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Copy of the web-site and copyrights

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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 4:22 pm

Guys, say, we want to copy asiaonline.net or any other SG web-site, change logo and colors and use it for our company. Is it legal in SG?


Well, the story a little bit different. We are going to order web-shop, but we don't have time to describe what we want, but we know some US web-site which is what we want, maybe with 15% changes.


all ILLEGAL and breach of copyright.

So yes I have read what you've written and however you put it it's still illegal.

The best method is either one of two ways.
1. Create your own style. This will distinguish you from the other sites
2. Buy a proper template or use an open-source template and amend it suit your needs

the last option is to use someone elses template and kiss your arse and pray that they don't find out and sue you!
Don't p*ss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies.

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Postby IOP » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 5:40 pm

ukdesigner wrote:
Guys, say, we want to copy asiaonline.net or any other SG web-site, change logo and colors and use it for our company. Is it legal in SG?


Well, the story a little bit different. We are going to order web-shop, but we don't have time to describe what we want, but we know some US web-site which is what we want, maybe with 15% changes.


all ILLEGAL and breach of copyright.

So yes I have read what you've written and however you put it it's still illegal.

The best method is either one of two ways.
1. Create your own style. This will distinguish you from the other sites
2. Buy a proper template or use an open-source template and amend it suit your needs

the last option is to use someone elses template and kiss your arse and pray that they don't find out and sue you!



Dude, before being so radical, visit ophthalmologist, because you can't read that I'm not going to copy the design.
Secondly, before shouting that something ILLEGAL, please be prepared to give me the reference to the law.

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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 5:58 pm

IOP, maybe you should re-read your posts. You stated that you wanted to copy asiaones site. Then you said
we know some US web-site which is what we want, maybe with 15% changes.


That is copying. If you can't understand the basic principles of copying then you really don't know what you're doing. Utilising a model is the way in which a company presents itself, say a sales model. As far as websites are concerned I would say that that is how information is presented. If you notice most sites have a similar functionality but the overall look is different. You need to distinguish yourself from others. If you utilise someone else style or 'model' as you like to call it then you are copying it and not making yourself individual.

I am trying to help you here. I have over 20 years of marketing experience. I've giving you some tips for FREE. If you don't understand the basics of copyright on something as simple as this then you are gonna be in serious trouble if you put things online not to mention possibly sued.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
http://www.singaporelaw.sg/content/iplaw2.html
http://www.guidemesingapore.com/incorporation/trademarks/singapore-copyright-law-introduction
http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_getdata.pl?actno=2006-REVED-63&doctitle=COPYRIGHT%20ACT&segid=1138345605-001134

Also, laws are different in each country but I think you'll find that that website called Google has a search button. Know how to use it? No! Maybe you shouldn't get involved in a website then.
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 7:35 pm

IOP wrote:Secondly, before shouting that something ILLEGAL, please be prepared to give me the reference to the law.

If you really have a problem to google this out than you will not be able to comprehend the document. It is not like the law say "IOP, you shall not be allowed to copy somebody's work". It is on a bit different abstract level. Besides, in the cases like this it is very seldom black and white situation so even if you think you did not violated IP law as your design is different the court may not share your opinion.
The bottom line is nobody gives a damn if you are convinced or not. This is your a** that will be ultimately fried and the best part is this is a criminal offense so you will be a convict Dude.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 8:24 pm

I have a genuine question after reading this thread. To me, there is a difference between (a) copying a site and making some changes to it, and (b) designing your own site but incorporating elements of other sites.

Is there a clear way of differentiating between the two from both a design and a legal perspective?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 8:30 pm

I would assume it would be visual content primarily. And the percentage of such. Given that Phishing does just that, I wouldn't think the courts would look too kindly on that kind of activity.

Acutally, I've been waiting for UKdesigner to step in since this thread started, seeing that's his bailiwick anyway.

Would it be just like the company in KL that had a name/logo like Starbucks (or was it in China). Different but the same.

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Postby IOP » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 8:36 pm

Okay Guys,

I'm listening to your good advices, and of course I'm trying to be the most creative and initiative among all Singaporeans.
But try to understand, that I'm trying to get references (ukdesigner, thanks for them) and your advices and try understand the worst scenarios and where we should be very accurate.
We are business owners and we will not create design, we will tell to our contractors to invent something interesting, of course.
What I think in this foreshortening, that we may copy some special feature and make money, but those guys may have a patent for that specific feature.
May it be the case? Because I haven't seen that feature on any other web-sites

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 9:04 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:I have a genuine question after reading this thread. To me, there is a difference between (a) copying a site and making some changes to it, and (b) designing your own site but incorporating elements of other sites.

Is there a clear way of differentiating between the two from both a design and a legal perspective?

No it is not. That is also a part of the problem. You may have a single graphical element that is sufficiently sophisticated and unique "borrowed" from someone and you are in trouble. You can also take this element and add some more creative value to it (i.e. changing colors) still the original work is protected and now yours is protected too but it is dependent on the original work so for example to publish it a permission from the 1st author is also necessary. Then you also have some rudimentary consideration whether something is sufficiently unique (individual and creative) to have such protection. If you draw a circle, obviously there is nothing creative in it but if you take a photo of the Merlion, even if few million people did it before and have similar photos the situation is not that clear - many many factors influencing the final work.
If I design a website I either take a free template (GNU or other license) as a base or develop everything form scratch. All photographs, text etc. are always mine unless they are free. There are some cases where you can use somebody's work (i.e. quote some work inside your review) but it also has restrictions. Generally one has to be very careful.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 9:05 pm

IOP, you really should engage a patent agent or lawyer. Trying to save money on this could be penny wise pound foolish. Alternatively, do your own homework.

You can search patents here, probably under the category eCommerce: http://www.surfip.gov.sg/

And a trademark (which should include design marks) search here: http://tmsearch.ipos.gov.sg/eTMSearch/e ... ption.jsp#

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 9:14 pm

No, not a patent. Patents are about inventions (functional ideas that can be materialized). Design protection or copyright protection are different categories. IOP should higher a professional designer who can do some creative job and can be blamed if he copied anything from other people :)

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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 10:38 pm

ok so here's some ideas and thoughts that might help you.

Lets say there's a slider of images on someones website. You can't borrow or use their code. However if you write your own or buy some code that will do the same then that's legal. If you use their code, that's illegal.

Designing a site that looks exactly or even similar to a point where a consumer can't easily tell the difference between them will be considered copying. Even if the code behind the site is different a court would probably go against you.

In some cases, due to time constraints and budgets from clients, some designer either use free code (sometimes an acknowledgement is required) or buy the code from a site that supplies this sort of thing. This is both legal (in the sense that the seller is allowing you to use it in your site). I have done this myself. However I bought the right to use it.

There are a few very designer based sites that have lots of code available that's very reasonably priced as they are relying on multiple sales, so the cost is very very good. They also sell sites, again very design based, very professional and very reasonably priced. Therefore you may find 100 sites that have the same slider on them. If each person purchased the right to use that said slider then that cannot be considered copying.

These are designed to allow you to fully customise them. They are very well put together. Plus you own the rights for useage of that template. You can't sell the new design and pass it off as your own, although as they are designed primarily for web designers, they allow the designer to use them for a client and with no mention of the original designer required. This is allowed as the terms of useage allow you free use for 1 commercial project. These restrictions are in the terms & conditions.

So going back, if you see something on a site that you like, that you want to copy/integrate into your site, you may do so BUT only on the proviso that you either create your own version (proof may be required for a court of law) or purchase that said code.

As far as the web is concerned, as it is all about functionality, then nothing per se is off limits, as long as it's CREATED BY YOU OR BY YOUR WEB TEAM.

I would suggest that you make sure that your design team sign something that removes responsibility for the code used. this is your get out of jail card. However they may well (and should) have one signed by you relinquishing their responsibility for your specific instructions. if you tell them to use a picture of Mickey Mouse and they inform you that that's copyrighted but you insist they do this is their get out of jail card, although by rights they should refuse.

Design can be a bit of a minefield, trust me I've been doing it for a long time, but any designer worth their salt will hold your hand and explain things like copyright / rights of useage of images and the minefields.

Original created work is always the best way to go unless you are happy with a pre-templated design to get you going.
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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 10:47 pm

I have a genuine question after reading this thread. To me, there is a difference between (a) copying a site and making some changes to it, and (b) designing your own site but incorporating elements of other sites.

Is there a clear way of differentiating between the two from both a design and a legal perspective?


yes there is a difference. In alot of cases when it comes to design it comes down to intellectual copyright. In so much as "The layout and designs concepts behind the design belong to me." Some designers pass the copyright onto their clients as alot of the times it's a collaboration. Some don't do that. As far as proof is concerned a court could ask you "How did you come up with that design?" You'd have to explain what initially sparked that creative thought off.

When you copyright a design you are not only protecting the "item" created but also the "thoughts" that are yours and yours alone.

Now if you want to use functionalities of other sites, as long as you create your own from scratch or purchased that particular function then you may do so freely. The nature of the web is that all of a sudden you'll see alot of the same style (web 2.0 for example) popping up. This is the nature of design. it goes in cycles. It's sort of copying but isn't. It's just the latest style.

Ultimately no 2 designers design or code the same. If you had to prove that you wrote the code but it's written completely differently to the rest of the site, then an expert could prove you didn't write it.
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 11:04 pm

ukdesigner wrote:Ultimately no 2 designers design or code the same. If you had to prove that you wrote the code but it's written completely differently to the rest of the site, then an expert could prove you didn't write it.

This is cool, like a unique fingerprint!

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Re: Copy of the web-site and copyrights

Postby aster » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 11:56 pm

IOP wrote:Guys, say, we want to copy asiaonline.net or any other SG web-site, change logo and colors and use it for our company. Is it legal in SG?


Why don't you just go to a place like www.templatemonster.com and get something on the cheap? They have lots of templates for all sorts of web pages.

Who knows, maybe the site you're trying to copy is also based on one of their templates? :)

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 07 Jun 2011 3:47 am

ukdesigner wrote:So going back, if you see something on a site that you like, that you want to copy/integrate into your site, you may do so BUT only on the proviso that you either create your own version (proof may be required for a court of law) or purchase that said code.

In some rather limited cases (in the context of this discussion) using your own code can be also illegal as the functionality can be patented. Example: you can not publish a self created web-site that would transcode a given audio file to mp3.


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