Freelancer gave me a stolen design?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by jtap, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. jtap, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    jtap macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma, wanted to get some opinions on what I should do. I had a big project assigned to me a few months ago for an online store with a unique, "vintage" feel. Anyway, I had a few other projects going on at that time so I decided to outsource the initial stages (layout, some graphic design, coding) to a freelancer to save me some time.

    I finally got the files from the freelance group a few weeks ago and was really impressed with the design. So I start working on putting the content in and changing some stuff around to better fit the project - and I'm noticing a bunch of weird IDs in the CSS files. It looked like a lot of stuff included in the CSS file was never used in the actual design pages.

    Long story short, after looking at some of the IDs and classes for a while I tracked it back to an existing website that has nearly the exact design (layout, background textures, etc.). I wanted to assume that maybe he just used a template, but that is probably not the case when you take into account the IDs and classes.

    I've tried to contact the freelancer and he has not returned my e-mails, I'm pretty sure he is from India or Pakistan. He did smaller projects for me in the past so I figured he was a good guy.

    Now I'm not sure what I should do..I put a lot of money into the project as well as my time. Should I try to contact the company who actually designed the website or what? Should I just assume he used a template and not worry about it until a problem arises? Thoughts?
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    If he doesn't return your emails assume the worse. Any reputable outfit would reply to your email.
  3. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2010
    if you used, put the report on the site, so that others will know in the future not to use him.

    Unfortunately since it's your name on the line, I would just cough up the cash or time and do it again
  4. jwm2 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    Just modify the template. No need to throw more money at it. Just find someone or do it yourself and the problem is solved. Theres plenty of site designs that are similar just add some touches of your own, rename some files if you have to and in a few hours nobody would know the difference.
  5. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Welcome to offshore outsourcing...

    Had a very similar issue a few years ago with a logo design via outsourcing (not crowdsource btw), if it were myself in your position I'd:

    - Recovering the money or not pay the residual. (If it can be done)
    - Learn a hard lesson and start from scratch, because if the client finds out that you're hiding something or retweaking it wont be good. Remember "A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment."

    Its happened to the best of us.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    This is a common issue with offshore outsourcing. Even in places like India, things do cost money, and trying to offer services that seem too cheap to be true involves cutting corners.

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