In case you weren’t aware, there’s a great Mac software developer right here in Portland, not too far from Extensis called Panic, makers of Transmit, Coda, and Unision, not to mention the hijinks they get up to with another of my favorites (though non-local), the IconFactory. Together they make Candybar which allows you to organize your icons and trick out your system in all sorts of glorious ways. (Full Disclosure: I have an unhealthy thing for icons and desktop pictures and such.)
Anyway, when you are a company like Panic and you make not only really functional things, but really pretty things, you can end up with some imitators-people hoping to cash in on looking a little like you, or improving their UI to look more like yours. Some people can’t be bothered with expending any effort and they just plain use your stuff wholesale. Well this happened to Panic enough times they put up a whole section of their site for it: The Rip-Off Express. I enjoy the commentary myself, but I also find it interesting how many of these are listed on their page! They don’t even track it really, they say on the site these all come from customers.
I read things like this and I wonder how often this happens to other companies-I know people steal the page layout and such from Apple often, but I think about smaller places, like Panic and Iconfactory and I wonder if you’re someone in between Apple and Panic (like Extensis, for example) how much this happens to you and you don’t even know about it.
Have you seen things like this? Send me some links, and they don’t have to be Extensis ones.