Over on the Becky and Paula blog, they just posted an article about how to handle it when someone steals your blog post idea.

And it reminded me of something an unscrupulous potential client asked me to do in my early days of web design.

A gentleman (and I use that term loosely!) had contacted me about creating a website for him, and for inspiration, he said he liked my own site. I told him I’m be happy to use the design as a jumping off point, and create him his own version of it, but apparently I misunderstood him.

He wanted my ENTIRE SITE, design, content and all.  Word for word, pixel for pixel!

I was flabbergasted.  And fuming!

When I flat out refused to give him my site, he chose someone else’s site to copy.  Again, word for word and pixel for pixel.  He said that since he was just a small operation, no one would know.

But I would know.  And it wasn’t OK with me!

After explaining copyright and plagiarism to him, he became abusive and started calling me names!  He said I was completely unreasonable (!) and that “everyone does it!”.  When I politely asked him to lose my contact info, he started threatening to post about how difficult I am to work with.  I told him to be my guest and go right ahead.

I had his emails in which he had outlined his intended copyright violations, so I really wasn’t worried.

But it opened my eyes to how some people think about using the work of another.  To be asked to completely rip off someone’s design and content was unsettling.  Unfortunately there will always be people who want to rip off your good ideas and claim them as their own.

Read the article here to see how Becky handled it, and for her four questions to ask when someone steals your idea!

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