Two wrongs apparently make a right.

December 12, 2006 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

The search engine blogosphere is all abuzz this morning. Jeremy Zawodny, of Yahoo, has posted an article on how Google has blatantly copied Yahoo’s web page advertising their new IE7 toolbar. Of course, this could not go uncommented by Matt Cutts, the friendly face of Google, who with a lame apology on behalf of Google immediately goes out of his way to point out how Yahoo sponsored adverts have copied Google’s sponsored adverts. Popular blogger and ex-Microsoft employee, Robert Scoble, picked up on the post taking Matt’s side on the issue. One of the comments on Scoble’s blog points out that there is something of a difference in copying a well-thought-out UI and copying the actual artwork for a design. And, in a sense I have to agree, although Matt’s post does point out that the UI has been copied down to the choice of pastel shading as well. Which is perhaps a little beyond the scope of just capturing the usability of a good design.

Stealing design seems commonplace for the corporate giants. Yesterday, Mac advocate, John Gruber posted an article showing how Microsoft had lifted a Macintosh icon for their Vista Workgroup Manager application. And last year, it looked like Quark had stolen the Scottish Art Council’s logo. Quark eventually threw in the towel in the first quarter of this year, and managed to save face by redesigning their logo.

Of course, all of this is very irrelevant to the rare book trade, but these things are interesting nonetheless. And I must admit that I am amused when the furor around these sorts of events reaches a fervor that allows for distinguished representatives of the great monolithic corporations of our time to enter into a bitch-slapping contest that boils down to a “two wrongs make a right” sort of argument.

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Questionable Content at the Library Etymology and the spread of language

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