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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast subBlue's Avatar
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    Help! My site design has just been ripped off...

    Just found this site:
    http://203.186.11.193/

    The company have completely ripped the design from my own site! They haven't copied it very well either...
    For comparison, the genuine article is here:
    http://www.subblue.com

    Other than write a stern email what can I do? (the company is based in Hong Kong - and Iím in the UK). If it really came to the crunch i have all the photoshop and illustrator source files to prove that it is my design - but it's bloody annoying that someone has the cheek to rip off my work and call it their own.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated!
    Become Interactive because its all gone a bit subBlue

  2. #2
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    God, I see what you mean!!

    There are have been a few discussions here on this subject. Here is one of the threads where you might find some useful advice. There are others, I'm sure, but this is the only one I've found for now....

    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=19044
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
    No longer Editor of the Community Crier.

    Don't mind me, I'm having a BLONDE moment!

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    I just don't understand how someone could do that. Don't they have any pride in their own work?
    Adobe Certified Coldfusion MX 7 Developer
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
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    This happened to us too. My company's old site complete with meta tags was ripped off by a Taiwanese company. I ended up finding it as I was working on search engine optimization and found their site was at #4. I pointed it out to our corporate lawyer and they took care of it.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Ouch, you're right, I'd be suing...

    I totally feel for you, and I love the subblue site... Bookmarked
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict z7's Avatar
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    Awwww, man that bites!!!

    Complete and utter rip-off.

    Disgraceful.

    How did you actually find it then???

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member Dogma's Avatar
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    I have to change my site design now before you realize i stole yours!! Its a very nice site!! I say, if you have the time and the lawyer, get their @$$
    my Karma ran over your Dogma err my Dogma ran over your Karma
    CAK design Web and Graphic Design
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  8. #8
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Whoa Tom, thats too bad.

    I think it is soooooooooooo LAME that someone would do such an obvious copy, I mean, being inspired is one thing, stealing is another.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru
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    Send them a bill for graphic and web design. I don't know if that's the most effective thing to do, but it would make a point, anyway.
    Your own site is gorgeous, so it at least shows good taste in what they chose to rip off.

  10. #10
    1-800-JMULDER JMulder's Avatar
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    Been there done that

    Sorry, just a lame joke. I have had these problems a lot as well, there isn't much you can do against it except for contacting the company. I think some new trend is rising, month ago one of my very first designs (very bad ) got stolen but the webmaster of that site actually PAID a PROFESSIONAL designer to make a website for him, and that designer just stole mine!! So maybe that company doesn't even know it has been stolen.

    This is so lame =(
    Jeroen Mulder

    w: www.jeroenmulder.com

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot
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    At least your is better

    Your version is a lot cleaner and the fonts look better. Those people are scum.
    bsacks
    http://www.middlepeak.com

  12. #12
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    It's awful, let us know how you get on! I suggest contacting your local pro bono solicitor in the first instance if you cannot afford one!

    Thing is, I know sometimes that you look at something and say oh that looks good, then you have a go at it and you en dup with some similarities, but that is a blatant rip-off.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot Rocko's Avatar
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    SubBlue,

    That sucks major dung! I just don't see why lazy, scumbags like them do it; They are not Web Designers, they are copycats. They lack so much creative ability, that when they stumple upon a awesome design like yours, they snatch it.

    It's ashame to see it happen, and like bsacks said... yours it much better..

    Sorry and good luck on the results. Keep us posted.

    // -->Rocko
    "If it's taking up my time, then it must be good!" -Rocko

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    You know -- this happened to SitePoint (it may have been WebmasterResources.com at that point) -- but I remember reading about it. Matt Mickiewicz (spelling? [sorry Matt!]) or someone just sent a very professional e-mail detailing the problem and it said something similar to: "if changes are not made immediatly then strict legal action will be taken." Suffice it to say, it solved the problem. Try that.
    Good luck!
    Colin Anderson
    Ambition is a poor excuse for those without
    sense enough to be lazy.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    But only if you intend to follow through on it!
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
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  16. #16
    1-800-JMULDER JMulder's Avatar
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    Well, that isn't really true. I've started my website at July 6th 2000 and I recently discovered a website later started with exactly the same name. Unless you got your name registered or whatever you can't do anything against it.

    But the person I am talking to doesnt know that
    With lots of emailing and fancy talking you can get your way also =)
    Jeroen Mulder

    w: www.jeroenmulder.com

  17. #17
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    This has happened to me as well. Someone completely stole Pawsitronic with all the layout and content intact. They even had Pawsitronic in their title, which is how I found them.

    Here's what I did, which promptly took care of it (having family members who work in the legal department is great!)

    FIRST and FOREMOST. Copy their site! Save it to a disk and save it to a CD (in case one gets corrupted) Print off copies by using the PrintScreen key. Make sure you include the date on the printed material. It will become evidence in a court of law should you take the person to court.

    Secondly, send them a Cease and Desist Order via email. You can find several of these online for free modification and usage. Print a copy of it for yourself before you send it. Again, make sure it has all the headers and date information intact.

    To back up your Cease and Desist letter, email their host and request that their site be deactivated. Depending on the host, this may or may not work very well. If the host doesn't want to cooperate, email the internet provider explaining their customer's illegal activities.

    If you still get no response, inform them that you have their site saved in several tangible formats which will hold up in a court of law, and that you have every right to sue them for plagiarism and copyright infringement. Inform them that if the site is not removed in 48 hours, you will contact your lawyer accordingly. Go through with the procedure if the site is not removed.

    That is usually enough to curb the copycat, but I would highly consider retaining a lawyer who specializes in the copyright field. You should also print several copies of your website and mail them to yourself, stamped and sealed. This is called a "poor man's patent" and has a post office (government institution) date of when your website was saved, printed and sent. Depending on where you are (if in the USA) you should also copyright your website with the Library of Congress. It costs only $30 and lasts for your lifetime + 75 years.

    Whew. I hope that helps.
    Last edited by Sparkie; Jun 18, 2001 at 12:06.
    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast lieblick's Avatar
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    First ... I can't believe people are doing this ...

    Second, I can't believe you guys are finding these crooks!!!
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Addict dpickup's Avatar
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    I think that if you send an email that clearly implies you will take legal action if the page is not removed should take care of the problem. Stress that you have the original files and can therefore prove without a doubt that the design is your creation. Don't be too hostile, but polite and professional (it's more likely to scare them than some 'hot-head' blowing off steam).

    As for actual legal action, I can see that being complicated by the difference in countries, and probably wouldn't be worth your time or money in the long run.

    It truly sucks that this happened - it's a really nice design (much better before they got their hands on it). I wish you luck.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    Just go with Sparkie's instructions. She's had experience and obviously knows what to do. It may seem like overkill -- but doing all those things (copyrighting and mailing copies to yourself) will ensure your site's safety. Experience counts!
    Colin Anderson
    Ambition is a poor excuse for those without
    sense enough to be lazy.

  21. #21
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    SubBlue, your site design is awesome and inspiring. In fact it gave me a few ideas for a project I've been working on. But unlike that fool, I won't copy your site, or actually even duplicate it, just use it for inspiration. (one of my previous designs was inspired by looking at a demolished factory - it's amazing what can inspire a design).

    As mentioned by others, make copies of your site and the offenders sites. Send them a Cease & Desist letter with a CC: to their host & providers, heck even send one to their registrars. If you can find any 'professional' or trade associations they belong to, CC it to them also, since he's probably violating their code of ethics.

    The "Poor Man's Copyright" (aka Postal Copyright) is not a method to depend on, but it is better than nothing. Since you can mail yourself an empty & unsealed envelope, you can insert documents at a later date and then seal it and appear to have an 'old' copy. Therefor a competant attorney can get these tossed out as dated evidence.
    Brian Poirier
    SunStockPhoto: Stock Photos, Fine Art Photos, Event Photography

  22. #22
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    You are correct, Steelsun. People can cheat the "Poor Man's Patent" system, so don't rely completely on it. The most surefire way to protect your site is to register it within the Library of Congress (in your case, whatever the UK equivalent is). It will save you hours of frustration, because once you have that stamped certificate in your hands, there's nothing any lawyer or defendant can do to disprove it.

    Also, definitely check out Free Advice which is a great site for law-related inquiries explained in pure and simple English!
    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
    Improve Website Conversions | eBook Covers
    Follow Me on Twitter!

  23. #23
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Sparkie, that sounds like a good article in the making!

  24. #24
    Back in Action Winged Spider's Avatar
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    I would be extremely interested to hear what happens to these idiots.

    How did you find the copy page? I'd be more interested in learning how you did that.


  25. #25
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    Yeah. How did you find the copied site guys.
    Would love to know if my design was copied.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
    -- Albert Einstein


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