Should Web Designers Be Worried about Cultural Appropriation?
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Should Web Designers Be Worried about Cultural Appropriation?

By Abhishek Rungta August 23, 2016 - 2,059 views

Cultural appropriation is a term that we often hear in news these days. Cultural appropriation refers to the act of using an underprivileged group’s cultural symbols by a dominant group, in order to financially exploit it. For example, when hip hop music was sung by Caucasian artists, there was cultural appropriation charges leveled against them.

Why is this a problem? Dominant groups such as Caucasians often did not understand the difficulties in which hip hop music came to be. This, many non-Caucasians felt, was a free ride to success for white artists. There are of course arguments on either side. How is this relevant to technology or web designing?

If you thought carefully, there is a lot that can be called as cultural appropriation. For instance, if a web designer starts making websites that are inspired by someone from a disadvantaged group but fails to give credit to them, there can be such accusations in the future.

Is cultural appropriation a big problem in web designing?

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We feel, plagiarism is a far more serious issue in the field of web designing. A number of younger designers often copy designs of reputed designers and fail to credit them back. This can be a serious offence whenever copyright laws are applicable, and that is almost across the world. Younger designers should be very careful not to copy designs of other designers, no matter how far away or far apart they may be located from each other. Cultural appropriation is thus not a big issue in web designing.

Plagiarism and failing to seek permission or pay royalties to original designers is a far more serious and punishable offence. It is should be noted that many designers do not understand that they are even being copied. A number of times, such acts go unnoticed and everyone is happy. However, as a professional group, web designers should be very wary of designers who do not remain honest or professional enough to remain original or create authentic designs. It is a professional issue that designers need to make note of.

Handling plagiarism

More than cultural appropriation, web designers should start worrying about remaining authentic and original. It is easy to report designers who practice unscrupulous methods to deliver projects to their clients. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is often too common for people to steal codes and replicate designs. However, the silver lining on the cloud is, it is not possible to survive in a competitive profession if one continues to plagiarize. Only those who remain hard working and are original enough find success in the field of web designing, just like in any other creative profession.

There are several ways to deal with plagiarism in the world of web designing. If you feel your design has been copied, or if you feel your designer has copied someone else’s website, you can always seek legal help. Creative work is usually protected by copyrights laws and if you are unsure about your country’s legal system, you can speak to a lawyer close to you. This will help you to find legal recourse if you have been a victim of plagiarism.

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