Some icons appear to be heavily inspired by LV.
Here are three icons (circled) from Flat-UI: http://i.imgur.com/xDDULcG.png
You can see that the gears and news icons do bear some similarity to LV's versions: http://dribbble.com/shots/800428-LayerVault-icon-set-for-del... and http://imgur.com/rli5IVU (the latter via http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5332741)
In addition, LV claims that Flat-UI ripped off a number of other icons from dribble.com, such as this clock and map (Flat-UI above, originals below): http://cl.ly/image/3Q181w0b1u2K (original dribble links: http://dribbble.com/shots/695458-Nasa-Playbook-Icons and http://dribbble.com/shots/877061-Map-2013).
Finally, the color schemes have been claimed to be identical: http://pixxel.co/feed/layervault-issues-dmca-takedown
LV appears to be confused as to what constitutes copyright infringement. None of these icons are actually copies of the original, and even if they were LV would not have a right to issue a DMCA takedown for the ones they didn't own.
This seems to be a massive PR blunder for the LV guys. They could have put up a blog post enumerating how many of their (and others') designs were ripped off (which is not the same thing as copyright infringement) and probably garnered some internet sympathy. Now, by misusing the much-hated DMCA takedown notice they've positioned themselves in the same camp with all the DMCA bullies we have grown to loathe.
It's not even a rip-off. The basic pattern for the icons is insanely generic, and the execution is clearly different. The color scheme is a very common one.
It bears a resemblance as much as one black leather shoe bears a resemblance to another black leather shoe. It's not even worth making a passing remark about, let alone going nuclear with a DMCA.
LayerVault are copyright trolls and bullies.
DMCAs shouldn't be filed lightly (unless you have the legal resources of the RIAA/MIAA/etc to dissuade your targets from retaliation).
Not a lawyer, and haven't talked to a lawyer? Don't file a DMCA no matter how butthurt you are about being 'copied'. Just because it is relatively easy to do doesn't mean you should do so in the spur of the moment. It is a Real Legal Thing with Real Ramifications, and this is good because it limits the amount to which bad actors can abuse it, but it also means you should be really sure you're the victim of copyright violations prior to using it yourself.
Or, alternatively, they might realize what a mistake taking this approach was and never do it again. That's what I think is "highly likely" here.
It doesn't seem like he's learned anything, considering he's making jokes about it on twitter:
If you murdered someone in 1995, would you be a murderer?
As I replied to electic, how would you feel if I described myself as a singer upon meeting someone, having only sang for 3 minutes out of the decades of my life? "Oh, hi, I'm lowboy, and I'm a singer".
The persistent/active component is in having the personal constitution necessary to engaged in the action in question. The type of person, for instance, who files a false DMCA take-down request -- censoring another person's speech -- without understanding or appreciating the ethical and legal implications of what they are doing.
"Repository unavailable due to DMCA takedown" -- https://github.com/designmodo/Flat-UI
But having the constitution to do an act doesn't mean one is a repeated doer of that act. Has LV actively trolled, or tried to censor people's speech in the past? If not, they shouldn't be described as patent trolls, merely that they are currently engaged in an act of patent trolling.
This whole thread (and my objections to the use of language here) was based on onemorepassword's comment that ended with a definitive "LayerVault are copyright trolls and bullies", which I read as speaking to their core and not just what they're doing at the moment.
Maybe omp has knowledge of LV having a past history of copyright trolling, but I don't think it's a fair statement to make based on one bad-faith filing, as abhorrent as that move was.
Dictators are a really poor example here, often it is not quite as clear-cut and there is no point in time you can say then he became a dictator. Not even in hindsight, it is usually a rise to power over years until their power becomes absolute.
"one or more"
Please answer my question about me describing myself as a singer. Would you feel I was being dishonest as describing myself as such?
It doesn't matter if you sang for 10 minutes or for 100 hours. There is no magic threshold number. If you identify yourself as a singer, you can claim to be one legitimately.
You would only be dishonest if you claimed to be a professional singer or a regular singer.
And at THIS point in time, they DO file the DMCA thing.
People who drag others into expensive, unwarranted legal situations are a blight on the entrepreneurial community.
No, responding to and dealing with a DMCA notice takes 5 minutes and a couple keystrokes. You send a counternotice, a simple e-mail you can copy and paste from any number of examples. There are no attorneys fees until there's an actual lawsuit, and there's never going to be one here.
Showing that they were incorrect does not show they are a troll.
The term refers to entities who are in the business of enforcing patents they aren't generally even using in the marketplace. This is distinct from someone who actually thinks their work is being affected, as is the case here (even though in this case it seems to be overblown).
That makes you the worst kind of troll out there, a knowingly lying one.
It's a solemn legal claim, with consequences if they lie.
And the people claimed against can file a counter claim.
(DMCA is a terrible law, and needs to be fixed.)
Maybe I've had my head in the sand for far too long, but I had never heard of LayerVault until today, and I know them now for all the wrong reasons.
I find it somewhat silly that no matter what trend you follow, someone will always be there, waiting to pounce.
This isn't the mid 2000's, "First" posts were childish back then, and "First" claims are the same now.
...and seriously at the colour schemes. The flat colour trend is basically the same as a new art movement (it's only pastel colours made more vibrant). I predict that with the current trend being Real -> Flat, the next phase will be a new form of Pointillism.
If we really wanted to be picky, you could draw comparisons between the way that LV do human faces (see bottom of the Tour page) and the old Mac OS logo.
If Flat UI had really stolen assets, that would be one thing.
But aping a design isn't the same thing as stealing. See also: Apple v. Samsung.
Hope it wasn't the basis for the DMCA takedown...
Flat UI has more than 20 colors. LV just 7?...
-Most often done by... Jonathan Ive
2) Has anyone visited LayerVault's site?
Does anyone think that they invented all of the styling, color schemes, magnifying effects, icon styling out of thin air?
Anyone seen google do something similar? (looks waaaaay better than LV old site BTW)
3) If you wanted to shame someone, the best way to do so would have been a blog post...
See OXO v.s. Quirky http://goo.gl/Zccse
4) It's impossible for an idea to be truly unique/novel. They are always tangents/leaps based on a previous discoveries or insight.
Looks like the pitchforks are out over on HN.
It was pretty straightforward. Our reaction was "Cool, a flat UI theme" to "Wait, this looks familiar" to "Wait, are those our illustrations?".
I contacted the designmodo people over email, because that's the right way to handle this. The owner was being stubborn at first and refused to admit wrongdoing. At that point, I submitted the DMCA request. Eventually, he removed the most blatant icons which (in my eyes) is an admission of guilt.
They even managed to kinda lift the old DN icon :) http://imgur.com/3zoKuvH
If you have some intimiate knowledge of LayerVault's UI (which their designer apparently does), the similarities are a bit more than striking. That's not a huge issue until you release everything together - the icons, the colors, the UI elements, whatever.
We give a lot of our stuff away for free. We put a lot of our projects on cosmos.layervault.com, we write about interesting concepts we've come up with and include the code on our blog, whatever. This isn't about thinking we own "Flat Design" or being mad that there's some other design out there with a similar aesthetic.
Allan has done neither, and still hasn't done so in his tweets or this post over on his bubbly walled garden. A few simple side-by-side screenshots would have sufficed and put the court of public opinion squarely on his side. He may be completely in the right but his approach left him open to the "pitchforks" he's so dismissively bemoaning.
DMCA notices are to enforce against copyright infringement only, not as a tool for organizations to abuse in order to remove content which they think is "too similar", if this was the case, businesses would simply send their competition DMCA notices for being "too similar."
He also stated that because DesignModo "removed some icons" which LayerVault thought were the most blatantly infringing somehow implies guilt, as opposed to just someone trying to handle a dispute in a friendly manner.
I'm not a designer, and I haven't heard of LayerVault until now, however unless some very damning evidence is presented, I feel like every statement he's making is essentially digging a deeper grave.
EDIT: Having looked at the examples of the claimed infringement which are now surfacing, this is even further evidence that this is misuse of the DMCA. At most, this would be a civil / trademark dispute.
Web folks these days have some strange ideas about copyright, particularly as it relates to an overall 'site feel'. Unfortunately, this 'site feel' is not a single work, in the same way that you couldn't successfully keep others from making art in your 'style'.
The proper way to get a monopoly on a 'feel' is with one of those ridiculous design patents. That'd be inexcusable, because these patents mean nothing except that you intend to spend a lot of time making lawsuits based on poorly examined, impossibly wide patents.
Noun Project vs Layer Vault vs Flat UI
If anyone notice other similar icons, I can update image with side by side comparison.
*Thanks to fellow HNers for the links to the images. I just stuck it all together side by side.
Edit: Updated with more samples.
From my initial reading, it sounded like images were outright copied, or copied and slightly altered. That is hardly the case in these examples.
If there aren't any stronger examples than these, then LayerVault wouldn't seem to have much of a basis for all this.
Is this a prank or art piece troll?
Yes, a full explanation would be nice too.
Here, we have a DMCA takedown notice that lacks two of the necessary elements: specific identification of the copyrighted work infringed as well as the infringing material.
It doesn't take much to meet these elements, which together would have also allayed public concerns. Barring that, however, it's not a valid notice. As a result, Github has no duty to act as the courts have explicitly affirmed.
I doubt this case will escalate to that, but at the very least I think I can safely say LayerVault is the loser here. I was only scarcely aware of LayerVault previously with no specific opinion and now after hearing the claims and seeing the supposed "proof" I have a negative opinion. And for what gain?
Sure, couldn't possibly be that he just wanted to do whatever it took to get you to leave him alone.
Also, the Flat-UI guy also copied other artists on dribbble. http://cl.ly/image/3Q181w0b1u2K
From http://drbl.in/eXkk, and http://drbl.in/gmsD
I'm not saying these are in copyright violation, merely examples he has copied prior work.
Here is the definition of copy.. "A thing made to be similar or identical to another."
The worked linked to was not original. It is similar and identical to other designers work.
* The FlatUI one has a drop shadow
* The length of both hands is different
* In the Dribbl artwork the hands are all the same size, while the FlatUI one has a "skinny" minute hand and an even skinnier second hand
* The colors are not at all similar
* The width is different
* The landmasses are completely different
* There is a different number of landmasses
* The colors are, again, quite different
* The Dribbl art is of a map with three folds, with both ends facing downwards so it forms an "M" shape, while the FlatUI one has four folds, with one end facing down and the other facing up
Beyond details inherent in the objects and art style (e.g. clocks are round and have hands), there are more differences than similarities. I would hardly call that "identical."
Case in point. The text below has more difference contained within it then the list of 9 specific difference you listed in your post. Taken individually, they prove that I did not copy your post, and that what is below is original.
However, any reasonable person would take a look at the two and find that they are very similar in terms of style, presentation, and intent. That they are copies. Identical, no, but copies nonetheless.
There aren't any examples of identical artwork from the two sources that I can see. There are links such as http://bit.ly/13IvNcq that show substantially different artwork side by side. Do you really mean to tell me you can't see any difference between those? The only substantial similarity in either of those is the placement of the pins of the map. Notable differences:
* The FlatUI one has a drop shadow.
* The length of both hands is different.
* The colors are not at all similar.
* In the Dribbl artwork the hands are all the same size, while the FlatUI one has a 'skinny' minute hand and a skinnier second hand.
* The landmasses are different.
* The width is different.
* The colors are quite different.
* There are a different number of landmasses.
* The Dribbl art is of a map with three folds, with both ends facing downwards so it forms an 'M' shape, while the FlatUI one has four folds, with one end facing down and the other facing up.
Beyond details inherent in the objects and art style (e.g. clocks are round and have hands), there are more differences than similarities. I would hardly call that 'identical.'
A better refutation would be to produce a well thought-out comparison of the two graphics that shows substantial similarity. I compared them as best I could and most of the artistic decisions seemed to be different between the two. If you have reached a different conclusion, I would love to see your analysis to compare.
If you haven't analyzed them in as much detail as I did and reached a different conclusion, I don't see why you felt it was intellectually honest to take a computerized copy of my comment and claim it as containing "more difference."
That's similarity, not copying. Copying is bit for bit or pixel for pixel identical.
So... couldn't we argue that LayerVault copied the design of actual clocks? Using your logic, the inventor of the wall clock would be just as justified sending LayerVault a take-down notice, right?
If you recall apple is paying $21m to license the Swiss Railway clock design.
"What exactly is the point you're trying to make?"
Thank you for agreeing with my original comment. night!
At this point, I'd like to refer you to pg's essay on how to disagree. You might want to pay attention to sections 4 and 5 in his hierarchy of dissent.
It's a clock - how many unique ways are there to design it? It's a folded up map with pins in it.
He moved the hour/minutes hands, changed the colors and shadows, used different continents in the map.
Apple paid $21 million for a clock design after first adopting your attitude: http://www.law.com/corporatecounsel/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202...
If he had copied, even in just a similar way, LayerVault's logo to use as an icon (and assuming LV trademarked it) then this discussion would be pretty different.
There were slight differences in hand lengths, removal of the logo (obviously), and stroke widths.
I believe in the value and importance of design, but the money/value ratio of design IP has gotten out of hand.
Copyright means you literally copied the design. Are you maybe confusing copyright and trademark? With trademark, you can get in trouble for creating brand confusion, which has a more to do with the look and feel than the actual copy.
If it were ONLY the colors, or ONLY the look and feel of the widgets (which, come on, are almost exactly the same as well), or ONLY the icons… different story entirely. But it's the SUM of all of those things.
This is not how copyright works.
To me it seems like more of a trademark/trade dress issue, which as far as I know doesn't fall under copyright, but it's extremely silly to say that the resemblance between FlatUI and LayerVault isn't uncanny.
The only thing you can file a DMCA takedown notice for is a copyright issue. That's it. By filing a DMCA takedown notice you are asserting there is a 'copyright issue'.
And besides, establishing an infringement of trademark and that it was then infringed will require an absolute mountain of cash and lawyers and time. I'm assuming they have nothing relating to the IP they're annoyed about on paper and so they'd need to show that they 'owned' it in equity. They'd almost certainly go bankrupt before they have a chance of winning a case in court.
Later on, after the pitchforks had showed up, he tweeted the following: "It's neat that someone made a flat ui kit"
That tune sure changed quickly!
LayerVault needs to illustrate their case with clear-cut examples or else they are coming across as ye olde IP Troll and thus deserving the collective pitchfork stabbing that DMCA hammer wielding requires.
Noun Project: http://thenounproject.com/noun/newspaper/#icon-No6346
Flat-UI's newspaper icon: http://i.imgur.com/9TKbKNl.png
If anything, the Designer News icon is much more similar to the Noun Project's.
All of these icons are similar to innumerable newspaper icons, including several at the Noun Project alone.
'He kinda copied it, so we slapped him with DMCA.
We kinda copied a free icon, but it's okay.'
Don't know if 'kinda' is being used to soften the accusation or it's not a straight up copy - I can't see the icon they are talking about.
Edit: Found them and slapped them together for side by side comparison http://imgur.com/rli5IVU
They just aren't the same icon. The visual metaphor all these icons rely on is decades old. It's the details that matter.
My only point was that when you are getting hammered by people and the evidence you provide is that, it looks poorly thought out.
I think you misunderstand. I'm not arguing as to whether the Flat UI guys copied them or not, but like the larger argument, the icon he is putting forward as copied work is itself conceptually very similar to other existing icon work(s). As a designer I would be more than a little miffed if that design appeared if I had created the Noun Project's version and not openly licensed it.
If that is the case, it somewhat undermines the claim that the assets are fully owned by them or even that ownership can be so quickly claimed.
IANAL, but that's what I was told by a law student.
It's certainly not a verbatim copy or even close.
There might be some ground for trademark infringement if the original icon was important, but no way is that a copyright issue.
We can discuss on how many differences but it will end on nothing. I can express that, 2 o 3 differences are not enough to claim "different" and you can claim than 1 will not be enough too.
To me, they're clearly wrong. But if the guy copied the art and pasted it, that's another story.
Also, this Allan guy whoever he is, is dripping with self-importance.
Trademarks can legally protect a particular style, but trademark law isn't enforced through DMCA requests.
To my eyes, it does not look like 'blatant copying.' The icons look similar, but so do many others. If LV's evidence comes down to "looks too similar, but isn't actually a copy," then the DMCA is not the avenue for pursuing this.
Those tweets sound like classic whining in face of collective pitchfork stabbing.
You can't issue a DCMA based on sort of look a likes. Or everyone would be DCMAing everyone else.
So the entire DCMA is invalid.
Thanks to fellow HNers for the links to the images. I just stuck it all together side by side.
The Noun Project also has a profile speech version, though with curved lines instead of the bubble: http://thenounproject.com/noun/speech/#icon-No1202
Flat UI's version might have been partially inspired by LayerVault, but it's far from identical. In fact, the Flat UI head is very similar to the Noun Project's head, similar to how the LayerVault's newspaper is similar to the Noun Project's.
Doesn't mean I agree with it, but if you're going to have everything that potentially infringes LV's work you might as well put the stupid ones too. Plus it's now missing which makes it a bit suspicious (though the replacement is far better IMO which would explain the head's absence too)
You can use Chilling Effects Counter-Notification generator to automate the process:
For those who are unfamiliar with DMCA notices, in short:
1. Content Provider Receives DMCA
2. Content Provider must act 'expeditiously' to remove content which is claimed to be infringing
3. Individual has an opportunity to submit a counter notification to their content provider, in which case the content can be reinstated after 10 business days regardless of the other parties claims. (Unless an injunction is obtained.)
4. Any further action is only by legal means (court injunction)
Disclaimer: IANAL (yet)
- If the content provider is outside of the United States, DMCA is not valid whatsoever. However, some organizations, especially in English speaking countries, will honor it simply as a notice of infringement.
- If the individual sending the complaint is outside the United States, but the content provider is within the US, usually the content provider will cooperate anyway to protect themselves from legal obligation under Safe Harbor provisions.
- If the end user receiving the complaint is outside the United States and the content provider is within the US then the content provider should still honor the counter notice and would be covered by Safe Harbor provisions. I'm not sure on the specifics of this, however you must at minimum consent to the jurisdiction of US Federal Law for any further actions.
For the most part, the content provider / hosting company will do what is in their best interest to legally safeguard themselves, with little regard for end user rights. Generally speaking, the larger the company the moreso this applies.
Github seems like a reasonable organization, and if you submit a counter notification in valid format they should act accordingly.
Also, I see the Chilling Effects URL is getting hammered, here's a static version which you can modify: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Terrorism/form-letter.html
While unrelated to this issue specifically, something which is interesting to note is that in a several year old paper from Vanderbilt University, they specifically mention a provision dealing with enforcing the DMCA on foreign websites. While this provision has never been used to my knowledge it does exist and is quite scary considering the implications:
While direct action against a foreign site is not possible in U.S.
courts, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) allows courts
to order the blocking of infringing sites. Section 512(j)(1)(B)(ii) (the
“Foreign Site Provision”) permits an order to restrain an Internet
service provider (“ISP”) from providing access to a “specific, identified,
online location outside the United States.” Therefore this provision,
with some limitations, may be used to block U.S. access to infringing
esp. when the target audience consists of developers/designers
EDIT: I tried to cross-post this on Designer News, but it turns out they're invite-only. Can someone do me the honour?
While I know it's pretty de rigueur on HN to assume that anyone who issues a DMCA takedown is evil/a troll/an idiot who doesn't understand the internet, it doesn't mean that some of them aren't being filed because their copyright is actually being violated.
Until there's more evidence either from LayerVault that DesignModo has used their assets, or from DesignModo that they haven't - something beyond DesignModo just shouting "they're lying!" in any case, perhaps it's best to withhold judgement for the time being.
Looking at the top comment in the thread (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5332398), it seems that DesignModo lifted some of their illustrations straight from the LayerVault site.
They have proven to be an closed elitist circle and they go against the web openness nature of the web and development.
All of their assets were created in-house by DesginModo's designers..
I would say that is the issue in a nutshell. LayerVault is claiming they are the exclusive rights-holders, yet absolutely nothing in Flat-UI is the same as anything on LayerVault's public site.
The only possible angle remaining would be if LayerVault had a bunch of these elements behind their paywall... something tells me that's not the case.
Edit: Alright, I admit the colour Turquoise is used on both pages. Still, I'm fairly confident turquoise boxes (of differing shapes!) are not copyrightable.
LayerVault is obviously pissed that a design similar to their unique design will be used by amateur Bootstrappers all over the web.
You can't patent Colors / Helvetica Neue / Rounded Corner Squares. It just reeks of tactics similar to patent trolls.
I think a while back there was blog theme used that was similar to Svbtle, but there was no take down notice or such nonsense. It generated a decent discussion and conversations about something that's too close in style.
Look at @layervault on Twitter, they are just getting destroyed right now. Even by designers, their main target audience.
If they went along the lines like 'Hey, this is pretty similar to our design. We think it's cool we inspired you but can you deviate it from us a bit more or re-name the project to like Layervault Bootstrap?' I mean why not - have your name in the same conversation as Twitter Bootstrap!
A total botched and missed opportunity.
Allan says Designmodo was not being cooperative in emails on the issue, and I think that's the point where you take it to a blog post with examples of the case you're trying to make, rather than forcing Github to shut down an entire project that goes outside of just the illustrations in question.
Their approach seems less about actually proving their worth by focusing on their product and ignoring outside "competition", and more about trying to shut down those that they feel are a threat to them. Not sure what exactly that says about them or the confidence they have in their own product, but it's a bad attitude to have towards innovation and inspiration.
They look visually similar. As well as dozens of other pieces/sites.
Is this an abuse of process I should actually care about or is it just a "who did what?" spit between estranged developers?
They have a design in a style that's not quite originally theirs-- they've seemingly abused the DMCA to have github remove a completely unrelated UI kit in the same style.
The two items in question are as follows:
Flat UI has (seemingly) been designed and developed completely independently, having nothing to do with LayerVault. No artwork is derived, based-upon, designed by the same artist, etc.
You should care about this because the process is biased towards the accuser. Given no chance to rebut, Flat UI is removed, and disabled. Despite providing his side of the story in the commit comments https://github.com/github/dmca/commit/735e17614cca63102b8414..., the author now has to write a formal counter-takedown notification, and the repository will still be offline for up to 10 days (https://help.github.com/articles/dmca-takedown)
Furthermore, 'designers' and HN users should care because LayerVault runs a 'Hacker News' for designers at https://news.layervault.com/. LayerVault is not the right entity to run this site after these DMCA shenanigans (if in fact no infringement has taken place).
Before we start yelling about "abuse of process" though, we might want to wait for more information about what's actually going on here. It would hardly be the first time one small company has used another company's assets without permission, so perhaps we should see what LayerVault has to say before getting so worked up.
10 days can be a long time to have stuff go unexpectedly offline.
| the host has to restore the removed
| content within a certain time period
Today, LayerVault , a company that makes 'github for designers,' sent a DCMA github a DCMA Takedown Notice , claiming that they own the exclusive rights to "the artwork contained within Flat UI."
The creators of Flat UI are disputing this in the linked comment thread, but we do not know if they've actually sent a DCMA Counter-Notification .
Incidentally, Flat UI's page probably did violate somebody's copyright, but not necessarily LayerVault's. No, they used part of Big Buck Bunny  without proper attribution  under its Creative Commons license .
LayerVault (https://layervault.com/) are a company that provide a version control system for design work.
And did Flat UI derive artwork from LayerVault? Is there a connection between the developers? Did they work with the same artist? Certainly some of the icons on the two sites look similar, though I don't see any obvious duplication.
A critically important step in any hot blooded DMCA freakout is verifying whether or not infringement took place. The letter (frustratingly) doesn't point to any specifics but it does at least allege infringement. I can't find a clear denial in the linked thread. So again: should I be upset about this?
LayerVault is a vocal proponent of the "Flat UI" approach and uses it almost as a signature look and feel for their product. In the follow up discussions, the blog post author has said that no post or discussion fully understands what he meant .
I can't read the takedown letter or discussion where I am (for some reason github is blocked). But based on what I've seen, the kit is similar to LayerVault's approach to employing Flat UI. That combined with the blogpost, I wouldn't be surprised if LayerVault felt that their look and feel was infringed upon. Obviously, this doesn't mean that they actually were infringed upon in the eye of the law, even if the kit was derived from LayerVault.
As a designer, I can sympathize with LayerVault's issue with the kit (I'm making assumptions), but with such a design, I really wonder how valid their complaint is within the law.
Designer News thread that I have no link to at the moment.
Check what the framework developer said: https://github.com/github/dmca/commit/735e17614cca63102b8414...
"he said that he: "I am the exclusive rights holder for the artwork contained within Flat UI". Liar!."
1) None of the illustrations in Flat UI are identical to LayerVault's illustrations. Derived works? Maybe. But under the law, that's okay.
2) Looking at illustrations from the Noun Project, and color palettes from Google and elsewhere, we see the same similarities that we do between LayerVault and Flat UI. If Flat UI is guilty of copyright infringement as LayerVault asserts, then LayerVault is most certainly guilty of copyright infringement from elsewhere.
3) Copyright isn't even the right legal vehicle for this debate. LayerVault could conceivably deem its icons to be trademarks, and show a likelihood of confusion when compared to Flat UI's icons. But LV using an icon set as a trademark would be unprecedented, and difficult to argue. (And even if that were the case, the Noun Project could just as easily claim LV infringed on their trademark.)
Overall, if LayerVault is claiming they own the copyright to illustrations used in Flat UI, they're flat-out wrong. And that's where the problem comes in - filing a fraudulent DMCA notice is bad business.
And http://i.imgur.com/qJXJUaH.png are just proofs than they can't own anything.
Have we established exactly which elements are allegedly infringing copyright? I've gone though both websites and I don't see it...
Also, I think it's pretty ridiculous that a DMCA takedown can even be "valid" without specifying what exactly was infringed - "I am the exclusive rights holder for the artwork contained within Flat UI, Free Web User Interface Kit" isn't exactly saying much.
And that's a shame because I like Layer Vault a lot.
Sending DMCA take-downs without full intent to prosecute and full conviction that your copyrights have been violated is not only illegal but shameful.
They need to read up on W3's proposed contrast minimums: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/#visual-audio-contrast-contrast
I guess pg should send a DMCA takedown notice to them, then.
> I am the exclusive rights holder for the artwork contained within Flat UI
That's quite a difference to "look and feel". Right now, there is just not enough information to know what this is all about.
If it was icons, I think a court said recently icons cannot be copyrighted?
Ah maybe it was thumbnails cannot be copyrighted.
I like browsing their Designer News links on a daily basis, but I would think twice about signing up for a service run by people with questionable character and morals, which is the feeling I am coming away with after reading through this thread.
This whole thing could have been handled a lot better and with far more professionalism.
I've read comments (not on HN) from people who have endorsed the DMCA takedown because of their personal ethics and morals rather than knowledge of the law. Particularly one who claimed that the similar colour palettes between LV and Flat UI justified the takedown - even though colour palettes themselves are currently not copyrightable subject matter. To win on those grounds you'd need a genius (and crazy) lawyer and a judge who is either asleep at the wheel or bribed. Then you'd lose on appeal anyway.
Colours can be only trademarked. Using that colour is not a copyright violation. Hence no DMCA.
It makes me sad that as we all move towards minimalist design startup founders will need to know IP law better than a few years ago. Some of this is due to trolling and some because of a mislead or otherwise naive understanding of the law like I mentioned above. It's just adding pressure on founders that we don't really need and more work for lawyers.
A lot of us are doing whatever we're doing for the first time and that makes us (potentially) easy targets. A better knowledge of the law in this scenario might have prevented everything from blowing up like it has. But Flat UI and Layervault wouldn't have had as much energy put into the product and so everyone suffers.
Then again I'm in law school right now so at least I know there's a job in all of this if i ever need it :-/
I guess I just wish we could stop bickering about stuff like this and get on with building cool stuff.
Edit: Emphasise the trademark-ability, not copyright-ability, of particular colours/palettes.
Plus, it is actually fairly difficult to trademark a color.
Yes, I'm aware of that, and have edited original comment emphasise it. I had vaguely thought there was some provision in the DMCA for remedies for other types of IP infringement as well as copyright, but haven't really looked into it that much. Then again, given how much easier it is to (potentially) infringe some trademarks, the severity of the remedy (immediate takedown, with perhaps later return) does seem like overkill.
I wasn't arguing that it was easy, merely possible. The examples all do seem to be large companies with significant legal budgets and generally strong or exclusive brands though, which does indicate it being quite rare.
I'm repulsed at the idea of "owning" a visual depiction of a fucking newspaper.
And yes, I've worked for years of my life as a designer. I know what if feels like to have people copy you.
I have been waiting for this to happen for a while. Their "Bricks UI" is an extremely blatant copy of Google Ventures' web site, and it's weird nothing happened there.
I'm not on either side, but it's just painful to watch the reactions on HN. It seems like a lot of the commenters were just closed down somewhere waiting for the right occasion to blame some copyright enforcer.
Any designer that doesn't understand that design is an iterative process, shouldn't be a designer anymore.