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the biggest rip of them all
April 21, 2004 10:56 AM   Subscribe

the biggest website rip-off of them all
paid for with your tax dollars. the CPA rips the excellent brookings institution. via the sleuths at tpm
posted by specialk420 (31 comments total)

 
The path to democracy shall be bevelled!
posted by slater at 11:01 AM on April 21, 2004


I took the leisure of submitting it to pirated-sites.com. I wonder which subcontractor got the deal to design that site...?

Oh, and you can contact the webmaster to say what you think.
posted by armage at 11:03 AM on April 21, 2004


<meta name=" keywords" content="Coalition,Saddam,Hussein,War,Iraq,Oil,army,health,Gulf War,military,humanitarian, operations,Medical,assistance,mass,destruction,Military,medical, news,Bremer,forces,RPGs, national,guard,defense,DoD,security ,war,contracts,contracting,civilian,KBR, Bechtel,Halliburton,electricity, baghdad,Iraqi,Iraqis,Sunni,Shiite,kurds, defense,bombing,missile,weapon, weapons,WMD">'

Heh heh.
posted by brownpau at 11:07 AM on April 21, 2004


Me, too.
posted by grateful at 11:10 AM on April 21, 2004


<neo>Whoa. </neo>
posted by moonbird at 11:13 AM on April 21, 2004


Brookings Institution? Aren't they the guys who told us how to lose the Vietnam War? And, that unilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons would embarass the Soviet Union into doing the same?
Maybe they should just change seats and drink some more tea.
posted by kablam at 11:30 AM on April 21, 2004


ah, so that makes it all ok. thank you for that revealing (if unneeded) insight into the idiot pseudo-mind of the right wing.
posted by quonsar at 11:36 AM on April 21, 2004


jeebus. that iraq coalition site is horrible.

i don't care if they ripped off the design...that 3rd coloum color scheme has got to go. i mean, the website alone makes me less easy about our mission in iraq.

okay, it doesn't but still, they could have tried harder.
posted by Stynxno at 11:40 AM on April 21, 2004


you are a real piece of work kablam ... maybe wolfowitz or perle need an intern?
posted by specialk420 at 11:45 AM on April 21, 2004


I was expecting a wholesale ripoff. It seems rather minor, like they lifted the sidebar idea but changed the sidebar graphics. Definitely not the worst ripoff of all time.
posted by mathowie at 11:58 AM on April 21, 2004


code, site graphics, stylesheet? there certainly have been worse wholesale rips ... i dont think i have ever seen anything on this scale in terms visibility of the two sites in question.
posted by specialk420 at 12:05 PM on April 21, 2004


Definitely not the worst ripoff of all time.

Yeah, can you say 1-2-3 Cheapwebhosting?
posted by deadcowdan at 12:05 PM on April 21, 2004


Brookings Institution? Aren't they the guys who told us how to lose the Vietnam War?

So how does what the Brookings Institution has said in the past or present have anything to do with whether the CPA website is a ripoff of the Brookings one? I guess if you disagree with an organization, you're home free to steal design ideas from them?
posted by deadcowdan at 12:08 PM on April 21, 2004


HERE is the worst ripoff of all time.
posted by brownpau at 12:08 PM on April 21, 2004


mathowie and others miss the point. we paid for this ripoff. and i'll bet we paid a pretty penny.

someone contracted for site design, and someone else in turn cashed a check for site design, and while the source and comments have been pretty thoroughly raked over, one small piece of plagarized html clearly slipped through the tines, as pointed out at tpm:

"The presence of this line ("submenu name="Brookings Review" id="brs" url="/press/review/rev_des.htm") buried in the code of both websites seems to give a pretty good sign of who did the deed."

i want a refund.
posted by quonsar at 12:19 PM on April 21, 2004


i hate lazy bastards who do nothing except rip off code / content. i've had my own site lifted before, word for word, even left the image links pointing to my server. and the jackass got a higher google page rank than me for about two/three years, thanks to MY content.

public shaming is the only way to go here. pirated sites is great for this. glad it was submitted.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:22 PM on April 21, 2004


Ah, those tax payer dollars are getting a ton of mileage these days (likewise, via TPM)

In any case, I think that mathowie (et al) seriously underestimates the rip-offage.

Looking at the 123cheaphosting page, I'd say there is just as much plagiarism going on in this case. Putting the code entirely aside (which, as has been pointed out, was a copypaste job):
The 123cheaphosting page lifted the distinctive logo, and topbar/menu, the color scheme, the general layout from MeFi.
The CPA already has its own logo, but lifted the sidebar/menu, the color scheme, and the general layout basically directly from the Brookings Institution.

Check out the dotted lines and orange arrows, the distinctive date placement and color/location of the searchbox, et cetera. Just because their take on Brookings' attractive righthand menu is a terrible afront to all things aesthetic and the fact that they uglified the page header doesn't change it anymore than the huge clipart people change the Cheaphosting/MeFi ripoff.
posted by rafter at 12:43 PM on April 21, 2004


Brookings Institution? Aren't they the guys who told us how to lose the Vietnam War? And, that unilateral disarmament of nuclear weapons would embarass the Soviet Union into doing the same?

I don't know much about Brookings' role in Vietnam, but they certainly aren't advocates of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Brookings' Ivo Daalder has consistently argued that "Nuclear disarmament is not an option--now or ever," as has James Lindsay, among other scholars.

Brookings is as close to a non-partisan, centrist thinktank as you're likely to find these days.
posted by jeffmshaw at 12:43 PM on April 21, 2004


Brookings is as close to a non-partisan, centrist thinktank as you're likely to find these days.

With the possible exception of the New America Foundation.
posted by arco at 1:05 PM on April 21, 2004


Did somebody say Website Rip-Off?

(Reason #13 from "Wendell's Hundred Reasons Why He Isn't Doing Anything Serious With metalifter.com")
posted by wendell at 1:15 PM on April 21, 2004


OK, I'm going to be a dissenting voice here.

To my mind, the whole point of the web is that it's possible to do that -- you can rip a site off completely and no-one can stop you. It's one of the reasons why HTML is a plain text, non-proprietary format. If we were all supposed to sit there with our own HTML that no-one else could ever use, would that be the case?

Yes, I realise copyright law doesn't care about that, and I realise that copying someone else's site design is hardly something that people should be respected for doing. Still, I get slightly upset whenever someone says "you stole my HTML/CSS/JavaScript/distinctive one-click purchasing system" as if someone else using it stops them from doing so.

This post was brought to you by my strangeness and the Original Spirit Of The Web.

(and, of course, it is really weird that this was done with such a high-profile site as the CPA's).
posted by reklaw at 1:25 PM on April 21, 2004


one small piece of plagarized html clearly slipped through the tines, as pointed out at tpm:

"The presence of this line ("submenu name="Brookings Review" id="brs" url="/press/review/rev_des.htm") buried in the code of both websites seems to give a pretty good sign of who did the deed."

i want a refund.


Good catch. I dislike your government.
posted by The God Complex at 1:40 PM on April 21, 2004


i want a refund.

OK. $2,000 divided by 290 million people in the U.S.

Mr. Quonsar, I'm pleased to present you with your .0007 of a cent. We'd appreciate it if you used your refund to stimulate the economy. In fact, if all 17,000 MetaFilter members requested refunds, you could pool them together and have 12 cents at your disposal.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:05 PM on April 21, 2004


Shouldn't the title be, "The Mother of All Web Site Rip-offs", or is that too 90's?
posted by Dick Paris at 3:11 PM on April 21, 2004


Well, the arabic site isn't as bad. I wish I had a joke to go along with that.
posted by loquax at 3:14 PM on April 21, 2004


OK. $2,000

i suppose i'd be called a cynic if i thought ahmed chalabi's nephew or someone got paid a helluva lot more than $2,000 for this scam of us taxpayers ...
posted by specialk420 at 3:37 PM on April 21, 2004


reklaw: I'm with you. Just coz it's illegal doesn't make it wrong.
posted by sonofsamiam at 4:10 PM on April 21, 2004


These motherfuckers'll be the first against the wall...
posted by pemulis at 4:59 PM on April 21, 2004


Some ripping-off, it appears...but on the other hand, it's not as if CPA.org is a for-profit site, ripping off other site's design/content in order to fool people into thinking that it is somehow "original."

And wendell -- loved it -- hadn't seen it before -- thanks.
posted by davidmsc at 6:37 PM on April 21, 2004


I think we should spend our 12 cents on porn.
posted by graventy at 6:45 PM on April 21, 2004


..Or 6 unsolicited opinions.

Come to think of it, those usually demand a refund.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:32 PM on April 21, 2004


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