild west in terms of intellectual copyright protection anymore like during the dot com boom. Plus the image might not be the original as you deftly noted. Good point.

    @consultant:

    As to your first sentence are you implying intellectual copyright protection? If not, please explain.

    -jim
     
  10. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #10

    When someone creates something, it's AUTOMTICALLY PROTECTED under copyright laws. As to who owns it, it's either the artist or the one who hired the artist.

    In the United States it's covered under Federal Law under Intellectual Property, Copyright. Most countries in the world have similar laws.

    Yes I have things registered via LOC.


    You think Apple copied some image from somewhere else and used it as the cover image on their products? Highly unlikely.
     
  11. hessdesigns macrumors member

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    #11
    Whether or not it's illegal, it's just simply lazy. Although it's possible that someone could come up with that similar of a design, it's HIGHLY unlikely. I could see if it were a planet with images and stuff circling it. But a blue, graphical planet, a film reel for one ring and a music staff with music symbols as another...? Come on. I've worked for someone in the past who wanted me to do this kind of work ("I want you to copy this logo, then flip it horizontal, take out a couple music notes, add a line here...") until he thought it was "different enough". I refused out of principal. It's fine to mimic a style (like how buttons have gone all Web 2.0), but to do this kind of ripoff is just lazy, unethical crap. And most times, it's also illegal.
     
  12. one3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I mean that the .Mac box image I got was not from Apple's website but from a reseller -- it was just to clarify Jim's point about copyright info hidden in the actual file information.
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #13
    I think it was an official image.
     

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  14. Vster macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Looks very similar to me, I say rip-off...;)
     
  15. sarcasticdesign macrumors member

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    #15
    i think apple ripped the .mac box off of something else:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    can't you see the similarities?
     
  16. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

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    #16
    Maybe the planets Saturn and Jupiter should both sue since clearly they had the concept first.

    :cool:

    -jim
     
  17. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    #17
    Well sure if you flip the image it looks more similar, but still quite different. The design is not that novel. I've created similar graphics that had floating app windows around a center object, but that doesn't mean I infringed on Apple. Their graphic is also completely relevant to what they're selling so I see no issue here and I'd guess Apple legal would just laugh this off.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #18
    Bravo, (lol), I love it. Guffaw out loud, in fact.

    Don't they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Cheers.
     
  19. MojoWill macrumors 6502

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    #19
    this is lame, who cares? apple certainly have bigger things to worry about
     
  20. one3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    If you read my original post in the thread you'll notice I'm not posting to point out something for Apple Legal to worry about. I'm simply making a point about the integrity of the designer that copied the Apple .Mac design and just in general making a point about the rampant copying of designs on the internet. I'm finding more and more examples of blatant ripp-offs and I marvel at these 'designers' that seem to be OK about stealing someone else's creations.
     
  21. clu10 macrumors regular

    clu10

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    #21
    hey why are ya'll pickin on the pitiful lil company, leave em alone
     
  22. Etrain macrumors 6502

    Etrain

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    #22
    First, they didn't actually steal the image, they designed an image based on another image - it happens all over the world every day. There are no new ideas, just copied ideas made unique enough.

    Second, they couldn't get into any trouble for being inspired by a graphic Apple designed. Apple legal is powerless against this. Now if they stole the actual image that is another story entirely, but enough differences between the two images exist that any lawsuit would be thrown out of court.

    Not everything is grounds for a lawsuit.

    On second thought, I had better watch what I say so I don't get sued too! :rolleyes:
     
  23. Etrain macrumors 6502

    Etrain

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    #23
    "Good artists copy; great artists steal." - Steve Jobs

    Who, by the way, stole that quote from Pablo Picasso.

    "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal." - Pablo Picasso
     
  24. sarcasticdesign macrumors member

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    Aug 22, 2008
    #24
    Well, The example you posted was an HOMAGE to apple's, which was an HOMAGE to saturn.

    Just like apple playing "design ripoff" HOMAGE to the braun calculator.


    [​IMG]
     

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