Doing the Right Thing Pays Off

December 10, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz

I feel like the scriptwriter for the movie Face Off when writing this post…

Several weeks ago I was looking through some of the referral traffic I was receiving to my blog, as I often do once every week or two, when I happened across a linkback from a blog called

When I visited the post that linked to my blog, I discovered something rather interesting… and slightly disturbing at the same time.

Here is what was posted:

"I had this image of me made for my by a guy on DigitalPoint, and for a cheap price of $30. The only problem I have with it is how much it looks like Tyler Cruz! I wonder if I could actually get in any trouble for the similarity?? If it turns out that I could, I’ll simply have the face redone, which wouldn’t cost much I imagine. This guy’s gonne be incorporated into my custom theme that’s being made for me. Here he is ( I am)." –

And here is the image:


Now, my initial reaction was "Hmm.. that does look like me, but who would do something as stupid as to copy my appearance?". I figured it could easily have been a coincidence. After all, I’m not the only one with black hair. But when I looked closer…


As you can see, the fake Tyler on the left is, without any doubt, obviously copied from my image. When you see fine details such as the hair, eyebrows, and… everything else, I don’t think anyone would debate that this image was copied directly from my avatar.

I left the following comment on his post:

"Yeah, I’m certainly not pleased obviously. However, the fact that you made a post pointing this out and linking back to my site, coupled with the fact that it wasn’t you who designed it puts the onus of guilt on the designer and not you.

So unless you told the designer to produce a similar clone of my logo/cartoon, you should be asking for a revision as it appears that he really did just do a facelift of my image…"

Later that day, I received the following e-mail from Mark:

"Hey man, this is Mark from
I’ll look into getting the face of the cartoon redone, don’t want one of my favourite bloggers unhappy with me!


I must admit that I didn’t really expect for him to do this. He’s only 17, and it appears that he is just starting out in the fantastic world of "make money online" blogging. I don’t know about you, but $30 wasn’t just something I threw around at that age.

I also applaud Mark for his full disclosure; he didn’t have to make the blog post stating how much it resembled me.. he could have just kept quiet and hoped nobody pointed it out. And it wasn’t his fault, it was the "designer" he hired from DigitalPoint.. obviously a reader of my blog… so he may even be reading this right now!

He did the right thing. And for that, I wanted to somehow reward him, which is why I’m writing this very post. Hopefully this post will give him a bit of traffic, or if nothing else, a backlink and some attention.




In an attempt to drive him some more "Karma" traffic, take a look at his latest post from yesterday. Mark made his biggest sale ever, selling an e-book site that cost him $22 to make for the domain and images, on Sitepoint for $1,050. Now if that isn’t a good ROI I don’t know what is.

The post brings back fond memories of the not-too-distant past when I would be ecstatic selling a site, domain, or making a big advertising sale. I can see myself in him when he posted his PayPal screenshots and how excited he was.

And I found the following too cute:

"I was literally shaking for about an hour after the $1,050 bid came through, and today in school I was drifting off a lot just thinking about it."

I can totally relate. Shortly after moving out on my own, I sold a recipe database site that cost me $400 to develop (I hired a programmer from E-lance) for $10,000. I’ve told this story many times, so I won’t repeat it again here, but it’s the funniest story.

Anyhow, I’d like to thank Mark again for doing the right thing and removing the "Tyler" clone. I hope he gets a new image and face soon, preferably from a real designer 🙂

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Posted: December 10th, 2007 under Miscellaneous  

26 Responses to “Doing the Right Thing Pays Off”

  1. Yea, that’s pretty much a copy. Mr Walsh did the right thing.

  2. DotDriven says:

    Looks like the “designer” had at least enough skill to clone it. It is an obvious copy but has some small changes. Sad he didn’t use that skill to do a unique design as it could have gotten him some more work.

    lol, would be cool to see both of your real pictures up on either side of the toon to see who looks more like it ;).

    Tyler, maybe consider hooking him up with your artist? I mean now he has some spending cash and could afford a good one from a reputable designer ;).

    Will be interesting to see how the new one turns out as well.

  3. It is great to hear a good out come from boths sides of the story!

  4. Aaron says:

    It’s nice when someone does the right thing and very helpful.

  5. Shaun says:

    Well i guess this post shows that it pays to be honest! I hope the guy gets his money back or gets the image re-done free of charge.

  6. Lee Bandoni says:

    The same thing happens to me all the time with people mistaking Brad Pitt for me so now I just use his photo 🙂

  7. Maybe I missed something, but the guy did not contact Tyler to see if it was ok, he just linked to him. Tyler would have never found out if he did not visit the blog.

    I would have sent Tyler an email explaining the situation.

  8. smemon says:

    agreed freebies online, possibly not the ‘correct’ way to go about things, but most people would simply hide the similarity and not mention Tyler’s image and hope nobody picked up on it.

    i guess by linking to Tyler, and pretty much saying ‘If Tyler’s not happy, i’ll remove’, that’s being as honest as you can get.

    linking to Tyler not only gives Tyler traffic, it allows the readers to make judgement on whether or not there are similarities, so mark is simply doing everything out in the open and perhaps being too honest/open about it all, which is a rare trait in blogging which we should be grateful for, not criticising 😉

  9. From a distance it looks similar, but that’s all. On closer look you can see the clear copy. He did remove it, and that’s not small change for someone who’s 17 to throw away (well, with Mark’s recent success, maybe it is :P); he did the right thing IMO 🙂

  10. […] check out the post by Tyler Cruz today about this blog. A reward for my willingness to do the right thing. A reward that was greatly […]

  11. Hi Tyler,

    Sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long … this is a great post because it showed how rational folks can handle what could have been a nasty disagreement.

    Doing the right thing always works out for the best, in the end … and integrity is doing the right thing even if you might not get caught. Kudos to you and to mark … clearly shows that maturity is not directly related to calendar years.

  12. Reno says:


    I was just curious to who designed your header, buttons, and graphics?

  13. Guess he eventually did the right think in the end…and it did him good since you gave him a blog post 🙂

  14. Kudos to however I wonder what would happen if you just let it be 🙂

  15. Thats pretty crazy. I remember when i sold my first site for over a G. I was excited as hell. From about 20 hours of work and 6.95 for the domain. I was happy.

  16. Nick says:

    Yeah, was a little naughty of the designer who did that to be honest, but he did get a little traffic from it and most probably a few subscribers, so was the $30 he paid out for it worth it? I think it was.

  17. When I first started thinking about quitting my job and working full time at home, my wife just about shot me! I had to prove to her that it was going to be ok. Here we are 7+ years later and neither she nor I regret that decision.

    Now we are getting the kids (older) into the internet marketing biz so that they won’t have to work for someone else either!

    Our oldest wants to be a pro photographer, and the pics she has taken so far with our crappy camera and her digital professionalism might just be her ticket! Way to go!

    Ron Killian

  18. Chris M says:

    Respect to him for dealing with things so maturely. I definitely think it’s a copy unfortunately.

    Well, I’ll head over to his site – give him that extra traffic 🙂

  19. Well it’s good that it’s all sorted out.

  20. […] – Yes, it is the same blog that was featured in my Doing the Right Thing Pays Off post from a week […]

  21. paulette says:

    All is well that ends well. The web is vast but its a small world to trace things up. Everything is possible especially now a days.

  22. Mike Huang says:

    It may or may not be copied, but then again I don’t know the rules on altering images 🙂


  23. Such a nice cartoon character. Its a shame that it ressembles way too much to yours.

  24. […] Doing the Right Thing Pays Off […]

  25. […] Doing the Right Thing Pays Off […]

  26. […] a blogger I’ve achieved a good few things. I’ve been published in national newspapers, been blogged about by some bigtime names, and even been named in the list of top 30 bloggers under the age of 21 (having just turned 18 ). […]


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