Stealing of code

go4expert's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2004
Team Leader
I have a question ... Goto google.com and search for web designers in minnesota (hope i spelled that right.) . Now the 1st site took my code first of all and when you click on the page sales.html you would see a diffrent page in the address bar which is the advertise one. It looks like they have changed there text around for all thoughout the summer my pages at http://members.tripod.com/search_engine2 were displayed in the text part. I asked them to remove it and they declined to do so. So I was curious what is that called when a person does that... besides stealing code etc..

thanks
will mische
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Hello Will mische

As far as the stealing goes nothing can be done but if your code is too costly or very important then you can use lawyer but for that you must have something like acceptance of terms and conditions.

If you dont have that one thing you can do for sure is just give them a threat that you can do the legal work it may help but not will help.

Also you can request the hosting co. that the code belongs to you and your subscriber does not own that code and he can take legal action against them also as they are hosting the copyrighted code without prior written permission. This is also just a trial as they will support there customer and not you but this are some of steps that can be taken but there is nothing else you can do.

Thanks
Shabbir Bhimani
topsites's Avatar
Go4Expert Member
Well now hang on just a second...

Code used to make a site work is uncompiled source and can be considered software as parts of it function like a program.
Software that is open-source is software for which the source code is freely available. This means that another developer is free to modify the code according to his/her needs, or to reverse-engineer a product created by the software. Well, if anybody can View-Source, then your code is freely available (more on this under Copyright law).
Specific definition of Open source: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...ne:Open+Source

Furthermore:

Copyright Law protects copyrightable expression, such as images on a screen, sounds in a song, or words on a page. It does not protect how things work or the way they work. This limitation is specifically built into the Copyright Act in section 102(b):
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such a work.
By its very definition, a Web site is an idea, a project, a procedure and a process which works on a system, or a server. A site is only creative expression as far as what you can see or hear or touch (with the mouse) like a book, a song, or a movie. For the other part, it functions mechanically as a process within the computer to allow visitors to surf and use the Internet via a server. As such, it cannot be protected under federal copyright law.
Thus, a site is protected as far as the words you can see, and the way it looks, but not how it works OR what makes it work.

It is highly unlikely your code is the very first of its kind. If it were then perhaps you can get a patent for your unique piece of code, but if it isn't AND the above law were not the way it is, then the original creator of the SAME code YOU used (even if you came up with it yourself) could sue you as it is highly possible that your code has been used before in the exact same form by someone else who did it 10 or 20 years before you.
At the same rate, your thought of someone else stealing your code could be pure coincidence but even if it isn't, take it as a compliment that someone else found your code SO cool that they could NOT resist but use it themselves.

Hope that helps.
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Quote:
Originally Posted by topsites
take it as a compliment that someone else found your code SO cool that they could NOT resist but use it themselves.
Really liked the positiveness in the statement
topsites's Avatar
Go4Expert Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbir
Really liked the positiveness in the statement
Well it used to frustrate me, too. I found one where whole pieces of my site had been copied. The other site had an amateurish feel to it and I was like 'How dare they' and I got really mad and was gonna say something but decided to look before I leaped...

I went to the about section and turns out it was some young lad who was just fooling around, really, and can you imagine me firing off some harsh stuff at some 8 or 12-year old who was playing around on the puter one day? Sure he shouldn't have even been on my site because it's rated mature but parents prolly didn't configure the Content advisor...
And all I would've done is made the poor fellow cry as I am certain no real harm was intended, and from that day on I realized imitation really is the most sincere form of flattery (i.e.: a compliment).

I found later someone had taken my multi-engine code and designed software for people to download and modified for profit AND excluded my own engine. Now these were adults and this again frustrated me as it is against my wishes but: This whole internet thing is NOT as easy as it looks, and if someone thinks they can earn money with what I created, then more power to them.
Besides I did NOT create it. I found some out-dated code which I fixed up and got it working again. Did I steal it? Well it's open source, see for yourself:
Here's my (modified) code:
http://atopqualitysite.com/searchboxcode.htm
And here's the original:
http://javascriptkit.com/script/cut130.shtml
And, I got it listed here:
http://javascript.internet.com/navig...ne-search.html
Wow, is that dirty play? And so who does it belong to?
Supposedly Jari Aarniala gets the credit, but who was this person and was he the first?
Maybe ...
Now I think since it is freely accessible and as uncompiled source, really anyone can access and see it (and copy it, too).
But even if I had created it, it had already been done long before (and chances are real good for this scenario, the Web's been alive since the early 90's... actually way earlier than that, just not on a wide public scale). So what if some old fart came along and decided to claim ALL of the (x & d)HTML and Java as theirs and demand royalty fees, hehehe...

There is more:
As you work on your site, it will become more and more difficult to copy it. In my case, I been working on mine for close to 5 years and there's over 400 pages and literally gigs of files - 2 years ago it took 30 x 8-hour days to transfer all of it to another server (with the setups and the settings, etc, etc) so I know it won't copy in no day or 2. Something like 100,000 files or more, a slew of directory TREES (yeah big oaks), softwares (search, games, stats, topsites, etc), and I think a copied work is someone fooling around, they want to see what it's really like and most will leave it be after they fool with it some. Cauz it takes 6-12 months just to figure it out where you can build some crude basic elements that half-way resemble a Web site of sorts.

Ultimately, an exact duplicate of my site (or yours) will not work. Each site is original and it has to be that way or it will not work, honest. My site (and yours) is a mirror image of our souls, it comes from the heart and reflects who and what we are. Only you can manage and create YOUR site because it is truly yours. Your traffic is truly yours as well - A duplicate will not get the same hits, it may steal a small percentage but I registered my domain also as .org and .net, and the hits to those two are really minimal. For one, the .com is listed on Yahoo and Dmoz and that makes ALL the difference but second my users know me and my site and that's what they want, not something that looks or sounds or feels like it - They want MY site and tyvm hehehe...
IF someone exactly copies a site word for word, all you have to do is start updating and add TONS of fresh content like mad and keep updating and adding content and soon your site will be different again.

And in the end... Wouldn't it be cool if someone actually got started on the Web by using YOUR site as their inspiration? Yes, I think so.

Peace out.

Last edited by topsites; 20Jun2005 at 12:13..
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
I dont think you stealed it if you had the comment lines intact giving credit to the creator. Its steal when you remove the comments about the author.