The risks of creative crowdsourcing
Steve Douglas on November 6th, 2010
Yet another boat logo. Yet another winning entry. And yet another graphic illustration of the risks of creative crowdsourcing for design buyers
Long time readers of the blog will be familiar withour damn boat logo. If not, let me bullet point. Many years ago, we designed a logo for an outfit called Euro Yacht and that logo has been featured on our website in
one form or anothersince 2004. Been around long enough to get to number one in a Google search for ‘boat logo’. Because of that simple fact, this logo keeps getting knocked off and entered into logo design contests that are even tangentially related to boats. A marine repair shop. A boat rental shop. You get the drill. It’snot one contest.Or two. Oreven three. It’s almost every single boat themed logo contest going. It wins too. Aboat logo knock-off won on 99designs a few months ago. Well, it’s won again. This time on a contest being run onCrowdspring. Even got awarded five out of five stars by the contest holder (I guess that’s cool). Let’s do
To Crowdspring’s credit, the winning entry was unawarded PDQ, and the ‘banning process started’ within fifteen minutes of me informing co-founderMike SamsonviaTwitter:
That’s all fine and dandy I suppose, but what about the entries that I, and others, miss? I think it’s safe to say that this is not an isolated incident. And I think it’s safe to say that it’s not just this silly little logo either. Some poor sap holds a $600 logo design contest in good faith, picks the logo that they like, only to find they can’t have it, because it belongs to someone else. That’s cause some twerp entering the contest feels perfectly entitled to knock-off someone else’s work, repurpose it (while claiming in their entry submission that they created it) for a chance to win the $600 prize (if that wasn’t enoughschadenfreudefor ya, they’re pinching the logo from a page that outlines how people are pinching the logo). Almost won it too, if it wasn’t for the sheer luck that was involved in us finding out before too much damage was done.
Turns out there’s a new wrinkle to our boat logo story – seems we still own the copyright to the little boat (long story) so whenever someone cribs the logo, they’re actually pinching from us. The logo’s value for exclusivity has been bastardized all to hell, so here’s what we’re gonna do – offer up stock art type licensing rights for our boat logo at $99per use. Want to enter our little boat logo in a contest? No problemo. Cough up 99 bones. And if the logo shows up in a hosted design contest, we’re going to send a bill for the licensing fee to the site hosting the contest because they’re claiming a license to display the work ‘in perpetuity’ as part of their terms and conditions. Any dough that we do manage to collect with be donated to charity (I’m thinkingDoctors without Borders– one of my personal causes) so if our new licensees don’t pay up, they’ll be taking money away from a very worthwhile organization. And that’s Bad-Karma-Ville. I’m kidding, right? Actually no. No, I’m not.
This interesting article is from the copyright owner of a logo that has been plagiarized many times and entered into crowdsourcing logo competitions....often winning!
An interesting fact based article that highlights the potential risks of open crowdsourcing competitions. You pay your $600 for your logo and you are in breach of someones copyright if you use it!