Stolen for profit

This image was sent to me by a good friend who stayed at the hotel.


I called De Spring Hotel in Kuantan immediately and they put the blame on Seagull Signcraft as they said that Seagull Signcraft also located in Kuantan was the one who came up with the design.

I made it for Hush Puppies last year for their Hari Raya campaign. And they used it for 2 months with a licence usage for poster printing, newspaper ads and money packets. They even put it online on their website, of which I think that leads to other companies stealing this image for their own profit and that includes Seagull Signcraft.

Again, images found on the Internet are not free to use. It is like window shopping, you can only see but cannot take or use. You have to pay for it.

Again and again, below is the information of what you cannot do ut of images found on the Internet or search engine like Google, Bing and what not:

1) If it doesn’t have a copyright notice, it’s not copyrighted. The default you should assume for other people’s works is that they are copyrighted and may not be copied unless you know otherwise. There are some old works that lost protection without notice, but frankly you should not risk it unless you know for sure. It is true that a notice strengthens the protection, by warning people, and by allowing one to get more and different damages, but it is not necessary. If it looks copyrighted, you should assume it is. This applies to pictures, too. You may not scan pictures from magazines and post them to the net, and if you come upon something unknown, you shouldn’t post that either.

2) If you don’t charge for it, it’s not a violation. False. Whether you charge can affect the damages awarded in court, but that’s main difference under the law. It’s still a violation if you give it away — and there can still be serious damages if you hurt the commercial value of the property.

3) If it’s posted to Internet, it’s in the public domain. False. Nothing modern and creative is in the public domain anymore unless the owner explicitly puts it in the public domain(*). Explicitly, as in you have a note from the author/owner saying, “I grant this to the public domain.” Those exact words or words very much like them.

4) It doesn’t hurt anybody — in fact it’s free advertising. It’s up to the owner to decide if they want the free ads or not. If they want them, they will be sure to contact you. Don’t rationalize whether it hurts the owner or not, ask them. Usually that’s not too hard to do.

I am taking action now. Will update the matter on my twitter and Facebook. Stay tune.

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