Facebook Sues German Knockoff Site StudiVZ; Will Others Follow?

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Facebook has finally started taking action against its knockoff sites, and has first sued the one most easily accessible in terms of regulatory laws: it has filed a copyright lawsuit against StudiVZ, a German social network which looks very similar, and accuses it of "copying the look, feel, features and services" of the Facebook site, reports FT. The lawsuit was filed in a California court. It says that any differences between the two sites were "nominal" and accused StudiVZ of merely "replacing Facebook's blue colour scheme with a red one".

The German company that claims 10 million users and calls itself "the most successful social network in Germany, Austria and Switzerland". Facebook launched a German version a few months ago, but has struggled to gain traction there, the story says. StudiVZ was bought out by Holtzbrinck group, the German publishing giant, for a reported $112 million late in 2006.

Meanwhile, at least 9 other Facebook clones have been documented before, and would be interesting to see if Facebook goes after at least some of them, most notably Xiaonei, the big Chinese social network which looks exactly like Facebook, exceot for the language part. Xiaonei is owned by the Chinese Internet holding firm Oak Pacific Interactive.

By Rafat Ali