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Re: complete clone of the debian website

Mike Bilow <mikebw@colossus.bilow.com> wrote:
>On 2000-06-02 at 11:08 +0200, Peter Makholm wrote:
>> Have you seen the source from the API-website?
>> That haven't even changed the meta-tags, from the debian website. It
>> is clearlky, to me, that they have copied the html and chenged the
>> text. 


>Whatever one may think of the ethics of the API web site using literal
>HTML source from the Debian web site without attribution, there is little
>or nothing of the words and substance of the Debian site (other than the
>"swirl" graphic, which is important in a trademark context).  Copyright
>infringement in this situation must consist entirely in the ancillary and
>incidental aspects of the Debian web site: layout, color scheme, display
>typography, and so on.  Further, it is doubtful that invisible (that is,
>unrendered) parts of the HTML source, such as META tags, could be
>protected by copyright at all.

Clearly, however, such <META> tags are more important than, say, HTML
comments would be. For instance, a search engine that encounters the API
website may classify it using the keywords given, and may even choose to
display the description ("Debian GNU/Linux is a free distribution of the
GNU/Linux operating system ...") as a short description of that site. In
this context, the normally unrendered parts of the HTML source *are*
significant, though of course they are not the sole problem.

Colin Watson                                     [cjw44@flatline.org.uk]

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