After receiving many emails on the subject, it’s been brought to my attention that my NetWorker theme for WordPress has been used by the government of the UK, and it seems they’ve not honored the copyright agreement. The theme was released under the Creative Commons 3.0 license, which requires attribution to me whether the theme is modified or not. The link that I place in the footer of each theme I have available, which points to this website, is the attribution that I expect from each website that uses that theme.
The theme has been heavily modified, and looks very different from the original. However, one look at the source files verifies that it is indeed built on NetWorker.
After receiving quite a few emails, I’ve since had several journalists this morning from London email me and request comment. Before responding to any journalists, I sent an email to the company in charge of developing the website(New Media Maze) to try and work this out privately. They claim that they tested the NetWorker theme, but then rebuilt it from scratch. Although they rebuilt it from scratch, they failed to remove the credits in the CSS file that name the theme “NetWorker” or to change the theme folder which is named “NetWorker-10″(Networker version 1.0). They say this “slight oversight” would fulfill the Creative Commons license anyway. Uh…….
You can read further into this here:
- Prime Minister’s Website Breaks Copyright Law
- Has Downing Street Claimed Copyright on Stolen Code?
- 10 Downing Street Website Knock-Off and Rip-Off
- Number 10 and the Creative Commons
Unfortunately, this sort of thing is becoming way to common on the web. What I don’t get, is how can a Web Design firm (which I assume is respected) make these kinds of mistakes?…especially on a website that will have such a high profile?
For an update to this post, please read My Regrets about Copyright Dispute.