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Facebook sues StudiVZ

Facebook sues StudiVZ

The StudiVZ site does bear an uncanny resemblance to Facebook, it must be said - but close enough?

Friday saw popular social networking site Facebook filing legal papers again, although this time as the accuser rather than the defendant.

According to the Financial Times, the company has filed suit in California against StudiVZ, a German company which offers a service very similar to Facebook's own; so similar, in fact, that Facebook asserts the company has copied “the look, feel, features and services” of its own website.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the suit appears some months after Facebook attempted to break into the German market itself with a translated version of its popular English site; an attempt which has not, it must be said, gone over particularly well with the good burghers of Germany. Whether suing an already established site with some some ten million users to its name is the best way to break into a new and exciting market I leave to more knowledgeable heads than my own.

Facebook insists that the similarities between the two sites are such that the “nominal” differences amount to “replacing Facebook's blue colour scheme with a red one.” Accordingly, the company seeks to “end StudiVZ's illegal activity to ensure that users are not confused and that Facebook's reputation remains unharmed.” Oh, and if anyone wants to move from StudiVZ to Facebook Germany in the process, that'd be great too.

StudiVZ, owned by German publishing group Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, is keeping shtum regarding the legal tussling between the two companies.

Do you think that the StudiVZ designers took a 'shortcut' when building their social networking site, or are there only so many ways you can build such a thing before they all start to look the same anyway? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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wuyanxu 21st July 2008, 11:40 Quote
and what about the 100% copy-cat from China: xiaonei.com
antiHero 21st July 2008, 11:50 Quote
I have been using StudiVZ for longer then Facebook and in my opinion its not a copy of facebook at all. OK some similarity's are there but its hard to make a web page today which dosnt resembles another page. Even if Facebook wins people wouldnt move over as the German speaken market is full with Social contact sides and choices are plenty. My friends in germany/austria dont move to facebook because the site is full with stupid apps and stuff. StudiVZ has non whatsoever. Only wall, pics and events, which IMHO is all you really need on a network page.
Xir 21st July 2008, 13:52 Quote
Data grabbing *******s, all of them ;-)
ParaHelix.org 21st July 2008, 18:07 Quote
I can't believe this was posted on Bit-Tech :( All social networking sites are full of idiots, drunks, druggies, pregnant teens, perverts, and so on.
p3n 21st July 2008, 18:26 Quote
I bet there is a lawyer who can manage it but from a technical PoV how on earth can you argue some CSS that involves like 3 different colours is stolen instead of just 'simple'
Timmy_the_tortoise 21st July 2008, 18:27 Quote
I am on Facebook, ParaHelix.. and no doubt a number of other bit-tech readers are too... So please keep your slander to yourself.
Ryu_ookami 21st July 2008, 18:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaHelix.org
I can't believe this was posted on Bit-Tech :( All social networking sites are full of idiots, drunks, druggies, pregnant teens, perverts, and so on.

/Sarcasm on

You forgot Chavs, Muppets, Mass Murderers, Hoodies and Tories

/Sarcasm off

Stereotyping much
Xir 22nd July 2008, 11:00 Quote
oops...didn't know that's a harsch swearword in English ;)

I meant to say:
The honourable gentlemen that offer these sites are all in the datamining business.
Short: Datagrabbing * (saves you the time to convert into stars) :D

Xir
knuck 22nd July 2008, 13:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaHelix.org
I can't believe this was posted on Bit-Tech :( All social networking sites are full of idiots, drunks, druggies, pregnant teens, perverts, and so on.

it's far from being that bad. Who cares anyway as people on facebook only add their friends... Or maybe your problem is your friends are "idiots, drunks, druggies, pregnant teens, perverts, and so on". . Stop generalizing

Facebook is an utility site to keep contact with friends, see how they're doing in life years after you're done with school and to organize meetings and share photos with friends without having to send 4000 emails

I had a negative attitude towards social networking sites as well before I registered to facebook. Then I signed up anyway to see how the chicks i knew in high school looked these days ( :D) and the site grown on me ever since
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