Web-plagiarism. 7 Examples of Very Similar Websites. Is it a Coincidence?

Plagiarism in business is a very common issue. Even though plagiarism usually is associated with written works, books, music and artistic works, plagiarism in business may be related to stolen business ideas, appropriated innovative projects and web-plagiarism. Web-plagiarism means similar websites (even those having analogous design), easily comparable content of the pages or blogs, and, in some cases, even identical information. The similar websites may look different, yet they promote the same business idea. Let’s look at some examples of similar websites, and discuss whether it is plagiarism or just a coincidence.

  1. facebook – www.vk.com

The Russian website www.vk.com  is a mere copy of the US Facebook. The site has the identical idea (social network), functions, and technological characteristics. The site has even copied the colors of Facebook (blue with white). Vk.com is ranked third most visited website in Russia. The audience of the website is divided as follows: 70,7% Russia, 9,9% Ukraine, 4,6% Kazakhstan and the rest is divided by other former Soviet Union countries. Facebook is the third most popular website in the world. It is ranked #2 for popularity in the USA. The audience is more scattered, including the US, UK, India, Brazil, Germany, and other states. Although there is an observable similarity between the two websites, nor Facebook neither Vk.com accuse each other of plagiarism. Nevertheless, it is difficult to say that the case is coincidence.

  1. aliexpress.com – www.alibaba.com

Aliexpress is one of the most famous Chinese merchants, which is a platform for selling Chinese goods to buyers all over the world. It is required that both buyer and seller create the account. When one views the website of another merchant, Alibaba.com, one will notice that its Aliexpress account details are valid for Alibaba. These two websites belong to the same group and sell the same things. The only difference is the market positioning. Alibaba is the premium website while Aliexpress is the middle tier servant.

  1. www.Imdb.com – www.rottentomatoes.com

Both websites are databases of films with reviews, critiques, and advertisements. They provide film ratings that are widely used for comparisons and analyses of movies. It is difficult to single out the differences of the websites in terms of their purpose, profit-schemes, and categories. The design is different, but the overall idea of two websites is identical. It looks like the true example of plagiarism in business, where someone has used the existing idea.

  1. wikipedia.org – www.britannica.com

Wikipedia and Britannica are both online encyclopedias. Both of them have the search line at the top of the page, and both of them have articles on the same topics. The idea of the websites is 100% identical, though the content may differ. Whether this is plagiarism or not – a big fat question remains!

  1. wikihow.com – www.ehow.com – www.wonderhowto.com

Wikihow, ehow, wonderhow are the websites that provide instructions on doing things. The instructional videos are related to any possible topic, such as how to cut the grass, how to win the prize, how to bake a cake, etc. The content of the websites is very similar, whereas the general idea of the websites is identical.

6. bloomberg.com – www.reuters.com

When one opens the main page of Bloomberg and Reuters, one will notice generally the same picture colored in different tones. One is dark, one is blue. However, the entire idea, the location of the icons and the categories are pretty similar. Maybe, it is typical of the news websites to have the identical design, who knows.

7. freelancer.com – www.upwork.com

Freelancer and Upwork offer the same service – the platform for the independent workforce. The employers offer jobs, and freelancers have a chance to find the jobs. The websites are very similar.

Those were just 10 examples of similar websites. The main conclusion that can be made from our analysis is that developers and entrepreneurs steal ideas and try to mask this with the rewritten content in order to comply with plagiarism laws. After this, it is extremely difficult to accuse the website owner of plagiarism. That is why we see so many twin-websites on the Internet.