Is It OK To Borrow An Design Idea?

More so then maybe often I find myself intrigued or in a state of wow because of an awesome design I had came across on a Website. As a matter of fact I get the want to use parts of the other persons awesome design and integrate it into some of my own designs. As a newbie in the Web Design World, I feel a bit un-ethical and somewhat involved with plagiarism.
I don’t want to get into the habit of using other peoples ideas, and this is not a very professional standard. But I have to ask, is it OK to borrow ideas from other Websites? And how far can one go without violating Copy Rights Laws. And please note, I’m not trying to duplicate another s Website. Lol

Thank You…:slight_smile:

Getting ideas from how other web sites do things is one of the main resources outside of your own head for obtaining ideas. As long as the parts are small enough and you write the actual code yourself without copying anything from their site but the general concept you should have no issues with it at all unless they have the idea patented.

There are a few countries that stupidly allow very simple ideas to be patented by someone even though thousands of people have already thought of it before. This is only likely to apply to major web sites like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and similar though.

Nothing wrong with checking a site out if it helps you develop ideas. If your ripping the whole site that is not good.

Thank you Stephen, that helps allot. I feel allot better… Lol…

ezbncs… No plans on doing something like that… Thank for your response…

Marty, I get “inspiration” from other people’s sites all the time. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s much the same way that great artists of different periods inevitably “borrow” from each other. There are a few “trailblazers” that break through the static once in a while and usher in a new wave of creativity but, for the most part, we are all just taking the work of people before us, putting our “spin” on it and re-issuing it as something new.

I get tons of inspiration from various web design portfolio sites (you can IM me for some titles) and also get tons of code from just simply viewing someone else’s source code. Your customer (if that’s who you’re designing for) doesn’t want you to “reinvent the wheel”, that’s not what they’re paying you for. They’re paying you for a great-looking website that does exactly what they want. If you get that idea from someone else (as long as you’re not copying the design of their site and pasting it to yours…), there’s no crime in that.

Keep your eye on SOPA/PIPA, the legislation currently being fast-tracked in the US Congress. If passed, it will give a whole new answer to this question: “if you do, you could go to jail and your IP provider could be shut down.”