Friday 16 November 2012

Copyright theft from

For those of you that follow Jack Bunneys over on Facebook you may know what this post is going to be about before you even read it.  But for those of you who don't know, I shall give you a quick run down of what this is all about.

Over the years our little business has always tried its very best to be original.  We deliberately try to look at how things are done in a slightly different way.  It is a sad fact that the reason that we do this, is because we have to, we are a very small little business, tucked away in a corner of East London that most people do not venture to all that often.  This inevitably means that in order to attract customers we have to offer something special.  We have been very lucky and have worked very hard to achieve this.   Now we are in a fortunate position of having a reputation for offering an alternative to other more mainstream businesses.
This has become the issue, because of our success over recent years, we have found more and more businesses 'plagiarise' our work.  Either stealing our images direct from our websites, stealing 'text' from our websites and blog posts or just simply stealing our ideas.

I understand that as a professional business owner, this is just another part of business.  In the past I have always dealt with these issues in a similar way.  I send a very polite email asking them to remove the offending material, if this email has no response or no action is taken, I will then send a letter and finally the threat of legal action.  And in the past this action has always been successful. is very annoying!

There is never any compensation, never an apology and more importantly the customers never find out what a bunch of unprofessional, unimaginative, untrustworthy people these are.

I can assure you that if the offenders had either the intellect or the imagination to create our images (or our text) they would not need to steal them.  This leaves the only other conclusion possible; the business people who feel the need to steal copyrighted material actually do not know what they are doing and neither have the skills or the ability to create the product they are trying to sell you, which in turn makes them dishonest.

So that is my general rant about stealing copyrighted material over and now back to the 'real' reason I decided to write this post.   I will try not to let my own personal grievances influence your thoughts and simply let you decide what you think of the situation:

1. Back in 2008, I was researching wedding photographers and come across a blog article from a photographer, where the TOG had become frustrated with constant haggling and comparing of prices, so to try to prevent this in future this high-end wedding photographer decided to write a blog article detailing exactly what was involved in her job & what you actually receive for your money.  I thought this was a great idea and wrote my own article detailing exactly what we do for our money.  I did this as a personal exercise at first, it was interesting to list exactly what is involved in each and every suit hire we do.  I then decided to post this article on our blog and use this information on our current brochures, price lists etc.   This is the article:

2.  More recently in 2011, I was asked a question by a customer which prompted another blog post all about our company.  In this post I also included some of the main points made in the previous blog post mentioned.  This blog post is here:

3.  Then later in 2011 we had our new website designed.  The designers, using their own initiative decided to use the recent blog post for the 'About Us' page,  on the provision that I could always change the text later.  I decided I quite liked the text and left it alone.

4. Which brings us to now.  It seems that another company has decided to use the text from these two blog posts and our website for their own means.  Using the exact same text (even the poor grammar) on the front page of their website and the 'About Us' page of their website (coincidentally).

Now I don't normally do this, and yes I do realise this may not be the wisest decision I have ever taken, but as I said I am getting rather cheesed off with it now, but I am going to name the company and have attached images which are screen shots of their website, so you can compare them at your leisure, (just in case they decide to change their website when they see this post).

The company is John Francis, their website is  &; these are the screen shots from today.  

I would sincerely like the owners of John Francis to respond (not in private) online by posting on this blog. To explain excatly why text was copy & pasted from one of your competitors websites.

  I am reasonably sure you will respond with the standard line of 'I know nothing about it, it's all the web designers fault' but as far as I am concerned that is not really an excuse, if you really REALLY cared about your business and what you do, you would have the ability to write a few lines of original content for you website.

This is a real issue for all businesses and at the moment a serious problem for everyone in the wedding industry.  Our troubles, as a business, are small by comparison to some, I am reasonably sure that everyone I know within the wedding industry who creates their own products from scratch, has been affected.

I also know that most businesses would rather not involve themselves in an online debate but would rather simply just have the images or text removed and get on with their jobs.  This has always been my line, I must admit, but consider for a moment the possibility of doing things a different way, if everyone who has been effected by copyright theft, instead 'Names and Shames' these companies online, using as much evidence and information as they can gather, the consumer will become wise to these charlatans and hopefully avoid them. This, as far as I can tell, is the only thing that is going to stop them, after all if there is no money to be made in copying your hard work then there is no point stealing it!

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