Every once in a while someone you hear a story that makes your blood boil. Sometimes it happens to someone you know. Joe Clark has the complete details, but here’s a rundown of the events as I understand them:
- Noel Jackson redesigns Fleshbot using CSS and XHTML, all in perfectly compliant code. I talked with him for a bit of this, sent some screenshots. He worked really hard on it and the result was, if I may say so, gorgeous despite the questionable content.
- Joe contacts Nick Denton on behalf of Noel saying what a neat thing Noel had done and recommending they hire him. Joe can be a nice guy like that.
- Denton responds that they can’t really afford anything like that right now.
- Noel’s design shows up on Fleshbot, a few days later they remembered to credit him for it.
- Later Noel’s exact code, right down to an empty
divhe had to add to get the layout to work just right, shows up on Gawker and Gizmodo. Some colors are changed, and likely due to incompetence of the implementor the other new designs have numerous mistakes added.
- Noel steams quietly for a few days, then talks to Nick Denton. Denton doesn’t see what the big deal was using Noel’s copyrighted work on several other sites. It reminds me of people who rip off other’s designs and then don’t understand why you’re mad about it. The copies are not as high quality as the original, as well.
Smells rotten to me. Personally I was quite fond of Gizmodo, as it really is a high quality blog, but I’m not going to visit it anymore and I’ve delinked it because I don’t want to support a company with such low ethical standards. I encourage you to consider the situation and come to your own conclusions. All I can do at this point to support Noel at this point is let more people know about what’s happened to him, in the hope that possibly this could end on a more positive note.