You know when you’ve arrived…

I feel quite guilty, you know.

You see, the Catalyst site’s been featured on quite a few design showcases recently (Most Inspired, Best Web Gallery, Smashing Magazine, etc.) and while it’s brought a huge increase in traffic, we haven’t been adding the content that all these new visitors deserve. I’m in the process of writing a tutorial, which I hope to have finished by the end of the week, and I’ve beaten David and Jonathan into agreeing to submit at least one article a month (I’ve said it now guys, don’t make me a liar), so things will get better.

But… that’s not the real reason I’m writing this. Hit the jump to find out more!

As a designer, it always gives me a warm, fuzzy glow when I get good feedback about something I’ve created. It lets me know that I can make things that other people like, too. But for some people, simply dropping me an email or leaving a comment saying, “Hey, nice site!” isn’t enough. Oh no no no, my friend.

Some people like to take my work, my bone-grinding, coding-’til-my-fingers-bleed hard work, and try to pass it off as their own. I hereby name and shame one such wrongdoer!

Since this post was written, I’ve had a civilised discussion with the designer involved and he’s agreed to remove the edited theme, even going so far as to put a nice apology on his site (which he’s since removed, which kind of negates it being on there at all). There’s still a lack of understanding about copyright issues, but I’m glad this situation was resolved so quickly and amicably.

Doppelganger site, come on down!

Oh deary, deary me.

This is NOT Catalyst Studios

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. So needless to say, I’m extremely flattered. Gotta love the fact that my self-portrait is still on the page. Things you can’t see due to small screengrab size: The pencil’s been removed – poorly – from the top-right of the site leaving a hard edge cut out of the notepaper, and the text on the notepaper sidebar has been erased so scrappily that bits of it are still showing.

You can see a larger version on the Catalyst Studios Flickr page.

Does anyone speak Turkish? Can you let me know what the site’s about? I’m actually quite curious now.

I’ve sent them the following email:

Hi,

it’s come to my attention that you’ve lifted my blog design (www.catalyststudios.co.uk) wholesale, including my own (copyrighted!) illustrations. Please stop using this design as it took me a lot of time and effort to produce.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Armstrong

Perfectly reasonable, I’m sure you’ll agree. Let’s see what happens!

Oh, and a quick note to anyone else who’s trying to rip off my design work: thanks for your interest. I really do appreciate it. But even though you’ve copied all the background images and dependent files to your own server to save me the bandwith (very kind of you), and taken great pains to remove my credits from the top of the CSS file… if you’d really wanted to cover your tracks, you should have removed my Google Analytics tracking code.

Numpties.

I’ll update this post as and when I hear back.

*Edit @ 9:10 pm, 10th June 2008*

I’ve had a reply! This is from the ‘Author’ of the template:

I found that theme on the internet. It’s wordpress themes isn’t it ? So it’s free i think.

Er, no. Here’s my response:

I’m afraid you’re mistaken. While it’s true that it is a theme for WordPress, it’s a custom one that I coded from the ground up, including all of the CSS. Just because the WordPress blogging platform is free and Open Source, that doesn’t mean that the themes that people create are automatically free for other people to use without permission.

This theme is my own intellectual property, as are the illustrations (that’s my own self-portrait that’s currently adorning your ‘admin’ post credit). I have NOT given permission for anyone else to use it in any way, modified or otherwise. If you did find this theme up for distribution on a website, I’d be grateful if you could let me know which one so I can contact them directly to prevent this from happening again.

In short, my original request stands. Please cease and desist in your use of my theme on your blog.

Sincerely,

-Mike Armstrong

What will happen next? Oh, the drama! The suspense!

*Edit @ 9:30 pm, 10th June 2008*

I’ve received another email, this one from the info@ that’s listed on the offending site:

Hello.

I found that theme on the internet and i used it. If you look at the

internet carefully you can see your theme template. I changed my theme.

have a nice day.

Hurray! God’s in his Heaven. All’s right with the world.

The only question now is, which website was the template listed on*? Go go gadget Google!

*I don’t really believe this, by the way.

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The people have spoken...

4 people have told us what they think. Join the party and leave a comment.

  1. Jon Williams 19/11/08
    4:06 am

    #1

    Let the content come :) Keep up the great work. Cheers.

  2. ???? 26/02/10
    2:06 pm

    #2

    what a wonderful site!
    hehe ,good night ^_*

  3. douglas 26/02/10
    2:08 pm

    #3

    sorry, that’s my chinese name……

  4. Orhan 26/05/10
    5:31 pm

    #4

    That site is about a Mining Corporation.

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