Twice Pilfered

In the space of less than one week, the design, layout, and textual style of both Hivelogic and your business site (Automatic Labs) have been stolen and passed-off, with little change, as someone else’s original design despite clearly posted copyright notices.

When You Said Automatic, You Weren’t Kidding

A company called Codebase copied the Automatic Labs site almost page for page, using an identical design, down to the DIV tag names. You can see what the initial design of their site looked like in this gallery of screenshots.

After emailing them, they replied with an apology and made a small change to the design of their site, although the origin of the design, the look and feel, and the style are still quite clear.

Update: Codebase’s design has been changed quite a bit and is no longer a clone of Automatic Labs.

A Dingo Stole My Baby

Then someone stole Hivelogic.

The last incarnation of this site, which lasted for over a year (and looked like this) was easily recognizable and had become a trademark of The Narrator’s style in both design and textual content.

This didn’t stop Macoholics from borrowing the site’s design, down to the rotating header image with its characteristic mid-century picture over a pattern of faded horizontal lines. In case the site is changed, a gallery of the stolen design is available here.

You may also notice that Macoholics seems to have borrowed many of their header images from Ephemera Now. Perhaps they gave Macoholics permission.

Update: Macoholics has since redesigned as well.

Good Design Should Inspire

The Narrator is always flattered when someone writes in thanking him for inspiring the design of their site. There’s little better than learning that something you’ve created ignites the creative spark in someone, inspires them to make something new.

Websites should be dissected, should be taken apart and put back together again. Good design should inspire and be shared.

They say that imitation is flattery, but stealing a design and passing it off as your own, or reproducing a site’s trademark look and feel is a sad and wrong thing that hurts the original designer and insults the web community as a whole.

Please discuss.

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