Still speechless about it.
I sent a sternly worded "Notice of Copyright Infringement" email and two weeks later their whole site was completely redesigned.
Actually, it was Steve Jobs who said that. Jobs attributed it to Picasso, but there’s no record of Picasso saying anything of the sort.
T.S. Eliot did write something like it:
“One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.”
That quote was subsequently used in a biography of Picasso by John Richardson. That's probably how Jobs came to remember it as a quote by Picasso.
In conclusion, in 1892 an important precursor of this family of expressions was published. The author was W. H. Davenport Adams, and his words may have influenced the version that T. H. Eliot published in 1920.
Similarly, in the 1990s I noticed that a popular page on my personal website was being copied diligently by a college student for his personal website. I inserted a fake entry, based on the Greek word for "steal." I also put a link at that entry leading to the copyright notice page on my personal website, which has a distinctive filename unique to my site. When the student copied the page again, I was able to show the site administrator of his site that the student had plainly violated the site user agreement at that academic institution, which specifically required students not to plagiarize for their postings on the university site.
I didn't do a lot of public outing of that student--but you had better believe I still remember who he was. Teachers do well to teach students early and often to use their own noggins and to do their own writing, giving proper credit with correct citation form to sources they rely on. That's a better education than just letting students copy whatever they happen to see, without any analysis or thought at all.
For those interested, these fake entries to catch copyright infringement are commonly referred to as "Mountweazels". They are common in maps (fake towns, roads) and dictionaries (fake words and definitions). You can read more on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictitious_entry
Almost every other site today has a dark header, a Mac screen / laptop carousel, slide scroll / parallax / infinite scrolling and a 3 column grid using the same icon fonts, dark 3 column footer with links, partners / as seen on techcrunch / customer logos in gray emboss. everyone has it. Although it's clear they copied, you could find sites that have these elements that didn't copy (or copied from someone else). So it's just the number of similar elements that is annoying, not each element individually IMHO.
then from the article they link an early mockup of the clone site, it says right there "100+ projects"
We provide a wide array of software design and development
services -- from Mobile applications and Web applications
to User interface design, Quality assurance and Digital
Strategy -- we're a trusted partner helping you develop
We provide a wide array of Award Winning design and
development services -- from Digital Strategy, QA and UX
Design to iOS, Android, and Facebook Apps, Responsive
Mobile Enhanced Websites, Ecommerce and Business
Automation Tools -- we're your trusted partner in Digital.
- The curved/depressed backgrounds behind the hero image (fairly unique) are the same shape and style.
- Page sizing is the same.
- Color scheme is the same, with blue swapped out for red.
These are just from glancing quickly between the two sites. Combined with the overall similarity, the fact that the scrolling animation is exactly the same is the most damning evidence that they deliberately copied the other site.
Also, compare http://www.infinum.co/services with http://kintek.com.au/showcase/ - specifically, the "home > showcase" nav.
(My point: It's not the individual elements that matter. It's the unique combination. Infinum may not be exactly trend-setting, but unless you can find a site constructed with the exact same combination of design details, I say that Infinum is nowhere near as guilty when it comes to copying.)
Where Infinum uses #333, Kintek uses #313131. Where Infinum uses rgb(34, 34, 34), Kintek converts it to hex and uses #222222. The only major difference I can find is the highlight color, which is obvious. (red vs. blue)
Based on the fact they use:
* Make use of both the Yoast SEO and Gravity Forms plugins, which are well known Wordpress plugins.
* Twitter Bootstrap
* Have an /assets/ folder which most likely rewrites to /wp-content/themes/themename/assets/
* Have a /plugins/ folder which most likely rewrites to /wp-content/plugins/
Look at the area immediately below the fold.
It's one of the most blatant examples of plagiarism I've ever seen.
It's arguably worse than simple wholesale lifting of css, since they've carefully and deliberately redrawn distinctive design elements, and lifted half the copy as well
And this is a medium-sized design company, in a developed country. And it got nominated for an award.
Sure, the design has evolved a bit since it started as a direct copy, and the design wasn't that original in the first place, but I'm baffled by people suggesting the similarities might have been accidental.
Hell, I kept getting spam regarding assorted awards my software "won" simply because I provided some sort of XML file indicating download details.
> I put out a new product a couple of weeks ago. This new product has so far won 16 different awards and recommendations from software download sites. Some of them even emailed me messages of encouragement such as “Great job, we’re really impressed!”. I should be delighted at this recognition of the quality of my software, except that the ‘software’ doesn’t even run. This is hardly surprising when you consider that it is just a text file with the words “this program does nothing at all” repeated a few times and then renamed as an .exe. The PAD file that described the software contains the description “This program does nothing at all”.
How many sites look like the Stripe landing page now adays?
Also, it's about 3am in brisbane at the moment, so you might not get a response for another 7 hours.
Yes, there are similarities, but I have no reason to believe that one is a ripoff of another. They're both pretty bog-standard bootstrap-like marketing sites.
If you hash both files on the original website and the new one, you'll see they both amount to: e6a486ac74a59aaa1abefec33de40c55
What more proof is needed? Haha
I think a more accurate critique would be to look at some of the templates on Wrap Bootstrap. A lot of them do similar things to both of these websites.
But they both appear, on a code level, to be Twitter Bootstrap. Infinum definitely needs to get over themselves.
If there's one thing I would like to say to Tomislav, it's this: I'm proud of our nations' history and cultural heritage -- some shared, some not -- but this kind of negative publicity you're generating is part of the reason why there's a word "balkanized" in English language. I understand you're pissed they copied your hard work and your anger is justified. But please, don't do this.
Your message would probably come across clearer if you add a concrete example the behavior you want avoided and what you think the consequences are for not doing so.
Are you saying they are arrogant for outing a plagiarizer?
Looking at the two sites, they were both using such common web design styles these days, that I would have assumed they both based their site off of someone else's.
If I were them, I would have stuck to the second argument, realized that no idea or design is a unique snowflake and everyone steals constantly.
Personally, I plan to steal their idea for changing the title of a page when it loses focus. Not today, but some day.
Yeah. You tend to lose the moral initiative when you pretend you have the backing of some nefarious street thugs.
PS: Thanks for stereotyping Croatians, asshole.
If anything that is some stereotyping about bouncers and construction workers... but not really I think.
They definitely have a valid point about the plagiarism but they're being really cocky and showy about it.
Edit: Ya, they might have been trying to be funny or venting, I can understand that. But they really shouldn't have ANY kind of physical threat in there at all. Its childish and just pointless posturing.
Nothing on the page but the code, so open that in a new tab and swap tabs to see it in action.
Infinum is one of the top developers here in Croatia. Nice to see them responding well to this.
Are you seriously going to tell me you can't see the similarity between:
That most websites don't have that curve, or the spacing on the left/right or the little bar above the menu rather than below or any of the things that screams a rip? Then scroll down to the footer and they're identical.
Go open any other software consultancy website and see if you can see those same similarities?
There's so much more to a design than just the grid layout.
I've seen this happen myself at a company I consulted for, they told the designer they wanted a website that looked like X's website, so the designer pretty much cloned the website, moved a couple of things around and changed the logo. Client thought it was wonderful.
On a separate note, does anyone else find the indenting of the HTML on the infinum site to be very odd?
I would like to see if they used similar CSS classes (which anyone probably can check in 5 minutes, but we can't be bothered... it's a common design pattern, yeah).
Is there any other evidence that this was a copy or that the design was intentionally lifted and tweaked/modified from infinium, such as large swaths of JS (not from an open source library) or something ridiculous like a failure to remove your copyright, css elements that are unused on their site but used on yours, id tags in the html and the like that are unique enough to clearly have been copy/paste? Have these guys copied other things belonging to infinium?
I agree with others on the kudos: this was fun way to handle suspected plagiarism.
OK, looks like you're doing some sort of pjaxing of the content; problem being there is none of the usual browser feedback that suggests I should wait, seeing as your site is probably under more load that normal.
Suggestion: if you're going to use pjax-style techniques, show some sort of progress indicator when the request takes longer than a few seconds... or don't use pjax-techniques when they're really not necessary.
And each time, I'm baffled by these responses. How can you not tell, when comparing the sites side-by-side, that Kintek was more than just inspired by Infinum's design. Sure, neither site really trend-sets, but there are numerous similarities between the two which, in combination, are highly unlikely to have been arrived at independently. And that's the point. The site was carefully crafted, each detail at a time, to look, feel, and act a certain way. Not every detail will be unique to this site and this site alone, but in combination the details add up to a unique experience. Which Kintek then co-opted for itself.
Everything from the fonts, to the way the page starts to scroll, to the width and spacing of the grid, the curve of the main image slider, the order of the content, the actual copy (almost word-for-word on the "Services" page)... Seeing all of this, and then seeing someone on HN say "so what"... it just boggles my mind.
I'm not even a designer, but perhaps I just tend look at the world more through that lense. I don't know how else to explain it. To me, it's so obvious and glaring, but maybe when others look at these sites they just don't see the same things that I do.
I agree, they should’ve done that. As the post is now, I don’t feel it is especially funny and I don’t see them being a good sport either.
Everything else is kind of like.... No big deal. Egg in the face. Haha, we'll fix it.
They should have just been more clear, like, "Yes, we pretty much copied your design. We love what you guys came up with. It was wrong of us to blatantly steal your perfectly crafted masterpiece, but we just couldn't help ourselves... We are inferior."
I don't see why the plagiarist went to the effort of copying the site. Equally overdesigned, cheap, tacky looking (oh hello jQuery slider) 'designs' are readily available on ThemeForest for $45.
They were shopping the site to ad networks. Maybe they thought they could out-SEO us and then monetize the traffic? Or it was some sort of click fraud long-con? The WHOIS was in Virginia, but the IP that did the scraping was in China.
Totally weird, but I took it as a compliment. Our content was worth stealing, after all.
They also missed a single external file -- a call to our ad server -- when they scraped the site. So I "hacked" it by serving them a special JS file to add funny autoplaying youtube videos to the page and switch all the fonts to Comic Sans. (Didn't want to nuke the whole site while waiting for the hosting company to investigate my DMCA complaint.)
Good luck with the hosting company.
You followed pretty standard layout designs that are simply attributed to the responsive web revolution.
Your site uses the stereotypical responsive website layout. One could even say you stole your design from 1000's of other websites before you.
Perhaps there's a niche for a replacement?
EDIT: there appears to be a Flikr stream to replace it. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/piratedsites/)
No, not even close. No code was reused, any parts similar were reworked as far as I can see.
A real shame they didn't dial it back and make it a fun article. Inspiration is something we all use.
If I inspired someone so much they went off and made something similar that would make me proud.
This wasn't a stolen 'code and all' website, at best 'some' parts that are pointed out as similar were recoded and reworked, as far as I can see. That's hard work.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a job ad to help the startup I was working at hire programmers. I spent a lot of time getting the words just right to attract the right candidates.
And then, shortly after our ad hit the Internet, some other company copied it, nearly verbatim, and started using it to hire exactly the candidates we were trying to reach.  And then, a month or so later, I found that the ad copy was making rounds on the usual job sites, having been adopted by a number of recruiters and companies wanting to hire programmers skilled at functional programming.
At first, I was angry. But then I realized that plagiarism is the new normal. If you write something and it's on the Internet, it's going to be plagiarized.
Unless it's not worth plagiarizing.
But that bar is so low that, if you're not hitting it, ...
In cases like this, I'd recommend linking to a case-study or other type of portfolio page about the client. I'd rather not send potential customers to another site where they might not come back.
Website plagiarism is one of the hardest things to prove because the proof can't be design similarity; even though, the website's design is intellectual property and copyrighted. The de facto for website developers has been to include a code in their images and to replace common design elements with company logos (or graphics specific to their organization).
Has the website in question taken graphics and company-specific elements as well? No, they haven't; so, there isn't enough to claim plagiarism. I think both websites are using common layout designs.