Is ripping off a website's design legal? If I download all the layout files, (HTML, CSS, JS, Images), put my own content management system behind it, and change the logo.
A client asked me to make their website look exactly like a competitors. I used HTTrack changed some names around and obfuscated the code slightly. Am I in a grey area?
> If I download all the layout files, (HTML, CSS, JS, Images)
No you stupid nigger. Of course the files all belong to them.
It goes from blatant infringement to somewhat dubious if you created the look-alike site from scratch.
And no you can't pass on responsibility for breaking the law to your client.
No, it's not legal. Technically even reproducing the design with your own code is illegal.
Although websites often have a common set of design standards excusing many designs as it makes similarities unavoidable, which gives you some leeway.
>No, it's not legal. Technically even reproducing the design with your own code is illegal.
What nonsense, tons of websites look similar, but there has never been a case where a similar looking site have gotten in trouble and there is no laws explicitly mentioning that it is illegal so how did you come up with that nonsense?
>A client asked me to make their website look exactly like a competitors
And you didn't tell your "client" to get lost? You got to have 0 self-respect for your own work if you let yourself pay for stealing other people's stuff.
Copyright violation is taken someone's intellectual property. Designing a website inspired by a design is not a copyright infringement. I was a professional artist for years, I know copyrights. You can not get in legal trouble for taking someone's design if the code is different and nobody mistakes you for the other company. They will waste millions on legal fees and not get any results.
It's an artistic work. Guess what is copyrighted?
Changing the code slightly is meaningless. If I scan a book into a computer it's on an entirely different medium. Guess what is still copyright infringement?
It's definitely a gray area. Who's right is probably who has the most money.
For extra fun you could link directly to their CSS which is even fuzzier legality. You technically haven't copied a thing. Can't copyright links bitches (unless you pay the judges a yacht or two).
Most people dont realize sueing someone is just sending two letters and then presenting your evidence to court. For a serious company that's really no big deal.
You can steal from small blogs all you want. But if you try to start your own business off another business his work you just shoot yourself in the foot. While it adds nothing of value to your site.
In college in the late 90s/early 2000s, we were literally taught how to steal web site designs. If someone copied your code you must have had an awesome site, it was flattering. Times have changed I guess.
Even if "Look and Feel" were protected by copyright (they are not), the client would be liable to the original holder. The onus for recouping the loss back from the contractor would be on the client. Holder sues client, then client would have to sue contractor.
>is ripping a complete website illegal?
>Is using said rip for commercial use illegal?
use it as inpiration, look how they did things and create your own version based on it from scratch
seriously, you're talking about a "client" which implicates that you are getting paid for this shit, be professional and do what you get paid for; design a fucking website