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Posted: 05.18.2003
Steal this blog
Reading this at "anything but ordinary" literally made my blood boil... Granted, it's no big secret I rarely watch Tech TV anymore. All Leo, all the time is just not for me. But check out an excerpt from the most recent "Sarah's Blog Report":

Steal, steal, steal!

Or, if you want to be really unimaginative, view the source of a blog you like and copy its stylesheet for your own blog. Here's how:

1. Go to the page of your choice.
2. From the View drop-down menu, choose Source.
3. Pick a document reader such as Notepad to view the code.
4. Near the top, look for this line: <link rel="stylesheet" href="URL here" type="text/css" />
5. The URL between the quotes is your key. Copy and paste that link into a browser window for your stylesheet code.
6. Copy and paste that code into your current stylesheet, replacing what you already have.
7. Save the changes and rebuild your page. Done.

Isn't that fun? Isn't that easy? Once you've got the look you want, you can fudge the HTML code and customize your brand-new blog. Just don't copy my blog. [link]

Viewing source code to learn? Who hasn't. Copying source code with intent to steal it because you're too damn lazy to think of anything on your own -- when there are several sites out there already with free templates for the taking? Bend over, grab a big tube of KY, and prepare to endure my wrath.

Why waste time writing term papers in college? Just type the subject name in Google, highlight, copy and paste. Voilà! Small-town reporters can forget doing investigative work to earn their pay. Just view the source of the New York Times front page and upload as your local news site. You'll be out of work just in time for Dr. Phil.

I mean, in this day and age, we can't possibly be expected to take the time to actually make something that's our own look like it's our own, now can we? Oh no. That would be way too much trouble. Why have YOUR JOURNAL exude your personality, when you'd much rather come across as someone else?

Sarah specifically says not to copy "her blog" in her little tips and tricks piece -- but I wonder how she'd feel if I suddenly got lazy this week, and decided to paste all of her entries in my blog instead. I mean, after all -- isn't that fun? Isn't that easy? It's so hard coming up with my own content each day.

I certainly hope Tech TV realizes how irresponsible this is. Because if I replicated the Tech TV design and put my blog's contents in it, I can count the seconds 'til their lawyers hit me up in 4...3...2...1 to cease and desist.

Un-fucking-believable. What a waste of a perfectly good cable channel. You can find more information about contacting Tech TV here.

P.S. Just go ahead and try to steal my designs, Sarah. I double-dog dare you. It never goes well, and that's the part that is oh so much fun.

UPDATE: Read Zuly's comment (regarding Kristine's latest entry). Double grrrrr. And Zuly adds her thoughts on the matter here.

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

OK, that really frosts my ass. I hate hate that. Recently, there was someone who lifted a stylesheet from someone we know and almost duplicated her whole site!

Nothing pisses me off more than unimaginative, unoriginal design thiefs.


¤ ¤ credit: Joelle | 05.18.03 at 11:10 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Wanna hear something even worse? Apparently her style is a blogstyle... y'know, one of KRISTINE'S... no credit, no nothing. (The details are over at kadyellebee.com).

¤ ¤ credit: Zuly | 05.18.03 at 11:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

that is just wrong. just WRONG. the backlash frmo this is gonna be HUGE!

¤ ¤ credit: Ruthie | 05.18.03 at 11:25 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'm proud to acknowledge that Robyn TOTALLY designed my site. I learn from her and others and that is an honor for me!! What this person is advocating is sick. SICK. sick.

¤ ¤ credit: Angel | 05.18.03 at 11:48 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Anyone that knows me knows that all they've gotta do is ask...and 999 times out of 1000 I will gladly give... But if they just go and take. Whoo boy!

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.18.03 at 11:51 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'm teaching myself HTML and CSS. I view source files and I save stylesheets to my hard drive so I can pick them apart and try to figure out what everything is for and how it all works.

Right now I'm building a web page saved exclusively on my hard drive using a stylesheet from another blog...but I'm only doing it to learn. This page I'm building will never see the "light" of the internet. Once I'm done screwing around with it and I've figured out what I'm doing I'll be starting from scratch to build a new blog setup for myself including a new stylesheet. I want to try to make my own 3-column deal in CSS.

So can someone tell me...is this a no-no in netiquette as well? I, too, am angered by Sarah's piece, and I want to make sure I'm not doing the same thing.

¤ ¤ credit: Mike | 05.19.03 at 01:24 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I think anyone who's been coding long does that. I know I do. It's like an open-book tutorial -- the best of how-to's in action. But where you're doing it to learn, and then making your own site afterwards -- Sarah is advocating doing it to steal and then making it your own immediately. There's a big difference as far as I'm concerned.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.19.03 at 01:28 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Oh. My. God.!!.
I cannot believe that!!
Her blog is such a 'blogstyle'
*Blood boils*
Hell I'm not much in the way of a 'css' person but I go to book of styles .
geesh, some people..
Constantly banging my head against desk *Grr*

¤ ¤ credit: Sonia | 05.19.03 at 01:58 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

If ya really wanna inflict some wrath, skip the KY.

(actually KY sucks anway...Astroglide is much better, but I digress)

I taught myself HTML and CSS by viewing pages sources, and by spending lots of time at w3schools.com. I can't imagine just blatantly lifting someone's layout though. That's trashy.

¤ ¤ credit: dave | 05.19.03 at 07:29 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I got a reply from Sarah.

"Hi Ruth,
I apologize if I came off as encouraging people to steal others' designs.
What I was trying to do is encourage people to understand how the system
works and experiment, then decide on their own design.

¤ ¤ credit: Ruthie | 05.19.03 at 11:46 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

Maybe she should re-read what she wrote so that she could see that it has nothing to do with how she "came off" it is WHAT SHE SAID. It was very clear "steal, steal, steal." She is now backpedaling in order to deflect the rash of shit that is flying her way.

¤ ¤ credit: Maria | 05.19.03 at 12:30 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Although I'm angry at what TechTV did, I'm happy to have found a free design for my blog. I don't have HTML skills and ran a search for templates before but did not steal. I was going to either learn how or hire Stacy at a later time.

¤ ¤ credit: Aaron | 05.19.03 at 12:42 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Now her entry says: "Isn't that fun? Isn't that easy? Once you've got the look you want, you can fudge the HTML code and customize your brand-new blog. Go ahead and copy my blog if you want. I'll just change it anyway. :-)"...

¤ ¤ credit: Angel | 05.19.03 at 01:19 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

she's changed a lot of her article actually.

"Note: Stealing stuff pisses people off. I think these tips are a great way to understand the MT engine better, and I encourage you to get in there and start tweaking. But if you really want to rip off something that you've seen, you ought to ask the site's owner first. Ok?"

¤ ¤ credit: Ruthie | 05.19.03 at 01:41 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

But dave, I'm not trying to make it easy on them...

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.19.03 at 01:44 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Sounds like soooooomeone couldn't stand the heat so they remodeled the kitchen, Angel and Ruthie!

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.19.03 at 01:46 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I just left this comment on her updated blog entry:

Morals are a little lacking? That is now officially up for the "understatement of the year" award. I'd be interested to see what Tech TV would do if I "borrowed" their site's design template and CSS for my own blog. I mean, it was recommended as a legitimate practice on their site and all...

We'll see how long that lasts... -R

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.19.03 at 01:52 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

i have a feeling it won't last very long. :)

¤ ¤ credit: Ruthie | 05.19.03 at 01:57 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I cannot believe the sheer audacity that she is displaying in the face of the outcry over her article. Utterly unbelievable.

First she advocates theft, then she suggests that we took her ideas the wrong way, she was actually telling us to learn from what she was doing.


¤ ¤ credit: Melissa | 05.19.03 at 02:03 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

If she was trying to get people to learn, then that's exactly what she should have said. The words "Steal, Steal, Steal" should never have been uttered or written.

¤ ¤ credit: Zuly | 05.19.03 at 02:26 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

20 bucks says that she thought she was being funny. or cute. it wasn't.

¤ ¤ credit: Ruthie | 05.19.03 at 02:40 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

What utter crap! I sent an email to TechTV. I hope everyone else does the same. I can't believe that she got away with that. What rubbish! Thatnks for pointing it out.

¤ ¤ credit: Tracee | 05.19.03 at 03:34 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

She's still trying to blow it off in her comments. Of course, I'm not that pacified easy...

"I tried."

"Trying" means giving credit where it's due -- which I have yet to see here, or in your updated Blog Report. As far as musicians copying others works, if they fail to credit when said-copying occurs -- expect a fleet of lawyers showing up at their record company's door posthaste. What Sarah is promoting is a little easier to get away with, however, since the average Joe/Joanne on the 'net doesn't have an attorney on retainer when they find that their work has been lifted.

It's pretty pathetic when the one thing that's supposed to represent "you" -- your journal -- has to be directly lifted from someone else and passed off as your own individuality and creativity.

Which leads me again to that credit for your template design... You seem to be conveniently ignoring that every time it's brought up. I'd say "lesson learned".

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.19.03 at 03:39 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Psssst...she replied to the above comment and is linking/crediting Blogstyles now. Hurrah! Sounds like life in the frying-pan isn't so fun...

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 05.19.03 at 04:23 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I can't decide which is more pathetic: her, for writing the article and then trying to weasle out of it, or the e-tards in her comments actually defending her. People suck. Seriously. Thirty-four years on this planet, and the only thing I can say I know for certain is people fucking suck.

(Oh yeah, I guess I also know that Astroglide is better than KY, but we already covered that one)

¤ ¤ credit: dave | 05.19.03 at 10:27 PM | link--this ¤ ¤


I have just started blogging, I have read your site for a while. When I decided to do a blog I had Stacy at sekimori.com design my site which has been paid for, because I liked the looks of your site and I am not a thief. I still have a lot to do and learn but trying hard. Your site is great and thanks for the tip about sekimori


¤ ¤ credit: Al | 05.20.03 at 01:55 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

You know, when I first read this, I was pissed too. Then I got over it. The internet is full of morons. I mean what makes a site click-worthy (the blog equivalent of sponge-worthy, like this site) is the content I haven't seen yet. If somebody copies their content, then they suck, and their blog sucks, and I'll figure it out, maybe not today, and maybe not tommorrow, but eventually, and for the rest of their blog life, they suck. And everyone will know it. And TechTV is off of my list now too. They suck. Join me in not going there any more.

¤ ¤ credit: rammer | 05.20.03 at 10:26 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I found this thread, and your lovely site, whilst flailing about for some temporary fix to the terminal kludge of this template that I have right now. I just wanted to put my two bits in on the ethics question: intellectual property is intellectual property, whether it's a novel or a web design.

¤ ¤ credit: James | 05.21.03 at 09:41 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

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