This HTML code should be illegal

Warning This article was written over six months ago, and may contain outdated information.

The web­site says that you are pro­hib­it­ed to link — or even refer — to them with­out their per­mis­sion. Oops. Accord­ing to their terms, you are not autho­rised to even look at their HTML code:

We also own all of the code, includ­ing the HTML code, and all con­tent. As you may know, you can view the HTML code with a stan­dard brows­er. We do not per­mit you to view such code since we con­sid­er it to be our intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty pro­tect­ed by the copy­right laws. You are there­fore not autho­rized to do so. 

Law-break­er that I am, I decid­ed to do so any­way — and found out why they don’t want any­one to see it: it’s hor­ri­bly cod­ed. It’s like the web stan­dards move­ment nev­er exist­ed. Crimes against cod­ing include:

  • Mul­ti­ple nest­ed tables
  • Inline styles and javascripts
  • Strings of non-break­ing spaces used for spacing
  • Dou­ble break­spaces instead of para­graph tags

Here’s a sam­ple piece of code (note: I have changed the colour codes in order to make it my own piece of work and not get threat­ened with court):

<p style="line-height:100%; margin-top:0; margin-bottom:0;">
<span style="line-height:100%; margin-top:0; margin-bottom:0;">
<font size="1" face="Arial" color="#888888">Lorem ipsum</font></span>
<font size="1" face="Arial" color="#888888">
<span style="line-height:100%;">.</span></font>
<span style="line-height:100%; margin-top:0; margin-bottom:0;">
<font size="1" face="Arial" color="#888888"> Lorem ipsum</font></span>

It’s a muse­um piece. If any­one read­ing this is under the age of 25, you should take a good look; this is how HTML used to be written.

5 comments on
“This HTML code should be illegal”

  1. For all lawyers hired by Inven­tor Link: I looked at the HTML code, too. By the way, they are quite mod­ern: they use Google Ana­lyt­ics!

  2. Haha, unbe­liev­able. Maybe we should­n’t be look­ing at the site either as sure­ly the infor­ma­tion con­tained with­in is their intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty too?

    Maybe iso­lat­ing this one site for bad code is a lit­tle unfair as there are thou­sands of sites cod­ed as poor­ly or worse but the fact that they don’t want you look­ing at their source code for fear that it may be copied is what makes their terms and con­di­tions so comical :)

  3. How dumb can you be?

    If you send data to a users brows­er — they now own the full right to use and view that data (just not sell, claim a right too, etc..). I just makes me laugh when peo­ple try the “no right-click” javascript stuff to keep peo­ple from see­ing the source or down­load­ing images. 

    DUH! The fact that they see the images in their brows­er means they have already been down­loaded onto their PC! That is how the brows­er works!

    But ya, the best coders and design­ers don’t wor­ry to much about that kind of stuff. Only 3rd-rate sites try that legal scare tack­tick because it took all their cre­ativ­i­ty just to make that half-way decent page.

  4. i guess you’ve already vio­late inven­tor-link’s per­mis­sion by men­tion­ing them and link­ing as well ha ha :)

  5. It’s com­mon knowl­edge that these types of com­pa­nies who pur­port to help out bud­ding Edis­ons, are usu­al­ly rip-off artists. In the fine print of the con­tract you sign (they seem to be very good at fine print tech­ni­cal­i­ties) you basi­cal­ly give up all rights to your inven­tion if it ever mass pro­duced. Or if your inven­tion is not very good, they ask for a large upfront “sub­mis­sion fee”, which they sub­se­quent­ly pock­et, which will help them get your inven­tion to the market.

    So it’s not sur­pris­ing to see such word­ing on their own site. They are a shifty unscrupu­lous untrust­wor­thy bunch. To be fair, inven­tor-link “might” be one of the good guys. But if they are so pre­cious about their html, I doubt they have very much to offer an inventor.