4.07.2009

Copyright wierdness update

Looks like Jon was the copycat all along. Bummer for him, ha. In this case, copyright proof from the other almost ten designers he took from called his bluff. Pretty funky stuff!

Okay, let me explain this first. This designer, Jon Engle, is saying that he was stolen from, and the pirates of his artwork sold his stuff to a stock illustration site. Then the site turned around and charged him for using the stock. He refused to pay for his own work, and they started using dirty tactics. The lawyers against him contacted the companies that he worked for and told them that he was in a lawsuit over plagiarized artwork and his clients were then admittedly cold fish on working with him. From his point of veiw, this is a royal screw over. To have to pay for your own work, and then lose clients because of your own integrity? BS.

Now, the site is down because it is really, really hot news right now. But when you read what he has to say, it paints a really bleak picture of the copyright industry. Scary stuff.

Initially I only posted the first link. The link directly to his site. When I started to read into it, however, I found a few sites that may discredit our poor, poor designer Jon. So I posted three of the most important sites relevant to the issue. Whether Jon is innocent or not, and time will tell, this begs the question, could such a situation arise? The answer is yes, and the future is scary. This is a very interesting situation that we as disillistrators might want to pay attention to.

http://www.jonengle.com/2009/04/accused/

http://brettlamb.com/blamblog/

http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/8ac0q/designer_gets_accused_of_stealing_his_own_work/c08p5i7

7 comments:

Brandon Black said...

The thing I'm not sure about is why he's getting so angry at the opposing law firm contacting his clients. Legally and ethically speaking, not only are they not doing anything wrong by doing so, but in many jurisdictions they are required to do so. This is so that, in case it turns out that they're right and he did steal something, his clients can legally protect themselves from becoming embroiled in further lawsuits.

Alex Lyon said...

so...they what is going on? Engle is being accused of stealing art off a stock site that he didn't pay for but was clearly copywriten before his and he is pissed? that he got caught? is that it or did i miss something? i only was able to read the second post the first link wouldn't load...

Brandon Black said...

Not to seem anti-artists or anti-Engle here (I'm not), but what the lawyers are doing simply can not be considered dirty tactics because what they're doing is the legally-responsible thing. Is it unfortunate if Engle is innocent? Extremely!

But pretend that he's actually guilty of what he is accused. Client's may have purchased or contracted stolen content. If they're using it for marketing purposes or to otherwise help make money, they need to be ready to stop using it; that way, they can say "as soon as we were informed, the content was pulled or the rightful owner was contacted to negotiate a new price" etc. etc. If the lawyers didn't do so, hundreds of clients may suddenly find themselves subpoenaed, other design firms may be dragged into it because of cross-content problems and licensing issues, and it could become a serious threat to hundreds, including many other artists, not just one designer.

If he's innocent, corporations don't normally tend to mind failed court cases, especially against experienced contractors; take the case of a lawsuit filed against an artist by Bayard Advertising in the late nineties; they were found to be in the wrong, and the artist continued to be well paid and receive steady work.

D.R. Hovey said...

The problem is that they had not filed a suit against him. There was no previous legal action, only threats. If they filed against him and then notified the companies he worked with, then it would be legal. However, no charges had been filed. That's called illegal.

Brandon Black said...

Ah, okay. I apologize in that case. I had thought he was actually facing legal action, or impending legal action (in which case they would still be required to alert clients). It's not illegal unless it can be classed as libel, which, unfortunately, it probably couldn't be in this particular circumstance because of the burden of proof and certain connotations that that inherently contains.

D.R. Hovey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.R. Hovey said...

I concede: you know alot more about law than I do, haha. I just know that it would suck to be drug through the mud like that, whether you win or not.

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