Subject: Re: your mail
To: Adam Lang <>
From: Bill Johnston <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 01/08/1994 13:33:18
On Sat, 8 Jan 1994, Adam Lang wrote:

> >Apple is boycotted because it sued Microsoft and HP, claiming that
> >its copyright on various aspects of its user interface give it
> >the right to prevent MS, HP, and others from implementing similar
> >user interfaces -- even if they use no code whatsoever that is
> >copyrighted by Apple.

> Maybe I'm just naive, 

No comment!

>but if someone took a book that I wrote, studied it
> minutely, copied the plot (making absolutely sure that they didn't copy any
> of the actual text) as closely as they possibly could given the
> circumstances, and then published their own copy, which then went on to
> outsell my book X to one, where X is an unreasonably high number, I'd be
> pissed too.

This is not a fair analogy.  First, Apple started its lawsuit long
before Windows was in a position to outsell MacOS.  Apple's complaint 
doesn't have anything to do with number of sales, nor is it based on 
MS or HP having "studied it minutely".  Apple claims that it owns a
copyright on the "look and feel" of the Mac interface, giving it the 
right to stop _anyone_ from reimplementing it, even if they have 
never seen a Mac.  

Finally, understand that companies often get "pissed" when a 
competitor beats them at their own game, but that doesn't give 
them grounds to sue.

> Out of curiosity, have FSF and LPF set any actions by Apple that will make
> them review their decision, or have they just decided to hate Apple
> forevermore?

The closest thing to a definitive statement on this subject was
made by Len Tower ( when he was asked to comment
on some aspects of a Mac gcc port. 

 "... what needs to be done is for Apple to withdraw all look-and-feel 
  lawsuits, and announce that they won't ever do it again."

This was not an official FSF statement, but I think it gets the 
point across well enough.