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Directory Journal Attracts Design Thieves

by Hasan

We know you love the Directory Journal. And do you know what? We love our visitors and customers too. We work hard to bring you great links and content. Our designer did an outstanding job at setting the Directory Journal apart in the Web directory industry. We get it. We’re flattered when people try to emulate us. But please…. Stop stealing from us! Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but theft is not.

It has recently come to our attention that quite a few Web directories ripped off the Directory Journal design. The directories we’ve been notified about are listed below (although the majority of the sites have now changed their templates after being contacted by us about the infringement).

  • MaxLinks.org
  • LiveDir.net
  • Papdir.com
  • Petsdir.com

To give you a better idea of the ripped off design work, you can compare a screenshot of the Directory Journal and that of MaxLinks.org below.


DirJournal.com screenshot


MaxLinks.org screenshot

Here at the Directory Journal we appreciate your business and your visits, and we hope that you haven’t been taken in by any of our copycats.

If you discover that another Web directory has ripped off the DirJournal.com design, content, or any other protected material, please contact us to let us know about it. We take these issues very seriously, and will pursue them to the fullest extent of the law when necessary.

While our design has undergone changes and updates over the years, the essence of the Directory Journal design was put in place in the summer of 2007 (screenshot from July 2007 below).

We believe that there is room on the Web for a thriving directory market. We just don’t want to see it modeled so closely after us. We worked with an outstanding designer to come up with a unique concept at the time, and we wholeheartedly recommend the same for other directory owners who are serious about making their mark. Theft is not the way to go.

DirJournal.com screenshot (2007)

Why do some individuals feel the need to steal from others? Are they too lazy to come up with something of their own? Did they jump into the directory business before they could afford to do it right? We don’t know, and we won’t speculate. But we do know this — you don’t succeed in business through mimicry; you succeed through originality and setting your business apart from the crowd.

We sincerely hope that the directories in question here have learned their lesson, and for those who haven’t let this serve as a warning — we will pursue you through legal avenues if you don’t comply with the take-down requests regarding the ripped versions of our design. For those who did comply already and who have learned a lesson from this where you won’t continue to rip from other designers and directory owners, we’re sorry you had to come to that conclusion this way, but we’re glad you did in the end.

We would like to thank our customers and visitors for being so diligent in reporting incidents of infringement to the Directory Journal staff.

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George B January 12, 2010 - 1:06 am

To be honest, after comparing the two screenshots you posted and actually visiting maxlinks.org, I don’t see your point. Their modified homepage design now looks different than yours.

Or, are you suggesting that maxlinks.org ripped off the “globe image map” idea from your directory?? It’s my understanding that you yourself copied the idea from ezilon.com. Didn’t you? While you copied the ezilon’s idea verbatim, maxlinks.org at least added a more advanced flash based zoom-in effect to move beyond that. That deserves a full credit to them. Am I missing something?

Sometimes people become so narcissistic about their site, and so they are very quick to blame copycats while forgetting they themselves could be considered belonging to such a breed.


Alistair January 12, 2010 - 10:59 pm

I had pointed this out in a popular directory forum where the site was chosen as a runner up (in a contest of “quality” directories) All my posts were deleted by the forum moderators…It’s upsetting when designs are stolen thieves! Is it really hard to come up with something unique?

Wallace January 13, 2010 - 1:48 am

From some point of view, DJ is popular so someone want to copy from your site.

Mark January 13, 2010 - 2:15 am

I can’t believe people like these have the nerve to slap you by defending or trying to justify their mess.

@George B: I think you are comparing the current designs and you didn’t see the older design of maxlinks.org which was a complete mirror of dirjournal.com .. I was one of those who found it on digitalpoint before the owner changed the design. Unless you are representing maxlinks.org here, i think you should know the context of this post.

I personally have no objection to the map thing since you cannot change the shape of the map until 2012 lol.. ezilon is using a conventional image-maps based non-crwalable map. The one on dirjournal is controlled with css and is indexable.. So if it is flash, javascript or CSS stuff the idea remains the same.

Susan February 8, 2010 - 4:41 am

This is horrible. I just can’t believe all of the copying going on. I saw on Digital Point where text was ripped off from the homepage of the vmoptions.com directory (http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1678774). Seems the higher quality directories are now becoming targets of thieves.


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