Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

A ripoff?

Found Sharp ideas through someone’s linklog. The design looks rather like my Bluefade Remix template, however the attribution required by the Creative Commons license is missing and I couldn’t find anyone with the name Abe Usher in my PayPal notifications, since a commercial license lets you remove the attribution.
The stylesheet has been reformatted (and in a way that makes it much bigger too) but still declares the #searchbox ID which he doesn’t use but exists in Bluefade Remix. The filename for the fade effect is the same (‘title-july-2003.jpg’). The HTML templates however appear to be the default ones from MT 2.x, albeit with extra invalid code.
I doubt that this is a co-incidence, but I’m not sure if it is a misunderstanding or a deliberate violation of the Creative Commons license. What do you guys think?
Update (Monday): The site now seems to be using a different stylesheet based on one of the MT defaults.


  1. Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
    Not implying that he’s stupid, but just unaware of the importance of attribution, specifically as it applies to you. He may simply not thought it through when he applied your template.
    I’d give the guy the benefit of the doubt and drop him an email.
    That template looks really nice btw…may consider a switch from the one of yours I’m using now.

  2. i’d send him an email asking what he thinks he’s doing (nicely) and see how that goes. For someone who’s meant to have a professional presence he should really be doing things by the book.
    having said all that, what can you do if he insists on carrying on with the design without attributing it to you?

  3. I’ll certainly drop him an email, if he hasn’t already checked his referrer logs. Not totally sure what I’ll do beyond that but hopefully it’ll be sorted out amicably.

  4. I agree with everyone else. Email the guy and make sure he just didn’t misunderstand the CC situation. Benefit of the doubt first, then nail him if he acts like he wrote it all. Plus, you might want to “backup” the site first before emailing him. If he knows what he was doing, he’ll make more changes to fain innocence.

  5. Ditto. I would email too. I’ve never checked a refer log for my websites, so I wouldn’t assume he has..
    (Incidentally, why do people check referer logs?! What juicy info am I missing?)

  6. It appears like the site is down or something right now.

  7. You could post it at Pirated-sites if you have no joy after contacting them.
    I did read about some copy of a site on a big web-standards developer, but I can’t find it at present. Best thing, and only thing you can do really, is email them. Once they know YOU know, then they’re more than likely to take it down.
    Take it as a compliment though!

  8. Neil,
    I hate it when that happens! which isn’t often for me since I mostly use other people’s designs (like your’s) but I’ll admit, sometimes the designer put’s their info in the footer and that means you can’t properly copyright the content. However, your attribution is really discrete and professional. Please give me a link back though, as I think it would help us both.
    Please tell me how to remove the “site slogan” from the search template (as you’ve done) I’m having a little design problem when searching – can you have a quick look and advise at
    Thanks, Aaron

  9. “Please give me a link back though, as I think it would help us both.”
    I think I know how this goes.

  10. Aaron: I know I have spoken to you in the past by email but I’m afraid I do not respond to link requests as a matter of principle. The sites I link to on the home page are sites that I read regularly, and as it is I don’t read your weblog. Same goes for most other users of my template.
    Furthermore, if I accepted every link request that I get, I’d be linking to hundreds of sites, which Google would probably penalise me for. It doesn’t like big lists of links.