A factory in India has plagiarised my website!

This company Mahen exports, has pretty much lifted word-for-word two pages from my website.

this page http://mahenxports.com/designprocess.html

and this page http://mahenxports.com/market_rnd.html

Including my work and are passing it off as their own. I’ve already emailed them and their isp giving them 12 hours to take it down, but nothing…what should I do now? I’m furious - not only are they breaching my copyright, but also much of the work on my site I am using with written agreement from my clients, so they are breaching my clients copyright as well.

Seems to be happening to me alot at the moment, there is someone posting on Craigslist in Atlanta, offering design services that are word-for-word lifted from my resume…

Tip for everyone, be sure to c + p into google, content from your website on a regular basis, or set up google alerts, its the only way to find out if you are being copied.

wow… cant say im surprised though. One of the most overlooked things in design today (by non-designers, or even clients) is integrity. thats all i can say i guess.

That is really shameless!!! :open_mouth: First thing first: you need to find out who they really are i.e. name and address. I would say have a friend pretend to be a big hotshot client/retailer who will buy thousands of pairs of shoes…
After that you can take legal action but “name and shame” is probably a better and cheaper way to get them remove your work.

That is where the press and your clients comes in. Tell them that you have contacted all the international footwear related magazines and all of your contacts at the sourcing departments of brands/retailers with your story. This means that they will be blacklisted and won’t get any orders from anyone…
Perhaps your clients have a legal department so put them to work too.

The footwear world is pretty small so a story like this spreads like wildfire. :smiling_imp:

Wow, that is really disgusting.

That’s one reason I’m leery about putting too much info up online. It’s helpful for students or people who don’t know a specific industry (I know I’ve learned a lot about shoe design and other specialty areas that I didn’t know about from firms sites) but it does set you up from a business perspective of getting completely ripped off or having your tactical working strategies used by a competitor which can be just as important as your actual design work. It’s basically like stealing the opposing teams playbook, it doesn’t make up for lack of training but it does make it easier for your competition to undercut or leach off of you.

I’d do like some of the big firms you see and just put up the glory shots and the “why you need to speak with me, press release resume” pitch. Then you have all of your detail process and the “how” for the individual meeting where you make the sell and seal the deal. I’d say that you have a little too much info on your site, it’s almost instructional. Some firm that just puts out crap and doesn’t really have a process can basically read from your script to help them make better sales pitches.

Save the pages of their site before they take them down. If you in any way experience a loss of business, reputation, etc…from someone basically stealing your online business identity, it’ll be good evidence if you need to sue. Someone you approach could’ve seen their site first and then think you’re copying it from them (ruining your reputation and potential business) so this definitely needs to be taken care of asap.

Good luck, sorry this had to happen to you.

My goodness that really is shocking, as allready mentioned take screenshots of it, with the date calender clearly showing.

I hope that it all gets resolved for you, and that Mahen Xports is blacklisted

wow, that sucks. best thing I suppose you can do is send a cease and desist letter as you already have done. Given, however they are in India, I don’t imagine that you can do much else, nor would it likely be worth it.

Overall, though, I probably wouldn’t worry too much. It’s not likely I would expect that this type of company (given their location and actual skills) would take any business away from you, so I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. “blacklisting” is likley not going to have much of an effect if they aren’t even on any lists to start with…

It’s like all those Chinese domestic market knockoffs that happen… no real revenue loss if it’s from a brand that doesn’t sell there anyhow, and unless you have a huge legal team and trademark to protect, not worth the hassle of doing much…

all that being said, that does indeed stink.


Man, thats harsh. FreelanceSwitch recently published an article on the same issue, might be some applicable info in the thread…


You should contact them and let them know. I would not be surprised if this was not done by a subordinate looking to cut corners and assuming that no one every reads those things.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but blatant copying sucks! One simple way to prevent copy from being cut and pasted is to turn your paragraphs into jpeg images, that way it would have to be manually typed out, often leading to mistakes (unless they just stole the image but then they get the background as well). It may slightly effect the storage space on your website and how quickly it loads on peoples machines, but black text on a white background should only create very small image sizes. Also putting your name/website across the shoe images will limit plagiarism, not a pretty solution I admit, but you could certainly put your name/logo etc in the bottom corner of some of your sketches/line drawings.

A few things you can do if you feel it’s worthwhile (it’s probably not):

  1. Try to call them. Email can get lost. If you talk to someone in charge there, it will probably carry more meaning.

  2. Let your clients know that their copyrights are being violated. Your clients probably have the resources to go after these people more than you personally.

  3. Hire a hacker to take down their site.

Good luck!

If she were to turn text into images though, that would kill her on google. Google can not index the content of images… Absolutely not the right thing to do! However, you should be able to defeat copy & paste with a script.

I wasn’t suggesting that it was done with all the copy on the whole site, but I did overlook google indexing - something worth remembering for my site as I have been using images of text as a get around because of the lack of fonts in the site builder I’m using. Apologies for the bad advice, many thanks Josheyre.

plus clients may want to copy and paste to refer to a colleague. and printing the image never looks as good as real text… don’t cut off your nose to spite your face :wink:


That sucks. I had a Prof in College who showed me a few issues of Car Styling that had stuff from his book, no credit, nor permission. That sucks, I’d ring them. Also normally I think you give people 24 hours to comply to anything, 12 is sort of short.

damn that sucks.

its a shame sites cant be blocked or flagged once legitimate proof is shown to the host that they are about to be hit with legal action because of their subscribers…

im sorry to hear about this, something i am actually worried about as well but i guess there is only so much we can do to actually protect ourselves.


I’ve spent alot of time and effort optimising my site so I’m not about to change any text into images.

Anyway, their ISP has f_inally_ got in touch with me, sending a copy of a letter they have sent to said company, giving them 24 hours to remove the site. Hopefully that’ll force them to do something about it.

My site is deliberately like that because I like to give back - it isn’t just a big advert for my services, it’s meant to be educational. The design process that I wrote has been exactly the same in every company I’ve ever worked for, it’s hardly a trade secret.

I’ve never liked that secretsquirrel attitude that a few designers have anyway, you know, I’ve witnessed senior designers not sharing all their knowledge because they are afraid that the person they trained will become better than them. So sad.

In the future (i.e. when I get the time) I intend to add to it with some sample student projects for people to have a go at, stuff like that. I admire Richards blog too, because, again, its not just an advert, its informative to read.

If people want to rip off my site, then they are showing themselves up for the unimaginative so and so’s that they are. They can expect to be found out.

Well said. I certainly agree. Sharing more info is always beneficial in the long run. While i’m sure some people may see my blog and think “hey, now, I have all the info, I can do it myself”, those are not the people I would ever want as clients. On the flip side, giving back in education to students and the like is rewarding and potential real clients will see it and say “hey, this guy knows his stuff… wow, the process is so complicated, we need an expert…we should hire him”.

Personally, I’ve never felt at odds with giving away too much info. If they understand it and can do it themselves, they probably don’t need me in the first place. If they do need me and have a better understanding of the process before I speak with them, the better for all involved.

After all, I truly believe in something as complicated as footwear design it’s not knowledge of the process, but experience that really counts.


I’m with you two there. I was just wondering if it is something that designers worry about.
I know that other industries keep certain parts of their process top secret but with design it is different, what you’re able to actually create is what counts the most in the end.
I know I freely give out my techniques, teaching is fun. If anything I’ve found that after showing someone exactly what’s involved in how I do things, they’ll usually just want to hire me to save themselves the trouble of having to learn and practice it all!