I’ve been ripped off. (2014 edit: this is a post about Ben Brown of CNET, who went on to sell tech and make money; but in 1997, he stole code).
I got a fair amount of mail yesterday because of my Monday rant. Most of the mail was supportive. Some of the mail was from FlabJab supporters, and some of the mail was from the person who used my code herself. About 30% of the mail was critical in some way.
One of the funniest emails I got was from Bob, or Bill, or whatever – the guy who claims to design FlabJab. I got it at around 1:00am last night. His little threats were issued, he told me I had no balls (figure that one out, a guy who once went toe to toe with an 18,000 subscriber ISP backed by a bunch of lawyers), and in an amazing rendition of skill that probably took the poor soul all night, he managed to write his little slam against me and do a parody of my front end. The guy’s a riot, but not for the reason he thinks. Shows you exactly how “ultra cool” these little net thieves are over at FlabJab.
Notice the quote from the parody page – Nobody Messes With Our Own. Yah, they have that right. They tried a systematic tag team on me via email and the like, all with hidden agendas. One of the jokers over there, going by the name of Nick, writes me several emails yesterday. At first he’s irate, but not insulting. I reply in kind, giving him my arguments. Then he writes again, ignoring my arguments, and repeating one point – flabjab isn’t a “pro” site. I wrote back saying FlabJab is supposedly a “creative site” and this kind of code theft is a joke for a collab site. No response to that one.
Then at around 12:45am last night, a netfriend points me to the above links at Flabjab. Yah, lotsa integrity over there. First, they break one of the cardinal rules of the net – no email reprinting without permission. So they steal again. It’s not like I said anything in email that I wouldn’t say here, or to their faces, but of course, unconcerned with other people’s rights as the flabjabbers are, they printed part of an e-mail I sent to Nick.
And then Bob, or Bill, or whatever his name is, he turns around and says in his little explain page that “now we’re going to be little bitches and fuck with Mark now”. I suppose you can see me quaking in my boots. In fact, I invited BillyBob up here to Vancouver to try to fuck with me in person (in those words, too!). You can guess the cool dood’s response. (and if you can’t read on!)
In the meantime, his little fun with my front end is perfectly fine with me – it’s a parody, and I guess I’m just so damned important to these people that, not only do they steal my table code, but they actually waste entire evenings making up parody pages! Cool! And as an added bonus, Bob or Bill, or whatever, has taken the extra time to grab this rant page, to grab my stories page, and make parodies of these too! Way Cool! The guy’s in envy! Neat stuff! Oh – note to Bob or whatever your name is – sorry buddy, I don’t play that way – but I’m glad to see you so damned proud of your sexual orientation – but please, don’t proposition me anymore.
And as far as Bill (or is that Bob?) and Joanne’s various explanations of the events leading up to the so called building of this disputed page, they are simply full of shit. I know it was my direct code lifted. I know. Joanne knows, BillyBob knows. They were caught, not by me ironically, but by two other people on the net who pointed me to the pages, and now they’re making all their excuses, flaming me, going on the defensive. Very cool shit!
Oh, and Joanne, um, please stop lying on your ramble page. I sent no email to Ben “trashing” flabjab. I did send one to him in response to his “no balls post” he wrote me early this morning, but that was way after the facts and fiction you write about. In fact, the reason good ole Bendover is so irate with me is because I didn’t contact him via email first.
And to think. If Joanne had simply asked me in the first place for permission, or even pointed me to the page after the fact, saying, “lookit what I did with your stuff – hope you don’t mind” all of this would have been a non-issue, and yesterday’s rant would have been much more exciting – like about me taking the trash out, or something.
Ironic, isn’t it, that the main thing BillyBob…. (oh wait – now I remember – it’s Ben!) is pissed off at me about is the fact that I didn’t write him first to say – hey. that’s my design, cease and desist, when I’m upset about not being asked or notified before the page went up.
And, even more ironic – Ben (is that over?) blasts my entire personal site, putting it pretty much all down. Criticizing everything. Call it all crap. Yet, they liked my “crap” enough to rip my code. Do you smell a hypocrite? I do! I do!
And, lookit who I found right in the middle of all this shit.Penny, aka Seraph, yet another web thief extraordinaire. I don’t visit her site anymore but suffice to say, this woman stole almost an entire site from a net friend, made a few superficial changes, then would claim the work as her own.
I know she did it, because I was witness to it for months – almost every time a new effect was added to my friend’s pages, good ole Penny would copy it. Then of course, a few weeks down the road, she’d give various people the impression (never outright say it though) that it was her, Penny who came up with the idea, and well, that other person copied her, but heck, Penny’s a good enough person to let it slide… sheesh. I guess she gave her buddy Joanne lessons in lifting code.
Oh. And since they’ll probably reprint the email I fired off to PennyLane weeks ago, I put it up here in it’s entirety. For those of you reading my rants often, this is the exact email I wrote about a few weeks ago. The one I was upset about sending, (I wrote about it in mid June), the email I was overly harsh in, and the email I was very sad about after I sent it. But I felt had to be said by someone. It was also supposed to remain a private matter, but obviously, Penny didn’t keep it that way. Now I wish she had killed her site.
Other, Later Observations
Apparently, Ben(dover) wants to come to my house, if he could, and rip me a new asshole. He said so. I would almost pay his airfare to see him try. Too bad he doesn’t live in Canada – issuing threats of this nature via e-mail is highly illegal, but don’t worry Bendover, I won’t report ya – the invite’s open 24/7, buddy. Wait a sec… isn’t the act of issuing threats across State and International lines also an illegal act, and a federal offence in the US? Hrmmm. I should look into this.
Oh well. I guess this is the aftermath of a two bit guy running a two bit collab site, who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
You know what the really shitty fallout from all of this is? Its that the people I would like to help if they want it, the people I like helping – web newbies – get scared off by my rants against theft. That’s not what I want to have happen. I’m a big fan of most newbie pages with a little content, and I try all I can to encourage people venturing into this frontier for the first time to get something up – to publish themselves in this exciting media. That’s why I have extensive commentary coding on two of these table pages I’ve been ranting about, my stories page and my sports page.
Well, if you’re a web newbie looking to build your first page, or looking to improve your skills, maybe even move from that wysiwyg editor you’re currently using to a code-based editor that gives you total control, I hope you still feel you can borrow my stuff, ask me questions, and generally, learn. But please – the first person who calls me a web guru will get a magic trip from Ben to your house in search of a new orifice in your body. <grin> I’m nowhere near a guru, and I’m constantly learning too. That’s why this “table” lifting has bothered me so much. I took a lot of time and effort to learn how to code those tables – I didn’t even look at anyone else’s code. The code i write belongs to me. If you want it, all you have to do is ask.
For some, there’s a fine line between “borrowing” and “stealing” – but not for me. All it is for me is a question of respect for someone else’s efforts.
(note, all site links no longer work).