wildag writes "I've recently come into a battle with a guy who owns this site. You might notice the 'similarities' between his web site and Linux.com. I'm going to doubt that Linux.com bought the interface from him. The acutal battle comes from a statment that is on his message board (posted by the admin - Leo). He says 'The layout of any website is "public domain" which is freely available to the public' (that is avaliable here: http://hobbes.resne t.tamu.edu/forums/showthread.php?threadid=25). What do you guys think? (BTW, Linux.com has been notified and he didn't ask permission)." There are countless websites that are direct ripoffs of others, but few as blatant as this one. My policy with Slashdot has always pretty much been take what you want, but give us credit for what ya lift. I've seen this done many times to many sites and it always bums me out: making a well designed website is hard work, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... but isn't saying thanks and crediting your source part of it too? (For those who don't know, Slashdot is owned by VA Linux now, which also owns Linux.com. This doesn't really have anything to do with this story, but I figured I'd mention it). I post this not to point fingers or cause a fight, but to open a discussion about this. Just because you can take something, should you? When are you stealing? Is is hypocritical to demand open source, but not be willing to share your design? And should "Sharing" mean "You can take it, and claim it as your own, and not give the original creator any credit?" Its an issue that spans genres: Web Pages? Source Code? Samples in Music? Fair Use?
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