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Re: [steering-discuss] Re: screen-shots Documentation Team

Hi Tom, *,

@Tom: thank you very much for your kind words and your moral support
and practical help regarding Alfresco. However, usage of Alfresco is
really a bit off-topic for bringing to the attention of the SC.
Alfresco usage/non-usage is more a question of natural, Darwinian
survival/non-survival, and the SC would probably not want to get
involved in that :-D

@Tom, *: However, the question of acceptability of Windows screenshots
in LibreOffice documentation and web pages has more relevance.

As Tom explains, the issue has been discussed a number of times, with
various people perceiving a risk in the usage of screenshots of our
product taken on a Windows OS, and with various other people
dismissing any such risk as implausible.

My own 2 cents on the matter would be this:

"I've carefully read the pages put forward as pointing-up the problem
with taking screenshots under Windows, and I must admit that I don't
interpret them in a way that poses any risk to LibreOffice.

In the cited pages, IMHO, Microsoft is legitimately protecting itself
against screenshots of its own products' splashscreens, dialog boxes
and windows being hijacked to publicize other products. It is not
trying to limit use of the Windows platform by third-party products,
nor documentation of those products. It actually spends a lot of time
and effort promoting Windows as a development platform for third-party
products. And the Internet is *full* of screenshots of Open Source and
closed source products taken on Windows.

What's more, if it *did* take action against an OS project for simply
taking screenshots of the aforesaid OS product on the Windows
platform, it would probably score a considerable "own goal" of
negative publicity in public relations terms. So I think that
Microsoft would be very unlikely to do so.

And, even if it *did* do so, in what court/jurisdiction could it make
such action stick? Under US federal law? In certain US states? I'm not
convinced they'd succeed. In European courts? I'm even less convinced
they'd succeed. And if they *did* succeed, what could they possibly
win other than a cease-and-desist order? I really cannot imagine them
winning damages as such. And, in either case, it would truly be a
Pyrrhic victory in terms of image damage.

So, IMHO, it's rather implausible.

This is a subject that has been discussed a number of times over the
past months. I think I'll ask for it to be discussed at a forthcoming
SC confcall.

It would be very convenient for docs team contributors to be able to
take screenshots under Windows, as well as on Mac and Linux. Plus it
would contribute to making it clear to users that LibreOffice is a
truly multi-platform package, and not a niche product that seems to
mainly target Linux. (I say this as a daily Ubuntu user and total
Linux lover.)"

Please may I request this subject be discussed at the next SC meeting?
(Or at your earliest possible convenience?) If you accept the subject
for the agenda, I will be there to listen in and, if invited, debate
the angles.

David Nelson

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