Greg Storey recently posted an article about “design theft” that’s getting a good deal of commentary in the biz. As a victim of such theft, I fully support his point of view and definitely understand the outrage associated with it… whether it was his design that was stolen or not. One of the toughest parts about dealing with this sort of thing is HOW to handle it. Usually, there are two courses of action you can take…
- Email and/or call the person responsible for ripping off your work and ask them to take it down, or re-do it.
- Publicly “out” them by posting on a website (your blog, Pirated-Sites.com, etc). This usually leads to a number of other individuals emailing the thief on your behalf.
Personally, I’m a big fan of option #2. I feel that if someone is going to publicly post a rip of your work, then you have every right to publicly post a response. Granted, this can sometimes be a bit hot-headed, but it’s a good exercise/example for younger designers to be privy too. If no one ever talks about it publicily, how would anyone know it’s wrong?
On the other hand, I do see the merit in emailing the person first as it’s the more polite and professional thing to do. Sometimes, the company with the stolen design doesn’t even realize it. So, punishing them for their designer’s error isn’t really fair. In Greg’s case, he went for a combination of both options… calling first to discuss the issue and then posting publicly when the responsible party didn’t really care about it.
What would you (or have you) done if someone ripped your design work?