Taking Down the Names

A few days ago, Georgina alerted me to the fact that someone had copied much of the code for my euchre fanlisting. I won’t name names for fear of starting more drama, but this person had taken my code and used it to design her own fanlisting. The result was a massacred version of the original. So bad, in fact, that it wasn’t at first obvious to me that she had even stolen anything. I thought she had merely attempted to copy my design, but when I looked at the actual code, I saw that there were large chunks that were blatantly identical.

Naturally, I emailed her about it. “Have you seen the fanlisting for euchre?” I asked. I had hoped she would feel caught in the act and confess. I didn’t want to come straight out and accuse her, because I was worried that would be too confrontational and would leave no room for a positive outcome.

Well, of course, she had no clue what I was talking about, and whether she was being truthful or not, I don’t know. “The fanlisting for euchre?” So I sent her the link.

“I know what you’re getting at,” she said, while still claiming never to have seen the fanlisting. She offered to credit me for the layout, and what followed was a long string of emails back and forth as I explained to her why I would by no means accept credit, why she was lying about never having seen the fanlisting, etc.

Eventually, and I mean two hours later, she finally admitted that the code may have been stolen. She told me that someone had helped her with the fanlisting, and that she had been told the code was that person’s and that she could do whatever she wanted with it.

Fair enough, I suppose. Provided she is telling the truth, she’s as much an innocent victim in all this as I am. I’m still not convinced she has never seen the fanlisting, among other things, but at this point I think it’s unimportant. All that matters is that the code was stolen, she admits it was stolen, and now, my friend, we are at an impasse.

You see, this girl does not know how to code. “You can look at any of my fanlistings. You can look at my website. You will see that I do not code or make my own layouts.” From the mouth of the queen herself. Thus, she tells me she cannot make a new layout for the fanlisting. Again, I quote.

“I cannot make a different design. That one alone took me hours. I just don’t have the time. I’m not sure what you want me to do, but I don’t have time to make a new design. I worked hard on that one.”

Did you, dear? Was it hard work stealing my code?

Oh, that’s right, she didn’t steal my code. Someone else stole it for her. Someone she doesn’t know, in fact. Of this person, she said, “She sent me an IM over Google Talk one day. I never really thought to ask where she got my instant messenger address or what sites she had.”

Why don’t you mull that one over for a bit?

I don’t know how much of her story to believe. I’m not one to blindly accept everything as fact, and much of what she said makes me skeptical. No matter. There is still the issue of how to resolve this little problem.

You see, she doesn’t have the time to make a new layout, she doesn’t have the money to pay someone to make a layout for her, and she can’t find a suitable premade to upload instead. At least, these are the things I am expected to believe, and as long as she sticks by her story, true or otherwise, I have to work with them.

I leave you with this. What do I tell her to do?!

16 thoughts on “Taking Down the Names

  1. Now something comes to me. She said “I worked hard on that one” but from her point of view, someone else helped her out and gave her some code to work with. She did work hard editing it, perhaps, but it wasn’t all hers, no matter who she thought owned it.

    I think we’re in a pickle. She said that she knew what you were getting at when you asked. I’m a bit surprised she spotted the similarity straight away. I’m sure she can use someone else’s code (that she has permission to use that isn’t your stolen work), be it from another fanlisting or a premade, and edit that to make a new layout for her current fanlisting and then use the same images. I know you don’t like your code being butchered and though there are only so many ways to make a layout, having code directly copied is always unpleasant. I understand you’re upset and I guess this is yet another case of innocent until proven guilty, but for now we do know that someone has stolen your code. Humph.

    The thing is, to attempt to prove this girl guilty or find out a truth, you would have to keep following the footprints and ask about this other girl. Since that isn’t quite feasible, to me you have several options and they are 1) to make her a new layout free of charge (which would inevitably mean time and money taken) or 2) find someone who would be willing to do so for free. It wouldn’t be the fairest to report or contact the previous owner, though, I would be far less than pleased if I were in your situation.

  2. I would honestly tell her too bad. Not only is it blatantly obvious from the bits you gave us she did steal it, I mean, “That one alone took me hours…,” she pretty much said she made it. Even if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t want stolen content on my site, but maybe that’s just because I’m not a thief. Lol. Stealing is stealing regardless if you did it or someone else did it for you. Give her two weeks to make a new one or just not use anything, two weeks is plenty of time, she can put in fifteen minutes a day and it’ll be done by then.

  3. This is really … This is one of those things I would want to just go away – no, I would want it to have never happened. But it did happen, and it happened to you.

    I’m really sorry. πŸ™ I agree with what Georgina stated, though. However, I don’t think I would offer to make her a layout/find someone else who may be able to.

    …If she would have credited you, would it the confrontation have been different, if any at all?

  4. It’s really not fair or right, what she did, so I don’t think you should have to make her a new layout or help her. She could have asked if she wanted your help in the first place. The other person sounds sketch, because you weren’t told an IM name or a person’s name or anything. The best thing to do is point her in the direction of a site that offers premade templates. There are tons of those, some that are really cute, and they are made to be used. That sucks that this happened but im sure you’ll fix it best you can.

  5. don’t you just hate thieves? i’m sorry that you had to go through that… but i’m glad that you were a sport about it.

    -robots in trouble

  6. Oh dear. I hate situations like that, and thankfully, I haven’t had one in many years.
    If it were me, I would advise her that in the future, she does not need to take coding from ANYONE, and needs to do it herself, like the rest of us have to do. If she doesn’t know how to do any of it, then she needs to give the listing to someone else or learn. Most of us are self-taught anyway, so she can teach herself.

    As far as the situation right now goes.. I guess if I was in that situation, I would tell her she has no choice in the matter; she stole your copyrighted work (*points to the bottom of the screen*) and she can get into big trouble for that. Sounds like she’s too ignorant to know that the almighty-webdesign-code-stealing police don’t exist. I’m mean, though. I would make up some BS reasons for her to HAVE to change it ASAP and sound all fancy and threatening.. but that’s me, and I can be a bitch.

    Nonetheless =/ goodluck with it.

  7. That is utterly ridiculous. In this day of websites, she can find a free premade sample and use that instead of butchering someone else’s work. There is no reason for it. It’s simply being lazy, and the reasons for her “claims” are very sketch to me. Why would you accept code from someone you don’t know over an IM? I don’t even respond to IMs from people I don’t know when I happen to get them. I always tell new online friends to let me know who they are first.

    Anyway. Sorry, rambling. I would tell her that if she doesn’t find another resource that I’ll blacklist her…I don’t normally blacklist but maybe if you put the word out on her and her site, then she’ll learn her lesson? Sounds harsh but sometimes people need that little kick in the butt.

  8. Uh, wow, not only is she a terrible liar, she’s also not too bright. Her story is full of loopholes, that it just sounds like one bad lie trying to cover up for another. Personally I’d tell her to take the time she used to come up with her lame story, and go design and ORIGINAL layout instead, or else you’ll be contacting her host (they can get into serious trouble for this btw). If she can’t code and design for squat, then maybe she should try googling “free layouts”. The last time I checked, there are over 137,000,000 results, so I’m pretty sure she can find something in there. Seriously, what she said was just utter stupidity and bs. If she says she can’t design, how the heck did it “take hours” to “work hard” on her current (stolen) one?? Maybe she’s so stupid it took her hours to steal it and put it back together? And the fact that someone just randomly imed her with a stolen layout is just beyond laughable. Did she seriously expect you to believe her pitiful excuse of a lie? But then again, she probably assumes everyone has her iq of 46. What a complete moron -___- Good luck dealing with her :/

  9. This so does not sound like a true story. Absolutely positively anything else you wanna add in here RIDICULOUS. Aren’t you supposed to know how to code to be able to own a fanlisting?

    People have told me about getting their stuff stolen – I haven’t experienced it myself – but most of those people just admitted to it. I can’t believe this girl has the nerve to not admit it. Yeah I know I see the worst in people but it just sounds like a lame excuse.

    I think you should try to get her kicked off wherever she’s hosted. The common thing to do?

    I agree with the money thing! I want a new laptop, a new iPod Touch, a smartphone, all of which I can’t afford on my own because I’m cheap. And then of course are clothes, CDs, all the stuff I need to spend my money regularly on because I get no allowance nor presents from my parents. Well barely presents.

    Hahaha I’m actually the same. In most stores I shop at when the saleslady tries to start a convo I just go ehhhhh okay. But I guess it’s different when a cute guy is doing it. LOL.

  10. That doesn’t make much sense, if she didn’t code the layout, how could she work so hard on it?

    People like this really annoy me, ideally when someone copied your website/codes you should feel flattered, but whenever it happens to me, or even someone else, I get pissed off. I don’t know how someone could just dive into a code, steal it, and not credit back at all. Even if she steal my codes and credit I get annoyed, but I let it go.

    This person seems really to just be lying, she’s saying she has ‘no time’ to make another one, and that she ‘worked so hard’ on this one, when apparently she didn’t even code it, and whoever coded it clearly didn’t work so hard as they just clicked copy and paste. -_- Gr. People like this, I don’t even know what to say or do, and I’m sorry that this has happened to you and even worse – that she’s just lying about it.

    I don’t know what I would suggest you do, as whenever it’s happened to me they will either own up to it, or their host will just remove their site. Maybe you should just be like… “Er, yeah. Make a new layout.” Aha, I don’t know, I really hope you get it sorted out though! D:

  11. Ah I’m really sorry to hear this! That’s terrible! Perhaps there is some truth in her story that she really had no idea? But then again you can never tell if they are lying or not because everything is done over a computer screen so you can only trust how you read their words.

    I actually don’t know how to code…so I can see how it’s kind of difficult to start a website, that said I would never steal any one’s coding. I might ask them how they did it but I think that’s totally acceptable. I’m glad to have found my friend Kyle who codes most of my layouts, and since he’s busy I just alter the layout css he’s made me to fit whatever layout I make since most of them are simple.

    I really hope this gets resolved I feel like maybe you should ask her nicely to remove it and use something different because it is yours and it’s unfair for her to claim it as hers!
    Good luck!

  12. Thanks! πŸ˜€ And that’s cool! I’ve never put purple in my hair. πŸ˜› awe well thanks. I pierced them myself. πŸ™‚

    Oh gosh, I would hate to be in that situation. I would tell her that she needs to learn to do coding if she wants a website. If she doesn’t even know how to code, then how in the heck is she supposed to run a website?

  13. That’s really bad how nowadays, we’ve got people who are wannabes and they success in it, but how? By cheating! Situations like such drives me mad, I always knew many people who are like that girl, they don’t know how to design, neither they know how organize a neat site, so all they do, is steal’s someone’s hard work, and all they start doing is imitating. Yeah, this happened to me once, but I’ve got the guy to stop copying my ideas, and codes in an nice way, I’ve taught him the basics, and he started doing is own stuff all ALONE! You shouldn’t tell her anything more than she was born original, and she shouldn’t die a copy, and if she really wants a good-looking site, and she’s that unable to design it then all she got to do is grab a pre-made layout, without editing, and keeping credits to the right owner. It’s really unfortunate how I see nowadays who all they do STEAL and end-up saying “I’M ORIGINAL”!
    Don’t let her be an issue, don’t be anxious.. At least everyone will discover she isn’t original, and she is copying your things. πŸ˜‰ Don’t put much effort just tell her what I told you, and you’ll be fine πŸ™‚ Hope this helped. And btw, I really liked your website <3

  14. Wow. I honestly thought that maybe people had matured by now and would have stopped all this stuff. Apparently not. I wish everyone would just get along on the WWW.

    Honestly, I would be pretty ticked. It is a good thing you e-mailed her and politely confronted her about it, but her story has too many holes into it. As I was reading through this, I had to go back and read it again. Not because of how you wrote it, but rather the story this girl was telling. It is flat out ridiculous. She just needs to own up to the fact it was her fault and do as you wish as the owner of the code.

    Personally however, I do not code my own layouts. Despite the fact being too lazy, I always find a premade that I like better. I know how to edit coding, it is just coding the whole thing that scares me off. Not really having the time, and everything, I just use premades that I credit. Note I said credit.I just always think that other people’s designs are better than my own..

    People need to learn how to credit and to ask for using people’s ideas. It is the least they could do. :/ She obviously needs to learn how to credit and to ask for permission. If she liked your design that much, she should asked and told you. It is kind of ridiculous if I do say so myself.

  15. Wow, that is a pretty sketchy story o_O Regardless of whether she intentionally stole/copied you or not, since you’ve asked her to take it down, she should close her own fanlisting until she’s able to get another layout. Even if her friend was the one who stole, she shouldn’t be okay with using a stolen layout! DX

    She could be telling the truth, but it’s hard to tell. Especially since she said it was given to her by someone else, yet she claims she worked hard on it? o_O hmm.. ahaha.

    Hopefully you’re able to come to some sort of agreement!

  16. I consider myself a bit fortunate that although I have been designing for almost two years, I haven’t run into anyone that has tried to steal my coding. True, they have stolen my ideas but I believe that’s a bit inevitable; you can’t really avoid that. My coding is a bit different so if somebody steals it, it would be a bit obvious. Sucks that it had to happen to you but whoo for Georgina! Blog hopping and surfing through sites has paid justice in ways.

    I’ve come across a few sites that have stolen layouts without crediting either even though it’s obvious their layout is a template. I don’t know why people feel the need to lie about it and cover it up because 10/10 times the person ends up getting caught eventually; how hard is it to link somebody back for a few codes?!

    She could be telling the truth but you never really know. Her story is a bit iffy to me personally. Once you catch someone in the act, the truth of the matter is that they’ll say anything and everything to get out of it. I hope you resolve the issue though!

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