on the recent development regarding the "Aqua"
A year ago Apple contacted a skinning software company, a skin site, and
and demanded that Aqua rips be removed. The skinning software company
took them down,
the skin site took down ones with logos.
In a matter of months, they were up again - not the ones with logos,
but tons of skins duplicating, or nearly duplicating, the aqua look. More
and more showed up, and now after another year, Apple has asked again
they be taken down, this time getting more specific about exactly what
don't want to see.
OS-X with the Aqua interface will be out in about 1 month, in it's release
version. Is it an attempt to draw attention? Probably not. There are also
tons of Whistler rips, yet Microsoft has (to my knowledge) said nothing,
even though many of the 'authors' say right in the description that they
copy/pasted the graphics right from original whistler material (as a
'selling point' - 'it's authentic') The skinning software company has
taken the clear position
of supporting Applešs right to defend their designs, and has asked skinners
to no longer upload Aqua-esque skins.
The thing I find interesting is this: the majority of people think it's
just awful that Apple is being such a downer.. they can't copyright the
name of a color (aqua).. they should leave the poor skinners alone.. But:
what happens when some guy makes a skin that looks similar to one they
created from scratch? Holy hell breaks loose, and everybody at Skinz,
Deskmod, and DevArt hunts them down. For good reason - their creation,
their intellectual property, has been stolen. So are the Aqua and Whistler
skins rips? I think people are just kidding themselves to think they're
- they satisfy all the requirements, they're just rips of designs made
person at a company instead of an independent.
Is it interesting that all this is happening at the same time Napster
getting reined in? Possibly, but the situations are staggeringly different.
No-one on Napster is saying they wrote or even performed "For Whom
Tolls" or "My Way" or "Stairway to Heaven." On
the contrary, the name of
the original author is right there for everyone to see. The only issue
money. Not so with GUI designs. Take a look through the Aqua-esque skins
on your hard drive (oh, you have them, you know you do,) or better yet,
them up on a website thatšs still hosting them. Whošs the author listed?
Apple Inc.? Some Apple graphic designer who works every day on new
interface designs? No.. itšs one of several skinners who we've all talked
to online, perhaps even consider a friend. Maybe even someone we look
to. A skinner who has put his or her name on something that they didnšt
Think how that designer at Apple must feel. Yes, realistically itšs
probably a team of designers, but still, think how they feel. Would we
to have a job skinning an operating system for a major company? How would
you feel if you got that job and someone ripped your designs before they
were even officially released? What if, because of company etiquette,
couldnšt just flame the ripper on a message board somewhere and try to
his designs pulled, but rather had to let your company lawyers be polite
Alot to think about. Please do. Then hit the mail button.
Since the dawn of
the computing age, two Titans have been locked in eternal struggle.
You know them by name, reputation, and image...
Microsoft and Apple.
So far, the numbers
say that this war is being won by MS...a recent webtrends report claimed
that over 90 percent of the worlds desktops are running windoze...leaving
macintosh/apple/osx a distant second.
But, on the fringes
of this mighty conflagration, a small battle has been won by the Apple.
That battle? The GUI.
Behold all the Aqua
ports/rips/imitations. People running windows want their computer to look
like Apple's "Aqua" interface, and more than one interface designer
has stepped up to provide these folks with the raw materials and tools
to do so...
So, ask yourself,
What would motivate
someone to go through the hardship necessary to make their windoze system
look like Apple's "Aqua"?
The short, simple
You don't have too
look at Aqua too much or too long to see why it is so popular. It is beautiful,
sleek, colorful...truly a wonderful thing to behold.
Now, ask yourself
this: "If this interface is so great, wouldn't you want to run the
operating system it was designed for?"....
Whether your answer
is "yes" or "no", the fact that the question is out
there is the truly important fact we are dealing with. The numerous ports
of the Aqua interface are a vital, living advertisement for Apple and
it's products. And in a world where one minute of television advertising
can cost more than most people's yearly salary, this kind of "brainshare"
advertising is more valuable than any dollar mountyou could imagine.
SO, in light of the
incredible marketing value of all those "Aqua" themes, why on
earth would Apple try to squelch it?
My answer? Short sightedness.
Apple, it's founders,
and representatives have always suffered from an overwhelming lack of
"the vision thing". It was just this inability to see more than
"one quarterly stock report" into the future that put Apple
squarely in the "Second Best" seat wherein it now resides.
And does Apple see
the enormous value of all the Aqua skins out there?
Does Apple recognize "brainshare" when it is right there on
My answer? Nope, and
Instead of sending
"thank you" letters to all the folks who have posted Apple advertisements...uh...i
mean, ...Aqua skins, all over the net, Apple chooses to "lock it
down", "squander it away", and generally attempt to "deny"
on all fronts.
Will this keep the
Aqua interface from spreading, or even from being available?
Again, ...nope, and double nope...
FYI, there is a well
known plug-in for photoshop called "Eyecandy".
This plug-in was recently updated under the title "Eyecandy 4000."
(click here to download the demo version)
If you look into the program, you'll see a feature called "Glass",
and one of the settings in the Glass plug-in is "Aqua".
It does a marvelous job, y'know.
The interface designers
at Apple have done a spectacular job in the past few years. Their work
has become part of the World Mindscape, a part which can not be erased,
held-back, retracted or snuffed-out.
No matter how many
lawyers try to do so....
Alot to think about. Please do. Then hit the mail button.