Back in the 1980s, several large firms (who later shrunk a great deal)
launched lawsuits against their competitors, on the basis that the
competitors had created products that deliberately looked and operated
like the originals. Had these lawsuits succeeded, there could be no
OpenOffice today with its cloning of Microsoft keystrokes and other
behaviors. The lawsuits helped to spawn the
League for Programming Freedom
in response. (It’s other issue, software patents, are still a major
Well, the look-and-feel lawsuit seems to be back. This time it’s SCO
claiming that Linux is infringing on its copyright because Linux uses
published, standardized interfaces that were invented as part of Unix.
See the commentary by BSD leader Kirk McKusick, referenced at the top.
To my non-lawyer mind, the fate of the earlier lawsuits should dictate
a quick dismissal of SCO’s claims, but apparently they’re hoping to