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    Hey everyone, i have a client who has some weird demands, and i’m not sure if this is legal, and i’m thinking of just refusing to do the site.

    Basically, my client is opening a college, and they want to copy content from another colleges website, and when i mean copy, i’m talking most of the written content, nav bars and most of the the text on all of the pages. They then want me to take this text and change the words, locations etc, and make it they’re own. The website they’re planning to take this from is and they have a copyright notice at the bottom.

    The worst thing is, that my clients are extended family, so i’m screwed.

    So is this legal?


    Yeah, i’m just gonna refuse to do the site unless they can magically produce some content of their own. The funny thing is they’ve taken the time to do a 20+ page print out of another college’s WHOLE SITE and they’ve posted it to me, and annotated it FULLY. lol


    You can tweak any design to make it your own, but it would be best to come up with something original for them.

    Doing a find and replace for locations and school name on someone else’s copy is 100% illegal.


    If you tweak their design enough, you’ll be fine. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case where someone has sued another site for looking too much like their own (I’m sure it’s probably happened though) but saying you stole their design is too hard to prove in court so they wouldn’t bother wasting their time.

    As for the content. Yeah, you have to tell them to come up with their own stuff. Swapping out places and names isn’t good enough.


    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! The clients only and purely want the written content and not so much the layout. They want to steal their content, and edit specific words to make it look like their own, which i now understand is now illegal right?


    Layout is one thing, but text/content is a whole nother. Taking text and just changing key words is very illegal. They’re asking for a lawsuit.


    What I would do is make the website look like 360gsp because that’s not really a problem, then hook it up to a CMS and say: Whatever you put on it is your choice. Then you finish the job for them and they are crossing the law if they use parts of copyrighted text…

    Rob MacKay

    Yea I would drop this one – plus what kind of college copies another and thinks that is good? I mean do they encourage their students to download pre-written essay papers?

    Never mind the legal implications it will discredit them as a college!


    Copying the text from another site is ridiculous & unethical.. I would drop the entire project.
    They will eventually get caught.

    Someone who doesn’t understand that is not a good client to have.

    As far as the site design, often clients will have a list of sites they like as far as look & feel. After taking a look at this site their are 100’s of ways to improve the design. Part of your role as a designer is to provide your best advice towards design and communication methods, so im sure using this site as an example you can comeup with a far superior design.
    What I would do in this situation is collect a few samples of other sites to show customer and try and mesh the best parts of each into your own design.


    Too much stink on it.

    Even if you did build them a CMS where they put in the plagiarized content, once it goes south, that sticks to you too.

    Drop ’em like a bag of wet hammers and run.


    Hi There

    I represent 360 GSP College – I am glad that you decided against this as we would definitely have taken action. We keep tabs on any infringement of our copyright.

    Its good to know that people like you value ethics and have integrity.

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