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  1. #1
    Non-Member john.stone's Avatar
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    Inspiration of Theft?

    I know this topic has probably been discussed many times... But I think it's something important that we all keep in mind.

    So I'm asking YOU about YOUR personal ethics when it comes to inspiration... Instead of having this be a free for all with people ranting left and right... I think I'll just pose 5 questions to you all... These are to do with your own works, not if someone steals apples design etc.

    1. When does inspiration become theft?
    2. When it does become theft, how do (would) you deal with it?
    3. How far will you take your own inspiration (from other sites)?
    4. Have you ever been accused of theft? If so, what did you do?
    5. Have you, or would you ever "borrow" code? Perhaps a piece of CSS you would never have thought of using.

  2. #2
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    1. When you copy another site
    2. Cry. A lot.
    3. Very far.
    4. Nope.
    5. Hell yeh. How else do you learn stuff?
    I swear to drunk I'm not God.
    Matt's debating is not a crime
    Hint: Don't buy a stupid dwarf Clicky

  3. #3
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    1. When you have to ask yourself 'is it inspiration or theft' it is probably theft. If the design can quite reasonably be said to have come from your another design and it was not just arrived at because it is a good design, then it is theft. There is no such legal defence as 'inspiration'.

    2. Ask them to remove it. If they don't, ask them again. Ask their ISP to take their site down. Ask their registrar. Whatever you can do. If you have registered the copyright or the trademark then it's especially important you do this.

    3. I don't subscribe to your concept of 'inspiration'. My definition of inspiration is when my mind is stimulated by something, and it causes me to come up with some new idea. Inspiration is not copying - far from it - it is coming up with something entirely new based on some mental stimulus. I think a lot of people misuse the word 'inspiration' to refer to something that involves no inspiration at all. Try to look up 'inspiration' in a dictionary.

    4. No.

    5. It depends on how the code is licensed and whether it is unique to that particular site or if it is a piece of code that is commonly used. I generally create my own code, because it gives me ownership of the code and it prevents any worries about infringement of someone else's property.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  4. #4
    Non-Member john.stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj
    1. When you have to ask yourself 'is it inspiration or theft' it is probably theft. If the design can quite reasonably be said to have come from your another design and it was not just arrived at because it is a good design, then it is theft. There is no such legal defence as 'inspiration'.

    2. Ask them to remove it. If they don't, ask them again. Ask their ISP to take their site down. Ask their registrar. Whatever you can do. If you have registered the copyright or the trademark then it's especially important you do this.

    3. I don't subscribe to your concept of 'inspiration'. My definition of inspiration is when my mind is stimulated by something, and it causes me to come up with some new idea. Inspiration is not copying - far from it - it is coming up with something entirely new based on some mental stimulus. I think a lot of people misuse the word 'inspiration' to refer to something that involves no inspiration at all. Try to look up 'inspiration' in a dictionary.

    4. No.

    5. It depends on how the code is licensed and whether it is unique to that particular site or if it is a piece of code that is commonly used. I generally create my own code, because it gives me ownership of the code and it prevents any worries about infringement of someone else's property.
    That was one of the best answers I have ever read. Very well said and I agree completely. Except of course for the part where you were snippy... Ow... My feelings have been hurt.

    This of course was not about the proper definition of anything.... It was about how people use inspiration... Recently some work of mine was stolen under the guise of inspiration... I was simply wondering how far most people take the word and how people feel about it.

  5. #5
    Romans 12:2 codyrockx's Avatar
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    If you think about it, there really is no originality or inspiration in design. It's essentially just a rearrangement of something previously seen (regardless of in the world or from another design). Tell me your thoughts. ^^
    Codyrobert.com - Designer and Developer

  6. #6
    Non-Member john.stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyrockx
    If you think about it, there really is no originality or inspiration in design. It's essentially just a rearrangement of something previously seen (regardless of in the world or from another design). Tell me your thoughts. ^^
    I agree with that too... All cars have steering wheels and all sites have basically the same elements... I'm torn... Torn and hungry... I'm going to have a sandwich...

  7. #7
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    We sure would have a lot of wheels around if everytime someone was trying to make something new it had to completely original.
    I swear to drunk I'm not God.
    Matt's debating is not a crime
    Hint: Don't buy a stupid dwarf Clicky

  8. #8
    <? echo "Kick me"; ?> petesmc's Avatar
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    1. When it is obvious to a majority of people that it is not theirs

    2. Contact webmaster -> hosting provider with appropriate information

    3. I try to take inspiration from many sites and combine them together (i got my site link inspiration from a Trillian Skin, the top nav from many sites, the top blue from microsoft (it was originally green))

    4. I was accused of stealing a Sitepoint article and posting it on my site, when in actual fact it was the other way around. It was spotted by a visitor of my site, who emails both me and Georgina (edit sp) and we got it sorted out, and the article was removed from Sitepoint.

    5. Yes for example a CSS font style that scales nicely with browser text size, or anything, as long as you don't take ALOT.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Young Twig's Avatar
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    If I ever take code (which is very rare), I always type it out to make me feel better. But I really never take code except for maybe a line or two on a friends blog template or something... I will maybe try to recreate it (without stealing it), but copying+pasting makes me feel bad about myself.

    Fortunately, I've never had to deal with theft. (Actually, recently an online friend of mine made a site and contacted me asking if it was too similar to mine. But before I had a chance to reply, he made a new one.)

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard mark_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Young Twig
    If I ever take code (which is very rare), I always type it out to make me feel better.
    Lol, I also do that, normally in a completely differen manner too! lol!

  11. #11
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    1. When does inspiration become theft?
    Inspiration is not something you can steal IMO. You can take it and turn the ideas into your own, but since it's not anything physical, just a mere trigger to start making something of your own, it's not theft.

    If one thinks they have stolen something, they probably have, which has nothing to do with inspiration.

    2. When it does become theft, how do (would) you deal with it?
    Look above.

    3. How far will you take your own inspiration (from other sites)?
    As far as necessary.

    4. Have you ever been accused of theft? If so, what did you do?

    Yep, but from my own previous work.

    5. Have you, or would you ever "borrow" code? Perhaps a piece of CSS you would never have thought of using.

    That's not inspiration. If there was some code I really needed, I would use it as a reference to do my own thing with it. Chances are it won't be used in quite the same manner on my site, so why would I need to copy it line for line?


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