I never saw the original, but it seems like they used the content from the original piece to "recreate" the site. In that case, its a clear case of copyright infringement. Either way, I'd agree with Conner, the original solution probably included weeks of concept and experimentation, not weeks of getting js libraries to work.
This post has ignited a debate on the Twittersphere and observers in the new media landscape.
For a publication that has such a strong digital team, I'm quite surprised at the NYT's response. The takedown of the 'replica' is fine, but their stance on the issue does them no favours.
That being said, ScrollKit's marketing is in poor taste and they continue to leverage this point and claim some moral high ground. The fact is they shouldn't have used the NYT's content let alone use it for marketing so aggressively. Saying that " making a replica only makes the piece more iconic and celebrated" is complete bullshit. They clearly used it to market their startup and discussions keep mentioning 'innovation' are distractions from the real (imo) issue.
I don't understand the narrative in this post at all and none of the arguments he poses add up. I'm not surprised NYT asked them to take it down.
I find the Scrollkit team's claim misleading, in any case. Those hundreds of hours the NYT took creating Snow Fall were spent trying to figure out an original solution to a problem. If I can see how an existing website is coded, I can "replicate" it in a fraction of the time - with or without a tool like Scrollkit.
I'd argue the NYT's legal team are in the right, here (but only barely): the Scrollkit claim that their tool allows you to "make a replica [of the NYT's Snow Fall site] in an hour" is very unclear. It could easily be construed as "Our tool allows you to quickly rip off other's IP and present it as your own."