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  1. #1

    Default My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo

    Hello,
    I have a shop on cafepress.com I am a fine and graphic artist. ALL the designs in my shop were created by me.

    Doing a search today to see how one of my newest is ranking in their market place, low and behold I find the EXACT same image in another shop. Not only that, they are claiming that is their logo! (I do a bit of logo work. It is very expensive. I would never just give it away.)

    I'll hold off on showing the exact image (thus promoting my thief.) until I get some expert asking to see. But trust me, this is nothing that would just randomly happen. No way!

    I do have the original working files.
    I did already write to CP asking for their help but aside from removing the image and warning the thief, I seriously doubt they will do much else.

    I DO have screen shots of the store, and I did a whois search of the domain name they are using with my design as their logo. I have the name of who it's registered to at least.

    Seriously, if there is legal action possible, I'm VERY interested!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    It isn't Cafe Press' responsibility to do any more than warn the offender and take the image down. Repeat offenders get their stores taken away, but that's as far as it goes.

    If you have suffered financial damages as a result of their improper use of your work, you can certainly file suit, but expect to have to make a full accounting of losses suffered.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    I understand CP will only remove the thing. And after I got over the initial being pissed part, it's possible the site owner (not cp) who intends to make this their "logo" doesn't know where it came from. It's possible some other artist they hired stole it.
    There is no contact me on their particular shop. And the website it points to isn't created yet. (All it has is the name of their site.) So I have to believe it just might be some newbie who hired a moron to do the artwork and doesn't realize what happened. CP will explain it to them I'm sure.

    As for my "losses." So I know in the future, how does this work?
    "Losses" would of course be any profit THEY made with my art that should have been mine.
    BUT... their shop clearly states this is their "logo." Logo work is expensive. I wouldn't touch a logo job for anything less than 250.00 and even that is dirt cheap. (Some run into the thousands.) Surely there is punitive damages for stealing art and calling it logo isn't there?
    Not to mention what I SHOULD have been paid to create it, or at least sell rights to use it.

    Still. this is peanuts to a lawyer. And if the domain owner is the same as the site owner, I'm in Mi, they are CA. So I doubt it would be worth a real court case. But damn! There has to be something that can be done about this. Even if it's sending a bill. Let them know I KNOW my work was stolen.

    Also I'd like to find out exactly WHO did do their art. Wonder if CP would help with that. (probably not.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    For the best protection of your work, you can register a copyright. See copyright.gov.
    Quote Quoting Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
    Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration” and Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U.S. works.

  5. #5

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    Oh great link!!! Thanks. I had no idea it was so reasonable too. 35.00 if done on line? I can swing that. (doubt I will for every design I do on CP but this one perhaps.)

    Still waiting to hear back from CP on this.
    Thanks for that link. I have it saved for future use.
    (best part I read so far, it covers legal costs!!! YEA.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    Well now this is getting really sticky.
    In fact it may be ME in trouble here!

    CP removed the products from the guys store, at my request he asked him to contact me. So I got a very nice email explaining that he BOUGHT vector art from istock photo and gave me a link.

    OH MY GOD!!!!!

    I had pulled a very small cruddy image off the internet and used that as my drawing guide. I did generate the vector art myself, but it seems so did someone on istock. (It's not a stretch two images would be so close now.)

    Time to show you what I mean.
    Mine... http://www.cafepress.com/artmakersworlds/5661702
    (the bike with shadow is what I'm talking about.)

    Now lookie.
    http://www.istockphoto.com/file_clos...php?id=5916751)

    I wish I could attach a screen shot I have of MY vector art over the image I found to use. There is no watermark.

    I did email the shop keeper back, and I also contacted CP again.
    I feel terrible now. They made this persons images unavailable for no reason. AND... now I'm afraid my using a downloaded image could get ME in trouble. (Then again, artists copy other artists work and have since cafe man. It's not like I copied and pasted anything. I wish I could attach my work in progress here to show that. Takes hours to do what I did.)

    So.. any advice would be welcome.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    I should clarify, my specific question now is this.

    I know from reading the copyright page you posted, that some images are not copyright able. A hand, a horse, like that. Generic stuff.
    I assumed my tracing a guy on a bicycle would fall into this category.
    But... now that I know I literally traced an istock photo, do I need to remove my work from CP?

    Again, I DID generate the vector art. The art is mine. But as a direct outline of their image.

    IS this cool or not. That's the issue now.

    Oh and thankfully, the guy who's shop was temporarily out of service is not upset at all.

    Still, I have lots of other photos I was going to use the same way. Before I get myself into trouble, I need to find out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    Apologize profusely, remove any potentially infringing work from your own site, and be careful in the future. I can't predict the future, but seeming genuinely sorry may help improve the chances that the story ends here.

  9. #9

    Default Re: My Artwork, Showing Up in Another Store As Their Logo. Anything I Can Do?

    I see from my stats that people have been clicking my shop to see what this is all about. So I think a final follow up here is in order.

    I voluntary removed my art since I basically copied a copywrite protected image. I actually seemed to have impressed several cafepress people who were following my thread in their forums for doing so.
    Hey, when your wrong your wrong. Only thing to do is fix it. That image WAS someone elses, once I saw it there is no question. So sigh, fine. I did it once, I can do it again.

    I use a site now for my photos (even added some of my own for others to have. Search for artmaker to find those.) All royalty free! http://morguefile.com/ I found one with a bunch of ten speed bikers, and used that as my reference material.

    So my site now, has a very similar image to what I had. I replaced all the old ones. http://www.cafepress.com/artmakersworlds/5661702

    Lesson learned, be very sure anything I use is ok to use!
    (Why must I always learn things the hard way???)

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