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On Mon, 2011-07-04 at 04:48 +0300, David Nelson wrote:

Hi Marc,

On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 3:52 AM, Marc Paré <> wrote:
I think we have agreed in the absence of any fact that states otherwise, we
are playing it safe and are going to take screenshot on other platforms
other than windows. Unless we get a legal opinion that allows us to do so,
screenshots will be done this way. This has been already discussed on this
thread and others and on OOo threads. I don't know how many more times it
needs to be rehashed, unless someone with legal authority jumps in and
dispels any liability issues.

Personally, I don't think it's worth a fight with MS. We need to pick our
battles and this one is really not worth it at this point.

I've carefully read the pages put forward as pointing-up the problem
with taking screenshots under Windows, and I must admit that I don't
interpret them in a way that poses any risk to LibreOffice.

In the cited pages, IMHO, Microsoft is legitimately protecting itself
against screenshots of its own products' splashscreens, dialog boxes
and windows being hijacked to publicize other products. It is not
trying to limit use of the Windows platform by third-party products,
nor documentation of those products. It actually spends a lot of time
and effort promoting Windows as a development platform for third-party
products. And the Internet is *full* of screenshots of Open Source and
closed source products taken on Windows.

What's more, if it *did* take action against an OS project for simply
taking screenshots of the aforesaid OS product on the Windows
platform, it would probably score a considerable "own goal" of
negative publicity in public relations terms. So I think that
Microsoft would be very unlikely to do so.

And, even if it *did* do so, in what court/jurisdiction could it make
such action stick? Under US federal law? In certain US states? I'm not
convinced they'd succeed. In European courts? I'm even less convinced
they'd succeed. And if they *did* succeed, what could they possibly
win other than a cease-and-desist order? I really cannot imagine them
winning damages as such. And, in either case, it would truly be a
Pyrrhic victory in terms of image damage.

So, IMHO, it's rather implausible.

This is a subject that has been discussed a number of times over the
past months. I think I'll ask for it to be discussed at a forthcoming
SC confcall.

It would be very convenient for docs team contributors to be able to
take screenshots under Windows, as well as on Mac and Linux. Plus it
would contribute to making it clear to users that LibreOffice is a
truly multi-platform package, and not a niche product that seems to
mainly target Linux. (I say this as a daily Ubuntu user and total
Linux lover.)

Doesn't this seem reasonable?

In any case, to produce your "standardized screenshot theme", you're
talking about developing identical/closely similar themes for Mac,
Windows and various Linux GUIs (Gnome, KDE, ...). Is this really a
priority? And *why* do all screenshots have to look exactly the same?
What's wrong with variety? It seems to me that as long as reasonable
advice is followed, such as given in the docs team's contributor's
guide, there is no really useful purpose served by making LibreOffice
always wear the same identical green uniform. Color and variety are
the spice of life, and absolutely in keeping with Open Source ethos.

David Nelson

Microsoft could is jurisdiction they a legal presence and has favorable
case law. I would expect that to the US and not sure which district it
would be filed in since TDF is a German entity. There some US rules
about which US District Court has jurisdiction. My fear is the
technically illiterate Federal Courts would find grounds favorable to MS
that makes no sense technically or practically. You are dealing with the
same basic group of illiterates that allowed software patents in the US,
so I would be wary of anything idiocy they could come up with if we were
sued over a screenshot. I have to pay attention to idiocies the US
Courts come up with since I live in the US.

The alternative would be to submit to MS typical screenshots we would be
using and get their official blessing for screenshots on Windows. 

Jay Lozier

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