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Facebook Accuses German Social Networking Site of Copying

     
1:52 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Facebook Accuses German Social [news.bbc.co.uk]Networking Site of Copying
The German company that is the subject of an intellectual property lawsuit from social networking firm Facebook has said the case is without merit.

Facebook's complaint, filed in a California federal court, accuses Studivz of copying the look, feel, features and services of Facebook.

It is also seeking compensation, to be determined at a trial.

Studivz said it had not been served with any court papers and that the Facebook claims were without merit.

1:57 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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and I think it's pretty obvious ...

[flickr.com...]

that screenshot was once (also) published at Spiegel Online, the online division of german news magazin Der Spiegel, though I don't know if they took it themselves, thus not absolutely sure if it's really authentic.

2:01 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"fakebook" - lol, some programmer there has a sense of humor, at least... he's probably in trouble now though.
4:07 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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and Live.com search design is almost identical to google, simple. Big deal! All social networking sites are virtually identical so I am not sure what this suit is for, unless they allege that software code was stolen.
5:44 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Is copying a design or some feature illegal?
5:51 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Facebook's complaint, filed in a California federal court, accuses Studivz of copying the look, feel, features and services of Facebook

Yes, indeed they have copied nearly every feature. Like: Login, password forgotten, sign up, Remember me....

5:53 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to the club, Facebook. Every possible good idea ever thought of has been copied or duplicated. Hell, I think someone even tried to copy the wheel... and fire.

My site has been duplicated 10 times over, even with scraped copies of my own content...

5:59 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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guess it's more about the features once you're logged in ;)
and apparently, they've copied them one by one, starting to add their own features along the way, mostly after they were bought out.
6:19 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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7:55AM Friday June 27, 2008 By Eric Auchard: SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of cash and stock to settle a long- running legal battle over whether founder Mark Zuckerberg stole ideas for the site from fellow Harvard students, according to freshly-released court documents.

Can someone steal something you stole from someone else?

6:50 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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of course, look at apple always yelling that microsoft stole "their" gui etc pp
6:51 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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its one thing if they copied the CSS/html/js exactly, and yet another if they mirrored features and general layout no?
7:42 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Agreed.

Mirroring features is not the same as cutting and pasting code.
That said I'd be pretty hacked off if someone came along and mirrored all the features on my website*.

*Actually my Italian friend tried that on his latest ill-fated web-project the month before last and when I pulled him up on it, he had the cheek to suggest "you should-a focus on-a something else-a in your life-a now." Outrageous.

8:57 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Even though features like "sign in", "remember me", and "add a Friend" may seem pretty ubiquitous in online social communities, it is absolutely possible to create something original that includes those ingredients. Studivz did not do that. They created a blatant clone, and it's obvious.

Is it legal? I'm not really qualified to say. But I am interested in how this story will unfold. I think in this case, I'll be cheering for F8.

9:08 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm putting my money on the ebay-option. Same thing, ebay started in the us, alando copied it in germany, made it's move and had germany pocketed before ebay even came over. A little lawer-talk, a few blows exchanged, then ebay simply bought alando, making three brothers very rich, who, in return, blessed humanity with jamba.
12:34 am on July 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Forbes has item saying:
But Facebook's most successful look-alike--and perhaps the ultimate target of its legal ire--could be China's Xiaonei.com.
1:31 am on July 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On the surface it sounds like another frivolous lawsuit or a sign that the legal system needs some adjustments so that these cases don't (can't) get filed. If they are not copying code and not causing trademark infringement, then it seems like that should be end of story.

Maybe Yahoo! could sue Google and MSFT and then Google could sue MSFT for creating similar search engines.

The shopping enignes could all have one big slugfest and sue each other for providing similar features to display pictures and products and faciliate comparison shopping by consumers.

7:00 am on July 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ah, in the good old days (1999/2000), companies were snatched up and integrated for their user base, because it was made so easy by the developers of the "local" service (type example: Ricardo, a 100% eBay clone, was purchased by eBay in May 2000), and they didall the hard work of acquiring the users. How the times have changed...!
5:24 pm on July 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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[news.bbc.co.uk...]

Sure there are lots of similar social networking sites, but it seems this one is a deliberate attempt at making an identical copy. I donít think Facebook are out sue the competition, anyone in their position would be pretty annoyed and would do the same.

10:32 pm on July 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

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would love to hear a lawyer give his 2 cents...webwork? ...my head tells me that facebook has nothing in this case and is just drumming up publicity...
8:16 am on July 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I believe to remember a stylsheet that StudiVZ had which was directly copied from Facebook - apparently they had forgotten to adapt it properly. I do have my doubts, though, that any of the features that make a social networking site are intellectual property or "defendable" in any way.

Facebook should face it: They were simply too slow to conquer some markets, including lucrative ones such as the German-speaking world, comprising of 100 million fairly wealthy consumers..