Last week we saw the uproar over the Huffington Post‘s decision to run an unpaid-yet-high-profile logo design contest and this week we’re expecting the branding outrage to continue, this time in a slightly different direction but with likely much more ferocity. Late last week, Kansas-based designer Bill Gardner posted on RockPaperInk about the logo-for-cheap-site Logo Garden and how they had stolen not just 200 logos that his company had designed and were offering them up for a mere $79, but had also fairly blatantly swiped ultra-familiar logos like the World Wildlife Fund‘s panda and the Time Warner brand. So direct and widespread are the thefts that the AIGA has issued an Action Alert, requesting that all designers create an account through Logo Garden and search the site for copies of their own work that may have been pilfered. Should you find you’ve been robbed, the AIGA requests that you contact the site and CC: them, as “several legal actions are already in process.” Certainly not a bad idea to contact your own attorney should you find yourself in Gardner’s, and presumably other designers like him, predicament. Here’s a bit from the AIGA about the case against Logo Garden’s owner, John Williams, and what to look for when searching for your own work:
Williams has made slight modifications to many of the images, presumably in an attempt to avoid claims that he infringed on the original designers’ copyright rights, although these modifications are not enough to avoid liability for infringement of the creator’s rights in the underlying works. It may actually increase Williams’s liability by demonstrating his willful copyright infringement.