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Seller literally took someone else's website, is this legal

So the seller I hired, asked for a reference page of what I would want my website to look like and they literally took everything off of it and changed my logo, I feel like I can run some legal issues down the road as far as literally taking word for word everything on their page.

Should I ask the seller to completely redo the project and make me my own personal website or is it okay if I took someone else’s website and just put my logo on it

Hello, since so many websites use common themes it’s hard to say in some cases that a site was copied, if the text and images are different. If those are the same as on another site then yes you could get into trouble for that.

If the theme is heavily customized so it no longer looks like the generic theme, and instead looks like a totally unique site, and that is copied then you could get into trouble for that also.

I read a lot of news sites and they all look very similar to each other and use the same basic theme without much customization and that is considered acceptable. So it really all depends on what you are talking about as far as the individual instance.

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It’s literally the same site, no heavy modifications, same theme, same estimate box, same pictures, same overview of what the company does “Junk Removal company” Only thing changed is my logo instead of theirs

Did you pay for website design and wen content creation? Lots of website templates come with dummy / placeholder content. Unless yo explicitly paid for content curation, you would now be expected to replace this filler content wit your own.

As for whether your seller has acted fraudulently, they can’t sell someone else’s web content. However, they can resell placeholder content if they have a license to resell a theme which came with that content.

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So it sounds like they simply copied the reference site you gave them which is not website creation. I would ask for a refund as it’s not what they offered to do. Copying an existing site and changing the logo isn’t site creation, unless they simply offered to copy an existing site. It depends on what the description in their gig offered. If they were supposed to make a unique site you deserve a refund.

You have no idea if that is a template or if it actually belongs to the person who has the same site copy.

It’s inappropriate for sure, but quite a leap to insinuate the buyer “took” someone else’s website…

Your scope needs to be clear what you’re getting. If you’re promised a unique website and to also have copy written for you for that website, then yeah you have a case. But if it’s just to set you up with a page/website? Well, they can use a template and they aren’t responsible for writing copy for you. ALL themes have templates complete with text. Unless the order specifically says that they will write copy for you for the gig, you don’t have a case.

It looks like quite a few sellers do it here. Just yesterday we had a guy in logo creation with hundreds of reviews and most of his logo images stolen from the internet. And his excuse was “but when client sends us an image and we do something similar they don’t like it so it’s better to just copy the image that they sent”.
So looks like it’s a similar situation here.

It’s hard to tell exactly what was promised by the seller without seeing his gig so all we can go on is what the OP said. Anyone can copy a site, it’s not hard to do. If he said he would make a unique site then the OP should ask for a refund.

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Yes, you can run into problems for copyright infringement if you copy someone else’s original design (copy included), but, as pointed out, it could be a pre-made template as well. It’s important to know this to see if you could get in trouble for taking your site live.

As far as the seller’s work, it all comes down to what was agreed upon and how much you’ve paid.

As a rule of thumb if you paid anything less than $80 you probably got stucked with a generic design, from a, most likely, nulled (cracked) theme.

A seller receives $64 from a $80 order, and WordPress premium themes starting price point are $50-$60, so from this it might be easy to figure out which is which.

Are they using a premium theme? Ask for its license! If they cannot provide then ask for a refund…regardless of how much you’ve paid for it.

If that’s not the case and you’ve paid less than $80 I wouldn’t ask for a redo as you got your money worth of labor, but if you paid more than that then I would read their gig carefully to see who dropped the ball and act on it id it’s your right.

And it’s important to notice that website creation is different than a custom design.

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