Last week, Steve, one of our designers, discovered that his personal re:create web site had been duplicated for use by a similar mentoring programme in Australia (for lawyers, ironically). And when I say duplicated, I mean ripped off in it’s entirety: word-for-word, icon-for-icon, markup-for-markup. Suffice to say, Steve wasn’t best pleased.
Duplicating web sites without permission is nothing new and I’ve personally encountered it several times in the 10 years I’ve been working in the web industry. Frankly, given how easy it is to do and how hard it is to protect both markup and design assets, I’m kinda surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Although, having said that, I’d hazard a guess that given the immense size of the Internet, we likely never know about the majority cases and have no clue as to the full scale of the issue.