Something Borrowed

So I was browsing the net last night, poking into various pet sites to see how they are doing, when I ran across a site I hadn’t seen before. At first I rather liked it — it’s a simple database front-end with a nice, clean interface. Some of the query filters aren’t as useful as I’d like — and I’ve given a lot of thought to this lately since I’ve been planning out a database system to replace a few of the more annoying pages on Petopia.

(Aside: I don’t actually know how Brash used to manage all the data for Petopia, but when I started upkeeping it I moved all the source data into a series of linked spreadsheets. I use Perl scripts to auto-generate most of the pages, and then hand-tweak the rest of the text as needed. This actually works very well for the level of maintenance I need to do on the back end, but it leaves me with some pages that are just not as convenient for users as they could be. For example, I was pleased to get the Pets by Level page up, because it answers a questions I ask myself fairly often — now that I’m level X, what are my choices? But it’s a pain to read because I had to organize it in rough five level blocks. What I really want, of course, is a database query where I can ask for pets of level X, or between X and Y.)

Anyway. So I found this new site and was pretty pleased with it. There seems to be little jealousy in the community of people who run hunter pet sites — it’s actually great to see more resources come online for our users (and for ourselves too, of course). Some of the data was formatted fairly similarly to the way I do it, but that’s normal — there are only so many ways to organize pet data, and given the level of cooperation among the various sites it’s not unusual to see things begin to standardize that way.

But then I noticed that all of the pictures of the pets pulled up by this database site had dark green backgrounds and oddly familiar poses. “Hey, wait a second!” I thought. “These pictures are ripped straight off of Petopia!” And indeed they all are.  And at this point I got a little miffed. Taking those pictures is one of my least favorite parts of maintaining Petopia, and there are no attribution nor even a link to Petopia anywhere on this site.

But honestly, I’m just a little miffed. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, after all. And to be fair, it wasn’t that long ago that Petopia itself included “Thottbot maps” on the mob pages. (At least we gave fair credit and a link to Thottbot, however. And after some thought (no pun intended), I ripped those all out and just linked to Thottbot directly. It’s cleaner.)

So … if you happen to be reading this and you run the site in question, I’d appreciate some attribution and a link. *grin* Or drop me an e-mail and we’ll see if we can work something else out. I’d be happy to show you how to take your own pictures using the WoW Model Viewer.

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8 Responses to “Something Borrowed”

  1. foussa Says:

    Hi Mania. Speaking of things borrowed, I borrowed the whole idea of a pet site from petopia :). You don’t seem to know it though it has a rather wide audience in my country. But that’s not surprising, since it’s french ;).

    At first I thought the mysterious site of this entry was my own, since it’s basically a database front-end, but no : I made my own pictures, on a light gray background !

    My site is at http://zoowow.org. It has a few nifty features that I’m proud of (in part because petopia doesn’t have them ^^). Like a linkable pet skills calculator, and a database of food vendors. Maybe it’ll give you ideas for petopia, this would be a nice payback.

    Carry on the good job, Mania, your site is a constant source of inspiration ! And good luck with your IRL adventure :).

  2. Mania Says:

    Oh, ideas — everyone borrows ideas! That’s the fun of the Internet! *grin* I’d particularly like to borrow your food vendor database — that’s info that I constantly need myself and that don’t currently have a good source for at all. I think I’m going to have to learn to read French so I can visit your page for that!

    And I do really like your site. I can’t read most of it, I’m afraid, but you have a lovely clean layout and I can figure out enough of the menus to get around. The table comparing the species is a great way to visually represent the family mods and I love the way you have different pets across the header bar. Would you mind if I added a link to ZooWoW on my resources page?

  3. Keidric Says:

    I ran across this other site, from a link in a forum.

    I just have to say it really annoys me because it is a total rip off of Petopia -and- they got this long drawn out hypocritical copyright notice.

    I quote: “Fuzzy Future respects the intellectual property of others.”

    GRRRR!

    I sent them a email.

  4. Mania Says:

    Keidric, I think you found a different site all together. :> The one I’m looking at has no contact info or copyright notice everwhere. I’m not surprised, though — after browsing some more, it looks like there is a thriving industry of misleading ad-driven search sites that imply they are something else, including a bunch based on Petopia. Ah, well — dangers of the internet, I suppose. I appreciate you e-mailing on my behalf, though. Let me know if you get anywhere. :>

  5. Keidric Says:

    It was kinda of a run about thing, where “Fuzzy Future” may not of had anything to do with the site, and the person who made the rip-off actually copied the copy-write and didn’t modify it… O.o .. Maybe the Fuzzy guys hosted the page for some client, I’m not really sure.

    Whatever the case, I went back and took a look this morning and was suprised. There was changes. Not all the pictures were changed, just the ones pre-bc it seems, and some minor tweaks.

    Its something I guess.

  6. ninjorz Says:

    Long time Petopia user, first time poster!

    I love your site, and I know exactly what you mean. I’m actually working on my own ‘pet’ project at the moment, but it’s for the entire Hunter class and not just taming pets, though I do show the more rare skins and tames as well. Obviously, the entire Hunter class is a quite a large subject matter, and I did end up borrowing from here and there, but I always reformatted it and crossreferrenced … and when it somes to images and art I do my own. It’s just not right to copy and paste something onto a web page and throw up some advertisements around it, calling it your own.

    I saw this post quite a while ago and wondered what site you referred to might be, but didn’t know. Tonight I found it, and my, what a rip!!! They even call their picture gallery the “visual petopia.”

    Most of the images are from your site, no doubt about it, though I think he’s (she’s) begun to change all the images from a dark green bg to a slightly lighter one, and some of the models (like the bears) all have the same exact pose (not from your site, but same pose from one bear to the next) for each skin with no variety. It’s a weird mix of images.

    Even worse, some of the pets are just wrong. Bad info. Like his green Warp Chaser is actually the brown one with the light blue stripes from the model viewer.

    Oh, and it has a Copywrite on it, too!
    “Copyright © 2007 WoW Hunter Pets, All Rights Reserved.”

    However, if this isn’t the site you were referring to, then you have two sites now taking all your stuff.

    I hope there’s something you can do about it.

    Man, I really hope I didn’t just get keylogged or something by them, lol.

  7. affronzo Says:

    Hey Mania,

    I’m a long time user of your site and I just want to say thanks for doing such a great job. Excellent work and I revisit all the time for my wow hunter needs :)

    I just realized today you had a blog going as well, so I’m just getting caught up on old posts.

    I wanted to just make a quick post and state my opinion on this “other” site. While it is pretty obvious to me that they stole the concept from Petopia, if you guys actually took the time to look at the site you would notice almost all the images are different and I’m pretty sure much of the content of the site is different too.

    So what if they refer to their images as a “visual petopia” I think that is more of a compliment to the fact that they are trying to mimic you. Everyone knows Petopia is the place to go for Hunter pets and trashing on other sites that attempt to follow in your footsteps is dirty. Especially doing things like insinuating that it might be keylogging or hacking your computer when you visit.

    I don’t know. This other site is obviously not even on the same level as petopia, so it seems pretty shitty to rag on it just because it took a similar idea and ran with it.

    Anyway, just my opinion I guess, and everyone is entitled to one of their own…

  8. Mania Says:

    Actually, I think you guys are looking at a different site that I was when I posted this originally. But anyway, if you’ll notice, I said that I was only a little miffed, and only because the site in question was directly using the jpegs from Petopia — and taking those pictures is one of my least favorite tasks. I’m really pleased that there are so many people interested in WoW hunter pets and growing the hunter pet community.

    The site *I* am looking at, by the way, is still using those same jpegs. That other site that everyone else seems to be looking at has started taking their own, for which I am duly grateful. *grin*

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