One in ten businesses have had at least one item of their website plagiarised by another company says Fasthosts.
According to research by the web hosting firm, there has been an 89 percent increase in the number of complaints about website material such as text, artwork and product images that has been used by other companies on their websites since April 2008.
Fasthosts also said that 39 percent of website owners suffer from 'website envy' meaning they are envious of a website belonging to a close competitor.
"Particularly in a challenging economic climate, business owners may be tempted by the quick-fix of copying another firm's work. Replicating material for commercial use often breaches copyright. Always obtain permission before using anybody's website material," said Steve Holford from Fasthosts.