Did Jane Fonda Steal my Website?

Posted 28 Jul 2009

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery - and we are all for being flattered at Delete, but in this case it's not quite so clear cut.

This morning a fan of Delete in Brazil (oi beleza Andre) got in touch to let us know that he'd seen a site that looked remarkably like our own Delete agency site - Janefonda.com

Please take a moment to view her site and compare with our own.

Now we are all big fans of Jane Fonda here at Delete - especially her earlier work (Barbarella etc.) - and I'm sure she knows nothing about this apparent copyright transgression, but her new-ish site (lauched Feb 2009) appears to be a direct copy of deletelondon.com (launched November 2008) from the front-end design, including a lot of our site images, backgrounds, button styles etc, as well as a large amount of the CSS and JavaScript. 

You might say this is a coincidence - surely no self respecting designer/developer could knock off another site like that deliberately. So we had a look around the site code and found amongst other things a Delete logo as well as references to our own site content - a clear giveaway? We are not complaining about her taste, obviously it's good (or at least her web team's taste is good), but we are surprised that a film icon's website could be so similar to our own. We are thrilled that we've finally 'made it' in Hollywood - however, it would have been better if we got paid for it.  

We're not blaming Jane herself for this - she does a lot of great work with charities and we are right behind her there - we are in the process of trying to contact her to discuss the issue and we'll keep you posted as to how we get on. 

Funnily enough this is not the first time our work has been copied, and we are sure it wont be the last. It raises the issue of how protected online creative work really is. Like any other content online it's open to theft and sharing. We all look for inspiration in the world around us and creative people especially love feeding on the creative output of others - but what's acceptable? We certainly don't think taking others work and passing it off as your own is. There is a fine line between inspiration and imitation. We think it's a good bet to say in this case it may have been crossed.

What do you think? Drop us an email or comment on this post with your thoughts.

Sue Pepper

2009-07-29 10:46:18

By hokey, you're right!


2009-07-29 10:58:07

They definitely have good taste ;)


2009-07-29 11:22:51

It looks as though Plain Jane is really Fonda Delete(!?)


2009-07-29 11:34:18

The Delete Mafia is a global force to be reckoned with...

Alan Brown

2009-07-29 11:37:09

"When I start down a path that I know is the right path, I go with all of me." - Jane Fonda. Delete website was obviously the right path!!

Jack D

2009-07-29 11:42:17

It’s an exact copy of your site guys. I work in the creative industry my self and think it is an absolute disgrace if they are passing it off as their own work! But yes they do have good taste!


2009-07-29 11:51:35

Why don't you just re-release something from her repertoire and put a Delete logo on it? Fair and square. Boom.


2009-07-29 12:30:23

Ha ha! What an excellent result. If a Hollywood star admires you then you're on your way...c'mon big brands contact these guys.


2009-07-29 13:32:07

Dear Delete

You should do what all good Americans do and sue her for every penny you can! Make no mistake, if the boot were on the other foot, you'd be in court already.

There rests the case for the prosecution!


2009-07-29 13:39:18

That's funny


2009-07-29 13:47:25

Don't rest till she gives you one of her leotards (or at least a pair of legwarmers)!

Dan B

2009-07-29 14:10:51

Take em to the cleaners - scam artists!


2009-07-29 14:38:35

Sue! All that Loreal Regeneris money should be in your bank account.


2009-07-29 14:48:47

Yeah it sucks when designers copy so blatently, I mean its cool to borrow ideas.. we all do it, as long as you improve them.

"It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to."
— Jean-Luc Godard


2009-07-29 15:10:58

Hilarious. Well done Delete, you've arrived!

Luke Armstrong

2009-07-29 15:31:29


Jason Hunt

2009-07-29 15:40:13

It's because you're worth it!


2009-07-29 16:04:28

i wouldn't worry about it, i've been ripped loads of times in the past, what are you going to do about it. Don't cry its the internet. Everyone rips everyone (even you guys but you probably don't even consciously realise it) lets face it all they did was pinch your choice of typography options. they actually just stole the code to save time (i mean this site isn't that groundbreaking anyway, its a blog, right) anyway. It Happens.


2009-07-29 16:14:23

you guys gotta get in leotards

Polygon reVue

2009-07-29 16:27:27

As far as tragedies go, this is a quite hilarious one, and I say that without sarcasm. Good luck with the struggle :)


2009-07-29 22:47:47

Delete with extreme prejudice...


2009-07-30 01:12:45

I'm with Rich, the only thing to lift your site to the levels of Jane Fonda's is Geoff in a wig, some makeup and a leotard on the homepage.


2009-07-30 07:52:19

Any thoughts about a counterattack? Go on...we want to see a Delete Workout Video!

Love the(your) site btw.


2009-07-30 12:39:29

Holy cow - outright theft. Merriam-Webster defines plagiarism as an act of fraud. I wonder who the web dev team is - and how much they charged?


2009-07-30 14:09:56

looks familer? http://johnlikens.com/home.html


2009-07-31 06:15:23

Love the new background image... nice!


2009-08-01 04:44:33

At worst, it was made from scratch to look a lot like Delete without any actual copying. None of the images, dimensions, or HTML are identical. Compare the CSS (http://www.janefonda.com/wp-content/themes/alextheme/style.css vs http://www.deletelondon.com/css/global_v3.css). Considering the simplicity of the design, you're bound to find some other simply-designed sites that are quite similar. I think it's probably just coincidentally similar in this case.


2009-08-01 05:08:45

One thing you can do is hard link one or two images (not all) to your domain.

If you find a copycat that has not removed the hard links from the images you can get your webmaster to do a rather nasty trick, which will result in quite alot of embarrassment for the offending party.

For example:
Instead of the relative url to your background: /images/body_bg.gif
you can use

Through this you can track who has stolen the design through your server logs, additionally your webmaster/admin can pull some particularly nasty tricks and redirect it based on the domain accessing the image.

So lets say www.iamatheif.com takes your design,
will now show up as
and give them a rather nasty surprise, and inform readers/users that the design is stolen from you.

You can do similar things with 1x1 transparent images throughout the layout aswel to give a little extra annoyance to theives.

ytytytty yytyt

2009-08-01 06:13:48

At least they give you props at the bottom of the page


2009-08-01 15:00:29

Ouch! The left Delete logo nailed it. You got 'em.


2009-08-01 15:33:56

You have sexy buttons.


2009-08-01 16:16:41

In all likelihood, this is the result of a lazy web developer who was probably hired by Jane Fonda, then just copied your design and watched the paychecks roll in.

I would definitely email the admin... Because it isnt like this is a case of "Jane Fonda likes my site design and took it!" it's more likely a case of "32yr old developer is lazy and copied a design while charging Jane Fonda for HOURS of work he didnt do"

M Jeffries

2009-08-04 20:15:09

This claim is outrageous, the Delete website is derivative, run of the mill, standard bag of tricks web design. Further more nothing on janefonda.com is a copy of the delete site. I can't believe you are crying for attention for such a lame claim.


2009-08-13 10:51:06

Yes She Did be proud Means your better =D


2009-08-15 21:27:27

Look at the footer on the homepage - she credits you and has a link back you your site. She clearly has great taste!


2009-08-21 13:51:44

Yep they're the same. It does say based on a design by delete at the bottom. But I think it's stolen


2009-08-21 14:47:08

Wow! even the link at the bottom of her website says based on design template by Delete...WOW! sue em!

Matt Passell

2009-08-21 20:55:22

I just left a comment on a blog post linking to this one, but I thought it made it sense to leave it here as well:

A while ago, I was reading something on techcrunch about someone’s blog posts being stolen. It ended up leading me to site named <a href="http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/">Plagiarism Today</a> which has excellent articles and other resources for fighting plagiarism. Thought it might be helpful…


Cheatad !

2009-08-23 13:42:58

Hey, she actually link here. Check the footer...

"Based on a Design by Delete"


2009-09-01 17:28:15

At the bottom of the site:
" Based on a Design by Delete"


2009-09-18 17:16:17

Get REAL! sue??... your suggesting Delete sue Jane Fonda over a website? people steal other peoples work everyday.... take it as a compliment and move on. maybe they didnt want to straight up call themselves out on it at first, but now they realize they should give credit where credit is due..



2009-09-23 22:47:23

You could do as another creative agency did, simply bill her for the cost of the website design, as you would charge any client for this level of work. Mention the copyright infringement, and you'll have a big hollywood star as a client! everyone wins.

As you said, I'm sure she has no idea the site is a rip-off, and heads will probably roll if you make the legal implications clear.


2009-09-23 23:42:58

You should feel completely welcome to copy any of her DVDs that you like - figuring that copying creative work is ok by her.

Now, if she only made a good movie in the past 20 years.....hahaha.


2009-10-15 08:10:51

I see the little "credit" at the bottom, is that something they added after you guys found out? or was it there all along? In any case, I don't think it's acceptable to simply put a link saying her site was "based" on your design. It is a stolen copy of your site in many ways!

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