So, yet another talentless "designer" has decided to plagiarize my work and post it online. And on a site where I've had the original logo posted already. This person posted the ripped-off logo on May of this year and I've had my logo on the site since February of 2007. I originally created this design in 2003 for a local photography business.
Now, this is the second time I've caught someone plagiarizing this logo. The first time was last summer by a web design business in Pittsburgh, Pa that was using it as their own company identity. They vehemently denied that they stole the design right up until I had my lawyer send them a cease and desist letter. They promptly removed the logo and not long after changed their business name and redesigned their entire site.
This just goes to show that you really have to be careful with who you hire to do graphic design work for your business. Something like this can end up costing a substantial amount of money. Infringing on work that has been copyrighted can cost up to $30,000 to $150,000 or more for each infringing copy of the registered work. In Copyright infringement cases you also have to pay the company or individuals legal fees whose work was infringed upon. These are not made up numbers. The information is available to anyone that wants to research it at the U.S. Copyright Office website www.copyright.gov.
Unfortunately, pleading ignorance is no defense. The fine may be reduced if it is proven that you did not know the work was plagiarized but in either case you will be held liable for copyright infringement. Now that's something to think about.