Oh, the irony!


I was working on a blog about these nifty lil gadgets that pick up and store colors until a bigger issue, I felt, took precedence. Crowdsourcing. These crowd sourcing sites, pay a designer a minimal amount for a generic logo or illustration and resell them to business owners, usually small business owners.

“Crowdsourcing websites do not serve small businesses. There is no oversight on whether the graphics created by participants are in fact original; there are countless examples of small businesses being slapped with copyright violation because they unwittingly purchased a plagiarized logo. The crowdsourcing sites’ terms and conditions absolve them from any legal responsibility. It’s a no-win for everyone participating.” – Graphic Artists Guild (visit their website here)

It happens all to often.  A business owner finds a company outsourcing logos for a couple hundred dollars, buys it and  later gets a cease and desist letter from the designer that actually designed the logo. Not  only is the business owner out of a logo, but out of the money they paid for it, on top of now, having to get a new logo and change the branding that goes along with it.
Pay a little extra, get a good logo designed  that emphasizes your values and business by a good designer that will meet, talk to and work with you and make sure they give you exactly what you want. You won’t be sorry and stuck with a bewildered sense of irony or ethics.


For my designer friends

Again, all to often, we come across sites offering to sell your work. But there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. 30 designers submit their designs for a particular project, the business selects the one they like best and everyone gets paid for their hard work and intellectual property. Right?
The one that gets selected gets paid. This is called ‘Spec work’ and it completely devalues what we do.
More often than not, the designs that don’t get picked, get sold to a logo outsourcing company, and everyone is getting paid for the designer’s hard work, but the designer.
No matter what field you’re in, someone else getting paid for your work is flat out unethical.

I don’t get into political statements, but I find this so absurd.
A few months after the White House released it’s plan to protect intellectual property rights, on October 6th , 2011 they announced a contest. This is an excerpt from the Graphic Artists Guild’s website.

the Obama For America re-election campaign announced a design contest titled “Art Works; A poster contest to support American jobs.” The alleged purpose of this poster is to motivate people to support the President’s American Jobs Act. The “prize” for the winning poster designer is a framed print of the poster, signed by the President.

Additionally, the contest rules state that all artists who submit work to the contest grant the Obama For America campaign an unrestricted unpaid irrevocable license to use ALL of the submissions, not just the winning entry, and the campaign nowhere promises to credit the “winning” artist when his/her work is used.”

The irony isn’t lost on us: A crowdsourced contest is soliciting free work (spec work) from American artists for the purpose of promoting legislation to create jobs.
I especially loved the fact that the prize, was your own work that you no longer have any rights to and didn’t get paid for….to help promote a jobs bill.

Oh the Irony!



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