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If You’re Going To Steal Someone’s Design…

Posted in: CSS,Security by Richard Hearne on December 6, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

So we all know about on-line theft. You might pinch an image here, admire someone’s design there.

And let’s be honest, immitation is the highest form of flattery.

But if you’re going to rip off someone’s design by hot-linking directly to their CSS file then you’re just plain looking for trouble…

Original Site:

Original Site

Lifted Site (after a little bit of CSS injection :mrgreen:)

Lifted Site

Images link to sites. Take care of lifted site – really not work safe.

While you’re here can you please spread the word about this nasty bunch of spammers that are trying to scam donations to a children’s hospital in Moscow. More info here.

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  1. Freaking hilarious! Well done. I had someone take it a step further and rather than just steal the design, they took credit for designing AND building my site! Openly bragged about it end everything on IGN forums. I did confront the guy and he had a lame excuse. I wrote about it here: http://www.rustylime.com/show_article.php?id=253

    Comment by Michael — December 6, 2006 @ 1:24 am

  2. Nah, Wasn’t me Michael.

    Just found it and think it’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while :mrgreen:

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 6, 2006 @ 1:28 am

  3. I had a slightly different experience at one stage, where the guy was deriving all his content from my site. I contacted his host without success and emailed him about it, without result so in the end I just added a little redirect for his site that altered his content from that of my site to one pertaining to a site detailing anal prolapse.

    About a week later I got an emai from the guy, being pissed with me for the redirect…. It worked though, never had a problem from him again.

    Comment by podigle — December 6, 2006 @ 10:28 am

  4. podigle says “It worked though, never had a problem from him again”

    Haha brilliant. Would love to have seen his face when he found out.

    I don’t understand the mentality of some web site owners. Do they think all content and IP is public domain?

    Comment by Michael — December 6, 2006 @ 10:37 am

  5. Me too. The funny thing was, the guy was passing himself off as a Web designer and advertising for clients etc. I could imagine what potential clients thought when they viewed his NEW site…. ;-)

    Comment by podigle — December 6, 2006 @ 11:05 am

  6. Looks like the design has been changed on the money central site!

    Comment by Colm — December 6, 2006 @ 11:57 am

  7. Hi Colm

    Yeah it was changed soon after this hit Digg. It’s fascinating watching the coverage you get from Digg. I’m watching the stats fly in – more traffic to this post than my top 5 other posts combined.

    Will be doing some analysis on this and posting later.



    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 6, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

  8. I would be interested in that analysis. My first time seeing Digg in action.

    Comment by Alan O'Rourke — December 6, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

  9. I was once rang by a business owner who knew me as a friend asking had I ever hired John Doe to design Archiseek – he had got a resume in for a designer position which listed my website as one of his…. needless to say he didn’t get the job…

    Comment by Paul Clerkin — December 6, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

  10. @Alan you got flagged as spam by askimet. Pain in the rear, sorry. But de-spamming you should hopefully clear you up for future posts.

    Will post when I have a chance to gather the data and process it.

    @Paul – bet that felt good :mrgreen:

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 6, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  11. Looking forward to it Richard.

    On Topic: It’s always easiest to blame the designer.

    Comment by Dave Davis — December 6, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  12. Damn smelly designers. Never trust them!

    Comment by Alan O'Rourke — December 6, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  13. Damn straight! What do they know anyway? They all rip each others designs anyway. ;)

    Comment by Dave Davis — December 6, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  14. Not sure what’s up with you and damn smelly designers Alan, but I can tell you askimet really isn’t into you.

    You might want to drop them an email asking if they will sort you out. They fix it in a second normally.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 6, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  15. I checked their site and it said it can take up to 24 hours to be marked as not spam.

    Comment by Alan O'Rourke — December 6, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  16. Yep, I can see that. Another one removed from the spam bin ;)

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 6, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  17. The site owner must have got some shock when he seen that.

    Comment by Gavin — December 6, 2006 @ 7:27 pm

  18. If you like I can also give you my stats so you can see how this story impacted lp.com traffic. Quite a blast I can tell ya :)

    Comment by Hans van Hoffen — December 6, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

  19. Hi Hans

    That might be interesting. I might shoot you a mail tomorrow.

    Alan already gave me a few tidbits to chew on but I’d be interested to see some deeper analysis.

    I must be your #1 referrer for the last 12 hours :grin:

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 6, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

  20. Hey Richard,

    No problem at all. I am more then happy to provide you with the info :). And yes, you are the #1 referrer in the last 12 hours!

    Comment by Hans van Hoffen — December 6, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

  21. I followed the link to see what they did to the site now:
    “to the designer of LP, sorry, the designer has been replaced once this was brought to my attention.”

    So much funny with that statement, Gay porn = “brought to my attention”. “designer has been replaced”, they paid a guy to rip off another site’s style. Wonder if he would have still been canned if the site wasn’t defaced through his stupidity?

    Comment by Les — December 7, 2006 @ 12:52 am

  22. Wow, this article was viewed 4 times as much as your next highest viewed and practically all in one day.
    Digg strikes again!

    Comment by David Doran — December 7, 2006 @ 11:56 am

  23. Wow

    Now it’s the turn of StumbleUpon.

    Almost 3,000 referrals from there today :mrgreen:

    As they say, all publicity is good publicity.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 7, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

  24. [...] If You’re Going To Steal Someone’s Design… LMAO! (tags: CSS) [...]

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  25. I have a similar problem, there’s a crowd in Germany (www.comman.de) that copied everything from our old website. After pestering them they removed most of the links back to our website – but they still refuse to remove one line of code that we use for tracking visits to the website. It’s a piece of statcounter code, and no matter how many times I ask them to remove this, they are yet to do it for me!!

    Anyway, we get it a lot, but then we had a client who wanted to look like the apple site – no matter what we gave them, it just wasn’t the apple site – they were only happy when we copied apple…..

    Comment by Tom Doyle — February 12, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  26. I remember the apple people :)

    Comment by Alan O'Rourke — February 13, 2007 @ 10:24 am

  27. :) It’s still there Alan!! Can you believe it? :(

    Comment by Tom Doyle — February 13, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  28. I can only think how bad if my site was copied and all my hard effort was lost. Thanks for a great post.

    Comment by TerryG — March 24, 2007 @ 5:53 am

  29. Wonderful. Clearly explained.

    Comment by Sam — May 28, 2007 @ 7:32 am

  30. what do you think about our website? i got it designed by a group of guys. i hope they did not infringe any laws.. how do i find that out..
    my site: http://www.foodguruireland.com

    Comment by foodguruireland — July 4, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

  31. [...] How NOT to steal someone’s CSS design – One of Ireland’s finest web designers served up some doctored CSS to a thief. One of the [...]

    Pingback by Happy Birthday Red Cardinal | Search Engine Optimisation & Online Marketing Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — July 18, 2007 @ 8:01 am

  32. Please take credit for all sorts of things day why is anyone surprised that it is happening with websites and design of same?? I am of course not saying any time it is ok but it is just another place people with no morals can take credit for something they don’t do. Shame on you who and wherever you are!

    Comment by Travis — May 23, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

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