[thelist] Site copied by pirates [not really]

Mattias Thorslund mattias at thorslund.us
Fri Jun 23 02:51:11 CDT 2006

Tony Crockford wrote:
> Mattias Thorslund wrote:
>> You mean the "stolen code" is the layout markup, and maybe some
>> JavaScript in the rollover images?
>> I wouldn't condone it, but I don't see how this is a big deal? I don't
>> see anything really heartbreakingly innovative or special here.  The
>> site seems to be a pretty low-revenue one - it's not like someone is
>> getting rich on your hard labor.
> The big deal is that he's claiming a lot of my hard work as his own, 
> yet copied it with a website scraping tool, and that the code he has 
> in place is damaging my site analytics.
> it's not javascript it's CSS, BTW

Looking at the CSS, that's a bit more substantial than I had imagined.
So, I think you're right to feel indignant over someone plagiarizing
your site without first asking.

But if it hadn't been for the leeching issue, I wouldn't think that site
would be worth developing ulcers over.

> I shall, but I'm still a bit perplexed by the attitude expressed on 
> this list by the majority of responses that it's okay to copy the 
> underlying code, structure and control of a website, with the 
> implication that it's no big deal.
> I know we all "learn" from other peoples code, but are you all 
> suggesting that it's okay to just take a whole web site as long as you 
> change a few images so it doesn't look the same?
> I thought Evolters were more professional than this?
> I'm dumbfounded.

No, it's not okay what this person did. I myself would never re-use
software or designs without reassuring myself that the copyright holder
allows it.

But, picturing myself in your shoes, I would think it a bigger deal if
the plagiarizing site had been a competing website, or a commercial site
that were capitalizing on the software/design that was copied.  This
fellow put up a dinky page that doesn't look terribly threatening. If he
hadn't been so clumsy that he caused the troubles you're having with
your web stats, it wouldn't have caused me much alarm.

It's not the same kind of content, but I do have a similar story: My
company web site contains a number of written articles written by my
business partners. Well, we found that several of them had been copied
to link-farming and/or ad-farming websites, without our permission.  Is
that OK? No. Worth the worry? No, we have better things to do with our time.

I guess we should go after everyone that sends unsolicited emails or
leaves comment spam on our web sites, but all the bother just doesn't
seem worth it, right?

Take care,


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