My friend, Directory of Illustration client and dedicated designer/illustrator Leighton Hubbell recently clued me in on his, and many other designers’, logo ‘intellectual property’ theft. Leighton had 21 logo designs stolen and the list of infringed designers keeps growing as more people are made aware of the Logogarden.com debacle. There are many more pieces of work on this site that designers haven’t yet discovered are theirs. Flip through this site and see if some of your work is there. Identity Designer Jeff Fisher at LogoMotives has also written a very extensive article about the whole situation.
|One example of the pilfering|
The AIGA, Graphic Artists Guild and a handful of other very visible designers are starting to get the word out. If you see your art there you can write a cease and desist (DMCA) letter to Logogarden’s hosting company’s legal department.
Protect your own brand. Follow Leighton’s advice: protect yourself from your own logo pilfering:
- Keep track of your images. Have a naming convention that you can easily keep going and where they were posted.
- Use metadata in your images. Include metadata, creation and copyright data information when saving in Photoshop or Adobe Bridge.
- File for copyrights on your images. You can file for copyrights in groups of images, too and save some money.
- Be careful where you post your work. Only submit to sites that you know or trust.
- Be a good neighbor. If you see a familiar image that looks overly inspired, contact the original designer if you know who it is. If not, Tweet it.
- Scan the image servers. Use Google Reverse Image Search or Tineye.com to see if anyone’s using your work.
- Cease & Desist letters – Get a copy of a DMCA form and have it ready if you need to send it.
- Consider digital tracking software. Services like Digimarc can label, watermark and track your digital library.
- Turn off image links on your website. Although not a big solution, it can certainly deter the casual infringer.
- Label your work. Let the pilferer know that they are borrowing your work should it end up beyond your reach.