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site design - freelancer stolen idea from another site

Discussion in 'General Board' started by bu06nne, Apr 17, 2015.

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  1. bu06nne United Kingdom

    bu06nne Active Member

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    I had one of my sites redesigned by a freelancer and received a call today from another company moaning because our site design was very similar to theirs.

    To be fair, it is very similar, but what legal grounds do they have? The structure, colour scheme is exactly the same, but the contents, graphics, images, logo, etc are different.

    Would this class as "passing off" ? There's only so many ways you can design a site afterall...
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. UncleBob United Kingdom

    UncleBob Active Member

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    i am no legal expert, but is it a similar business / industry?

    if you had two similar-ish sites both selling chalk then it might be a problem. if one's selling chalk, the other cheese, then let them moan, they can't claim any sort of "passing off" angle.

    an awful lot of websites these days are looking the same and generic, so they won't get much with the argument. if you are that concerned, maybe change the shade of the colour scheme and tell them to go away.

    i am assuming, of course, that the freelancer didn't simply steal the unique coding for the original site?
     
  4. bu06nne United Kingdom

    bu06nne Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply - they handle legal/ppi claims we handle accountancy leads... so i guess it's fairly similar?

    We are changing the colour scheme, but worried that's not enough. Nope the code wasn't stolen, they were PSD files which were coded by someone else...

    Cheers
     
  5. Tricky1 United Kingdom

    Tricky1 Active Member

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    Where did the PSD files come from, bespoke or purchased..
     
  6. UncleBob United Kingdom

    UncleBob Active Member

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    similar yes, but there's surely no direct competition there, i would imagine no overlap of customers either.

    i would guess that either they are looking for someone to blame for their site/business not working, or some clever person has clocked they can make money by telling companies that someone has "stolen" their website and can seek compensation from those that have.

    to that end, admit nothing and be very careful how you speak to them. change the colours, but don't even correspond.

    get the provenance of the PSD files sorted out - right to use, etc, and forget all about it.

    for what it's worth, the designers we have on this side said that they wouldn't go the PSD file route for a site to begin with, but hope this helps with the what is now rather than the what might have been..
     
  7. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Is the HTML code the same? If the Freelancer has just downloaded their site and used their HTML code it is a poor show.
     
  8. martin-s United Kingdom

    martin-s Well-Known Member

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    It could easily be a template
     
  9. nick-harper United Kingdom

    nick-harper Active Member

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    Could you post up links to have a look? Should be able to tell if it is a template.
     
  10. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    The designer would hold full rights to the design unless otherwise stated or requested from the client.

    Although its shady that he's sold it and given the impression that its unique in the first place, ive purchased PSDs from designers before on the cheap only to see them selling them again 2 weeks later..., upload a screen shot of the PSD to google image search and see how many others pop up.

    Regardless of if its the same coder for the template etc if the designer has sold it multiple times without telling either of you then its him that needs to deal with this, you cant start changing things simply because someone has claimed rights on it as they might have just had a faster developer and got it online quicker than you....................unless of course you know your in the wrong and maybe acquired the design on the sly ( not accusing, just past experiences ).
     
  11. spiderspider

    spiderspider Active Member

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    First question I would ask is how did they find you?

    What's the traffic like on this site? What are the chances of the person who contacted you randomly landing on your site and going 'Oooh looks an awful lot like mine'?

    Are there any footprints on the sites that are the same? Did the freelancer put a signature in? Is the other site one of his as well?
     
  12. StudioVision United Kingdom

    StudioVision Active Member

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    Yeah i'd be very wary of a footprint as it's very unlikely they just stumbled upon your site.
     
  13. js1

    js1 Active Member

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    Just a quick note on the above, if I had a site build by a designer (and unless I was told or could see on their website it would be build from a template) I would always think the site would be built for me and not to be used again! And I would own the design and source code and would have thought they would not reuse the design as the money I have paid to have the site designed would in part make it easier for the second site to be built of?

    Is the above not the norm?

    If no Say a web developer recoded the site (CSS / HTML from say tables or made it responsive) and kept the site to the original design could he then own the source code and reused the design? Surely not and surly you would be told if you did not own all the right to the code on a static website.
     
  14. suggs United Kingdom

    suggs Retired Member

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    I Think it would depend on the web developer and price. I once got something developed on freelancer and the developer was a bit reluctant to give me FULL rights to the script.

     
  15. js1

    js1 Active Member

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    Am trying to learn others thoughts and learn in general...

    To me if I ask someone to built something for me (unless I was told different by the developer) I would have thought I own it no matter what was paid hundreds or thousands etc.

    Unless I was told from the start that I would not own it out right, then that would be fine and I would make a decision knowing all the facts.

    In a roundabout way on a different note if you had site the you owned recoded by a developer or a script redevloped, he could then also use that again just seems wrong to me in both instances.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  16. nick-harper United Kingdom

    nick-harper Active Member

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    Always best to check at the start the rights you will have once you have paid in full.
     
  17. js1

    js1 Active Member

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    Totally agree but for someone not so web design savvy and someone who would not know what to ask, comes back round to the same thing I think the developer should inform you or at least have it in a contract or t & c ?
     
  18. nick-harper United Kingdom

    nick-harper Active Member

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    I make sure I state that everything belongs to them upon receipt of payment in full.

    If I was to use a template (usually because of budget restraints) they are also aware and 99% of the time I get them to purchase the template so it is in their name, I just edit it / adjust it on their behalf.
     
  19. devilsrefugee

    devilsrefugee Active Member

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    i wouldn't change a thing, because some may say that in itself is an admission of copying.

    There is a good chance they are both just the same template, or very similar styles of site.
     
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