Imitation – the best form of flattery

Posted: July 26, 2010 in Accessibility, Corporate reputation, Corporate website
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[tweetmeme source= “jsnrss” only_single=false]In general, the debate of online copyright is not new – it’s probably one of the longest standing debates in regards to issues which the internet has given rise to (though one of the least contentious).

The discussions recently flared up again here at View when one of our client sites became the subject of ‘online plagiarism‘. The screenshots below show the original client website www.petrofac.com and the latest offending site www.leadoil.eu.pn (yes, it’s not the first time) which is nothing to do with them … oh … click at your own risk!

Petrofac homepage

Petrofac homepage - as designed by View

Leadoil homepage - as stolen by ???

Leadoil homepage - as stolen by ???

What can be done to avoid it?

This hits to the heart of the online copyright debate, because indeed what can be done? Well, the good news is that offenders are in breach of numerous copyright laws in almost every region of the world. So some things that you can do:

  • Do a whois to find out which ISP hosts the site and send them a letter letting them know of the offence. They should take the site down fairly quickly.
  • Monitor your site regularly. There are free services like Copyscape which will attempt to locate copies of your site.
  • Take your site down!! Ok, it’s not really a suggestion – but clearly information in the public domain is going to be susceptible to plagiarism – plain and simple.

There are technologies that will make it more difficult for the offenders to copy your site (e.g. which disable the ability to right click your website pages to ‘view source’ or ‘save images’), but they are by no fool-proof.  In fact, many of these technologies obscure (hide) your website’s HTML using JavaScript code – which basically is only a minor nuisance for someone looking to copy your content, but a major nuisance to you websites SEO and accessibility (making it practically impossible to view by those with visual impairments / using browsing aids).

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Comments
  1. James says:

    Hi Jason,

    Outrageous!

    http://www.leadoil.eu.pn/813.html

    They’ve even left in the Petrofac video although you cant play it.

    And they use the Petrofac logo in the address bar too….

    Kind regards, James

  2. jasross says:

    I know! Client is not very happy about this. I think the job application was what concerned them most.

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