Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

The spirit of sharing

I’m all for the spirit of sharing, within limits. One who chooses to use another’s work should always grant the original creator the respect they deserve, be it monetary, or just simply ensuring they have authorization to use the work in the way they wish. If you ask me nicely, you might just be amazed at how kind I can be.

That’s the way I believe the world should work. Pity that it doesn’t.

Dave Shea, CSS: Copyrightable?

I suppose that ambivalence is the emotion of the hour. I was told last night that one Ashley Kirchner had apparently co-opted the layout, markup, and CSS of I was, and still am, damned flattered that someone would think highly enough of my work — warts and all — to use it as the foundation for their own. And truth be told, Ashley’s done a bang-up job pouring my code into Moveable Type templates; he’s obviously a developer of some skill, and I’m flattered that my hackneyed little site played some part in his.

However, the "imitation" is so pixel-perfect that I’m left a bit rattled. Accesskeys, meta information…heck, even my poorly-named divs are still intact, right down to the last id. Heck, there’s even content left over from my site:

The markup on this site is valid, (hopefully) semantically rich XHTML 1.1, served as application/xhtml+xml to browsers capable of parsing the data as such, and as text/html to all others.

Ashley Kirchner, Colophon for

A bit familiar, I fear. And to top it off, both of our sites are published under a Creative Commons license: specifically, the Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial license. The irony of his unlicensed derivative work being protected from future derivations is far from lost on me, but I’m not smiling.

Over the past day or so, I’ve tried conjuring up the ire that I probably should be feeling, but am having some difficulty; this hasn’t happened to me before, and I’m not sure exactly what to do, or how I should feel. Hell, I debated for hours as to whether or not I should blog this. As I said, it is kind of flattering…and in the end, it’s just data, right?

As you can see, I’m having trouble getting worked up over this — though perhaps that’s a problem in itself. View source, copy, paste: a formula we’re all familiar with, no?

We are, I think, living in a world where attribution’s an afterthought; maybe that’s inevitable, maybe that’s not a bad thing. I’m not sure. Though I’ve got to say, the possibility makes me a little sad.

Note: is, for some reason, blocking inbound traffic from You’ll most likely have to type his address in manually — my apologies for the inconvenience.

Update: It appears that Ashley’s site is no longer denying traffic from mine. However, it has been turned into a password-protected weblog, thereby denying traffic from…well, basically everyone.


Hooray, technical difficulties.

There’s a WordPress issue that’s currently preventing old comments from displaying correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully we’ll be back online soon.