The 1Radio website design and layout was ripped off a few times over the years when it was awarded the occasional design accolade or featured in some “best of” collection or “site of the day” list.

These mentions helped raise the site profile a little but more importantly, for a jobbing web professional, showcased my work to the web design community.

It’s cool when someone takes inspiration from your design and adds their own spin making something even better. But when people simply copy/paste the entire layout and claim it as their own, well, that’s just a piss take.

To alert me to such piracy, I would embed “web beacons” in the HTML to let me know when someone was reusing my code unchanged. Whenever a pirated copy of the site showed up with my secret code still intact, I’d get a notification email. I'd then send a formal sounding request for the site to be taken down or at least the 1Radio design elements removed.

A cease and desist to the offender would often be enough. If that didn’t wash, they would receive further messages whenever the C&D email was viewed again. This message documented their IP address and included screen grabs of their website alongside thumbnails of the 1Radio design. It also included a link to an authentic online payment page requesting that they purchase the rights to the design. This rarely failed to work and the pirate copy would eventually be taken down and I'd get an apology, I suppose just to get me off their back! In reality, I'd never really pursue people - life is just too short - and moaning endlessly about someone stealling your design seemed just a bit too precious. These days, there are loads of intermediary organisations looking for plagarism and copyright infringement and ready to demand payment.

Here is a little selection of thieving toe-rags.




Posted by Tim on Tue 22 Mar 2022 at 21:23 and viewed 1,371 times.

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