Heal Your Church WebSite


Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Thou Shalt Not ‘Borrow’

* UPDATE * I just received an email from Patrick, the gentleman who ‘borrowed’ Rachel’s content. Folks, this is what a Christian looks like. Not someone who’s perfect, but someone who bravely faces their short-comings when discovered:

My name is Patrick Stockwell and I have just become aware of the situation with the content on my website. Below is a message that I sent to Rachel. Please read through this and accept my apologies. I have never in my life heard such hatred towards me. This has been a quite a learning experience. As a man who has given my life to Christ, I am quite embarrased.

I have much to learn. When this site was showed to me, I didn’t even look at the actual code…I just thought “wow this looks really good”. My friend told me that I should use it, and I did. Once again, this was in no way intentional on my part, and I apologize. Thank you for your time.

I dunno about you. But this does put me to shame a bit for my harsh comments below. Someone please remind me of this the next time we take to removing the splinter in someone else’s eye.

* Original Post Below: *

Rachel emailed me last night, and asked what she should do about a website entitled :: b y e j u n e :: R O C K :: … a website that is using her layout and even some of her graphics … without Rachel’s permission.

‘Dean, you might ask, ‘Aren’t you afraid that someone will sue you for your accusations?’ No, not really, because if you view the source of the page as of this morning, you see some of the following meta tags and comments:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3c.org/TR/1999/REC-html401-19991224/loose.dtd” >
<!– saved from url=(0036)http://www.cre8d-design.com/journal/ –>
<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>:: b y e j u n e :: R O C K ::</TITLE>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content=”text/html; charset=iso-8859-1″>
<META content=”Rachel Cunliffe” name=author>
<META content=all name=robots>
<META content=true name=MSSmartTagsPreventParsing>
<META content=”Rachel Cunliffe: personal journal.” name=description>

In other words, the ‘borrower’ knew enough to save the pages via MS Explorer, and then edit the title tag, but not enough to remove Rachel’s tags … the very same information that one would normally modify use to attract search engines to their own site.

Don’t Do This! Look, if you like the design of another site, you have a few legitimate options. One is to ask. They may give it to you, they may sell it to you, they may say no. Another is to come up with a unique varation. Look at the site one more time, then remove it from your browser. Take a pen and paper and draw out the layout you covet so much. Then recode the thing from scratch without peeking. This not only keeps you from breaking the 8th commandment, but you may suprise yourself with what you finally produce.

What I find ironic is that, I know Rachel. She is very generous when helping others with their web design. On the other hand, it is one of the things she does for a living and is due credit and compensation.

5 Comments

  1. To paraphrase what I’ve already said on WebPagesThatSuck– this is so absolutely, utterly wrong that it’s amazing. I mean, it’s one thing to plagiarize a web site, but it’s just absolutely daft to leave in the original, incriminating META tags…

  2. You know what is even worse, Patrick did’nt even get rid of the fav.ico from rachaels site! What idiocy.

    One thing, you can submit the two sites to a groovy site called Pirated Sites!!! Get it here: http://www.pirated-sites.com. They will post links to both sites and have a breakdown analysis of the piracy.

    Pretty nifty.

  3. Very interesting set of exchanges. Cool how the guy responded. I still think its okay to be hoppin’ mad regardless if the guy is a newbie. It’s hard work to design pages. I read the remarks I don’t think anyone was too harsh. This still goes down as one of the great newbie mistakes.

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