I’m up early on a Sunday morning to write this post because last night at around 11pm, we received notice that – again – for the zillionith time – we’d been plagiarized.
And if I’m being honest… Cathy and I have made some pretty serious errors in our handling of this, which is why I think it’s getting more and more out of control with each passing day. This post is my attempt to correct our mistakes.
First off, we’re in the business of templates and swipes. That means we are GIVING people shortcuts and tools to make their lives easier.
- Our templates have copy prompts right on them.
- Our templates have lots of graphic assets you’re free to use.
- Our courses have sales copy helper sheets, offer shots, and more.
And… I see funnels ALL the time that are using them exactly as intended! I think, “Oh hey– I recognize that headline!” or “What a cool way they used Funnel Launch Party design” etc. etc.
When people BUY our products, they are essentially buying a license to use our design and copy.
And there’s been a ton of success from our customers, which is amazing.
Here’s where it goes from “Yay! So glad for your success…” to “Oh hell no you didn’t just do that…”
When you plagiarize our copy or our content… especially copy you did not buy a license for.
The problem we’re facing right now is that the Offer Cure sales copy is being ripped off – more and more every day.
The first time we noticed it… was with one of our own customers.
When we discovered she was a Funnel Gorgeous customer, my empathy kicked in and pushed down my anger. She clearly had bought Offer Cure and our templates, taken the course, then created an offer and put it out there.
Nothing about that was an issue. Even the fact that she had a similar name didn’t really bother me too too much.
But the copy on her page was so obviously a rip off… all in the name of funnelhacking, that instantly I felt a gut check.
This part WAS illegal.
Cathy and I spent hours talking about what to do.
We decided to be the bigger people. In fact, in a private group we discussed what to do, and we decided… we weren’t going to sweat it.
That was the wrong decision because what followed was a LITANY of funnels doing the exact same thing. And eventually, we realized… this wasn’t okay. We’d made a mistake by not calling her out on this. We shouldn’t have just pretended it was okay. Because it was then…
People are asking for a training on ethical funnelhacking now because last night, the latest funnel to rip us off tipped Cathy and I right over the edge and we decided to finally take action.
Neither Cathy nor I are in the business of throwing our weight around to scare people. We’re not punitive. We’re not looking for easy money grabs. Our first reaction to the first funnel we found was to stay silent and try to be the bigger party. But in doing so, we inadvertently gave the message that we’re okay with copying, and we’re not.
This is our public statement on the matter….
- We are HAPPY for people to buy our templates and swipes and to use them. Your purchase is your license.
- We are NOT OKAY if you rip off our original work. If we’re NOT selling it as a template or swipe, it’s not yours to take.
Don’t go into a grocery store and buy all the goods and then figure on your way out you can steal the signage and the cash register.
If you’re not sure the difference between funnelhacking + plagiarism, take note below. This is a section of our of Offer Cure copy… note the three funnels using the copy and just changing a few words… that’s plagiarism. In all of these funnels, the copy continued to model so closely, that even people who didn’t write the original copy could tell how modeled it was. That is NOT OKAY.
So what would be okay? What would be considered modeling or market research?
Funnelhacking would say… at this point in the Offer Cure copy, they are showing their customer the solution so I should too. You know how many ways there are to say this section we built? If you want to model a high converting sales page by placing a “solution oriented” block of copy in the same spot you see… look at the few ways (this took me like 6 minutes)… to say it?
- Imagine being able to accomplish your dreams and live your life (because that’s what we’re really here for right?)
- What if you could quickly send high converting emails that GET opened?
- Think about a world where your launches don’t flop and instead become repeatable and predictable processes you can do over and over again?
- Girlfriend, you can GET what you really want (without feeling overwhelmed)
- Here’s the truth: You can fix your sales page in time without paying a pricey consultant to do it for you.
- Truth bomb alert! The solution to your lagging sales is hiding in plain sight…let me show you how you can know exactly what to fix
And if you’re not sure if you’re funnelhacking or copying, ask yourself this… “Would the owner of the copy you modeled be able to tell it’s theirs?” Or better yet (since ALL of these funnels were discovered by customers – people who didn’t even WRITE the original) ask yourself if the customers of the original work could tell it’s a rip off. Because if they can, and you didn’t buy it as a swipe or a template with a license, you’re copying.
Take a few minutes and use your creative word skills, or maybe the sales copy helper sheet you bought, and make your stuff original.
I don’t think everyone who copies is bad. Not even close. In fact, that’s why it took us so long to say something. We know everyone is trying to do the best they can with what they know. And we know that the lines can get blurry. So we’re trying to unblurry them and we’re not perfect at it either.
*As of the writing of this post, there are already steps being taken on several of these funnels… to modify their copy, which we greatly appreciate. We’d much rather spend our time making amazing products for our customers to buy and use, then to waste our time chasing people down. If you have ripped off our copy, please consider this our ask… change it so it’s not a direct mimic. Please remember that everything we put out into the world is not swipeable. We sell our licenses with our products to use.