Website Plagiarism

A very short story based on a real life occurrence involving someone I know in America.

A few weeks ago I commissioned a new website for my business. I used a self-employed designer by the name of Harry Delaney. You never know if you can trust these people but right from the start he was fast and efficient and he got it all sorted, ahead of deadline. I was really impressed with his work.

It was the style of his writing that I liked the best: succinct, lucid and well informed. He understood the product that I am selling perfectly and described it so entrancingly that my sales immediately began to rise. I paid him promptly and even gave him a small bonus.

But a few days later I got a nasty shock. Trawling the net I found a similar site selling a similar product that had copied Harry’s exact language. I was appalled. Word for word there it was! I wondered how whoever had done this could live with themselves. Without so much as a by your leave they had stolen valuable text that I had commissioned and paid for. They hadn’t even bothered to change anything. It felt like I had been profaned and taken for a ride. Whoever had done this thing was contemptible.

You have to meet these things head on, so I immediately phoned my solicitor. It didn’t take him long to track the culprit down. The website of my competitor had been designed by a woman called Ruth Spires, who was also self-employed and had a business the other side of America. I instructed my solicitor to begin criminal proceedings at once and to send her a letter demanding immediate removal of the text.

Two days later we got this letter back:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter concerning the text on your recent website. This was written by me two years ago. I am honoured that your client’s website designer thought it good enough to copy, complete with a couple of my spelling mistakes.

I hope the text helps your client with his business and would like to wish him every success.

With very best wishes

Ruth Spires.

When I saw the letter my first reaction was to be angry again and to instruct my solicitor to press charges against Harry Delaney instead of Ruth. But then I thought a bit more about it. Perhaps I should also copy this woman’s forgiveness and just let the matter go…

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5 thoughts on “Website Plagiarism

  1. I like your slant on this story as you coud so easily have harped on the solisiter’s nasty letter but instead featured Spire’s response. It looks like there are a lot of bloggers who liked it – congratulations. Love, Jane

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