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Jon Engle vs StockArt.com Saga


MVP

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Has anyone followed this story from the past week or so? I think members here would be much interested in this strange story. For those who have been following the story, I just want to know which side you believe is in the right. For those who haven't read the story, here is a brief:

- StockArt.com, a stock illustration provider contacts Jon Engle, a freelance graphic designer asking him to pay $18,000 worth of stock illustrations, or else they will proceed with a lawsuit.

- Jon Engle claims that StockArt.com has stolen his work from online portfolio galleries such as Logopond and Elance, and spec work site DesignOutpost, then StockArt.com uploads said illustrations onto their website for others to purchase.

- The illustrations in question are listed under 20 or so illustrators on StockArt.com, many of which have extensive portfolios and reputations.

- After twittering his claim, many designers backed Jon Engle, and even contributed money to a Fund so that Engle could fight the lawsuit.

After reading this long, but interesting post from The Logo Factory, the research done by the writer has really directed me to the other side of the story. There is even further research by others that are written in the comments below the post. Again, from The Logo Factory, here is a list of the logos/illustrations in question for comparison : http://www.thelogofactory.com/logo_blog/stock.html

I'm really intrigued to continue to follow this story and see how it turns out.

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Definitely an interesting situation. Regardless of which way this works out, it's a good example of what happens when you post work on the internet.

As a designer, I hope that his side of the story is the truth, but there is certainley evidence that says otherwise...We'll see how this plays out.

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Wow, interesting story, and pretty scary. This is the first I've heard of this, and my initial reaction was to think "I can't believe StockArt did that" and "they'll probably get away it." But having read that article, I don't know what to think.

The one massive question that's bothering me is this: Why in the majority of these cases shown has the logo not been altered more drastically? I know there are slight changes and recolouring, but some lift the logo in its entirety. Now, this would lead me to believe that StockArt is in the right here, as they are the ones who would have had to redraw the logos in question. If they had stolen them, surely somewhere in that process changes would have been made. Most of the logos are pretty generic: lasso, taxi, dragon. Surely not much would have to be done to retain the idea of the logo but lose the immediate resemblance. I can see why Engle may have left the logos unchanged, either because he purchased the original art, or thought he was too small to get found out, but why StockArt would essentially trace them without making chances escapes me.

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Just read a comment on a blog post about this, that has pretty much sold it for me. Click the second link on MVPs original post (the one with all the logo comparisons. Check out the 5th from bottom logo, the fountain pen. The Stockart logo has a box around it, while Engle's doesn't. No big deal, but when you look at where the outline of the pen ends on Engle's logo, it produces the exact result of having cropped the box from the original logo. Otherwise, I see now reason why Engle's logo would be drawn like this.

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Just read a comment on a blog post about this, that has pretty much sold it for me. Click the second link on MVPs original post (the one with all the logo comparisons. Check out the 5th from bottom logo, the fountain pen. The Stockart logo has a box around it, while Engle's doesn't. No big deal, but when you look at where the outline of the pen ends on Engle's logo, it produces the exact result of having cropped the box from the original logo. Otherwise, I see now reason why Engle's logo would be drawn like this.

Good eye william. That one could definitely use some explanation! There is no purpose to designing the pen with those sharp edges on it, when everything else flows smoothly...

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Well hopefully the community learns some lessons and people start smartening up whichever way this turns out. I am still on the fence about it, but williamrhys makes a good point, and I myself was thinking that many of the logos on Stockart look better than Engle's iterations. That doesn't mean one was made before the other, but I'll just say that the Stockart ones appear more "natural", like their version makes more visual sense. Examples: The guy's face with glasses and spiked hair, the tape on the glasses reads much better as tape in Stockart's version than in Engle's version. The first logo, the leaves, looks better to me in Stockart's version, and the shape of the leaves kind of leads me to believe the one on Stockart was the "original". The ShoeAvenue logo, maybe it is just me, but the shoe seems more natural when facing the right, which is in Stockart's version. On the other hand, the lighthouse in the Clark Benefits Consulting logo looks backwards to me when shown in the Stockart version, and the Rockstar Cowboy lasso actually looks like an 'R', FWIW. I am slightly leaning one way on this, but could see anything happening, maybe even a mix of the two stories.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that Stockart is right in this case. Most designers have a certain style that they like to stick to and you can tell if its one of their logos but with Jon's, the styles vary a lot. This makes me kind of suspicious.

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  • 3 months later...

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