A mostly incomprehensible press release from a Chinese hardware and software company out of Shenzhen, called Sysview, sent me clicking through to the company website on the weekend, to try to figure out what they were going on about.
I got off that original goal pretty quickly, though, as I starting clicking around and thinking, “Hmmm … this looks familiar … and a wee bit fishy.”
But both those jobs involved Signagelive and regional partners, not Sysview. I confirmed with Signagelive (who did not, in case you were wondering, notify me about this) that they have no business ties with the Chinese firm.
Then I noticed a mosaic of logos touted as Sysview clients, that I know are related directly to Signagelive through various partners, like Blinds.com and Revel Media Group.
And then I noticed most of the website at least appears to have been cloned from Signagelive, right down to most of the navigation. It’s as if the site designer just did a Find “Signagelive” and Replace All with “Sysview” in the various pages. Unfortunately, as you can see in the image at the top and below, Find/Replace doesn’t work for text designed into images.
They even, insanely, have a news section talking about recent hires who I know work for Signagelive, and tout the podcast interview I did with Jason Cremins, with the artwork clearly saying he’s the CEO of Signagelive.
It’s utterly crazy, and I thought – perhaps naively – that knockoff products have more to do with Rollexes, Channel No. 5 perfume and iFones. It APPEARS it also extends to digital signage products and services.
There are some differences between the sites, so it can’t be fairly described as a 100% knock-off. There is even a real list of customers, which includes a kindergarten in Hong Kong. But a lot of it has been appropriated from Signagelive. I’ve sent a note to Sysview asking for an explanation. We’ll see if a reply comes back, and I will post that explanation, should I get one.
Have other companies experienced this? And what can companies do, if anything, when the other company is on the other side of the planet?
You can, at least, ask Google to look into blocking, removing or restricting access to content that has been misused.