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If you're a regular visitor to TheForce.Net, you'll notice that a lot of other sites post some of the info that originates here. Most of them are polite and put a link to us and note where they got it. That's cool. We appreciate it because it helps them out and it spreads the word about us. Plus, we make a special effort to link to others. We expect no less from ourselves.

But here's a little something that you might get a laugh out of. A few months ago I created a prequel picture. I took the picture from the Official Site of Anakin and Shmi eating dinner at the table. As a joke, I scanned a spork (half spoon, half spork) and added it into Shmi's hand. It turned out beautifully if I do say so myself.

Well, today I was surfing around the other prequel sites. I went by two different sites and looked at their prequel picture sections. They had already copied the Bothan Spy picture that we posted Friday. There was no mention that it came from here. Then, lo and behold, they had my spork picture! There it was, in all it's glory. They simply had it posted and didn't even mention that Shmi was holding a spork!!

They had been so wrapped up in copying stuff from us that they didn't know what they were copying!

That was realitively minor. However, we've recently been dealing with another problem. As some of you know, Rich Handley had a page that reviewed ALL the old Marvel Star Wars Comics. Rich used to have a guy come by regularly and compliment his site. That was several months ago. Now flash forward to today. Rich wanted to add his comic reviews to TheForce.Net. However, we found out that another site had taken ALL of Rich's reviews, word for word, and posted them on their site. There was no mention of Rich at all. Turns out that it was the same guy that came by Rich's site every day. Well, Rich wrote the guy and politely asked him to take it down. (I might not have been so polite, but Rich was pure cool.) The guy replied, "I don't know who you are." Rich reminded him who he was. The guy replied, "You must be mistaken." Well, Rich had a bunch of old e-mails that proved it was the same guy. So the guy is refusing to take the stuff down.

Pretty stupid, eh?

We have many, many more examples like this, but there's no use in getting into them here. Now some of you may be thinking "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". Well, that's true, but there's a difference between imitation and passing someone else's hard work off as your own. That's called plagarism. I've heard many excuses for this. Some include "I don't have the software I need" or "I don't have the hardware I need" or "I don't have good contacts for information". My answer to that is that you don't need fancy graphics or unlimited drive space or scanners to have a great site. All you need is good original content! Long time readers will remember when this site was The Star Wars Page at Texas A&M. Back then we only had a few pictures and tons of text. I think today you'll find, despite the fancy graphics, we're still relying on content in order to keep people coming back.

And it is not content we take from other sites.

That's the key to the success of this site. As far as good contacts go, I hold the "If you code it, they will come" theory. Set yourself apart from the rest and good contacts will come to you. So will psychos, but that's another editorial.

The casual reader is probably saying, "Why should I care?" Well, doesn't it get awful boring to see the exact same stuff on every site? The more sites I see doing their own thing, the more interesting it is for me as a Star Wars fan.

So we don't mind you referring to our content, but please say where you got it. And pass up on the easy 'right click' and create some cool original stuff. I'm ready to surf around and see what everyone can use their own talents to create. After all, Star Wars fans are the coolest, smartest fans on the net.

Scott Chitwood

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