Copyright 101

I feel a bit guilty including terrycloth.net‘s Which Golden Girl Are You? test here, but it was fun to take. The whole reason I stumbled onto the test to begin with was in connection with this on Jodi‘s blog. You can go read it in a minute. Suffice it to say, her assistant had the unpleasant experience of someone lifting, wholesale, entire chunks of his code and appropriating it as his own on terrycloth.net. This dufus didn’t even bother to change any of the links. Not a bit of original content except for the banner. After this dork was confronted in an e-mail, he took the site down. The only thing left there is the test.

It’s one thing to view someone’s source code to try to figure out some design techniques. And sometimes, it’s okay to notify the site’s author to see if you can “borrow” portions of it. And of course in the case of blog templates, which abound now, they are there for the taking, the only requirement being a link back to the originating site.

If anyone needs a refresher course in copyright laws, here are some links you might want to look over.

1. Stealing Beauty.
2. Bruce Clay’s “Web Thief”.
3. Bruce Clay’s Boilerplate Copyright Notice.
4. Copyright QandA by Joe Burns, Ph.D.
5. What Is Copyright Protection?.
6. U.S. Copyright Office.
7. Your Rights in Internet Content.

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