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


On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 6:30 AM, Alexander Thurgood
<alex.thurgood@gmail.com> wrote:
Le 09/07/11 23:26, Bernhard Dippold a écrit :

Hi all,

Someone suggested I sling in some caselaw or other references on whether
copyright protection is available for UIs :

US
Just one caselaw review :
http://www.legalserviceindia.com/articles/crind.htm

Europe
In European Union Court of Justice Case C-393/09 :
http://kluwercopyrightblog.com/2011/03/24/protection-of-guis-graphical-user-interfaces-some-comments-about-the-ecj-%E2%80%98s-preliminary-ruling-in-bsa-v-ministervo-kultury/

involving the BSA against the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
relating tp television broadcasting of user interface.

What the latter ruling states is that copyright is not available under
the Computer Program Copyright Directive 91/250/EEC, as that is intended
to protect code per se. However, copyright is available for UIs under
the more general Copyright Directive 2001/29/EC, providing that they
meet the criteria for awarding copyright, i.e. originality, author's own
work, etc.

What the ruling also say is:
"In a second question, the ECJ was asked whether television
broadcasting of a GUI “constitutes communication to the public of a
work protected by copyright within the meaning of Article 3(1) of
Directive 2001/29”. The ECJ answers that if a GUI is displayed in the
context of television broadcasting of a programme, television viewers
receive a communication of that GUI in a passive manner, without
having the possibility to interact with the program. According to the
ECJ, as individuals do not have access to the essential element
characterising the interface, that is to say, interaction with the
user, “there is no communication to the public of the graphic user
interface within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29”."

That same rational apply to screen shoot in a documentation.
iow common sens still prevail despite BSA's effort.


So to all those naysayers who think that no-one sues anyone else over UI
elements - wake up, and take stock. Am I paranoid ? No, but people do
get sued. Do I represent the BSA ? No, but I know "peers" that do, and
believe me, love it or hate it, the BSA do sue people.

I'm sure that people sue, and some jurisdiction are indeed very prone
to frivolous law suit... but does that means that we have to abdicate
basic freedom and right ?

If you are that concerned about liabilities, make sure that TDF itself
does not author nor 'publish' any documentation... and have a
money-less French loi-1901 association to do the publishing... The
fact that TDF 'endorse' the content of a book does not make it liable
for real or imaginary infringements in that book.

Norbert

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