Last week, inspired by recent community conversations about ColdFusion certification, I built a "proof of concept" site to see if there would be any interest in a community-driven site for ColdFusion certification preparation. In a fit of unbridled enthusiasm, sheer laziness, and poor judgement, I posted several of Brian Simmons' CFMX Exam Buster test questions to my site in order to demonstrate how my "proof of concept" site would work. I did so without crediting Brian and without getting his prior approval.
My intent was not to take credit for his work but rather to put some content on the "proof of concept" site in order to demonstrate functionality and to generate interest. However, intentions aside, this egregious lapse in judgement was both wrong and hurtful; it has shaken Brian's faith in the security of his hard work and intellectual property and it has tarnished his reputation. I am deeply sorry for the anguish that this has caused him and his family.
Brian's CFMX Exam Buster software is quite fantastic and without it, I surely would not have been able to obtained my advanced certification status. I feel absolutely horrible at the thought of jeopardizing either this essential piece of software or Brian's efforts. It is a product that I have recommended to many people (and will continue to do so) and I hope that it continues to be upgraded with each new version of ColdFusion.
In an effort of redemption and for various other concerns including legalities and quality control, I have decided to take down my "proof of concept" site. I cannot apologize enough for how I have made Brian feel and I hope that with time, Brian can learn to forgive me for my actions and that he will truly believe that my intentions were not malicious.
I also recognize that this display has tarnished my reputation and my standing within the ColdFusion community. I love this language very much and I love this community and I would like your trust. I understand that building trust takes time and effort and I promise that I will do everything in my power to gain your trust and to give back to the community that has given me so much.
My sincerest apologies to Brian Simmons, CentraSoft.Com, and to the entire ColdFusion community,
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We ain't mad at ya Ben. No disrespect to anyone you've named, but you can't blame a guy for being enthusiastic about something. Maybe you went about it the wrong way, but I for one appreciate your passion for the language and the community.
Yeah same here. I'm sure no disrespect was taken. I never got a chance to try out the application but I wouldn't worry about it. It was all done with good intention for sure. You've accepted though it was a mistake, apologized for it, so now the case is closed. If others out there aren't happy about it, screw em! Just continue on with the great posts.
I believe that you made an honest mistake. You are a blogger who is constantly investigating new and better ways to use CF (eg, your series of articles on CF-Excel). Beng so active and taking risks, you are bound to make a mistake. Your apology and quick action shows that you take responsibility for your actions.
Your mistake is also a good reminder to all bloggers (myself included) that we must respect and follow the license restrictions of others. If I'm not sure about using someone else's work, I need to ask the source of that work first.
I hope the folks at centrasoft also believe your mistake was not malicious, but the result of poor judgement. Your apology has given them some good publicity and I'll be ordering their software to use as I study for the CFMX 7 exam.
Keep blogging. Your work has been very helpful to me and others.
I think CentraSoft should be happy ;)
I for one had never heard of them until now but took the time to check out their "exam buster" product. It looks really good and it's what I will purchase if I ever decide to take that certificate test.
Just wanted to say you lost No respect from me. I view your blog regularly and will continue to do so. I have learned a lot from your site, like your examples and I have tried new things from what i have read here. I think that Brian is blowing this way out of control. Firstly it was only a few questions set up as examples, not being sold but just for people to view what it could look like and the possibilities of it. It was a proof of concept, and idea, a thought. I still think the idea is awesome, it could give a lot new information and be very helpful. Anyhow, you took it down as soon as he said something, and Apologized, and Gave Him Credit. It would be different if you did not take it down, did not apologize and give him credit, but you did. I do not see the big deal, since you did the right thing. Brian needs to get over it and accept your Public Apology (I believe he should have contacted you in private, on publically the way he did) Every case of copyright infringement that I have known of was dealt with privately at first, not an open blast for everyone to see. That aside, please keep blogging, pushing the envelope and giving help to the CF community. Glad to see someone so excited about CF! Thanks for the blog
Don't sweat it! Free advertisement for them and a quality site for the community. I don't know how a rational CF enthusiast could fault your zeal!
I say dont flatter yourself. Tarnished his rep? Please. Everyone needs to grow thicker skin.
I don't think you need to fall on your sword for this one.
There's such a thing as "Fair Use" copyright, which means you can lift a part of someone's work.
What you did would have been just fine. The only thing missing was the attribution, which you quickly corrected.
It's OK to quote someone, just not lift their entire work and call it your own.