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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot pjman's Avatar
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    Question Legality of creating .Doc Files?

    A am looking at a proposal for a client for a large project. The client wants me to create a series of forms that allows users to create basic HTML printable pages. He also want the files to be downloadable in .Doc format in addition to basic HTML.

    Is there any legal issues anybody ran into with generating .doc files on the fly. Is Bill Gates going to sue me because we're enabling users to create .doc's (his properitary file format) on the fly?

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Well, a .doc is not open source which could lead to legality issues. Why not convince your client of the PDF format. It's easier for you to code anyway, and is more compatible than .doc's anyway.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard trampt's Avatar
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    I second nekeno12 ... PDF is just a better format to use over the web because of its compatibility with most users.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Doc files are far easier for word processors to edit, if that is important. Also, this client evidently wants .doc. Besides those two things, yeah, pdf.

    "The Word 2003 XML Story" leads me to believe that the newest Word formats actually are an open XML variant. The first download on the Word developer download list indicates that the format is open and royalty free. So, it would seem that creating Word versions might be legal and relatively easy. Am I reading those pages correctly?

    It makes sense for Microsoft to approve the sort of use you intend. Ultimately, that content is mostly going to be viewed by people with Microsoft Word, right? Sounds like a winning situation for Microsoft to me.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot pjman's Avatar
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    Great input guys! Samsm, thanks for the links.

    I'm going to try to contact someone at Microsoft to do a a little CYA, with the clients's approval. It stands to reason that it's a win-win for Microsoft.


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