Wanna see something funny?

kraftie's picture

http://www.target.com
http://sanfordbridal.com

i of course alerted the fine folks at organic.
too bad the "designer" had no sense of type, otherwise this little infringment of copyright would have been flawless.
you gotta have some gnads to rip off well-documented award winning work.

Stephen Coles's picture

getreal,

Your comments might be humorous if Joe's didn't
have much validity. Instead, you just sound dumb.
I suppose you anticipated that when you decided
to post anonymously.

Stephen <-(clearly put off by anonposters)

kraftie's picture

in my example, they didnt even have the courtesy to rename the nave images that they stole.

hrant's picture

Hey, did you know there's a formal "awards" thing?
http://www.plagiarius.com/
There's even a museum, in Berlin.

And the most famous past "winner"? Calvin Klein!

hhp

spiral's picture

there's also
http://www.pirated-sites.com/
to vent a bit, even if nothing more comes of it

Christian Robertson's picture

C'mon Joe, you wouldn't keep bringing it up if you weren't at least a little bit proud of having your work copied. I haven't had any really good copies of my work since a kid named justin copied my skiing penguin in the third grade. (but boy did it make me mad). Realistically, though, a site like 3com is an obvious target. There will always be a few people making a lot less money in some mom and pop shop copying the big boys. It doesn't stop there, though. Look at the most recent spat between Macromedia and Adobe. I guess there is a fine line between cross polination and straight cloning. These guys obviously crossed it.

gulliver's picture

Maybe they meant, "...constructive cooperation IN innovation"? >:]

David

glutton's picture

Maybe they were confused and meant constructively co-opting other peoples' innovation.

Joe Pemberton's picture

A while ago I posted this rip-off of 3Com.
http://www.oxona.com

Well, here's another. http://www.nuclearcow.com.

I think I'm going to license the design as clip-art
for $60 a pop. Any takers?

anonymous's picture

If you want a real laugh try this: http://www.news.com

Now look at http://www.w3c.org see how the hyperlinks are underlined - what a ripoff!

And it gets worse: http://www.yellowbook.com/ News.com even used yellow, just like Yellow Book, I think the gray they used is a straight clone of the Typophile gray too!

Joe Pemberton's picture

No, I think I'm just over reacting.

3Com

Oxona

nuclearcow

anonymous's picture

Oh, I'm so offended! I'll go hide in my cave now.

anonymous's picture

Ok, I'll play nice.

We don't live in vacuums - other people get influenced by the same things we get influenced by and come up with their own solutions too.

One of the basics of copyright, as opposed to some other forms of IP protection, is that it allows for people to independently come up with the same solution. It doesn't mean that anyone copied anyone else but that the number of solutions is finite:

"Great minds think alike - small ones seldom differ"

To be really brutally honest all three designs are just standard corporate print look - if you think otherwise you've been hiding under a rock for the last ten years.

Some years ago I did a magazine redesign, a couple of months later a magazine in the same sector did a redesign too - they used the same typeface and similar styling to mine. Did they copy me or were both teams so caught up in the spirit of the moment that they didn't recognise the generic response that they'd offered their clients?

If you really want to waste your time and get really excited about this you'll spend the next coupla months trawling the web to see how many other "clones" you can find.

Joe Pemberton's picture

People coming up with the same idea independently
is one thing... a pixel for pixel copy is quite
another.

The guy from Oxona admitted to copying the
design. He even had the gall to give me "kudos"
for a cool design. He wanted to make it clear
that he did not copy the code... just the design.

If the 'nuclearcow' site was "inspired by" 3Com
it'd be a somewhat different story. This is
clearly ripped off. Do some math: the nav, the
photo, the headline, the subhead, the body copy,
even the footer and copyright notice are in the
same position. That icon on the right... I
designed it, pixel for pixel.

More hilarity: their jobs section says they're
looking for innovative people. Amazing.

The lesson here is: if you want to protect a
design you better have it copyrighted... and not
just logos and trademarks. Fighting "trade dress"
infringement is a much harder battle than
copyright infringement.

anonymous's picture

If the guy says he copied it, then fair enough, personally I wouldn't be be getting too excited about it - "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and all that.

The navs are similar but not identical.

The photos have similar framing/cropping, but you're going to find that elsewhere too (http://www.bmwusa.com/).

The headline - maybe

The subhead: font face="Arial" size="5" color="#6AA271" - pushing it a bit I think.

What icon on the right?

So, you have a bunch of "maybes". Having it registered at the copyright office is going to do what? Perhaps give you a little leverage before you go to court. If you end up in court they're going to pull out 3 dozen different sites that contain all or some of these elements.

What are you going to do then - pay the lawyer and go home with a long face.

I'm sympathetic to trying to protect your work, but a bit of layout that is not innovative coupled with some navigation that definitely is not innovative isn't going to get you very far.

Sorry.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Hah. You caught me .

I have to answer getreal/joseph stalin/anonagain
and say that I have no intent on pursuing legal
action with these guys. (I'll leave that to 3Com
to protect their interests if they choose). What
really irks me is that many people have no
respect for the design process. The fact that it
took 8 months and a team of 15 people to
architect, design and build a site and then one
empty slouch can copy it in about 8 hours.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not stuck on this. I'm past
being baffled and just thought it was funny to
see a second copy. And I'm quietly hoping
to see a third.

And here for your amusement, the 3Com and
NuclearCow icons:
3Com icon Nuclear Cow Icon

(No, I'm not claiming to have invented this icon
idea. In fact I first saw it on the Art Center site
circa 1997. But it certainly is my pixel-for-pixel
execution.)

Joe Pemberton's picture

From the hiring section of NuclearCow.com:

We are committed to creating a highly
productive environment that encourages
constructive cooperation and innovation...

:-)

anonymous's picture

Joe, it didn't take 15 people 8 months to come up with that layout, it took them all that time to do all the *other* things on a site that need to be done - things that can't be copied in half an hour.

These things actually make a site, rather than layouts and graphic treatments. How many sites have you been to look fabulous, but lack the most basic functionality and are thus totally frustrating to use.

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