In this blogpost, you are about to read how a Tech Nation Visa Recipient who goes by the name of _____ (name withheld, lets call her ‘Miss Tech Nation Visa’) came after me claiming I infringed her copyright because I started a side business providing done for you document templates that helps potential applicants apply with more confidence, saves them time, gives them a template and structure to follow in their documents formulation process and reduces stress just because she also provides that same service and thinks she can run a monopolistic market where she’s the only one in it.
I have decided to withhold her real name because the purpose of this post is not to bash her or give her a bad name but rather to share my experience and point out some things she’s claiming so other people can be the judge and share their own view of the whole situation.
My blog has never been used to create personal topics about my personal life. I have always used it as a tool to add value to people by spending hours and days creating high level content around fields and topics I have knowledge, expertise and passion in.
Even though I had the idea of my blog ThePresidentialHustle.com way back in Nigeria when I was 19 years old working on my grandmother’s dining table, I only actually launched the blog in 2016 when I moved to London to get a Masters. The whole idea behind my blog / brand is to create content that pushes people towards being the best versions of themselves but I didn’t want to just be another “positivity”, “motivational quotes” or “inspirational” blog out there, I wanted to inspire, motivate but most importantly give “actionable business and career advice” and I only felt comfortable I could do this when I started getting exposed to some next level business and marketing information whilst getting my Masters in Business Information Systems Management at Middlesex University in London.
Since I started my blog, I have made it my point of duty to research and only post actionable and insightful posts that actually adds value to people and the comments and emails I have been getting over the years has really been motivating.
Even though I do not earn a lot of money from my blog because I refuse to sell out, bombard it with irrelevant ads or click-bait articles, I still spend money, resources and valuable time creating, researching and coming up with high level content on the fly.
Before I go into the case fully, I think a little bit of background story will make you understand the final picture!
Tech Nation Visa.
Most of my readers might know that on May 23 2017, I got endorsed by the UK Government as an “Exceptional Talent” in digital Technology and this means a lot (I mean A LOT) to me because just after rounding up my MSc in London, I had to go back to Nigeria when my Visa expired and this endorsement was a golden ticket for me to return to London to continue working on my startups and business ideas I had whilst studying in London.
Getting recommended for endorsement as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent” by Tech Nation and being granted the visa and endorsement by the UK Government is not an easy thing to come by. Before you can get endorsed, you would need to show and prove that you are indeed a leader or potential leader in the field of digital technology and also the endorsement board will not just take your word for it, you need to also provide letters of recommendation from some top people in digital technology companies who run businesses that are internationally or nationally reputable and recognized.
There are so many other nuances that comes into play to getting endorsed and only the people who actually attempt to get endorsed will find out how interesting, tasking and “crazy” it is to actually gather documents that puts you in the light of being worthy of being endorsed as a “World Leading Exceptional Talent” in digital technology or any of the other 4 fields.
Part of the documents I used as proof during my applications were articles written on my blog showing my strong hold of topics relating to business information systems, business intelligence, marketing and more and also my videos and podcasts showing that I didn’t just cared about running my own business or making money for myself but I cared about mentoring and going out of my day to day activity to create content that was solely for the advancement of the digital technology field and adding value to people amongst other things I had to show.
My endorsement letter from the UK Government came on May 23 2017, just one day after my birthday. I still remember the amount of joy I felt when I opened the email. I was so happy, I jumped downstairs to my 9months pregnant aunt to share the news with her and she also jumped for joy and thanked God for what he had done in my life.
Growing up, I never did what the normal kids do. I never drank alcohol or used drugs or even lit a cigarette. I have always been very forward thinking because of the kind of family I come from, I have always known that in order to get anything in life, I had to hustle and get it myself. I never believed in handouts, so I take my wins very seriously because of the hustle, blood and sweat that has gone into making them a reality.
When I got endorsed in 2017, the UK Government was only endorsing 200 people per year for the Tech City (now Tech Nation) Visa and just like anyone trying to get endorsed by Tech Nation as an exceptional talent in order to get the Visa, I spent a lot of hours googling “Tech City Exceptional Talent Visa Guidance” or “Tech Nation Exceptional Success Story” and searches relating to that so I could find articles from ordinary people (not companies) giving personal and professional guidelines as to how to apply effectively based on their experience getting endorsed BUT I didn’t really see much information from people.
Most people who get endorsed do not bother creating content to help others, they just enjoy their stay in the UK.
So, I said to myself that when I get endorsed, I will dedicate a section of my blog to bring awareness to the Exceptional Talent Visa so people who didn’t know about it can know about it, people who are planning on applying can get valuable and actionable insights and also they could gain more confidence applying because they are reading personal advice, guidelines and insights from someone who has walked their paths and succeeded.
I Started Blogging About Tech Nation Visa.
When I came back to London on my Exceptional Talent Visa, things started moving fast so I forgot about my promise to create content around the Tech Nation Visa until one day a guy from Egypt sent me message congratulating me on my endorsement and then asking me loads of questions about the visa process, what he should do, what types of documents he could use and a lot of questions.
I took time to answer all his questions and even sent him an email with some more guidelines. I did this with joy in my heart because I had been in his position and I knew how thirsty for advice or insight from someone who had succeeded in getting the tech nation visa I was back then and couldn’t find.
That message I got was a reminder to me of my promise to start creating content so that same day (February 4 2018), I wrote my first post about the Tech Nation Visa and I titled it “How I Got and How To Get A UK Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa Endorsement” I made use of questions the guy from Facebook asked me to form skeletons of topics I touched and I then sent him the link because I knew it had more answers than I might have given him.
This single blogpost is the most read article on my blog and it has generated me a lot of connections on LinkedIn, Quora, Medium and a lot of emails from people from all over the world thanking me for the insight and also asking me loads of questions.
Being the content creator that I am, I started to break down the whole Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa scheme and started creating well detailed content and even videos of the most important aspects of the visa and the process. (Yes, I spend my own money to shoot and edit videos just to make things more personal and be able to explain things text cannot explain)
Trust me, I have been enjoying it! I get lots of messages on LinkedIn and my email almost everyday from people thanking me for the value I have been dishing out with these Tech Nation Visa content.
How I Connected With “Miss Tech Nation”
Since I started creating content around the Tech Nation Visa scheme, I started to see that when people searched for “Tech Nation Visa”, my blog was on first page and it was getting a lot of hits.
While doing some content research, I noticed that there was another blog from a lady (Name withheld, let’s call her Miss Tech Nation Visa for the rest of this post) who also got endorsed as an Exceptional Talent. I was excited to have found a female in the Tech scene that is also an Exceptional Talent and a content creator, So, I checked her blog and saw she had interviews with other people who had gotten endorsed.
I immediately searched her name on LinkedIn and connected with her because I wanted to connect with a woman I respected for being a Tech woman, content creator and business person. Yes, you could say I admired her because there are very few women within the Tech Scene who can get endorsed as an “Exceptional Talent” within the space.
I was excited and happy to be connecting with her. I even told her that I would be happy to be of value or help to her in anyway if she ever needed me.
Where The “Beef” Started.
About 11 days after we connected on LinkedIn, she sent me a message and asked me to be featured on her blog. She wanted to interview me for her blog since I was also a successful candidate, a great content creator and that would be good content for her blog.
I accepted! Time to add value. I have been blogging for years now, So, I understand the importance of interviews and outreach. It adds value to both parties involved but more to the blog owner because besides the normal visitors coming to your blog, you are now also getting new audience from the interviewee’s camp.
Let’s backtrack one second…
Since I have been creating actionable, high-level, insightful guides around the Tech Nation Exceptional Visa scheme, I have been getting loads of messages on my LinkedIn, YouTube, Blog comments, and Emails from people not only thanking me for what have been doing within the space but also asking me questions and advice, some people even send me their documents to review and give advice on, some write lengthy questions and I take my time to answer all of them because I have been in their shoes.
I am talking about spending hours in the day replying to questions that requires more than a Yes or No reply, waking up in the morning with LinkedIn connections, direct messages and emails!
People were thankful for the posts and videos but they wanted more! Humans always want more personal help! What was a fun thing to do has almost turned into a consultation service costing me hours in the day and taking me away from my main job that pays my bills.
I cannot count the number of times I had to send people my personal documents as a guide for theirs’ and also had to go through theirs for sections I could advice them on to better their application.
Being a business man, I knew that my time, knowledge, expertise and experience is worth money! People pay me thousands of pounds to create online presences for their brands, run social media campaigns for their businesses or give their businesses a brand identity. They pay me for my time, knowledge, expertise and experience in the field. This is my main gig and it puts food on the table for myself and family.
I am self-employed and have always been since I was 19. So, I didn’t have fancy jobs where I earned a lot of steady money and then started living or running my business on monies saved whilst working! No, I started with nothing and still hustle all day to build my empire.
Looking for a way to turn this new found “fame” if you will that is making me spend hours within the day replying to people from all over the world into a source of income, I knew there were 2 things I could do.
I could either offer paid consultation whereby people paid me to review their documents and application pack and also give them constructive advice OR I could create templates of all the required and mandatory documents needed for the Tech Nation Visa application and offer that as a digital products where people could get access to and make their life much more easier and I can actually do both!
This would save me a lot of time, it would make the applicants be able to model their application after a successful one and also give them a much stronger chance and also bring in some type of revenue for my effort, time, resources and expertise.
So, I remembered that one time when I was going through “Miss Tech Nation’s” blog, I saw that she was offering paid templates for the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent visa and I said to myself
“She doesn’t have as much content as I do on my blog that actually breaks things down and gives people actionable takeaways, she just has interviews with other successful applicants and still she sells template thereby bringing in some type of revenue for her effort! She’s indeed a smart business woman! I like that… me on the other hand, I have videos, articles and guides breaking things down in such a way that anybody can literally take my articles and run with it without having to use any template or consultation, yet, I still spend hours replying emails and LinkedIn messages, I should totally create templates and video guides and then offer that so people could get access to the video and templates for a fee”
So, I went through her sales process, took inspiration from it and spent about 2 weeks creating done for you templates using my own documents as the foundation, I also created videos explaining how each document should be used and how to insert key points into the blank spaces left in the templates and more!
Once the templates were done, I spent couple of days creating my landing page, shooting the sales video and creating an online course portal where people who purchased the templates would get access to the video guides and templates for Tech Nation Visa.
Even though I drew inspiration from her blog to create and offer paid Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa document templates, I ensured that my page looked NOTHING like hers in terms of design and aesthetics. I did not just rip off her page nor created a duplicate of it. I personally wrote the code and created the design layout for my page which can be seen below.
I knew from the moment that I put up the sales page I would instantly become her competition and I wanted to be an ethical competition by ensuring that I competed on my strengths, I didn’t copy her layout or design and I didn’t in any way try to dim her light just so mine can shine better.
Since I already had a following on my blog for the Tech Nation Visa, I created banners on my blog and directed interested people to the landing page where they could learn more and if interested could get access to the premium templates and videos to save them time, headache and money!
“Miss Tech Nation Visa” Sent The Lawyers At Me!
Back to Miss Tech Nation. After she asked me for my email on LinkedIn, She sent me a mail containing the Google forms interview questions!
I took out time from my day to answer the questions. Being a blogger who has interviewed people, I always wished they answered questions with more stories and information rather than just giving one liners or two liners so I ensured that I wrote my answers in such a way that it made the whole interview look good on her blog and showed a part of my funny personality.
After filling out the interview, I submitted it and was happy I had finally found a way to add value to her and her blog.
Days went by and I didn’t hear from Miss Tech Nation confirming that she received the interview form I filled. One day when I was going through my documents, I discovered that I had made a mistake in one answer I gave in my interview. I said I was endorsed as an “Exceptional Promise” but I actually got endorsed as an “Exceptional Talent”.
(Exceptional Promise is when you are endorsed because you show potential to become a world leading talent in tech while Exceptional Talent is when you are already a world leading talent in Tech and get endorsed for that)
So, I sent her a message on LinkedIn…
She did not reply my message.
The next message I got from her was in my email with a subject “Legal Issue” and the you can already guess the content of the mail.
My guess is that when she was about to post my interview on her blog, she decided to check my blog once again to see what I have been up to and she said to her self “Holy shit! This guy now also offers Tech Nation Visa Template! Damn! His landing page is even much better than mine, he’s introductory video shows that he is now a thought leader within the space than I am and he has created videos and articles which actually makes him more of a person to offer a paid service since he has created so many free content and still does! Shit, I cannot interview this guy! He is the enemy, he is a threat, he “stole” my business, he stole “my copyright”… I need to get this guy out of business, I need to dim his light so mine can shine, nobody should be able to sell templates except me! because I am Miss Tech Nation Visa”
I don’t know if those were the exact words that came to her head but with the way she sent the lawyers after me so quick, those words cannot be so far away from the thought process she had in her head.
So, hers and her lawyer’s claim is that she owns the copyright to the “Tech Visa Application Website” and that my sales funnel and web page layout is strikingly similar to hers so I have infringed her copyright. They want me to cease and desist from being able to provide my own created Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa document templates and they also want me to tell them how much I have made from selling my own created templates so that they can asses what damages are payable to her. Really?
Let’s Access Her Claims.
- “She owns the Copyright to her website and my sales funnel and web page layout is strikingly similar”
Her Solicitors attached screenshots of both hers and my landing page trying to show some similarities but it was badly done. Besides the fact that whoever made that document that contained “the screenshots” doesn’t know anything about how to take websites screenshots, I wonder if after creating that document, he / she said to themselves “This pages look so strikingly similar, I think we have a case here”
Even a blind man would not say the web pages look similar in layout! They look nothing alike, mine looked like it was designed with love, hers looked like the person who designed it was making love while designing it so he/she paid no attention!
She built hers using Clickfunnels and I could have just also done the same and even used the exact same funnel template she made use of but remember, I am website designer and developer, I built mine using WordPress and ensured that it didn’t look in any way like hers!
If I had used clickfunnels and used her exact template, I wonder what she would have done! You have to remember that clickfunnels allows thousands of people to use one funnel over and over again! There are thousands of funnels built using the same templates! You cannot claim that!
I think she and her lawyer thinks she can operate a monopolistic market selling a product which isn’t unique to her and will never be!
I did not download her templates or videos and then tried to re-sell them as if they were mine. I did not use the exact same funnel template or design layout, neither did I make use of her name in anyway to try sell my own templates!
I am lost for words as to what they are trying to hold claim to! There are 100s of other applicants or even business minded people who will create their own templates and use mine or her sales process or web page as templates to follow to create their own product! Is she going to go after all of them? Is she trying to say she’s the only one that can create a business around her experience getting endorsed by Tech Nation?
What exactly is she claiming copyright for? The webpage which was built using a ClickFunnels template and sales funnel that any other person could have just replicated? The fact that she thinks she owns the exclusive right or copyright to create and sell tech nation visa document templates? What exactly is the claim?
- She wants me to cease and desist from offering my own made templates for sale.
A true business person understands that there will always be competition. If you do not understand the simple fact that you cannot be the only person in a marketplace, you should not be in business.
I lost all respect and admiration I had for her. I thought she was a very good business woman until she took the route of “emotion” instead of “logic”.
She is coming at me like I am using her videos, name or template!
For the record, I created my own templates and video course to help the community because I have hundreds of hours of free content on the internet that has helped loads of people and this template would be an avenue to help more people as it takes them through the lenses of a successful application document and allows them to cut time, apply with confidence and structure their application better.
You do not need to dim another person’s light so yours can shine!
The world and marketplace is big for everyone to play in! Instead of crying about a new competition in a market that isn’t even yours in the first place, you should be creating new strategies that gives you a competitive advantage. That’s how real business people operate, they don’t cry over new competition or send lawyers after any new entrant that is a potential competition.
- She wants me to reveal monies made so she can access damages!
Are you serious? The copyright claim holds no ground and seriously deserves no energy from my end.
This would only make sense if I sold her products as mine and made money from the templates she made or videos she made, then I can reveal how much I have made “from exploiting her work” and she can ask for damages but the work in this matter is my work, my intellectual property and what she’s claiming exactly is that I got inspiration from her sales page and web layout to create mine and it looks “strikingly similar”!
I really wish I can add screenshot of her sales page, it looks so far away from mine that a blind man might even regain his sight just to slap whoever claims they look “strikingly similar”
When I got the emails from her solicitor, I called up my mentor who happens to be a solicitor as well and we dissected and handled the whole situation. I don’t know if I am allowed to share the exact steps we took but one thing for sure is we paid their claims and request no effort.
If they are wise, they will see that there is no case here! But if they are not, I and my solicitor look forward to their second line of action..
I am totally disappointed in the way “Miss Tech Nation Visa” handled this matter! She showed that she has bad blood against all her competitions, she showed that she cannot handle competition, she wants to create a monopolistic environment in a market where the product being sold is not and can never be unique to you, she showed me that the only way she thinks she can shine her light is to dim other’s, she showed me that she is indeed not a smart business woman since she decided to resort to bad blood instead of creating competitive advantages for herself!
I will continue to write and create content around the Tech Nation Visa on my blog and also offer my paid service(s) to anyone who finds it valuable!
What do you think of this whole case? I would love to hear your comments below.