MetaLab Goes Open Source?

We get ripped off a lot. I often spot a button image that’s been repurposed, or a layout that’s just a little bit too inspired by a previous design we’ve done. Generally, we find it really flattering and have a good laugh - if nothing else, it makes us feel that we’re probably doing something right if people are so eager to plagiarize. But earlier today a friend linked me to Mozilla’s new JetPack design and my jaw dropped.

The design goes well beyond imitation - they literally copied images straight off of our site. Maybe they thought we were open source, too?

The best part of all of this is that we actually sent Mozilla a proposal for this same project. Mark spent an hour on the phone with Daniel Buchner and Aza Raskin, going through our proposal in detail. Here’s the estimate we sent:

They ended up deciding not to go ahead with the estimate on December 27th, and we didn’t hear from them again:

I don’t understand why companies think that they can get away with doing this. The internet is a surprisingly small place, and we were notified almost immediately. We’ve all had a good chuckle about this, but we’ve contacted Mozilla and demanded that they take the design down. I’d expect better from a respectable company like Mozilla. It’s one thing when a student or fledgling company does something like this, but Mozilla is a big company with the resources to create original design.

In the meantime, let Mozilla know this isn’t okay. Tweet at @MozillaNews or leave a comment over on HackerNews.

Update: I just got off the phone with the team at Mozilla, who apologized and clarified a few things. The design which used our site’s design elements was a development build and according to them the design has been changed in newer builds. That said, it was used in their launch video as well as their blog post announcing the product. They told me that that the team who put together the blog post and video was unaware of the similarities at the time of inclusion. We’ve asked for a public apology, and I’ll be doing a follow-up post tomorrow.


  1. soundofaspark reblogged this from torabu and added:
  2. psybird reblogged this from suspectrobot
  3. thriceinatrice reblogged this from metalabdesign
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  6. jimcloudman reblogged this from metalabdesign and added:
    site as inspiration,...Mozilla to publicly apologize...this,...
  7. torabu reblogged this from metalabdesign and added:
    It’s not all that often you hear of high-profile companies like Mozilla ripping off user interface designs from other...
  8. kurafire reblogged this from metalabdesign and added:
    Unaware that they copy-pasted files over directly? What a load of bullshit, such a design doesn’t get “made” and happens...
  9. jeffrock reblogged this from metalabdesign and added:
    The MetaLab blog: Note to plagiarizers: don’t fuck with MetaLab.
  10. taufiqahmed reblogged this from metalabdesign
  11. tasmo reblogged this from metalabdesign and added:
  12. stefantueshaus reblogged this from metalabdesign
  13. wesruv reblogged this from 9-bits and added:
    Cripes… I know I’ve taken a lot of notes from them… but really? That’s straight up theft… Here’s a link to what got...
  14. activitygrrrl reblogged this from metalabdesign and added:
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