Heal Your Church WebSite

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

I’ve been framed!

The Sermons of Mark Adams are by far the most popular set of pages at Redland Baptist. Hundreds of hits per day, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. I’ve always snickered at the thought that when April 1st lands on a Friday, to post a message that says “steal your sermons somewhere else pal!

Of course, that would be mean, moreover, it assumes that persons are merely reading from the pulpit our pastor’s words. When in fact, what I suspect, in fact what I know what happens from serveral emails collected over the years, is that the sermons are more often quoted, used as parts of Bible studies and other derived works. And this is just fine. Mark wants it this way. It is his contribution to the Kingdom.

That said, I was a bit torqued-off when I discovered that a popular sermon search engine/index/portal was using FRAMES to contain our sermons. Meaning, you’d search a sermon on their site, then hit a link, and above our page, was their branding and their banner ad by virtue of frames. Most certainly debatable linking practice, probably a breech of Internet Etiquette, and most definately a violation of RBC’s terms of agreement, especially that portion that reads:

You may not sell or modify the Material without The Church’s prior express written permission. You may not reproduce, modify, adapt, frame, brand, co-brand, display, publicly perform, distribute, or otherwise use the Material in any way for any public or commercial purpose on media now known or later developed without The Church’s prior express written permission. The use of the Material on any other Web site or in a networked computer environment for any purpose is without The Church’s prior express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Yes, I realize that some of you commented recently that RBC’s terms of use were “not so grace-driven.” And certainly we don’t go about seeking those who’ve quoted a paragraph her or there. But it is for instances such as a commercial site is “framing” our content within their own system to display banner ads, that the RBC contains such a strongly worded terms of use.

So what to do? I suppose. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t and won’t render a legal solution. I suppose I could call the lawyer who from time to time has represented RBC when various kooks have sought to inflict damage upon RBC. But considering the “framer” is not taking us out of context, other than with their banner ads and their conspicious branding, is there a better way? I think in this case there is.

Rather than go ‘nuclear’ with a potentially messy legal fight that could potentially destroy both sites, why not seek a more ‘judo-like’ approach where we use the weight of the offender to our advantage? Put another way, a more ‘Jesus-like’ approach returning evil with good, and showering the other party with kindness. So instead of cutting off our nose to spite our face, I employed a bit of technology that takes advantage of any site ‘framing’ us and in doing so helps the “framer” to honor our terms of use.

I’m doing this for now via a little piece of Javascript that loads atop each page somewhere between the <head></head> tags … yet another advantage of using MT as a content management system. Basically what the script does is treat itself as a framed page, posing the question “am I the top frame?” If the answer is no, then we merely reassign the top frame to be the framed page, in this case, the sermons page.

<script language= “JavaScript”>
/* Bye-bye to Frames */
if(top) {
      if (top.frames.length!=0) {

What’s nice about the above solution is that it works generically. Meaning, if some other site frames us in the future, then we’ve already got a solution employed. That said, if any of you know how to use .htaccess/mod_rewrite to circumvent/reload known referrers, e.g. “http://x1y2.com/framer.php?url=http://www.y2x1.org/sermon.html” … please, leave a comment. This would help out those w/out Javascript enabled.

Oh, and don’t worry guys, I know the RBC webmaster real well, he’s given me permission to quote the above clause from their terms of agreement in this article!-) Though technically, because I’m a non-commercial entity and I believe I’m allowed under the terms of the Fair-use Clause of the U.S. copyright laws … at least as far as I understand the law. Then again, I’m not a lawyer, so don’t take ANYTHING I’ve said in this article even remotely related to the law as legal advice or a lawful solution. In such matters, always seek the counsel of a qualified and licensed professional.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for the link to Google Directory links to sites about linking. That is quite interesting – I never realized that linking was such a big issue…

    Anyway, this site is impressive. Thanks for all of the information.

    God bless!