Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ubuntu designers get "inspired" by Download.com button



I was browsing the Ubuntu* site today and I noticed a very familiar-looking green button. I opened up a separate browser window and went over to Download.com, and sure enough, whoever designed Ubuntu's website had used the button I created for Download.com.

Luckily, they'd changed the icon inside the button, since that's a Download.com trademark (you'd be amazed at how many software sites use that trademark without authorization, though).



I don't mind this, I don't even consider it stealing. I'm sure every designer has once or twice taken a small element from someplace else and used it, changing the critical parts so there's no major similarity anymore. In this case, if they'd used the Download.com icon, it would have been a blatant ripoff (not to mention trademark infringement). If they'd just changed the color, again it'd be a serous ripoff. But when it's just the outer part of a button, a button ferchrissakes, I don't care at all. I mean, it's just a button shape, not a logo or an illustration that I'd spent hours or days on. It probably took me less than ten minutes.

This is similar to the incident I wrote about recently where someone made a WordPress theme that used some of my design elements, but in a way that the result didn't really look like my original design much at all.

* Ubuntu is a free, community-developed, Linux-based operating system that you can run on Macs, PCs, and other Unix-capable computers.

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5 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous said...

get over yourself. it looks like the standard rounded corners box in photoshop.

8/14/2008 10:21:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, i have made prolly 30-40 icons that have a similar rounded box,
most likely even the exact same
radius of it too.


omg i am a piratez.


[email protected] indeed.

they arent even the same shade of green...

2/24/2009 02:21:00 AM

 
Blogger espd said...

@anon commenters: "standard rounded corners box" yeah, sure.

If you can’t tell that those two buttons are exactly, pixel-for-pixel identical, then I fear for any of the people or companies you “design” for.

Hacks.

2/25/2009 12:38:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares with copyright ?

5/05/2009 03:46:00 AM

 
Blogger nullstring said...

I do care with copyrights :P am a developer and like giving free softwares + codes, but I'd still want to retain my rights as the original developer..

The only thing of course when using "your" icon is end-users will think "ah, this will redirect to Download.com" but not. So there's a sense of piracy right there..

8/26/2009 11:25:00 AM

 

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