My Bloglines feeds just blew up this evening with the finding of a new Valley dotcom incubator that plans to start 15 internet companies in the next 3 years. That company is called Next Internet, and I’d probably be more interested in them if they hadn’t completely, utterly, and unabashedly stolen the look, feel, and code behind Flock.com. The screenshots don’t lie:
Ouch. That’s probably the most blatant rip I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen dozens of lifted designs. And just so we’re clear, they are using the exact same code as well as the look and feel, so this can actually be legally quantified as copyright infringement.
SiliconBeat wrote about Next Internet, saying:
“The “well-funded” company says it is incubating “a next generation Internet Ad Network” and is hiring execs.
I’m assuming they’re using their “well-fundedness” on things other than their own site design, since it probably took them about 30 seconds to copy Flock’s XHTML & CSS and paste it onto their server. My boy Nick Douglas scooped the story at Valleywag as well.
I stuck this entry on Digg just so the people involved can feel the power of the social web 😉
UPDATE: Well it looks like being on the front page of Digg forced these hacks to take down their site and put up a nice table-based “design” in its place. How can a company be a technology incubator and 1) steal one of the most well-known web 2.0 designs out there, and 2) not think that people were going to talk about it in a very public way? Oh well, the site’s been updated but Google’s cache never lies: