Freelancer gave me a stolen design?

jtap

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 19, 2010
86
0
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?
 
Last edited:

Doc750

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2010
803
4
if you used elance.com, 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
 

jwm2

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2012
231
0
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.
 

ezekielrage_99

macrumors 68040
Oct 12, 2005
3,336
16
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.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,720
1,820
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.