You know what they say about imitation, right? In this case, we are super flattered with our new year’s surprise.
That Didn’t Take Long
We launched our new design 20 November 2007, and since then we’ve been fortunate enough to receive quite a bit of positive feedback: kind words sent through our contact form, some great publicity in a few design galleries, and even praiseworthy mention in an article about top 2007 design trends. But you know you’ve really got some fans when you encounter something like this:
I’ve posted a screenshot so you can marvel at his mad design skillz!!1!. You can also find it on Flickr in the groups stolen websites, design theft and pirated sites.
We’ve been receiving notices from regular OnWired readers (both of them), and wanted to let you know that we are indeed aware of it and have taken action. Less than 6 weeks, and already we’ve been ripped off! Highly irritating, of course, but also quite flattering — it means we’ve finally arrived!
The talentless hack — excuse me, designer’s — name is Jason Mayfield, and he runs a network of spammy–looking sites that serve ads on the back of other people’s content. Now now, I can already hear what you’re saying, but there’s no need to email your disgust or make prank calls at 2 o’clock in the morning. Just because he thought nobody would notice that he totally ripped-off someone else’s design and tried to pass it off as his own, spent who knows how many hours kludging our elegant ExpressionEngine code into his lame Joomla! template, engages in blatant plagiarism by lifting our images and content nearly word–for–word and doesn’t appear to have an original thought in his head is no reason to hate on him. Cut him some slack! He’s just doing his best — to benefit from other people’s work, that is. So if you know anybody who needs some web work and is not overly–concerned with minor things like integrity, scruples and the law, feel free to give him a call.
What Really Irks Me
Is stuff like this:
I mean, if you’re going to lift somebody’s work wholesale, at least change the name of the stylesheets to something other than the company you lifted them from, am I right? Common sense. Incidentally, when you select “Save As…” in Firefox and opt for “Web Page, Complete”, it generates files like you see above by default.
Special thanks to James Currie of FreshSignals for originally alerting us, and to all the guys in the ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter forums for the the helpful advice — especially the ever–vigilant John Fuller, who did some great investigative work (he identified the web host and found this, for example).
Jon’ll be following up this post with a run–down of the steps we took to have the matter remedied, so you can expect that soon. In the meantime, here’s the script we followed:
- Contact the offending party politely
- Contact the web host to inform them of infringement
- Public humiliation
I’ll let him explain it. (EDIT: you can read it here.) Here’s a handy write-up from Tim Murtaugh, if you encounter something similar: Pirated Site FAQ.
Anyway, Happy 2008!
May your design efforts continue to be poached. Zeldman put it best:
Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop.
The hits, they just keep on coming. Found another one: Green with Envy.
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