When you’re designing a website for your company or for personal use, chances are you’re spending a great deal of your time thinking about a creative eye-catching design that users will like. However, that creative design, even though you made it happen, may not remain solely yours forever.
That’s because web design theft has become a big problem for many businesses and individuals with creative sites. After all that hard work you put in on your site to make it unique, to make it stand out from the rest of the pack, you don’t want somebody stealing it for their own.
Use these tips to help you deal with web design theft.
Contact the Site Owner
If you spot design theft, contact the website owner right away. They may not be aware that their website design is not original and based on yours, and they may be willing to remove or alter it sufficiently. You won’t know before you ask.
If that doesn’t work, try contacting the web host directly.
File a DMCA Takedown Request
Material that has been blatantly stolen may be removed under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forcibly due to copyright infringement. If it doesn’t work right away, you can grab a copy of the DMCA takedown template to help. You can even file this request with Google to have the offending site removed from search results, which will basically remove them from the web entirely.
Unfortunately, sites in other parts of the world don’t abide by the US DMCA, so you may have a difficult time with sites in the rest of the world.
Use Watermarks Whenever Possible
You can’t put watermarks all over your website because it’s just going to look silly. However, if you’re creating a website for something unique like illustrations or any other type of creative pursuit, you can watermark your images so they can’t be stolen easily.
A watermark is nearly impossible to remove or obscure and most web thieves won’t even bother. Protect your creative property with an easy to identify watermark and you’ll reduce theft considerably.