This is the most stunning, blatant, and outright “amazing he’s getting away with it” case of artistic theft I’ve ever witnessed. Les Otten, Republican candidate for Governor of Main, has the nerve to claim that his Web site is completely original, and not a copy of President Obama’s site, because “some local guys designed it.” A picture is worth a thousand words:

President Obama’s Web Site:

Obama's Web site design

Obama's Web site design


Les Otten’s Web Site:

Les Otten's Web site

Les Otten's Web site. Hmmmm.


Need more proof it’s a blatant ripoff?

Looking at them side by side and you can clearly see that Otten copied Obama’s design. But a simple trip to Photoshop (and probably the site code itself) reveals that Otten not only copied the design, but the site is virtually identical in every way. The lighter areas of the image below are President Obama’s site, the darker areas are Otten’s site.

Obama vs. Otten

Obama vs. Otten: Uh-huh. I thought so.

Notice that the sizes of bars, etc. are exactly the same. The color schemes are identical not only in tones, but placement. What’s even more incredible is that Otten has actually had the nerve to post this tidbit: “It is unfortunate that the Maine Democratic Party is focusing on the design of www.lesotten.com rather than its content.” Now let me say that I’ve never been one to jump on someone who copies an idea. I’ve used other people’s designs as inspiration for my own work plenty of times. I don’t find it unbelievable that two people can have the same idea at all, and there are certain techniques and layouts that are simply unavoidable as far as layout goes. But to completely rip-off a design in this manner and to this extent is just inexcusable.