I would say that you should remove it just for your own safety..
For the owner, it does not look 100% thesame and the details are not thesame..
The earth globe is not realy same as on dirmoz, but still the layout looks very similar I must admit.
Not sure if he can drag a lawsuit against you if you didn't design it by looking at his layout, but if you did copy the layout there as you said with the purpose of making a duplicate that looked like it he could probably drag a lawsuit on you...
I wouldn't worry too much unless his "legal representation" actually sends you a certified legal letter. IF they do, then simply remove it. It is essentially a copy of his work with very few and minor differences... it COULD be construed as attempting to profit off his work.
I am no legal expert but thats just my 2 cents...
I don't get it, you say the owner of the site was fine, then who the heck is this guy?.
If the owner of the site doesn't have a problem with it, then you're in the clear. Designers should know that when their services are completed (and they've been paid), they no longer hold the copyright to the work.
As a matter of fact, if the client asked him to remove the work from HIS portfolio, he'd have to oblige.
Hope this helps...
I have no clue who this guy is.
In his signature he have this link http://www.theorangepages.com/.
Thats all I know about this anonymous person lol.... all I got was his personal message at phplinkdirectory.com/forums..
No harm in making it look a little different, is there?.
The most damming part of this situation is your admission that you were designing it to resemble the aforementioned website - Aside from that, the whole design seems to be somewhat generic.
Just my .02 , and information only.
I'm not a lawyer so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Honestly it sounds to me like this guy is just upset because he paid someone to create a similar layout (rip) for his own directory but didn't expect (dirmoz) would allow any replicas of his own site to be created and distributed freely.
You have permission from dirmoz and you replicated his site, not this guys. I'm sure you're just fine.
I'm also confused as to why he'd bother to contact phpLD about this matter. It'd be like me contacting Adobe because you used PhotoShop to place a third ear on to my forehead and i'm not happy about it.
Then for someone to go and claim copyright and exclusive usage of the color orange... wow...
Let me start with this. It's simply not true. The originator of a work is the copyright holder unless there is a specific statement by the purchaser they are doing a "work for hire" where the designer gives up all rights to the work. You would need to ask the original designer if they agreed that the commissioned design was indeed a "work for hire" and he gave up his copyright on it.
I would be friendly with this guy. Explain the situation and that you understand his predicament. Tell him you want proof he has copyright from the original designer. Just because he says it's so doesn't make it true. Does he have a signed contract giving him full exclusive rights? He needs something in order to prove copyright infringement and his ownership of the design...ask him for it.
Also contact the guy at Dirmoz...ask him where he got the design and if he sold the exclusive rights to another person. Let him know your problem.
Last...just because you created the PSD doesn't mean jack. I could use my keyboard to retype a book but that doesn't give me copyright ownership. It's still an infringment.
Good luck and worse case scenario..you ditch the layout and do something else. It shouldn't be hard to change that enough to be clear of his copyright. Oh...and while you were inspired by the design of the site...yours imho is different enough not to be an infringment but of course a lawyer may argue differently. Since you admit to using his as a reference this hurts your case...
I know it is not allowed to post another forum's thread here, but I ask the mods to let this one be an exception. http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=138858.
GTech was the owner of dirmoz, when I created the design, and he is the actual designer.
Quotes of GTech Technically it was a orange variation, so I am still strong.
And by reading that thread you can see the whole thing clear..