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shoenista
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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.

February 4th, 2009, 8:48 am

dziner82
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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.

February 4th, 2009, 9:10 am

designez
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That is really shameless!!! :shock: 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. :twisted:

February 4th, 2009, 10:52 am

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skinny
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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.
Last edited by skinny on February 4th, 2009, 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

February 4th, 2009, 11:09 am

Sketchme
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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

February 4th, 2009, 11:15 am

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rkuchinsky
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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.

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February 4th, 2009, 11:49 am

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

http://freelanceswitch.com/freelancing- ... #more-1617

contact them

February 4th, 2009, 12:27 pm

aaron
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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.

February 4th, 2009, 12:48 pm

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product tank
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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.
Last edited by product tank on February 4th, 2009, 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

February 4th, 2009, 12:49 pm

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Mr-914
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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!

February 4th, 2009, 1:44 pm

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josheyre
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product tank wrote: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.
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.

February 4th, 2009, 2:39 pm

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product tank
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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.

February 4th, 2009, 2:51 pm

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rkuchinsky
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josheyre wrote:
product tank wrote: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.
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.
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 ;)

R
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February 4th, 2009, 3:53 pm

simon_four_fingers
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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.
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February 4th, 2009, 4:13 pm

DaneDesigns
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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.
View more of my designs & photography at www.dane-designs.com/zenphoto

Digital Illustration & Photography by Robin Oppenlander
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