When someone claims your website as their work...

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So you are politely informed that some designer is claiming your website as their design in their portfolio when it isn't. What do you do?

This is a portion of an email I received this morning regarding my company website which was primarily designed by our own UNFLUX, and additional design work from myself and another outside company:

Quote:
Just for your reference – there is a web guy going around stealing money from companies in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area. He claims that he built your website. We just wanted to give you a heads up. You can see the link to your site - http://www.themotiongraphicstudio.com and click on more or archived works.


This is not the first time this guy has done this. The first time his host provider shut him down. This time he is forwarding his original domain name to a subdirectory of what appears to be a legitimate real estate website that he is apparently designing. If I try to get him shutdown again, I'll probably be shutting down a legit company site that is most likely clueless as to what he is doing.

I have sent a cease and desist and did receive a response back that he would be in on Thursday and would be informed and have it removed. If he doesn't, what would you do next? Has anyone else ever had problems with people stealing or claiming your work as your own?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've never faced this myself, but just wanted to say that if there's anything you find that I can do to help, let me know.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I sent this to the owner of the real estate site he is using to promote his business.

Quote:
I received this in an email this morning:



“Just for your reference – there is a web guy going around stealing money from companies in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area. He claims that he built your website. We just wanted to give you a heads up. You can see the link to your site - http://www.themotiongraphicstudio.com and click on more or archived works.”



When visiting that link, it redirects to a subdirectory of your website. http://fivestarrealtyflorida.com/MyWork/

I’m writing to you in case you were not aware that Christopher Perry is using your website to advertise his design business.

Also, this is not the first time he has falsely displayed works that are not his own design on his website (in fact I don’t think any of them are his works – he doesn’t appear to be that talented). His original website linked above was shut down a couple years ago, due to several of his “victims” complaining to his hosting provider. Now he is redirecting his themotiongraphicsstudio name to the subdirectory on your site.



Our website listed in his portfolio is http://www.alaron-nuclear.com

You can clearly see by looking at our credits page that he is not the designer. http://www.alaron-nuclear.com/text/credits.html



You could effectively remove him by deleting the MyWork directory on your website and removing his user access to your site. Unfortunately that would put you in a situation where you are without a designer with your site unfinished. However, in my opinion, Christopher Perry is not one that I would trust.



My purpose is simple. I simply want him to remove my website from his portfolio. However, you should be aware that if others try to get him shut down again, your website may be at risk.



Thank you for your time.


  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

did you get a response? Personally I'd say give them a second warning (maybe a phone call). The realty company might not be savvy enough to delete that dir and block the guy's access. If after that its still not taken down I'd go to the host.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

graphixboy wrote:
did you get a response? Personally I'd say give them a second warning (maybe a phone call). The realty company might not be savvy enough to delete that dir and block the guy's access. If after that its still not taken down I'd go to the host.


ATNO/TW wrote:
I have sent a cease and desist and did receive a response back that he would be in on Thursday and would be informed and have it removed. If he doesn't, what would you do next? Has anyone else ever had problems with people stealing or claiming your work as your own?


While my problem described above is specific to my website, I actually posted this to start a discussion with other members that have found themselves in the same or similar situation, to share ideas about what they did, what could be done, how was it addressed, what was the results, etc. I'm sure I'm not the first one this has happened to, and thought it would be a worthwhile discussion so that other future webmasters put in this position have a reference.
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well this has happened to me in the past and quite frankly I've decided I just don't care. I have a few reasons for this stance.

First of all the time vs cost benefit for me is just way too low. Typically someone presenting my work as their own doesn't really hurt me or my reputation all that much. Especially since people who do that lame sort of bait and switch to get clients are usually not qualified to deliver my caliber of work that's represented in their portfolio. If the client doesn't get the quality they're expecting they'll either notice and pull the plug (probably at the expense of the other designer's reputation) or they won't care in which case I wouldn't want them as a client anyway.

Second, I've found that you get a lot better results by crucifying them in social media. As a whole the industry will pick up the battle cry and damage the offender's reputation much more than simply pulling down the site possibly could.

Finally just enjoy the ego boost. Imitation is the best form of flattery and usually I'm impressed that my work is of a high enough caliber that people want to pretend they can achieve the same level. I mean you have to be a real idiot to pass off really bad work as your own.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
This time he is forwarding his original domain name to a subdirectory of what appears to be a legitimate real estate website that he is apparently designing.

If I try to get him shutdown again, I'll probably be shutting down a legit company site that is most likely clueless as to what he is doing.


I had someone do probably the exact same thing a few months ago. I don't know if the realestate part of the site was legit or not, it didn't appear to be but could have been.

In any event, DMCA takedown notices sent to hosts should be specific enough for hosts to know what needs to be taken down.

In my case, only the subdomain was taken down by the host. The offender tried to put it back up with slightly altered copy and I had the host take it down again, I haven't seen it since. The real estate domain the subdomain was attached to in my case was philceburealty[dot]com
  • Breeze
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have never had anyone claim my websites as their own (because it's such simple stuff), but the issue is quite common in photography. Even though the images I upload to the web are low-res I have started watermarking them just to be safe. There's a good article in a magazine I have at home about this very thing I might go an re-read it to see if any info in there is relevant.

One thing I'd suggest is put your name on everything. Comments in the code, in the footer, maybe in the alt text for images. The net is full of untalented people looking for popularity.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The funny part is is there are only about three places that I can think of that this guy would have found Alaron. Here at OZZU, Kirupa or the MSN Newsgroups.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Let's explore design the design aspects:


- Layout:

I'm not sure how you protect a layout because with so many sites on the net some are going to use the same layout. This seems like claiming the invention of the circle or the question mark.

- Graphics:

If you're a heavy graphic artist then you should be making an archive of your images and getting some type of legal ownership of the images. Though, altering the image can make it difficult to tell it's your design aside from just changing the colors. Still, threatening legal action should do 1 of 2 things:

1. make the accused remove the image in a certain timeframe
2. make the accused pay for usage

- Layout & Graphics:

Layout with graphics should be easy to get legal protection for. If someone uses your layout with graphics then there's no denying infringement. So, the accused is probably screwed here.

- Flash;

I assume aside from using the 'protect from import' publish option that there's not much that can be done as I'm sure the protection is not iron-clad. I use the publish option I guess just for $#i%s and giggles. Does it really help turning the swf into a fla? Any thoughts? Luckily, my flash is always evolving so if someone wants to steal a paramecium from me then I'm not too concerned. However, if you're using any of your protected images in the swf then you should have a case.

- Server-side and Client-side scripting:

Most of these pages should require logon to the server to get the source for server-side scripts. There's probably a way to force download a php script, but one probably needs the filepath and filename. Client-side scripts are probably easy to steal and a rename of functions and variable names will make it very hard to determine. Plus, the same goes here as with layouts being that there's only so many ways to script something so code is going to get re-used, and as some other posts on Ozzu I've read lately discussing machine interpretation and memory usage then simpler is always better meaning more instances of duplication. What ways can I protect my server-side scripts?


Why stealing layouts/graphics is dumb? I would just pass the cost onto my customer for the design and adjust his total bill accordingly. My profit isn't hurt and I get done quicker thereby still saving my customer money and now I'm able to move on to the next project. It's always great to be legit (i just tell the cop to go ahead and search my car) 8)


What is really constituting thievery of web work/design? I would like to know.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
MSN Newsgroups


Didn't a tutorial or something you wrote get scraped from there recently ATNO ?
I know I occasionally delete spam here that's pointing to spam at MSN that spammers appear to do in an attempt to evade the domain censors here.

I think MSN is the most likely place.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One thing is for certain. Christopher Perry, presumed web designer, thief, whatever you want to call him re: http://www.themotiongraphicstudio.com is at least now going to get his name and his bogus design site splattered all over google as a result of this post.

Screw me twice Chris Perry, but third time is a charm.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've never had anyone claim they created a website that I made, at least I've never known about it. But, I've had several instances where people stole bits and bobs.

There was one in particular where I did a flash animation that had a character doing several different walk cycles. The thief ripped out the character then used it in their own scenes.

I'm kind of with graphixboy here. My reasoning is that I've made soooo much crap over the last 12 years that I just don't care - I can make more crap.

Plus, like Christopher Perry, one day, these transgressions will catch up with them. Either the client will find out and drop them, or a victim with more patients than me will prosecute a civil case against them.
  • dyfrin
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There are a lot of things people who don't have jobs right now will do for money....
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Chris Perry is a thief and full of crap. He has had multiple web design companies and all have been shutdown. None the less, he is stealing designs and marking them as his work.

Here is a perfect example:

http://fivestarrealtyflorida.com/MyWork/spider.html
This is something he claimed he did. This was actually done by Tokyoplastic.

http://www.tokyoplastic.com/WORK.html

Nonetheless he is claiming work for cleberity cruises, the sopranos, etc. I say we nail him. Blast him all over the internet and get him sgut down permanantly for good. He will have to change his name and all.

His new thing is now he is using another alias US DESIGN CORP and US COMPUTERS. Not only does he steal websites, he steals peoples computers. This guy is pathetic and from what i heard, he even stole from an old lady and took her money when she was trying to surprise her daughter for her photopgraphy business.

Nonetheless, i was able to locate him on one of those social websites. Please let me know if you want his information as well.

Lets team up and the the whole WORLD WIDE WEB be aware of this fool CHRIS PERRY. Nonetheless Chris Perry will continue to keep doing this to people. He is a moron and deserves the cruelest punishment.

I say we contact every website that he claims to have done, because we know he didnt do it, let them be aware of his actions and stealing and let them come after his ass. Please respond back to anyone that is with me.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

He even stole the music to the site from John Williams

//for the record, the owner of the real estate site never replied back to me. Apparently godaddy shut down his redirect.
  • chrisperryisathief
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Chris Perry still has a back link on fivestarrealty.. It is still active and going. What should be the next step to getting that shutdown.
http://fivestarrealtyflorida.com/MyWork/
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Maybe he runs the realty thing as well? :lol:
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Anyone ran a whois on the domain? It's got some info. Also the name expires at the end of this year so it'll be interesting to see if it's renewed.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The Con Artist and Thief strikes again. Here is his latest scam on a new website he did. Nonetheless, the website looks like crap with a TEMPLATE he used. Contact Us is broken, images not displayed, ONCE AGAIN, crappy work.

http://powerpressurecleaning.com/Portfolio2009/

I have received several responses from TOKYO PLASTIC, TOYOTA, and Take Two Interactive Software.

There is not one piece of work on that crappy site of his that he did.

PEOPLE BEWARE. He is a major con artist. AND HE'S American and not from NIGERIA... Thats scary.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I really just don't get this guy. The only upside is that as long as he's making web design equivalent to auto mechanics then being a 'good, honest web developer' will keep me clients for life like when a person finally finds a mechanic that they don't feel ripped them off will always go back to that mechanic.

I know really he's just ripping off the other developers in the community, but I'm sure he applies the same level of work ethics in all his actions so undoubtly while he's made some customers happy who probably really didn't care and just wanted something online, I'm sure he's neglected many and/or majorly ripped off. However, you'd think his clients would question why he doesn't have a valid domain for his work instead of behind a root directory of pressurewashing and real estate. That's shady in itself, but I bet he has a good response/excuse if asked by his employer. Though, I'd think he'd finally run into a project he couldn't do... probably just takes the money and runs. Oh well, Once a thief always a thief, right?
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry to unburry an old thread. Just wanted to mention that I just now got another email from somebody else who was apparently burned by this guy.

From the email I received:

Quote:
I have recently worked with a webmaster name Chris from Florida apparently he vanish after I paid him in advanced for updating my website...I saw your website on his portfolio and wanted to make sure that you ever worked with him before as he never returned my calls.


Warning to all who read this. Never pay this idiot anything in advance if you happen to be unfortunate enough to come across him.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Did you reply back to that user?

Cannot imagine how crap that must be paying someone for something then for them to walk away with your money and not doing anything in return.

Sad thing is there really isn't much that can be done to reclaim that money back.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Outside of filing a civil suit, you are probably correct. Not much that can be done. Yes craig I replied. Actually I offered to do the updates for him. His site is in Flash and not too complex. It's actually a very nice site, but I don't want to post it here without his permission.
  • youngjacki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
So you are politely informed that some designer is claiming your website as their design in their portfolio when it isn't. What do you do?

This is a portion of an email I received this morning regarding my company website which was primarily designed by our own UNFLUX, and additional design work from myself and another outside company:

Quote:
Just for your reference – there is a web guy going around stealing money from companies in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area. He claims that he built your website. We just wanted to give you a heads up. You can see the link to your site - and click on more or archived works.


This is not the first time this guy has done this. The first time his host provider shut him down. This time he is forwarding his original domain name to a subdirectory of what appears to be a legitimate real estate website that he is apparently designing. If I try to get him shutdown again, I'll probably be shutting down a legit company site that is most likely clueless as to what he is doing.

I have sent a cease and desist and did receive a response back that he would be in on Thursday and would be informed and have it removed. If he doesn't, what would you do next? Has anyone else ever had problems with people stealing or claiming your work as your own?


Christopher Perry is a thief. If you do a web search of Christopher M. Perry in Dania, florida it says he is 32 and goes by italianghost007atyahoo on the net. His middle initial is not M. It is C for Charles. His DOB: 12/4/77. The picture of him is within the last thirty days. He is currently in Coral Springs, Florida. Also look at Broward County Clerk of court public records search. He has criminal and civil judgments against him. He has served time for grand theft. He now steals from helpless people in the tri-county area which is Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County. His address is listed on the judgments. The person with the reality website is his girlfriend and she helps him spend the money.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I would have thought he'd be in jail by now. Interesting info.
  • suzie
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sorry to hear about your trouble ATNO,

They used to do that a lot at one time with 2Advanced. 2Advanced used to laugh at the crap they put out.

Is'nt US copyright law big.

What about Copyscape?
  • joebert
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Quote:
The person with the reality website is his girlfriend and she helps him spend the money.


Helps how, as in money laundering through the real estate site ?
  • Perry Scammer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I see that this is pretty old, but the scam artist still out there.
Just made another victim .... the stupid guy that write this message. Not a big amount of money, but would love more info to put him in the right place.
behind bars.
  • Perry Scammer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Christopher Perry is a SCAMMER, please if you guys have the means, make sure this show up in google. He still using real state website to show fake work.
I had a weird feeling, and this only happened a few hours ago.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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