Ridiculous: One Digg Clone Takes Legal Action Against Another Digg Clone

File this under “ridiculous.” Digg clone SuperGu has sent a cease & desist letter to (open source) Digg clone Pligg alleging a number of copyright infringements.

Among the complaints: SuperGu is claiming ownership to ajax effects, sidebars, login boxes, “read more” links, navigation tabs, the expression “Powered by”, tags, the RSS icon and other common web design elements and layouts.

The overall layout and functionality of your yget template is similar in look and feel to SuperGu’s software. First, the location and shapes of the vote box are substantially similar with only a minor variation of inverting the chevron between the vote option and total vote tabulator, Second, the navigation tabs along the top of your yget template, “Published,” “Unpublished” and “Submit a new story” are identical. Third, the left side vertical menu on SuperGu has only been shifted to the right side. Fourth, the “Search” field is in the same location as SuperGu. Fifth, the “sort” feature located underneath the search field is in the same location as SuperGu despite the utilization of different words to achieve the same meaning to the user. Sixth, the “RSS” button (top right) next to “sort” and underneath “search” is similar to SuperGu’s RSS icon. Seventh, the “Tag” feature is located in identical location as SuperGu’s placed in the storybox beneath “posted by” and above “story description.” Eighth, the “Storybox” is the same location as SuperGu and includes the same features of “comment,” “Add the link to…” (Save), and “Tell a friend” (Email). Ninth, the page numbers at the bottom of the screen are similar to SuperGu’s design, and they function the same as SuperGu. Tenth. the verbiage “Powered by Pligg” is identical to “Powered by SuperGu.” Last, the “sidebar” menus are the same as SuperGu in appearance and method of operation. Within the sidebar menus the registration/login box which looks and operates the same as SuperGu. Furthermore, the Ajax effect applied to all the boxes within the sidebar menu when they open and close is identical. The dialog boxes open/close with a button which operates and looks similar to SuperGu with only the minor variation of placing the down arrow in a circle as opposed to a square. The “read more’ link operates the same and is in the same location as SuperGu’s “more” button, It is thus our opinion that your product is an infringement of our client’s copyrights. Moreover. based upon the sheer number of similarities and reproductions between your yget template and SuperGu it is unlikely that this is the result of serendipity but rather a premeditated effort to duplicate SuperGu’s software design.

Adding to the ridiculousness of the claims: SuperGu founder James Phelps has been caught hiring a developer to build the very template he’s claiming Pligg stole, saying “I am only interested in cloning the ‘Yget’ template found in Pligg here: pligg/templates/yget/.” This is a perfect case for the EFF to get involved in, and I look forward to seeing the obligatory video apology by GuperGu founder James Phelps.