Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. Imitation is also the sincerest form of irritation, I say. While hopping around the blogosphere I stumbled upon this blog – R@gZ. I say stumbled cos it was much like that. Caught me completely off-guard and left me saying — Huh! What the heck was that?!
Yes, this chappie has stolen my tagline, sidebar sections & titles, style definitions, icons, complete posts and even my profile! Okay, so he ‘loves Archana’ and plays table tennis, big whoop! Everything else about his personality is me! BAH! Oh wait. Not *everything* is from me. To Mr Copycat’s credit, he did mix it up a little. He’s also stolen content from highly visible bloggers like Lazygeek. Tsk tsk.
Now, I did say in my copyright notice that I would heckle and mock people who did this, but sheer laziness (and 5 tons of snow) came in the way of my writing about it.
But Rajesh J Advani has been so nice (and patient) to have not only written a detailed exposé on him, he’s also done screenshots of both my blog as well as the copycat’s. This is particularly cool considering that I will be changing my design in a few days, so this thievery has been recorded for posterity! Hee haw! So yes, please go read his Tehelka-style scoop :) Incidentally, Rajesh has suffered plagiarism plenty in the past, so he’s a much better person to write about this than I.
Also, Amit Varma (of India Uncut fame) has been so kind as to mention my woes. What happened in the Rohan Pinto story though, (follow above link to get the scoop on that) makes our friend R@gZ, a much smaller menace.
Web designers often imitate each other’s work in terms of content and design. We run into a site that does a tweak we like and try to use it in our own work. Copy some code, change some colors, some fonts, some backgrounds etc. Copying source code from a site, pasting it into a local document, proceeding to break it down and understand it, and then reapplying those fundamentals to our own design — a lot of us do that. This process of deconstruction and reconstruction is not usually considered plagiarism or thievery. But to steal a site completely — code, layout, colors, graphics, content — simply replacing minor words here and there (and in some cases not even that!) is not only blatant plagiarism, its plain stupidity! Anyone with half a brain can see the obvious, so what exactly do the copycats hope to achieve?
Here’s a thought — Wouldn’t it have been hilarious if the guy stole my copyright notice too? :)