Deja-Vu | February 5, 2004

Scrivs posted a lovely Chech website on the CSSVault today. However I've a nagging feeling I've seen it somewhere before.

Posted at February 5, 2004 9:09 PM

Comments

Kronn said on February 5, 2004 9:40 PM

I think this is a considence. Altough the colours and the border-style appear quite familiar…

Okay, at least the graphics are new. And maybe it’s really a coninsidence. Maybe…

maura said on February 5, 2004 9:57 PM

yeah, i agree it’s probably a coincidence.

Kristian said on February 5, 2004 9:58 PM

I’d say it looks inspired by sub:lime, but not a direct rip.

ray said on February 5, 2004 10:03 PM

I don’t think andy implied that it was a rip of sub:lime … it is definitely inspired by it though.

Seems to happen to a lot of the Zen layouts, but that’s what you get for creating a sweet design :)

mrjay said on February 5, 2004 10:25 PM

Doesn’t Zen Garden use a creative commons license for its css. And isn’t it the point of a creative commons license that things get shared, re-used, pulled apart and learnt from. Well thats alright then.

Colly said on February 5, 2004 10:44 PM

These things are inevitable, and could happen to any one of us in the future. Labour over something for months, release it, then find that it’s doppelganger already exists, and someone else knows it. There must be thousands of incredible CSS designs out there that have escaped the attentions of the industry bloggers, and we only have so many border widths and sensible colours to use.

In this example however, it does look like inspiration rather than coincidence. Good for the Czech designer - possibly his first step towards better design standards, learning from good sources…

Andy Budd said on February 5, 2004 10:49 PM

Your right, the code is released under a share and share alike creative commons license. As I understand it, the reasoning behind this is to allow people to learn and adapt the CSS, which I’m all for. However the “Design” is still retained by the creator and in the head it does say that the files are not templates. This is a bit of a tricky/grey area as many would argue that the CSS is the design. Obviously if you can use the CSS and deploy it as is, you can’t help but be using the design.

This subject has been covered a few times so I won’t bore people with the details. However here are a few links if you’re interested.

http://www.mezzoblue.com/archives/2003/09/09/copywrong/
http://www.mezzoblue.com/archives/2003/09/09/copywrong/
http://www.mezzoblue.com/archives/2003/09/13/copyletsgett/

There wasn’t really any agenda behind my post. I just saw the post on the CSSVault, a repository of good CSS design, and though Hmmm, that design look pretty familiar. It just amused me that somebody else was getting credit for a design that bore a striking resemblance to my zen garden submission. If sub:lime was an inspiration, the owner has obviously added their own flourishes. However I still prefer the original.

Well actually I prefer this version:

http://www.csszengarden.com/?cssfile=http://mojavelinux.com/cooker/incoming/zen-sublime.css

which is basically the original, but coded much better.

Eric TF Bat said on February 5, 2004 11:04 PM

I think there’s a continuum: at the zero end is an exact ripoff - same colours, same #ids and .classes, same graphics (for extra special zeroey goodness, don’t copy the graphics, just link to the original site’s image files!). At the ten end is total originality, not even using the Tantek Hack because you didn’t think of it yourself. Somewhere in the middle, around two or three, you replace the colours and graphics, a little after that you rename and restructure, and around five you’re merging multiple other designs to make something new.

I’d rate this about a three and a half on the continuum. I believe you can go as low as two if you give credit, but you should aim for five if you have no design skills of your own, or seven and higher if you’re a dab hand with Photoshop.

(PS Freaky… comment preview mode is centring the text… trippy!)

JC said on February 6, 2004 5:11 AM

Yes, CSS Vault sucks. The guy has no knowledge of what he is talking about (whitespace). He is trying to be a CSS advocate while his site is very poorly designed. I am surprised that AndyBudd Blog is not listed, which should very much be. Andy knows what he’s talking about, unless like that fool scrivs.

When they you should “learn” from it, doesn’t mean you should copy all the colors and styles and everything. It simply means learning the way of doing things. I consider this a pure rip-off.

Andy Budd said on February 6, 2004 8:53 AM

Um, I assume you’re being sarcastic?

Personally I think the CSSVault and Whitespace are excellent sites and Paul has loads of useful and interesting things to say. I wasn’t in anyway casting aspersions on Paul, or his choice of sites.

Kevin Francis said on February 6, 2004 2:56 PM

Paul is rather vocal, and that raises some hackles at times. Maybe that’s why he comes off as being less than knowledgeable? Personally I like his site, but I haven’t really looked at the CSS vault.