Company X violates Cinnamon copyright

This post has been edited since first publication. See my lengthy explanation.

Update: Company X have changed their site as of May 22, 2007. They seem to have removed our material.

Note: This is my personal reaction to Company X’s violation of Cinnamon’s copyright, and is not necessarily the reaction of our company. Cinnamon’s post can be found at the Cinnamon Blog (in Dutch).

I hate it when people call themselves designers and then blatantly steal the work of other designers and imply that it’s their own. And that seems to be what Company X Design (“Design” is perhaps an overstatement) has done with elements of the Cinnamon design. It’s so blatantly done, it’s laughable. I mean, at least *tweak* the damn design—change the color or something—like any self-respecting talentless hack would. Once again, we seem to support my theory that most copycats are complete idiots. As opposed to the last time, I’m now armed with screenshots.

[screenshot removed]

This is not a debatable point. It’s not a question of *if* copyright has been violated, but in how many ways. Three, from my first observations. All in the header. Let’s examine this using some comment overlays.

First, the type image. [screenshot removed]

Secondly, the tagline under that image. [screenshot removed]

Thirdly, the small images used to lead to our portfolio. [screenshot removed]

I wrote a polite but firm e-mail to these people requesting that they remove the offending elements within 24 hours. They did not. (Update (2007.05.20): I did receive an e-mail from them today, dated May 18, in which they ask me to specify exactly which images and text I am referring to. No contact information and no name was given. I promptly sent a non-sarcastic version of the above screenshots.) I threatened appropriate action if they did not. Obviously this made no impression. Now I’ve posted this. Company X, it’s your own fault. This was the appropriate action I was going to take. A simple blog post. Everything I know about search engines tells me that when people search for you, there’s a decent chance they’ll see this post. Since every time someone comes to your site they see elements of our work passed off as yours, it seems a fair trade. Enjoy the free publicity.

Now I’m willing to bet a few things, and I’ll update this post as they happen, just to increase my Nostradamus-factor:

1. Company X have at least one very good reason to have not answered my e-mail (beware: I *will* post your sorry excuse here). I have received an e-mail response. See above.
2. They will indicate that someone else did the design for them, or they bought it, or some such worthless bullshit, and that they had no idea that copyright infringement had taken place.
3. Who? What? Huh?

I don’t mind if people allow themselves to be inspired by my work and the work of my team, but don’t steal it and pass it off as your own.

Have a nice day.

4 thoughts on “Company X violates Cinnamon copyright

  1. geez yep thats not too nice but i went to their site and i couldn`t find your header in there :( maybe its just me but they have a different header theirs actually isn`t that bad

    can`t judge about the copy though(need to learn some dutch :) )

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