Mozilla, the creators of Firefox have been accused of ripping off the design from a site owned by design firm called Meta Lab Design for a UI mockup of Jetpack, a Development framework for Firefox Add-ons development.
As you can see from the screenshots above, Mozilla completely ripped off the design for Jetpack from Meta Labs and put it up on their wiki. Incidentally, Meta Labs was had also bid to design the Jetpack site design and were rejected by Mozilla.
This is a definite embarrassment for Mozilla, who have a huge following and are the brains behind the second largest browser in the world. Quite sometime back, Microsoft too had to face a similar controversy where they were caught copying design and code from a Chinese social networking site, Plurk.
This makes me wonder, why these companies do not spare some time to hire proper UI designers so that they can get things done in-house, rather than having someone rip off someone else’s design and creating a controversy.
Update: Mozilla has clarified the design mockup’s and have also tendered an apology to MetaLab
At issue are early mockups for one of the Jetpack developer tools that included design elements from the MetaLab web site. While the design direction being implemented does not utilize these design elements, we inadvertently included the early mockups in our blog post and video announcing the next phase of development for the Jetpack SDK.
We’ve since removed all of the early mockups from our web sites, and updated the videos and screenshots with the correct content.
We sincerely apologize to MetaLab for incorporating design elements from their web site in our early mockups and for posting them publicly without proper attribution.