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Marketing Firms Take Heed

When Marketers Gets Lazy
A friend of mine, who just happens to be my favorite author, John Shirley, tipped me onto something rather interesting. It appears that the marketing arm of a web company decided creating something on their own was just a waste of time. Why not just steal a design from someone else? Sure, there are copyright, trademark and unfair competition issues, but they will never find us. Right?

Unfortunately for the web design thief, the owner of the stolen design was pretty savvy. Not only did he locate the infringing design, but he devised a little poetic justice for the perpetrator. You see, the thief did not even take the time to host the stolen images on its own server. Instead, it merely linked to copies of the images on the owner’s server.

Simple Solution
Instead of calling in the lawyers, sending a DMCA take-down notice, suing the pants of the designer and waiting months for a resolution, the website owner took a little more direct approach. He merely changed the location of the image and substituted one with a few miner modifications. Now, instead of

This image:

They get this image:

Butt of the Joke
Be forewarned. Like patent attorneys, artists and web designers have a rather warped sense of humor. When assessing the potential downside of marketing maneuver that infringes the intellectual property of others, time, money and quality time with your Cyber Law attorney should not be the only metrics in the equation. Don’t dismiss the irreparable public relations nightmare that can occur when you don’t own your own website.

Brett Trout

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