Stealing From Microsoft, And Other Brilliant Ideas…

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What are the two companies you probably shouldn’t crib your site design from? That’s easy: Microsoft and Apple. Both are iron-fist giants who would pummel you for even thinking about it. So it was interesting to hear in this story over at M-Dollar, “Microsoft: The Victim of a Pirated Website Design?” that that’s exactly what happened, with a firm in China stealing an layout from an older Microsoft site. Here’s some:

Because the site is owned by a popular Chinese web portal, Wiseman jested, “Couldn’t they afford to hire a designer?” Jokes aside, he also notes his real purpose for pointing this out, which was to call on the issue of cross-border copyright infringement. While Windows Live Expo has gone on to a completely different look, he argues that it is still not acceptable to steal people’s user interface. The comparison between the old Windows Live Expo design and the Sina.com design is indeed similar, but there are still some major differences. Those differences weren’t enough to prevent Wiseman from charging that Sina.com “had not only lifted our previous user interface’s look & feel, but also directly copied some of our graphics.”