An anonymous somebody or other posted this link to one of the comment threads here this weekend. I removed it immediately, partly because it didn’t have anything to do with the topic of the weblog post to which it was appended, and partly because I wasn’t sure how to react. If you click on the link, you’ll understand my situation: it’s a French-language weblog that looks very much like what a weblog would look like if its designer was trying to rip me off.
Stealing Home Page
Below: The Bizarro Subtraction.com. Someone takes liberties with the design of this site.
It’s not a case of verbatim plagiarism, but if you take a close look at the page’s source code, it abounds with markup classes and IDs that are identical, at least in name, to my own. To the designer’s credit, there are comments inline that indicate that the code was “inspired from subtraction.com,” but really, inspiration is an underestimation; this design was stolen from me. Granted, it was done so in a not particularly competent manner, but it was stolen nevertheless.
After having had some time to think it over, I’m not really even sure how I feel about the whole thing. From time to time, I receive emails inquiring whether an individual may simply use my site design for his or her own purposes, and I always politely reply that I would rather that did not happen, but anyone is free to draw some level of inspiration from my work. I’m convinced, though, that this instance clearly steps over the boundaries of merely ‘drawing inspiration.’ I know at least that I definitely find this ham-fisted attempt at co-opting Subtraction.com to be amusing, while at the same time being pretty sure I’m not at all happy about it. But I’m not positive if I’m actually angry about it. Should I be?