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I found this familiar looking voting widget on http://metro.co.uk (actually http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/876039-man-claims-140-year-old-photo-proves-nicolas-cage-is-a-vampire):

voting widgets on metro.co.uk


voting widget on SO

To what extent might this violate Stack Exchange's licence on style/design?

It's worth noting that they didn't get the alignment quite right :P

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The colors are slightly different as well (#999 vs #808185 on SO)... plus a selected vote on SO is a bigger arrow than the unselected, where-as on Metro they're the same. – Matt Jan 27 '12 at 15:25
How does the alignment not drive them crazy? I keep turning my head trying to make it right – Michael Mrozek Jan 27 '12 at 15:27
The top-voted answer to this question seems to indicate that this is not a problem. – Mat Jan 27 '12 at 15:28
You might not know much about copyright and licenses, I don't know much either, but let me say this: Because something looks similar, doesn't mean anything. If they've copied code or questions from SE, let us know. – Time Traveling Bobby Jan 27 '12 at 15:30
@Bobby: This discussion question absolutely is useful. Just because "not at all" is a valid answer doesn't change that. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 27 '12 at 15:36
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cropping_(image); – Won't Jan 27 '12 at 15:42
@Won't: I did crop it. Quite clearly. Thanks for your handy comment, though – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 27 '12 at 15:58
It's two triangles and a number. It's not cold fusion. – Igby Largeman Jan 27 '12 at 17:16
@IgbyLargeman: Have you been following the billion-dollar patent wars going on at present over who first invented a screen and three push-buttons? That's hardly cold fusion either but, in many cases, this stuff does matter. Perhaps it shouldn't... but it often does. – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 27 '12 at 17:18
Clicky... Can't see upvotes/downvotes, what a gyp! Their voting widget sucks; they didn't copy it correctly. In other news: Nicholas Cage is a vampire? WTF. – Robert Harvey Jan 27 '12 at 18:25
@RobertHarvey but you can anonymously vote – Some Helpful Commenter Jan 27 '12 at 20:15
Since when is a discussion like this required to be useful on Meta? It is useful to the user asking it. I kinda dislike the attitude of some users lately. – Octavian Damiean Jan 27 '12 at 20:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's not really infringing at all. Up-arrow, down-arrow, a number to indicate the vote count… pretty standard fare.

The Stack Exchange Trademark Guidance outlines what might be considered infringing. There's a lot of specific detail there, but the guiding principle is pretty simple:

Is there any chance a reasonable person could confuse this product as belonging to, associated with, or endorsed by Stack Exchange Inc?

If the answer is 'yes', then it is likely infringing.

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To which I'd say "yes", frankly. But each to their own! – Lightness Races in Orbit Jan 27 '12 at 19:53
Seriously though, whether anyone cares about it or not, it's the exact same thing, obviously ripped off. – Wesley Murch Jan 27 '12 at 20:08

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