Mon, 21 October 2002, 8:42 am
Friday was interesting…Tricia calls me in a panic that someone called her at home, saying that he wanted to talk to me. Come to find out it was a guy from Rochester that was surfing the web and found that a website he had asked to be taken down in the past was put back up. He was pissed that some of the work shown on the site was his and not the site owner’s (the site featured pictures of high-end carpentry and trim work). Well, he found the right guy.
When I was just out of school I did a cheapo website for a guy that did high-end carpentry. He had given me the images of his work, which I never even had a second thought about disputing. I did, however use stock photos for navigation. I always worried about some rights police calling me out on those stock photos. Little did I know that the guy gave me photos of work that he didn’t really do. So when I heard this guy’s story on the phone through his clenched teeth, and 3 legal notices that he read me, I had a sinking feeling…
I had put up this guy’s site a couple years ago in my online portfolio, under my student work. I didn’t ask the site owner’s permission because I slathered a huge yellow box onto every page that said “portfolio piece only, site not live”. Apparently the Google crawler that powers Yahoo is so good that it found the site hidden in my subdirectories. It showed up in search engines as though it were put up again. I took the site down in 5 minutes, no big deal. I did learn a thing or two though. 1. Permissions from all parties on anything done on the web is a big deal. 2. This world is run by sue-happy people and the lawyers that fuel their habits. 3. It is so easy to get tracked down. Even if you don’t live in the same town where you first developed something.