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Location: United States

  1. Let's imagine...
  2. A created web design.
  3. B is inspired by A's design.
  4. B creates similar design.
  5. Is B's work deemed as copyright infringement?

Person A Design

Person B Design

Similarities labeled

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2 Answers 2

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It's highly unlikely that A would even recognise this as similar. It's really bog standard. A coloured patterned background (in a different colour and with a different pattern). Two buttons. A picture and a testimonial. All things that have been done thousands of times.

In the end, it is _copy_right. What exactly is B supposed to have copied?

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    @lego7112 it seems to me that gnasher's answer already addressed that, given how it already lists the elements you've pointed out. They do have several similar elements, but they are very generic elements laid out in an equally generic manner. Why are you so keen for there to be a copyright violation here, rather than just a lack of imagination (on the part of both designers)?
    – Chris H
    Jul 7, 2022 at 14:17
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    @lego7112 Maybe they're the same because the designers used the same predefined template from a third party.
    – phoog
    Jul 7, 2022 at 14:26
  • @lego7112 You have broadly described a vast number of websites. By the way, before I clicked on your side-by-side I expected a near-duplicate. But really your notes highlight how different the pages are. Different backgrounds, different patterns, different curves, differently justified text, one of them doesn't have a subheading, the videos are in different positions...
    – Lag
    Jul 7, 2022 at 14:34
  • @lego7112, you copied some of the words from my answer. Quite a few actually. It's about that degree of copyright infringement.
    – gnasher729
    Jul 7, 2022 at 17:51
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The similarities are all basic elements in a standard order. They do not confer any originality. Even if they did, these are mote ideas than expressions in my view, and thus not protected by copyright.

I think a case on these two designs would not survive an early motion to dismiss, and an experienced copyright lawyer would advise not proceeding with such a case.

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    @lego7112 note: "The claim, however, would be limited to the selection and arrangement of that specific content, not to the selection and arrangement of any content in that particular manner." Such a claim is therefore not applicable here.
    – phoog
    Jul 7, 2022 at 14:30
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    @lego7112 I didn't choose the phrase "specific content"; it comes from the material you quoted. It means that if you have different content arranged identically, the protection they're writing about doesn't apply. It only applies if the content is the same. The comment in A is different from the content in B. Therefore, if A enjoys the protection they're writing about, B does not infringe.
    – phoog
    Jul 7, 2022 at 19:59
  • @lego7112 Scenes-a-faire doctrine. There are ways to order information that is original, and there are "industry standards" that don't confer any originality. In fact, some countries have laws about what needs to be in an impressum - there is no originality or copyrightability in a "scene a faire" setup, such as "surname, given name, address, phone number" for a telephone book.
    – Trish
    Jul 9, 2022 at 13:35

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