Pakistani Finance Ministry uses stolen blog design!

Pakistan finance ministry blog

Sometime back there was a story floating around cyberspace about how the British PM’s blog used a design without crediting the original author and thus violating copyright laws. Now it turns out that the Pakistani finance ministry wants to try their own hand at blogging and its gone and done a similar misdeed by using a design without crediting the original author.

The footer link on the finance ministry blog gives the whole credit to a pakistani company called solutions player. But if you look at the css style sheet you find a different story. The real author of the alpha theme is a filipino designer Chiq Montes:

Theme Name: Alpha
Description: This theme and several hundred of others are available for free download at WordPress Templates.
Author: ChiQ
Author URI:

And yet there is no link to Montes’ site anywhere on the blog:

Fraudster company solutions player passes off design as their own and makes money off it. Footer gives zero credit to original designer

So how does removing the footer links equate to stealing? Well they’ve done more than that. They’ve passed of her design as their own and made money off it. That is stealing.

Chiq includes a link to
her site in the theme in order to increase her site’s backlinks. The more links you have pointing to
your website the more visitors you get and the more visitors you get the more money you make
from advertising. Remove the link and the author gets nothing for her effort.

Furthermore alpha is a sponsored theme with links to advertiser’s websites in the footer. These sponsors compensate Chiq for her hard work in making themes like these available for download. By removing these links the finance ministry is stealing. As the ministry charged with managing our tax rupees it is setting a bad example for all.

13 thoughts on “Pakistani Finance Ministry uses stolen blog design!

  1. abdus samad,

    good of you to go into details, but i have a question.

    where does it state this theme is ‘sponsored’ or requires a backlink? i’ve been searching both the designers site and theme documents, but haven’t come across it yet?

    and secondly, one aspect of intellectual property is that you do not remove credits from the source. this was a popular method for designers/artists to ‘sign’ their work.

    and as you’ve mentioned, those credits are still there (you found it didn’t u?), so where’s the stealing?

    • Oh but the credit links on the theme frontend *have* been deleted. Not only that they have been replaced with false attributions of credit to this scummy company solutions prayer that did NOT design the theme. So there you have the stealing. Finally this company obviously did not work for free. Passing off someone elses work as your own to make money is also stealing.

  2. yes, the links have been taken off, however there isn’t a document that says you cant.

    Also, and i’m sure you are aware, “Designing” in software terms encompasses quite a few things including visual design.

    i agree that the ‘company’ didn’t do the visual design, but again, there was not mention in the original theme for attribution. nor was there any license involved (GPL or even Creative Commons).

    I think this is a weakness on part of the theme designer and not the ‘crummy company’. When something floats on the net without a license attached to it, it’s pretty much up for grabs. Especially when it’s released as a ‘free’ item.

    • There is no need to mention anything. Copyright is automatic according to the Berne convention to which pakistan is a signatory

      The theme isn’t public domain. Open source software is free to use not free to claim as your own. There is a major difference. I suggest you educate yourself about that:

      Finally solutions player did NOT do any designing whatsover. They’ve simply uploaded and installed wordpress and the theme. That is not designing. They’ve passed off her design as their own and made money of it. Therefore they are crooks and the finance ministry is using a stolen design.

  3. dude most of the people in GOVT. dept at stealers…
    they suck money from poeple’s veins
    i dont think its a very big CHORI for them 😛

  4. you keep coming back to ‘they stolen the design and passed it off as their own’ yet you forget that you got the link that someone else made the design from the CSS!

    so no, the berne convention is pretty much upheld in this case. the copyright protection was there as far as the CSS and theme were concerned.

    i’m not advocating that the designing company has the right to put their own line as ‘designed by’, but please! wordpress itself, or a theme is hardly a solution. they are a means to an end,

    joining them together, getting content in them and linking to the main site, that’s the actual solution!

    since we are apparently suggesting each other to educate ourselves, i would suggest you educate yourself on the fact that the software itself is almost never the solution. infact, the software infact is just another point of failure in the overall picture, sometimes, a problem in itself.

    • Claiming copyright for designing something you did not design is a violation of copyright law. The frontend of the theme such as the .php files was also created by chiq and removing copyright from that and replacing it with your own is wrong.

      Who says they put things together? Maybe the content is written by someone else. Writing is another proffession entirely.

      They aren’t claiming credit for putting things together. They are claiming credit for designing the site. They did not design the site. Yet its so important for them to give the appearance that they did that they are willing to lie about it. I very much doubt that they would have been paid as much had they retained the links to chiq’s site.

  5. The blog theme may belong to the author you have mentioned. But I don’t think we should blame Ministry of Finance for this ripping.

    Take a look at Solutions Players website and portfolio. It is just bunch of rips. So this is quiet possible that Ministry is innocent. And this so called design company is the stealer.

    • Unfortunately it does not work that way. When you hire somebody, be it an employee or an outside firm, the ultimate responsibility rests with you. So the ultimate responsibility rests with the finance ministry for using the blog design.

  6. Even if the theme had been shared with a license that didn’t restrict attribution, misattribution is a totally different issue and one that has more to do with ethics than copyright violation. For example, removing footers from themes with CC’s NA licenses is okay, but passing the work as your own is a piss-poor practice; no license on earth allows that.

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