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miltonANDlumbergh

North Texas Orcas Semi-Pro Football

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About a month ago a new member joined the forum looking for design help for his semi-pro football team, the North Texas Orcas. He posted a thread inviting designers to create a brand new logo plus uniforms on freelancer.com in a design contest. I entered along with several other members and created a design from scratch. After the contest was over, the team awarded the prize to a contestant who designed very sub-par uniforms and a logo I recognized from somewhere else...Apparently the winning designer stole the logo from an Alberta swimming organization here. I alerted the Orcas that the design they chose was plagiarized, and they temporarily stopped the contest on freelancer. Just recently however, I noticed that they went back to their original decision and awarded the stolen work as the winner of the contest. I checked on their facebook and they have branded everything with the stolen work. This completely befuddled me that a pro football team in Texas would resort to such a thing like this. Just thought I would share.

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I will put this out there for everyone to see it:

 

You have several facts that are not straight:

 

1. Yes, Freelancer investigated the submission by the winning designer.  However, they found that he was not in violation because he made several alterations to their "mascot".  The mascot is the only thing there was an issue with.  The wordmark was not in any violation.

 

2. The designer made a very different changes to the design.  For instance, when you compare both logos, he altered the image by changing its orientation, changed the teeth, mouth, chin, chest, moved the fin up, changed the arm positions, changed the definition on the arms, and added an ENTIRE LOWER BODY to the image that was only inspiration.

 

3. Look at the attached images.  One is for the team in Canada with their mascot and wordmark.  One is ours.  To us, there were sufficient changes in the design to not make it a plagiarized copy.  You have to look close, but they are there.  The wordmarks aren't even close.  The mascots are different if you LOOK close.

 

 

I just want to say, that this takes vindictiveness to a new level for us.  You entered a contest and lost.  So, you go out and start a thread, post on our FB page, and email an organization with an INSPIRED, but yet, DIFFERENT mascot design.  What are you trying to achieve in all this?  Let's say that worse case scenario is that the Orcas in Canada send us a cease and desist.  Well, that ends that.  Then what?  We go out and find another design from someone else.  What does that achieve for you?  Do you think after putting us through this hassle that we would accept your design?  A guy wins a contest, does something you deem to be wrong, Freelancer supports the designer, so you have to attempt to make us suffer for it?

 

Please, grow up.

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13 minutes ago, dcebb2001 said:

I will put this out there for everyone to see it:

 

You have several facts that are not straight:

 

1. Yes, Freelancer investigated the submission by the winning designer.  However, they found that he was not in violation because he made several alterations to their "mascot".  The mascot is the only thing there was an issue with.  The wordmark was not in any violation.

 

2. The designer made a very different changes to the design.  For instance, when you compare both logos, he altered the image by changing its orientation, changed the teeth, mouth, chin, chest, moved the fin up, changed the arm positions, changed the definition on the arms, and added an ENTIRE LOWER BODY to the image that was only inspiration.

 

3. Look at the attached images.  One is for the team in Canada with their mascot and wordmark.  One is ours.  To us, there were sufficient changes in the design to not make it a plagiarized copy.  You have to look close, but they are there.  The wordmarks aren't even close.  The mascots are different if you LOOK close.

 

 

I just want to say, that this takes vindictiveness to a new level for us.  You entered a contest and lost.  So, you go out and start a thread, post on our FB page, and email an organization with an INSPIRED, but yet, DIFFERENT mascot design.  What are you trying to achieve in all this?  Let's say that worse case scenario is that the Orcas in Canada send us a cease and desist.  Well, that ends that.  Then what?  We go out and find another design from someone else.  What does that achieve for you?  Do you think after putting us through this hassle that we would accept your design?  A guy wins a contest, does something you deem to be wrong, Freelancer supports the designer, so you have to attempt to make us suffer for it?

 

Please, grow up.

 

Here's the thing. You're wrong, plain and simple. 

 

The logo you used is absolutely a Copyright infringement. You're arguing that the logo you used is fair use under the idea that the alterations made were transformative. The problem is that the alterations made did not transform the logo in really any substantial way. The logo you now use is practically the same as the logo it was copied from at first glance. That first glance is extremely important, especially since you admit that it was an altered version of the original logo.

 

You are right to say that some elements and ideas may be used as inspiration when transforming a logo, but the heart of the design and/or the purpose must be different. In neither case is this true. Your logo has no separate meaning other than being a sports logo (just like the original), and there weren't nearly significant enough alterations to make this an instance of fair use. Under your argument, I could take the the Patriots logo, replace the star, change the eye shape, and bend the tail, and that wouldn't be copyright infringement.

 

To answer your question in what Milton is trying to achieve: You're posting on a forum for people who care about design so much that it's a hobby for all of us, and even a profession for some of us. This site is full of professional graphic designers, marketers, IP lawyers, etc. To put it simply, people here don't like seeing people take profit from work they don't deserve credit for. You've committed a copyright violation, you shouldn't be surprise that someone on a design site is pissed about it.

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4 minutes ago, Lafarge said:

 

Here's the thing. You're wrong, plain and simple. 

 

The logo you used is absolutely a Copyright infringement. You're arguing that the logo you used is fair use under the idea that the alterations made were transformative. The problem is that the alterations made did not transform the logo in really any substantial way. The logo you now use is practically the same as the logo it was copied from at first glance. That first glance is extremely important, especially since you admit that it was an altered version of the original logo.

 

You are right to say that some elements and ideas may be used as inspiration when transforming a logo, but the heart of the design and/or the purpose must be different. In neither case is this true. Your logo has no separate meaning other than being a sports logo (just like the original), and there weren't nearly significant enough alterations to make this an instance of fair use. Under your argument, I could take the the Patriots logo, replace the star, change the eye shape, and bend the tail, and that wouldn't be copyright infringement.

 

To answer your question in what Milton is trying to achieve: You're posting on a forum for people who care about design so much that it's a hobby for all of us, and even a profession for some of us. This site is full of professional graphic designers, marketers, IP lawyers, etc. To put it simply, people here don't like seeing people take profit from work they don't deserve credit for. You've committed a copyright violation, you shouldn't be surprise that someone on a design site is pissed about it.

 

Freelancer found that the design was not in violation after a 3 week investigation.  They assured us that we and the designer were good.  I also contacted the branding and marketing director with the Lethbridge Orcas, and he is OK with it.  They took no issue as we are a small 501c3 and nobody takes a salary.  I think this case is closed.

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1 hour ago, dcebb2001 said:

They took no issue as we are a small 501c3 and nobody takes a salary. 

 

That has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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2 hours ago, dcebb2001 said:

 

Freelancer found that the design was not in violation after a 3 week investigation.  They assured us that we and the designer were good.  I also contacted the branding and marketing director with the Lethbridge Orcas, and he is OK with it.  They took no issue as we are a small 501c3 and nobody takes a salary.  I think this case is closed.

Look, if you did nothing wrong, keep on trucking. The bottom line, however, is that if you chose to use a minorly altered established logo, a percieved rip-off is going to come with the territory. Being accused of that should be handled professionally, not by hurling accusations at a poster on a board. If you can't handle minor heckling on your FB wall about it, get the hell off social media, because a lot of it happens.

 

Also, I'm dating an IP para. She (after casually consulting with her boss) told me that you are in very murky waters. Especially since the swim club weren't the originators of the logo. If someone can prove their design predates the swim club's use, they could have a case, regardless of your team's financial status.

 

The OP didn't come across as bent out of shape or a sore loser. You, on the other hand are coming across as agitated and defensive.

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This whole "I changed your logo x percentage so now it's my logo!" nonsense really has to be shot down whenever someone tries to use it.

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I was not trying to get on anyone's bad side with this post. I am simply a sports logo enthusiast and designer who saw something that pertains to the interest of this forum. Stolen work is a very serious issue in branding a sports club, and I did not want your team to get in trouble. If you have gotten the okay from the original designer, that is fine, and I applaud you. I was merely pointing out that a sports team who sought out professional logo work did not need to use a stolen/already used logo. To each his own.

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14 hours ago, dcebb2001 said:

I will put this out there for everyone to see it:

What are you trying to achieve in all this?  Let's say that worse case scenario is that the Orcas in Canada send us a cease and desist.  Well, that ends that.  Then what?  We go out and find another design from someone else.  What does that achieve for you?  Do you think after putting us through this hassle that we would accept your design?  A guy wins a contest, does something you deem to be wrong, Freelancer supports the designer, so you have to attempt to make us suffer for it?

 

Please, grow up.

Also, I have already withdrawn my designs, so clearly my goal is not winning a small prize in a contest. If you do manage to get another design from someone else, with original ideas and no copyright infringement, I will be extremely happy for your organization. Ask any graphic designer or sports logo fan and they will tell you the same thing.

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