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Thread: Web Copyright

  1. #1
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    Web Copyright

    Is it illegal to have a website that looks the same as another one? IE. Same layout, table positions, etc?
    \o/

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    Regular Coder Feyd's Avatar
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    Copyright in that situation would involve intent. Thousands of websites have virtually identical code-behind, but was their intent malicious to infringe on the copyright of another? Was there more than 70% of a difference (to legally constitute copyright)?

    You scenario is a little bit more of a gray area, since intent is hard to prove, but the same laws would still play if enough intent was seen. Basically...no. Unless you were trying to steal revenue and customers.

    To put it in perspective, let's say the world started developing ego-less code. Meaning what we all know to be true in order to build a website is only we do. And we all do the code the same way because we are doing ego-less code and doing exactly what the raw specifications say...wouldn't a vast majority of sites look virtally identical (if not entirely, at least by section) to eachother in raw source?
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    Originally posted by Feyd
    To put it in perspective .......wouldn't a vast majority of sites look virtally identical (if not entirely, at least by section) to eachother in raw source?

    <pedantry type="amateur-jungian-psychology">

    Not at all; coding is creativity, so you're implying that creativity is a facet of ego - which it is to some extent, but it also touches on something far more divine, something which would still exist (and possibly far more so) if we had no ego at all.

    Perhaps ego-less code would be the opposite - each example is utterly unique in its form, even though the syntax is fundamentally the same.

    </pedantry>

    Last edited by brothercake; 01-25-2003 at 12:15 AM.

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    Re: Web Copyright

    Originally posted by Richard
    Is it illegal to have a website that looks the same as another one? IE. Same layout, table positions, etc?
    Depends how much they look alike. You'll probably have to give us some links for this.

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    just putting the word "copyright" and the little symbol at the bottom of your page isnt actually copyrighting a site is it? because i know a few people who do that on their sites

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    Originally posted by relyt
    just putting the word "copyright" and the little symbol at the bottom of your page isnt actually copyrighting a site is it? because i know a few people who do that on their sites
    a site you might want to check out is www.whatiscopyright.org, which has some helpful stuff.
    from whatiscopyright.org:

    Somebody once asked if it was "illegal" to place the copyright © symbol next to your name if you have not registered your copyright. Unless you have stolen the work from somebody else and you are not the true author of the work, it is not illegal to place the copyright © symbol next to your name - it is your right to do so.
    that was something that always confused me.( if anyone notices ive said something wrong please correct me... im no lawyer (too young for a start ) ) but im pretty sure that as soon as you save an original work (eg, not stolen from somewhere else) you can say its copyright you... but methinks you can not sue if someone steals it unless you get it registered with the respective authority (ive always presumed there is nothing on my site worth stealing)

    eg: if i saw a site about flowers with a really cool design and thought "hey, i want to make a site about flowers" that would not be breaching copyright. if however, i thought "that site about flowers has an awesome design, im gonna steal the html, put my name at the bottom and start a site about racing cars" that would be...

    at the bottom of my site pages i think it says something like "Copyright &copy; 2003 My Name"... and although ive never sent off for copyright or anything it is not illegal for me to say that, 'coz im the original author of the html... see?
    Last edited by redhead; 01-25-2003 at 08:27 PM.
    redhead

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    im not a lawer either, but i am taking a Business Law class, and might. We went over internet laws and all that but nothing about copyrights.

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    Regular Coder Feyd's Avatar
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    You can sue people for infringing on your copyright at any time, so long as you can prove the timeline. However, you cannot get damages from a copyright infringement (somebody making money off of something of yours) unless you have it registered. Without it being registered, you have the right to have them cease and desist or risk legal action (though you wouldn't be entitled to monetary settlements...roughly).

    As soon as you create something, copyright is inherited. The laws have been changed so that the copy symbol does not need to be present for copyright to exist (since it exists at the moment of creation, legally), though most people still use it (and should).

    The link redhead provided should answer most of your questions.

    A few other resource:

    http://www.benedict.com/
    http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
    http://www.groton.k12.ct.us/mts/pt2a.htm
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