Apple and copyright violations

I’m going to start this with an Andy Baio-style disclaimer: I’m a bit reluctant about posting this, mostly because I don’t want all the minions of Apple to come down on me.
Some time ago, I came across a website plagiarism search engine named “Copyscape”:http://www.copyscape.com/ and, just for fun I thought I’d run some of my pages through it. One of the pages I searched for copies of, was my “Rounded corners in CSS”:http://virtuelvis.com/gallery/css/rounded/ tutorial.
Much to my surprise, I did find a copy. Not from some owner of a small personal website, but from Apple Computer, Inc. Since Copyscape won’t allow HTTP POST requests to be converted to GET requests, you will have to perform the search on your own, or look at the “screenshot I captured”:http://virtuelvis.com/download/2005/04/apple/copyscape.png.


The page in question that had made it on to the Apple web site, was a chopped-off version of the rounded corners tutorial, incorporated into the WebCore layout tests for “generated content”:http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3/WebCore-106/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/, most likely since earlier versions of Safari exhibited some “very funky rendering”:http://virtuelvis.com/gallery/css/rounded/safari-screenshot.jpg (screenshot).
The layout test has since been removed (more on that later), but the images I created for that test are still present in the “resources subdirectory”:http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3/WebCore-106/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/resources/. *Update, April, 11.:* Apple has removed the four images that used to reside in this and similar directories — this happened _after_ this article went live. I have yet to hear from Apple.
I spent about 30 seconds feeling a little flattered, since the rounded corners tutorial I had created had been deemed important enough to render correctly in Safari (and consequently Konqueror), but I also realised that Apple had violated my copyright, they had incorporated a document for which there was no license that granted them the right to do this. In addition, they had never asked me permission, and they had chopped off the footer of the document with links back to my site.
*If Apple had asked* prior to adding the document to the Webcore test suite, it’s likely I would have granted them the permission to do so, provided they had added a comment in the source with my name and a URL. But they didn’t. So I wrote an e-mail to Apple’s Copyright agent:
bq.. I am the creator and copyright owner of the following document:
http://virtuelvis.com/gallery/css/rounded/
The document is question is a CSS Layout example/CSS tutorial on the use of “generated content” in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Major parts of this document has been copied into the “Darwin” Software distribution, from versions 7.0 and up, without my prior consent, and now resides at the following URLs:
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3/WebCore-106/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3.1/WebCore-106/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3.3/WebCore-125/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3.4/WebCore-125.6.4/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3.5/WebCore-125.8.6/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3.7/WebCore-125.8.12/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/10.3.8/WebCore-125.8.13/layout-tests/fast/css-generated-content/006.html
My contact information is
[ Snipped ]
Note: Given the right terms and conditions, I could be willing to discuss granting Apple a license (retroactively) for incorporating the document into the “Darwin” software distribution.
With regards.

Arve Bersvendsen
p. The very last part of this mail is a key point: I wanted to see if Apple Computer, Inc. were at all interested in compensating copyright holders who have had their copyright violated, and I wanted to give them a fair chance of doing so. At most, I had hoped to get a copyright notice into the document, and perhaps an iPod Shuffle for my kid out of this, since the document where Apple violated my copyright represents only a small part of this website, and as such holds fairly limited economic value on its own.
The response I got from Apple was rather disheartening, since they carefully avoided answering to the issue of getting a license for the document. This is the response I got:
bq.. Via Email
March 17, 2005
Attn: Arve Bersvendsen
We are in receipt of your letter dated March 16, 2005 requesting that infringing material be removed from Apple Computer, Inc. server(s) with respect to alleged violations of intellectual property.
In accordance with your request, Apple will take appropriate action to remove the alleged infringing material from its servers. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at [e-mail and phone removed] should you have any questions or need additional assistance.
Sincerely,
[name removed]
Copyright Agent
*************************
Apple Computer, Inc.
Legal Dept./Copyright
[e-mail address snipped]
This message and any attached documents contain information from the law department of Apple Computer, Inc. that may be confidential and/or privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not read, copy, distribute, or use this information. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete this message.
p. I then did the following:
* Wrote a new e-mail to Apple, pointing out that the document had made it into seven different versions of the source Darwin distribution.
* Pointed out that since Apple had not attributed me, or added a copyright notice, downloaders would have to assume that they had to treat it as being distributed under the “Apple Public Source License”:http://www.opensource.apple.com/apsl/
At the time I wrote Apple back regarding this matter, Apple had not yet removed the infringing document from the Apple web site or Darwin source distribution, and I also directly suggested that they just compensate me instead of incurring the costs associated with spending time to hunt down and remove the documents. (I also falsely assumed that the WebCore test suite was distributed with the binary release, which it on later inspection proved not to be).
Apple didn’t respond.
So, I wrote them another e-mail, where I asked them directly if they were not interested in compensating copyright holders who had had their copyright violated by Apple Computer, Inc., and gave them a deadline set to March 22. 2005, 01.00 GMT to respond to me, and that I would take a failure to answer as a confirmation they were not interested in compensating.
Apple didn’t respond.
After this, I kind of gave up on getting a response from them, but I tried calling Apple Norway, to see if there was anyone there who could answer me. (Since there is a nine-hour time zone difference between Norway and California, I thought I might get this settled with Apple Norway, also eliminating any linguistic misunderstandings). The moment I said this was about Apple Computer, Inc. infringing on copyright, and failure to respond to my direct questions regarding compensation, the person on the phone immediately turned hostile, saying she was not the one to talk to, in a fairly rude manner. I then suggested that she get me someone who could talk to me, and suggested she had someone who was in a position to discuss this with to call me.
She again, in a fairly rude fashion, said that that was not possible. Getting someone to break off their easter holiday for a half-hour phonecall was impossible. (Norway generally goes to a near-halt during the entire week before easter, but this was still a normal working day).
Fed up with silence and rudeness from Apple Computer, Inc. and Apple Norway, I then told her that I would likely go public with this whole story, unless I got to talk to someone who could actually talk to me on behalf of Apple. She was still unwilling to get someone to call me.
h3. What now?
Will I be taking legal action against Apple over this? Most likely not, as my understanding is that this would be governed by civil law in Norway, and I do not have the resources to fight a computer industry behemoth like Apple. Nor do I think any compensation I could likely get out of this would be worth the effort. I am pretty much over and done with the whole deal. I’ll just refrain from buying or recommending Apple hardware or software (including music sold through iTunes).
There are some interesting repercussions of this matter, though, but I will leave them for someone else to answer:
* Are there more copyrighted works included in Darwin or other Apple software that is infringing on someone’s copyright?
* If software vendors are unwilling to compensate when they have violated copyright, are they morally entitled to demand compensation when someone violates their own copyright?
I will leave those two questions for someone else to answer.

50 Comments

  1. Shocking news: Apple involved in theft of copyrighted material

    I would have thought a software and IP-house such as Apple would keep its path clean and make sure not to infringe other peoples copyright or downright steal other peoples creations. Not so it seems. Apple and copyright violations -…

  2. Chris Hester

     /  2005-04-06

    “I’ll just refrain from buying or recommending Apple hardware or software (including music sold through iTunes).”

    Woah, man. I think that’s a bit harsh. It’s not as if you’ve lost any money over this. It’s an isolated instance, most likely caused by a user submitting the document to Apple, having based it allegedly on your material, then Apple accepting it in all good faith. It probably happens all the time.
    Wait until they haven’t removed the document after a set period of time, such as a month, then just keep hounding them until they do. Go to the author of the document too if you can.
    Sorry to hear you’ve been messed around like this.

  3. There’s more to it than meets the eye, Chris. I think Arve should publish some more details about who picked it up and that persons involvement in Apple. Sufficient to say, its an Apple employee that did the deed.
    As to not having lost money, what does that have to do with it? If I were to give away OS X or some other software that was the property of Apple, or even chunks of code that are copyrighted Apple – do you think an excuse such as “this is not a product, and as such you haven’t “lost” any money” would fly with the judge in a Copyright infrigment case? I don’t think so. And that’s not how intellectual property and copyright works.

  4. bq. Wait until they haven’t removed the document after a set period of time, such as a month, then just keep hounding them until they do. Go to the author of the document too if you can.
    Isn’t the issue not just takedown but the fact that they have distributed content that wasn’t under their copyright willfully in prior versions?

  5. Apple – watch out: the blogosphere is just about to bite.

    I think this one is going to do the rounds, rapido.
    “Fed up with silence and rudeness from Apple Computer,…

  6. Apple and copyright

    Okay, so it can very well be a human error that resulted in the material ending up there, but what is remarkable is how badly Apple has handled the matter.

  7. Apple and copyright violations

    I came upon this article by virtuelvis.

    Now the content of the article is basically that Apple has included CSS code, images, html code and text in t

  8. John Coleman

     /  2005-04-06

    I rather agree with Apple here. Now because they didn’t use someone elses stuff, but rather because copyrights are immoral. Everyone just needs to share the wealth and let others use whatever they want. “Plagarism” is the highest form of flattery, so drop your sinfun pride and learn to love and share. Information is free and sharing is good. Give to society and take from society. There is absolutely no integrity loss whatsoever.
    It becomes immoral only at the point where the original author’s work is resold.
    I will not hesitate to take someone elses anything, strip the copyright off, improve upon it beyond all recognition and use it for myself. What do you think song remixes are? Even then, in that situation commercial use is legal, accepted, loved, and encouraged. Again I say, drop the pride.

  9. John. Interesting spin: You know that when someone remixes and commercially sells a work based on such a remix, the original authors and copyright holders are usually compensated, and even given recognition.

  10. If this was the other way around, Apple would pursue anyone breaching their copyright aggressively. Do you think Apple think it’s ok for something to pirate their OS? It’s the same thing, on a different scale.
    And about song mixes, you need permission to make mixes including another song if it goes beyond a few seconds. A quick seach on google revealed several links on this issue, including this information sheet for DJs wanting to play mixes or other songs.

  11. Commie Bastage

     /  2005-04-06

    So what John Coleman is saying is that as long as you are a corporation with lots of money, you are free to ignore everyone else’s copyright while at the same time aggressively protecting your own?

  12. Commie, thats exactly how it works in the real world. Especially when there is a huge difference in size and strength between the parties. Its just a matter of who has the most money for lawyers..
    Just take a look at all the court cases that has involved some kind of infrigement and Microsoft..

  13. Sergio

     /  2005-04-06

    Arve,
    Have you thought to find a lawyer who would take this on consignment? Even if your stuff is worth only 50 cents (US, sorry), but it can be proved that there were a million downloads…well, math isn’t my strong point, but that sounds like a nice bundle even if you have to turn over 40% of it to the lawyer.

  14. Naughty, Naughty Apple

    Link: Apple and copyright violations – Virtuelvis. Some time ago, I came across a website plagiarism search engine named Copyscape and, just for fun I thought I’d run some of my pages through it. One of the pages I searched

  15. C Grint

     /  2005-04-06

    Why not email Steve Jobs, I have heard he actual takes personal interest in unhappy customers, and whilst you might not have a problem with an Apple product, I doubt it is a story he is happy to hear of.
    I would assume your experience is another example of Apple Customer services going down hill these last few years.
    I am not aware of the actual address for Steve, but someone did say it was possible to Google for it or at least he has a mac.com email address.
    I hope they can sort this out for you, be a shame for such a simple thing to be blown out of all proportion, especially when you just wanted to ask for a name check, and not cause Apple any problems.

  16. Stu Charlton

     /  2005-04-06

    Apple is a large company. It takes a long time for things to get done. Don’t you think you’re being a bit quick-shooting here?
    If a copyright agent on March 17th got back to you, it could take weeks for them to track down who in Apple is in charge of that document and to sort how how the content will be replaced.
    Furthermore, how silly is it to think that a random person in Apple Norway can resolve a problem like this? Or even have a clue about who in California to contact?
    Apple has committed a fault here, no doubt, but it is amazing that the blogosphere would be so naive to think that big companies move with speed and precision.

  17. It seems to me that 5 days is awefully short for someone to remove potentially infringing material. They’ll need to figure out where it came from, who put it into the system, where they got it from, and whether or not it was known that it belonged to anyone else. As a previous commenter made mention of, it’s likely that it came in from the Safari feedback process, which if you’ve never used Safari, is quite simple to “report a bug to Apple,” so that it can be looked at regarding rendering.
    I would give them at least 30 days (which is typical in the US legal system) before flying off the hinge and accusing them of ignoring you. In all likelihood, they will remove it from future versions, not compensate you.

  18. I have found that Apple Computer is a large conglomeration of employees, and it is likely one employee and his manager who were at fault to copy or steal your code. Thus those people have to be fired and Apple needs to remove your code, and that is what will happen. Since you determine you will not pursue a civil action, that’s that. Glad you posted the info as nothing is sacred and no-one is above suspicion and consider THAT a life lesson to keep dear to your heart.

  19. Stu, Petrilli: My complaint about Apple _is not about how long it may have taken them to remove the document._ Not at all. My complaint is that they carefully avoided answering any questions regarding possible compensation or licensing of the work. The initial mail was sent to Apple on March 16th, and I had my reply from Apple on March 18th, which I replied to within a few hours.

  20. Martin Clausen

     /  2005-04-06

    Apple’s behaviour is absurd, but not surprising at least to me. A while back I contacted Apple to inform them, that their advertising on the Danish part of the Apple.com contained false and misleading information. Basically it said, that all their new Powerbook models included Superdrive, which was not true. It was and is a payable option for several of the models. They took forever to respond and initially only corrected part of the information. What they did was a clear violation of the The Marketing Practises Act (yes I am a jurist :-)). It took several mails back and forth before no false information remained. My efforts potentially saved them a lot of embarresment, law suits, damages, and I too was treated as more or less a nusiance.

  21. Please note that I will and do delete comments that are off-topic or do not add to the discussion in some constructive way.

  22. Apple and copyright violations

    Apple and copyright violations – Virtuelvis
    Some time ago, I came across a website plagiarism search engine named Copyscape and, just for fun I thought I’d run some of my pages through it. One of the pages I searched for copies of, was my Rounded co…

  23. Joe Blow

     /  2005-04-07

    “Stu, Petrilli: My complaint about Apple is not about how long it may have taken them to remove the document. Not at all. My complaint is that they carefully avoided answering any questions regarding possible compensation or licensing of the work. The initial mail was sent to Apple on March 16th, and I had my reply from Apple on March 18th, which I replied to within a few hours.”
    No, your problem is you can’t milk them for something that’s of little to no value to begin with. Get a life and quit your whining.

  24. Joe, if it had little or no value, how come Apple then figured they should include the stuff in the first place? And why aren’t they answering Arve’s questions?
    It’s interesting to see how many people are defending Apple here. If it had been Microsoft that had been caught doing this, I’m quite people wouldn’t have been as forgiving.

  25. The Badger

     /  2005-04-07

    Perhaps you need to “raise the profile” of your complaint by tipping off the Norwegian media. Your story would have complemented the recent (front page of DN) Jon Johansen PyMusique coverage quite nicely. Subtle point: at least Mr Johansen actually seems to respect copyright.

  26. Med fare for å virke grinete

    Jeg er ikke helt fornøyd med Apple for tida

  27. The reality of it is Arve, that if you don’t want something copied/duped/altered and so forth, don’t put it online. That is a sad way to think about it, however it is the reality of the matter.
    The internet is a very large place, no surprise there, and it is essentially a big black hole for people to copy and infringe on things like this.
    Just happens that this time, you caught them. I’m sure if you kept looking, you’d find it everywhere.
    ;\
    Al.

  28. That the Internet is a “big black hole” does not give companies that themselves are (over)-eager to use IP laws right to ignore them at will. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  29. Jon Angelo Gjetting

     /  2005-04-07

    Go with a mediaspin.
    This is a story soo ripe for some spinning.
    -Download copies of their pages to harddrive.
    -Prepare your documentation, phone,mail source code, diary, notes.
    -Write down a timeline of events.
    -Call them again, and tape it.
    -Prepare a media kit. Audio files i many formats, photos of you, photos if available of apple contacts, apple logos, screenshots.
    -Talk to journalists. Local ones for starters.
    -Talk to international media.
    -Seek council, legal and pr. wise.
    -Tell only the truth. Don’t give them basis for any preliminary counter suits.
    -Don’t give up, this is all a game and apple plays hardball, actually consider it fun.
    -When the spin runs, control the game. You choose. You decide. Your rules.
    Best wishes.
    Sincerly
    /Jon Angelo

  30. Scott Ellsworth

     /  2005-04-08

    Said Peter Karlssonn:
    Joe, if it had little or no value, how come Apple then figured they should include the stuff in the first place? And why aren’t they answering Arve’s questions?
    My response:
    The document was in the Webcore test section, likely because someone reported it as not rendering correctly. By protesting, you have prevented it from being so used.
    It strikes me that they could easily make the argument that the content is for review purposes. Remains to be seen whether this would win in court, but it is a claim they could make.
    If I read your comments correctly, after you reported infringement, they said they would address it. That is pretty much what they asked rumor sites to do over the years, and that is likely all that you can reasonable expect them to do. Unless, of course, you feel that you have suffered monetary loss, in which case your next step is to file an appropriate lawsuit, asking for injunctions, monetary damages, or whatever makes sense.
    I can see why they chose not to answer your question – the proper response to a threat, and that is what you issued, is to wait for the court papers, then try to settle, or perhaps defend themselves.
    As far as credit, have you noticed that the engineers that work on this stuff don’t even get credited? It is pretty darn unlikely that they are going to credit someone in their test suite. Far more likely is for them to remove it, and thus if regression bugs creep back in making your site unviewable, tough luck.
    Scott

  31. I agree with Scott’s comment.
    And I have a question, am I allowed to follow your tutorial, and make similar images for my website without adding reference (credit)? (Not making a tutorial.)

  32. Anthony, short answer: Yes, and you would not even have to credit.
    Slightly Long answer: You are possibly confusing the issue with trademark, patents and/or fair use:
    Had I registered and been granted the rounded corners as a trademark, you could not have used them at all, except for some very specific purposes. Even if you do all the work from scratch, you cannot recreate the Apple logo from scratch and call it your own.
    Had I applied for and been granted a patent for the rounded corners technique using CSS, you could not have used the technique at all, even if you wanted to use the rounded corner technique to create some other type of corner. (FWIW: I do not support the current patent law, as the USPTO might have granted such a (silly) patent, and leave it for the courts to settle whether the patent was valid or had prior art).
    To round off this answer: Following a tutorial does not put you in breach of copyright law: neither is using a given technique technically a “copy”. It might at a stretch be a “derivative work”, but it would certainly fall under “fair use terms”.
    *This is in stark contrast with what Apple did:* Apple copied an entire document verbatim, including images, text, _and_ HTML/CSS. They then chopped off the bottom third of the document, which was the identifying mark. After doing so, they redistributed it, covered under the Apple Public Source License, over which I have no control. No matter how you try to twist and turn it, Apple has no right whatsoever to do so, and when they screw up, like they did here, a fair compensation for the _mistake_ is what I would find fair: Not for the monetary value, but as a recognition, and “Thanks, we screwed up, we’ll improve in the future.”

  33. Apple nicking bloggers’ code snippets?

    Whoa. Check this out: Norwegian blogger Arve published funky CSS tutorials, Apple picks up and includes in their software distributions, Arve discovers and does not get anywhere: […]

  34. I agree completely with Arve. Apple has screwed up and should act accordingly, not stand silent and watch the opponent’s actions like an angry wife performing the «silent treatment». They should say they’re sorry, and show that they mean it in some way or another. They way they have behaved in this case they are basically saying «we don’t care the material belonged to you, but since you are annoying enough to bring it to our attention, we will remove it to shut you up». I think you should take this further, Arve. Jon Angelo’s reply has a lot of good points. I do hope you have more screenshots and proofs.
    And a last comment to Apple’s customer service: You can’t get any more help from them than what you can find on Apple’s website. Apple’s customer support is just a heap of very low-payed teenagers working and living in Cork, Ireland, which is the customer support capital of Europe. The worst part is that the customer support people don’t even work for Apple, but for a third-party company that Apple hires in to do their work.
    This skewes the customer support people’s view on the customer and the firm they represent so much that they almost always behave rude against the customer and don’t lift or move a fibre in their body to defend the company they are doing support for. This customer support company even does support for lots of other companies besides Apple, and it’s not surprising at all that they don’t care about their client’s reputation or the customers happiness with the client (which in this case is Apple).

  35. Chris Harvey

     /  2005-04-08

    I think that the noise being made is a bit too much. Apple has removed the pages, which is the response I would expect. I rather doubt that this was an intentional attempt to rip off your tutorial. The page at the Apple site never included the tutorial section, so I don’t think your links not being there had to do with trying to cover up where it came from. I suspect someone thought it was a good test and grabbed just the section of the code that tested the rounded corners. It is possible that it was an Apple employee although it could have been submitted to the open source project by someone not an Apple employee.
    Remember that Darwin and Webcore are open source projects. Submissions to it can come from others outside of Apple. It also is freely available. This isn’t something that Apple is charging for, but rather distributed under their open source agreement. They can’t include something in it that doesn’t comply with that license, and therefore could not come to terms with you to license it under other conditions. Perhaps if you had just asked for attribution and agreed to the terms of Apple’s open source agreement they would have been able to seem a little friendlier. To a lawyer your approach could appear to be attempted blackmail or extortion.
    I am also curious as to whether when you said you contacted Apple again you contacted the person who had originally responded directly, or sent your later attempts at contact to the address you originally used.

  36. bq. I am also curious as to whether when you said you contacted Apple again you contacted the person who had originally responded directly, or sent your later attempts at contact to the address you originally used.
    I do not make a habit of publishing names on my blog, but yes: The person that mailed back to me was the same person I e-mailed, listed as Apple’s Copyright Agent on Apple’s “Claims of Copyright Infringement”:http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark/claimsofcopyright.html page.
    Further Chris: I do not at all enjoy the spin you are attempting on this — This is in no way even remotely related to extortion: If you care to read my original letter to Apple, already printed here, where I *suggest to Apple, that Apple make a suggestion on how a license could be granted.*

  37. Chris Harvey

     /  2005-04-08

    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to imply that you were attempting extortion, or that it was ever your intention to do so. I was commenting about how a lawyer could view it. Lawyers tend to be a suspicious lot and they will take the most negative view possible. So although you didn’t intend any such thing, an Apple lawyer might suspect you did.

  38. Bret Williams

     /  2005-04-08

    Arve, you’re totally in the right. But Apple could not reply in any way when you asked for any source of retribution. Whether it be an “I’m sorry” or a licensing agreement or whatever.
    To enter into any negotiation or discussion with you further about the matter could be evidence of guilt. Putting you in a MUCH better position to file lawsuit and win a monetary award.
    I’m not defending them at all. They most likely found the culprit and fired him. But they can’t even tell you that. It would be admitting guilt. They had no choice but to cease communication with you and remove the code. That in itself is an admisson that they didn’t create the material, but it’s not an admission that YOU created the material. For them to leave it after you claimed it wasn’t theirs would be worse than removing it. But if they say something to you like “sorry, some idiot employee put it there by mistake” they’d now entered into a point of fact, and something you can now dispute. Was it a mistake? Did apple know? Etc.
    It sucks. But they can’t afford to apologize. There is money in it. Just because they don’t sell it doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit the company. If that tutorial made it easier for developers to create something for apple, it save the developer time and money. It saved Apple Developer Support time and resources. If overall it made life easier for developers to create more for Apple, then Apple benefits. More apple software. More purchases. More market share. Any lawyer that decided to take it on has an easy argument.
    But they probably won’t. I think you’ve done the best thing by voting with your wallet and your word of mouth. The power of the media is a great thing. If it’s that big of an issue others will come out about what they had stolen. An uproar will occur and Apple will have no choice but to settle, change their ways, or suffer the consequences of bad press.
    That’s what freedom of the press was all about in America. Even if government is screwing you, or big bizness is screwing you, with free communication you have more power than anyone.
    Good luck!
    P.S. – I’m still buying apple stuff! What’s the alternative? But I don’t think they’re a saint by any means. An underdog, yes.

  39. Tyven, tyven skal du hete

    Apple melder seg inn i rekken av tyver og kjetringer….

  40. If I were you, I would make it public (not just by using your website) but by sending a couple of mails to the papers and some important websites. Hereby they will have to respond in one way or another.
    You could also write an official complaint, sign it and send it to Apple. A simple call or email might not get through to the right person, but a complaint on paper, they cannot ignore. Out of experience, I know companies tend to panic and try and solve it as quickly as possible when they see someone is threatening with legal steps.
    You shouldn’t just let it all be because they are a big capitalist company, the small working man/woman can still stand his/her ground! 😉

  41. Curmie Stortard

     /  2005-04-11

    Scott Ellsworth wrote:
    “As far as credit, have you noticed that the engineers that work on this stuff don’t even get credited?”
    Ah, but the engineers get paid for their work.

  42. Curmie Stortard

     /  2005-04-11

    …and they give permission for their work to be used, which Arve didn’t.

  43. The Register should be interested in this case, no?
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/odds/about/contact/

  44. bq. My complaint about Apple is not about how long it may have taken them to remove the document. Not at all. My complaint is that they carefully avoided answering any questions regarding possible compensation or licensing of the work. The initial mail was sent to Apple on March 16th, and I had my reply from Apple on March 18th, which I replied to within a few hours.
    I have to admit to not understanding why you would be upset regarding the lack of compensation. Your original message to Apple, seem to imply, at least to me, that Apple should either remove the offending material or compensate. They removed the offending material, hence no compensation.
    Admittedly, it would have been great for whoever posted the document to send a request before using your content. But in all honesty, as a web designer, I’ve read snippets, and segments of your tutorial in a variety of different places, and never realized that it was you, who wrote the piece. Sure most of the websites I frequent are fairly good about pointing to who came up with a particular work-around or tool. But often this gets watered down, after each subsequent quoting.
    I have to say, that I imagine the only reason that just Apple showed up in the Copyscape is because they are a large site and more likely to be indexed by them. Copyscape has no where near the size index as say Google, Yahoo, or AlltheWeb. It would probably take me a half an hour, but I could pretty much guarantee coming up with other web sites that have your tutorial on it.
    Also, and no criticism against you whatsoever, because tons of weblogs do this, your copyright has absolutely no details about what is and isn’t allowable. There’s no information on who to contact or how; and for that matter, the copyright doesn’t even show up on the actual article page. Which means, someone would really have to be paying attention or be hyper-aware of copyright issues to even consider going looking for it.
    I mention this, because the offending Apple website, contains information from a slew of different resources. Some of it written by Apple employees or contractors, some of it not. I doubt, until now, that Apple Legal ever paid any attention to them. I say until now, because now Apple Legal has obviously been in direct communications with at least one person, and its a possibility that at least casual overseeing will happen in the future, unless other violations are found, and a more direct overseeing would be required.
    I’m not disagreeing with you. Corporations, especially those such as Apple who actively enforce copyright and IP, have a responsibility to respect others intellectual property. But compensation for previous use, when no original terms of usage were established, just seems a bit more like the possibility of compensation overwhelmed logic. Logic would dictate that Apple would just remove the offending piece, unless they considered it essential to the project or organization. If it was considered essential, they would offer compensation.

  45. bq. Also, and no criticism against you whatsoever, because tons of weblogs do this, your copyright has absolutely no details about what is and isn’t allowable. There’s no information on who to contact or how; and for that matter, the copyright doesn’t even show up on the actual article page. Which means, someone would really have to be paying attention or be hyper-aware of copyright issues to even consider going looking for it.
    No, you simply have to have the basic understanding that copyright is “All rights reserved”, unless any licensing scheme chosen for the work in question grants you rights beyond that.
    However, instead of having a copyright discussion here, I suggest that everybody reads “10 Big Myths about copyright explained”:http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html and “A brief intro to copyright”:http://www.templetons.com/brad/copyright.html

  46. bq. No, you simply have to have the basic understanding that copyright is “All rights reserved”, unless any licensing scheme chosen for the work in question grants you rights beyond that.
    Yes, but its not me who needs a simple understanding of copyright. Its the document developer, website maven, programmer, or engineer who posted the work that requires the simple understanding. And if you don’t provided, you can’t really expect them to have it.
    Now that doesn’t mean, you aren’t still covered. Because you are. It just means, that anyone using your work could remain clueless for a very long time.
    Think of it this way. Your average American knows basically nothing about copyright. Some schools teach the down and dirty, you can copyright, use the copyright symbol, update every two years, add the copyright to works of importance. So most Americans don’t even realize that most works that they produce are under copyright unless they specifically waive their rights (whole or in part).
    When you get to the geek community, this knowledge is warped beyond belief. The amount of misinformation regarding copyright spewed by “geeks in the know” is massive. But then let’s further complicate this by adding geeks who work with open source data, where most things are produced under GPL and are treated basically as public domain. The Darwin website, deals with mostly GPL and public domain software and information. So now reasonable expectations versus real world situations.
    Is it reasonable for some random Apple employee who works with public domain information day in and day out to assume that your document is copyright. Yes! Totally, on your part. But the real world situation is, as for many things, communication of your expectations, insures against disappointment. So regardless that your work was and is copyrighted. Adding the copyright on the document itself insures that the expectations are communicated to any potential user; even those who didn’t come in through the front page of your site.
    Like I mentioned before. I’ve seen your tutorial in part or in whole on a number of different websites and never knew who you were (Arve instead of Virtuelvis). Admittedly some sites did do attribute by calling the tutorial the Virtuelvis CSS Rounded Corners. I’m just mentioning how easy it is to bypass copyright. Especially, when you mostly deal with public domain.
    The fact is, your experiment doesn’t measure Apple’s willingness to compensate for copyright, because it didn’t place Apple in a situation where you have something they want. What you have, most likely is a technique that was tested for removing a rendering bug or whatever purpose, and some random individually, who stupidly republished the tutorial and the results without permission. When this failure was brought to the attention of Apple legal, they responded, and the offending documents were removed. I’m also betting the original poster was reprimanded.
    I don’t mean to confuse the issue of your copyright protections ( which are there regardless if others know about them) with communication of your expectations regarding copyright (which unless communicated may never be properly inferred).
    I guess I’m just a firm believer in, if you want others to respect your copyright, tell them what you consider respect is; 1) always place your copyright on any document you don’t want misconstrued as public domain; 2) provide as much details as possible (for example “All Content”, which is at the bottom of this page, is very different from “All Rights Reserved”), 3) provide contact information (the harder you make it for people to get approval, the more likely people will skirt around the issue, or not use your work in favor of someone who was more accessible)
    I love Creative Commons, because people who use it, explicitly state what they will and will not permit under the copyright. Obviously you don’t have to. Your rights are protected regardless. Its just like a will, you can communicate your wishes to friends, family, loved ones, but its better if you put it writing.

  47. xavier

     /  2005-04-21

    Arve, few months ago I had a similar problem: copyright infringement of my training materials.
    In my case, the company is not Apple but Orange** (I am not joking).
    How did this company respond when I asked it to respect copyright? It did not answer and continued to use my training material.
    As an independent author, I remark that this kind of problem occurs more and more frequently and has devastating effects. This is the reason why I decided to publish information on a newsgroup*.
    There are many nasty drawbacks associated with this kind of public action but, in my view, there is absolutely no benefit to stay voiceless.
    So, I totally support your complaint and hope your Apple will better than my Orange.
    Regards,
    * “More details here”:http://groups.google.fr/groups?hl=fr&lr=&c2coff=1&selm=BE69D4A5.BEDC%25xavier.thibert%40ANTISPAMmac.com>
    (Orange is a European mobile operator.)
    [Ed.note: Typographical edits made]

  48. cde

     /  2005-05-03

    Copyright law in the US is funny. You do not need to show a copyright or even copyright a work to be awarded protection under Copyright law. Registering a copyright just makes shit a whole lot easier if any violation ever happens. It gives you solid proof that you had so and so work and that so and so violated it.
    And alot of companies who get sued settle, with the whole “This is not an admission of guilty” clause/exception. Apple only needed to include that line in their email’s if they offered compensation, making something like
    “To enter into any negotiation or discussion with you further about the matter could be evidence of guilt. Putting you in a MUCH better position to file lawsuit and win a monetary award.”
    harder to accomplish

  49. Gene

     /  2005-07-22

    Your situation with Apple doesn’t surprise me whatsoever. I believe the company in inherently disonest. They abandoned the Apple IIe market in the 1980’s, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers with hardware that was no longer supported with any software.
    Additionally, Apple allows “Authorized Apple Resellers” to sell hardware to other resellers, knowing it will ultimately end up being sold to an unsuspectng end-user. That end-user gets little or no warranty on the equipment because it was not purchased through an Authorized Apple Reseller. Apple wins on two accounts. They unload large numbers of units because Authorized Apple Resellers are allowed to sell in bulk to other resellers. They also reduce their service obligation by denying warranty service and technical support to those hundreds of thousands of end-users who unwittingly purchase their products through these secondary resellers.
    There is no doubt that Apple is driven by profits and not by honesty or customers. It does not surprise me that Apple would commit copyright infringement, knowing that no single individual could possibly have the resources to fight the theft in court.
    There’s nothing manufactured by Apple that some other company, with a whole lot more interity, hasn’t already manufactured. I personally will not purchase any Apple products and would encourage others not to do so.