Often we are asked by our customers to redraw the Shutterstock logo preview into a vector for the logo, without even buying it. Or they write the project description that the logo is already done, nothing needs to be invented, and dumps the sketches made with the same previews from Shutterstock. And many freelancers agree to take such projects without thinking about the consequences, which we will talk about today. It will be interesting for both customers and freelancers. Let me clarify that the article will talk about logos that will be registered as a trademark.
"If I find it on the Internet, then it belongs to everyone."
It so happened that many are guided by the principle "If I find it on the Internet, then it belongs to everyone." And it doesn't matter what it is - music, films, pictures or photographs. And if only recently, many people said in perplexity: “How is it to pay for music if you can download it? I pay for the Internet, ”- but now thinking has changed a little“ towards the conscious side ”. And the very technologies, services and laws to combat piracy push us to use legal resources. Well, first of all, it's convenient. Why should I look for music somewhere, download it, and then scatter it on all devices? And there is absolutely no time for that. Secondly, it is affordable and inexpensive. The same picture - with games and films.
But here's the pictures taken from the Internet
We will not delve into copyright and intellectual property laws, a lot has already been written about this, I can only briefly say: laws work all over the world. We are still not doing as we would like, but it is clear that there is development in this area. And I really hope that the mentality of our people will change along with the laws. Let me give you an example from my own life. Once upon a time I made a calendar on A4 with pictures of famous DJs. Something like a collage. And shared it on social networks. The feedback was huge: both from the DJs themselves who were on this calendar, and from major music labels. And now comes the fun part. Many of our people wrote: "But why, they say, there is no such and such or such a DJ?" - and similar claims. But foreigners, in addition to thanks, asked: "How can I buy it so that I can print it out?" Do you get it? 😀
Well, now - about the logos themselves
Can I officially use the stock logo that you bought for registration? In short, no. I'm not even talking about the fact that you might not have bought it. And it's all about the license, which prohibits the use of various images as a logo for commercial purposes and subsequent registration. Let me give you an example from the same Shutterstock. The official website states that:" Terms of provision Shutterstock does not authorize the use of Shutterstock photos or vectors in logos, trademarks, etc. However, if you choose to purchase an exclusive license for an image or video, Shutterstock may acquire the rights to that material and transfer you exclusive rights, which include the right their use for trademarks and logos. The cost of such rights depends on various factors, including the author's willingness to sell exclusive rights to his work. In addition, exclusive rights are valid only from the moment of the conclusion of the exclusive contract. Neither Shutterstock nor the creator can be held responsible for the use of an image prior to an exclusive contract, and such contract does not revoke a previously licensed royalty-free use of that image. ”If you want to take this or that photo for your website or advertising banner, it is enough to purchase a standard or extended license for little money, and you are not breaking anything. But with logos it is much more complicated. After all, if you wanted to use a stock logo, it is not known how much the author can ask for it. Especially if it is a popular image that generates a steady income: the figure can be very large. That is, there is no way to save money here. From the word at all. This also applies to Depositphotos. It is also prohibited there to use any images for logos that will be registered as a trademark. If without registration, the logo can be used. And you may even be surprised, but on the well-known freepik, where you can download a lot for free, it is also forbidden to use any images for commercial purposes. In general, you can download it, but you cannot use it.
What happens if the customer and the contractor have violated the license agreement?
When submitting all documents, including files with a logo for registration, monitoring is done to make sure that there is no such sign. If the reviewers find it on the drains, they will ask you for permission to use it. Recently, they sometimes still demand an act of completed work with the signature of the author himself. If plagiarism is detected, registration is out of the question. And in this situation, the performer himself will be extreme, since the customer has spent his time and money. And if you still signed a contract, you can be sued, and a fine cannot be avoided. A similar document, which indicated the penalties for its violation, I signed several months ago.
From all of the above, you can understand that using a logo from stocks is not a very good idea. Even if you don’t register it, but after a while you still have to do it in order to develop your business further. For you, as a customer, there are several options for how to purchase a logo:1. If the logo is a stock, purchase permission from the author, which will be either very expensive or impossible.2. Use websites to create a logo, and for about $ 10 you get a template version that you are unlikely to like.3. And the most proven way is to order a unique logo from a designer . But do not forget that cheap and high quality are incompatible things.
And for those freelancers who agree to projects that involve stealing someone's intellectual property, I suggest thinking, would you be pleased if your work was brazenly stolen? Probably not.