Flattery, or Ripoff? Khoi Vinh is a wonderful and influential web designer. One of the best. He’s definitely created a unique look, feel and structure that can be defined by such terms as “signature.” He used to get publicly enraged when people would blatantly ripoff his website’s design. Then, he mellowed on that topic.
However, today he wonders-aloud how he should respond when the Auburn University School of Architecture basically clones his design. I think he has reason to be screaming. Isn’t plagarism something that should be discouraged by universities?
Update: It is
worth following the comments on Khoi’s
post to see how this has played out. First, it appears the
website’s developers misinterpreted Khoi’s Creative Commons license. On
the Auburn site, Khoi’s website was cited and attribution was given in the
credits. Upon learning of the controversy this morning — and learning of their apparent misinterpretation of the license
— the Auburn folks returned the website to its previous design and apologized.
Perhaps this matter could have been better handled with some e-mail
between the parties beforehand. However, if it had
been, we would have missed this great learning experience. Also, for
the record: While I did not attend the school, my sweet 91-year-old
mother was one of Auburn’s earlier women graduates — she attended when there were around 200 female students.
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