Who owns flat?
I'll be honest; I'm by no means a fan of the Metro/Windows 8/flat style UI. Yesterday, I was horrified to learn that everyone's favorite super-generic frontend framework, Bootstrap, is going flat as well — at least if we are to trust their release candidate. Looking through Dribbble it's pretty clear that this is starting to become a trend, possibly as an extreme response to the skeuomorphism that has ruled the design world for a couple of years. With Microsoft clearly being one of the largest driver of this trend, I also kind of assumed them to be the primary source.
As it turns out, though, I may have been wrong. At least if my understanding of LayerVault's DMCA takedown notice to Github, stating that they own the rights to the elements of designmodo's open source Flat UI framework, is not completely mistaken:
Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:
I am the exclusive rights holder for the artwork contained within Flat UI, Free Web User Interface Kit; These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon your site at the following URL:
I of course don't know the whole story, but looking at the stylesheets of LayerVault and Flat UI, I'm unable to find any direct correlation. A representative from designmodo also claims that they have no professional relations with LayerVault. So, is LayerVault really claiming ownership of the style? In that case, I'd love to see the takedown notice they sent Microsoft, Vine et al, not to mention the fact that any future Bootstrap user will be but a DCMA notice away from having to find themselves a new framework.
I sincerely hope that someone stole something here. If not, this is beyond laughable.