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    Hi folks,

    I’ve had my first web steal. Kind of a compliment I guess. Here’s the story.

    Did a quick design for a guy I met through some temp work ( No money changed hands, I did it as a favour/experience.

    I’m tracking it through Google Analytics and find a referring link from I go to the link and this guy has my site on his portfolio. He also has a "testimonial" saying how pleased the guy is with their work.

    I sent him an email asking why he has the site in his portfolio. Here is what I got back:

    Hi keith,

    No doubt about you designing the web site but I designed a contact us page for him of which is currently been displayed on his site. And the site being on my site is also to state that my company is currently managing his site.

    I suggest if you have got any issues with that you pick it up with my legal team on [email protected] so the issue is resolved ASAP.

    Sales Department

    Where does this leave me? I didn’t know that the sites hosting had changed or that someone else was managing the site. I am currently linking to the same site through my portfolio.

    Any advice would be great!



    Hi Rob,

    I still have all of the original .psd and .ai files as well as the HTML and CSS.

    Still not sure what I can do though.

    He hasn’t copied the design. He has just re-hosted it and claimed the design as his own on his portfolio.



    It’s a compliment when someone uses a couple of aspects of your designs in their work (while making it their own). Blatantly posting your design on their portfolio as if they created it is just wrong. Maybe you could get the client to help you, show them the testimonial he has posted.

    Sorry I don’t know how else to help or what you should do about it as I’m only just getting into web design myself, really hope you get it sorted out.


    The ‘contact our legal department’ is just designed to put you off. This company was registered in Oct 2009 by an off-the-shelf company formation agency – typically used by one man companies and small outfits. The chances of them actually having a legal department are very slim.

    The problem is these links/screenshots are just listed under a section called "Clients". As far as I can tell he is not making any claims to have designed the sites, merely that they are current clients of his.

    However, this could be misleading advertising. An advertisement can be considered misleading if it "creates a false impression, even if everything stated in it may be literally true."

    Of course, I am not a lawyer. You should try contacting the OFT or seek advice from a qualified legal professional if you think it’s worth pursuing.


    Hi Keith,
    As discussed in the mail I stated the display of your previous client is to state that the client is within my client list but you seem not to have accepted that. Like advised in my e-mail to yourself, I stated if you had a problem please do get in touch with my legal team of which contacted the legal team on the 17th of Feb. 2009. I am certain you got a reply to this as I was also forwarded a copy.

    Below is the copy of both your mail and my legal department. I am freely happy to a chat with you to resolve this but in no chance will I be displaying a link to your website on my site as it is known as free advertising. As we are both in the same line of business this will not be taking place.

    Might I add a request for yourself to take down the forums you have posted on both css-tricks forums and … -can-i-do/. As this is damage to my company reputation. I will be willing and happy to carry on further legally having you take it down.

    From keith to my legal department

    Date: 17 February 2010 at 13:56
    Subject: Copyright Infringement

    To whom it may concern,

    I have noticed that you are using on your portfolio
    of work. Most elements of this site were designed by me (Keith Devon) and no
    permission has been given for replication of this design. Your use of
    material from my design constitutes an infringement of our copyright and
    therefore subjects you to substantial liability under copyright law.

    As the site is now being hosted/managed by D & D Bros I respect that
    reference to the site is reasonable. If it is only the contact form that you
    have changed then reference to *that form only* would be acceptable. To keep
    the site on your portfolio please add "site managed by D & D Bros" and "site
    designed by kdev" with a link to my home page, Otherwise
    please remove reference to the design completely.

    We would prefer to promptly resolve this matter without legal action and
    trust that your prompt cooperation will allow us to do so. Please send me
    confirmation that the infringing material will be immediately
    removed/changed from your web site so that this matter can be resolved.
    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Keith Devon

    Keith Devon – Web Development

    From D&B Bros legal team to Keith Devon

    Date: 17 February 2010 at 16:32
    Subject: Re: Copyright Infringement

    We would like to acknowledge the issues you have raised with regards to
    copyright infringement and clarify that there is no case to answer. After
    contacting your previous client, we have been made aware that you were not
    involved in designing the website as per
    . This is due to the fact that the website design was provided for by way of a
    generic template, which was in fact provided to you by the said client.
    Further to this, copyright law can only be enforced in the instance of the
    content within the template, however, the content was also provided to you by
    the client. As the client paid you for the design of the logo, it is now the
    property of the client, and you were in the knowledge of the planned use of the
    logo, i.e. to be used in conjunction with an online facility when completing the
    transaction. Therefore the screenshot displayed within the D & B Bros website is
    merely, a representation of the client’s online facility and not an
    amplification of the design ideals of D & B Bros nor does the positioning of the
    screenshot indicate this.
    In addition to this, contrary to the beliefs evident within your message, there
    has been no replication of any element ‘designed’ by Keith Devon and therefore
    acknowledgement to you will not be made.
    We trust this clarifies the issues.
    Legal Team

    Legal Department
    D&B Bros Limited


    Thanks Robskiwarrior. I will consider doing so.

    Also I still remain on my request that Keith takes off the comments posted on forum as it is a Defamation of Character

    The term defamation of character is often used to describe accusations of slander, libel or both. Slander involves verbal derogatory statements, while libel involves written ones. In a court of law, the plaintiff pursuing the lawsuit would charge defamation of character to cover any form of false or damaging allegations.

    ( … racter.htm)

    As stated to Keith in a phone conversation, I am willing to take this further legal but he is so adamant to my request. i am in no where wrong including a screenshot of my clients info on my website (obviously with consent of the client).

    I will be happy to answer anymore question in regards to this case.


    Seriously DandB?

    While I agree linking to your client on your website doesn’t put you in the wrong, linking to their site with a picture of their layout on a web design company’s page does make it seem like you designed it.

    Even though keith may have used a template, you still didn’t design the layout either. If you are going to link to their site using an image of their layout, you definitely need to have a note saying you didn’t design it. Especially if you are a web design company, as that is VERY misleading. Did you do the designs of any of the other websites in the Client section on your website?


    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    The "template" used was one that I designed for use on similar simple web pages. I did the site for FREE, so thought that using a template that I’d already built would save time. Definitely my design.

    Lots of lessons learned from this little adventure.



    I think the legal department is also just the same guy as any other "department" they have at dandb. Simply put if you designed it and they are claiming they did, which seems to be the case after browsing around they should clarify that they only did one part or give credit to you, no questions asked! By the way Defamation of Character can only occur if what you are saying is considered false, but in this case its not false at all you are stating facts and in the clear. I will say that seems how you did not receive payment there is really nothing you can do other than get a statement from the company you did the work for and provide that when dandb "takes farther legal action". Not going to happen but this a huge error on his behalf in both judgment and business ethics.

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