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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Question UX/ UI design: How to know what is included in copyright of an application

    I am a Mobile application development newbie. I get inspired by the UX / UI concepts from non Nokia mobile platforms and am very eager to introduce them in the form of plugins to Nokia's standard apps on the device. It might be difficult to draw a line on what is exactly copying and just being inspired in doing the UX / UI design. My main question here is who takes the responsibility in ensuring that the IP or copyright of some other app developer / mobile OS maker is Not infringed in the UX of a new app being introduced to Ovi store? Is it something that the developer should take care of? Or will Nokia take that Burden off from developer (because from my knowledge it is almost impossible for the developer to be accurate in these things).

    Since I am not sure whether this question belongs to this forum, I will post this to also Ovi forum.


  2. #2
    Nokia Developer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re: UX/ UI design: How to know what is included in copyright of an application

    Generally, developers should take care of IP and copyrights. anyway, have you got some specific examples on where the line in your opinion would not be clear enough ?

  3. #3
    Super Contributor
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Re: UX/ UI design: How to know what is included in copyright of an application

    If you develop something yourself from "scratch", then you own all the copyrights, intellectual property rights (IPR) to everything you create (or if you do it under a contract for someone else, and the contract says that who ordered the work from you owns the copyrights or intellectual property rights, then they own it).

    If you use anything created by someone else, then, if that someone else does not explicitely grant you the right to use their content, then you have to assume that you can't use anything in your own software, without getting the permission. What explicit permissions you have been granted, depends then on whatever license grant or contract the original copyright/IPR holder has expressed.

    If for any piece of content, you cannot find an explicit license (permissions), then

    - either don't use any of that content (including code), or
    - contact the copyright/IPR holder of that content, and ask them for permission

    If you cannot find a license, or find who owns/has the copyrights/IPR, then don't use that content, or you run the risk of being sued for infringement.

    In the case of Nokia, anything you get with the SDK, you can assume that you can use in your free or commercial products, unless there's explicit statements denying/revoking/prohibiting something in the SDK documentation. Anything (icons, sound clips, fonts, whatever) that you grab from an actual phone, is not by default free for your use, unless it is the exact same thing that's already in a public SDK, or explicit permission is otherwise granted.

    IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), so if in doubt, consusult a copyright/IPR lawyer.

    P.S. Note that most Nokia built-in apps do not accept/allow any kind of plugins at all (some might have undocumented/unpublished interfaces for such), so there's not that much you can do in this space (on Symbian you can do, more or less, a browser plugin using the Netscape browser plugin APIs, and a messaging transfer agent plugin for sending messages, and file/MIME type handlers; on Series 40 you can't do anything).

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