They Say it's the Sincerest Form of Flattery

It’s official: The BusinessWeek RSS Widget has been thieved. Not once, but twice (by the same perp no less). Allow me to direct your attention to Exhibits A and B:

Original BusinessWeek widget next to plagiarized Wired News widget
Original BusinessWeek widget next to plagiarized ESPN widget

Geez, man. I’m not even going to dignify this with a link to your site, lest I contribute to inflating your PageRank.

Let me just be real clear that as far as I can tell this guy has no direct affiliation with either Wired News or ESPN, both of which I consider to be fine upstanding companies with great reputations on the Web. I’m sure they’d both be a little irked to know someone was doing this with their brands slapped all over it (scratch that, will be).

Widgets aren’t compiled apps. They’re just little web pages, open to the world to be poked, prodded, and experimented with. I encourage this. I’m a Creative Commons kinda guy. But you can’t just copy somebody else’s work and pawn it off as your own. Last I checked all the hip young kids call that… um, let’s see here, what’s that word–oh yeah, plagiarism. 90% of the code is the same, right down to the id values (though he did take the time to scrub off the copyright notices–clever lad). On his site he even goes so far as as to advertise his services as a “widget designer”. What’s that other word I’m looking for here… hmmm, that’s right–fraud. Man, if you had just asked we would have been glad to talk shop.

Of course, I’m not too worried about defending our rights on this. This cool guy named Steve was nice enough to demo our widget the day we launched it. You may have heard of him.