Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A bit of seething ... I have been plagiarized ...


I was doing a bit of web-surfing when I found, to my surprise, that another church has copied the work I did on my own church's website.

Now, if it were just stealing a bit of code, it wouldn't bother me. We all do that. That's part of the joy and being able to hit "view source."

But this ... they actually copied my words. My pages. The way I laid out our site, even our menu bar.

My words.

That's really the part that bothers me. All the rest, I'd just shrug. Imitation and flattery and all that.

But several years ago, I set out to not only set up a kick-ass site, but to write pages that let people know that they were welcome at our church. Not only welcome, but we wanted them. We wanted all the things about them that made them who they are. I worked hard on that. I wanted eloquence and warmth.

I guess I achieved that, since my words were simply cut and pasted into another church's site.

Not only is it a church within my own denomination ... it is also within my own town.

It also happens to be about 3 times the size of our church. So, if you were looking at the websites of the churches in your town, and you found identical stuff on two sites, who would you think cribbed from the other? Of course, the smaller, less funded one, right?


I feel powerless. I feel there's no way I can say anything and not look petty. On top of that, because I'm a ministerial student, at a church without a minister, I'm going to need to make some relationships with the ministers at the other area churches. "Hey, your church ripped off mine" is not conducive to good relationship.

Not feeling flattered.


Chalicechick said...

That sucks.


fausto said...

Think about it, act deliberately rather than precipitously, but you have to do something, You can't let it stand without letting them know you know and it's not OK.

Perhaps the minister isn't even aware what the webmaster did.

Boobless Brigade Master said...

I agree with Fausto.
Perhaps you should redo/update your webpage.
At which time, you could call the minister of the other church and let him/her know that you're updating and would they like you to also update theirs as well? Or even better...create a new, exciting and unique webpage just for them for free!?!?! You know, just this once...out of the goodness of your heart. If not...at the very least they could credit you somewhere on their site!
I wouldn't bother emailing as I agree that the minister probably isn't aware what the webmaster did and the webmaster is probably the only one that would see your email.

Christine Robinson said...

If I were the minister of a church which had swiped webmaterial from another church, I'd want to know. So when the good news comes from the cat scan and you're emotions are back to normal, give a pleasant call. If you're feeling generous, offer to let BigChurch use your web materials, with a simple credit line to you.

In the meantime, you remember what they say about flattery, and you're in my prayers

PeaceBang said...

Lizard, you gotta say something. Because it's the right thing to do. I would wait until I was less pissed and call the minister and explain exactly what happened. You have definitely been payed a huge complimennt, but in a most unethical way. I would, in turn, pay *them* the compliment of being able to make it right.