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We're all outraged by the lies and distortions told by the endless parade of propagandists from Fox News and Sarah Palin to Dick Cheney and John Boehner. I find it despicable.  I'd be a hypocrite if I was silent when I caught somebody "on my team" guilty of similar unethical behavior.

Silence is consent.

So, in an effort to persuade these self-proclaimed progressives to do the right thing, I'm calling out two prominent people on the left today. It saddens me that this is necessary, and it especially saddens me that I've already spoken directly to one, and she knows (without a doubt) that what she's continuing to do is illegal and unethical, she flat out refused to correct her behavior, claiming an attorney told her she could get away with it.

So. Not. Cool.

First, Ed Schultz. Wednesday night, Ed showed a video of George W Bush with Bill Clinton on a rope line, shaking hands with Haitians. The video allegedly shows Bush shaking a Haitian's hand, then immediately wiping his hand on Clinton's shirt.

Believable, huh? Yep. Funny, too. But it isn't true.

The video (embedded above) was manipulated. It was slowed down, cleverly, right as Bush's hand pats Clinton's shoulder. In the original BBC video, it's clear that Bush is patting Clinton on the shoulder (two quick pats; seen at about 00:48) to nudge him back on schedule, as they were running late. Bill was talking too much....George was trying to keep them on time.

Now, I admit I missed Ed Schultz last night, so if he already retracted this I apologize for calling him out now. I looked around his website for a retraction or an apology, but didn't find one. Please post a link in the comments if you find one.

The thing that really bothered me about seeing Ed do this was that I saw the story about this hoax on the BBC Tuesday morning, long before The Ed Show aired. So, a simple Google search could have vetted this story before Schultz aired it at 6pm EST. That bums me out.

[EDIT] It wasn't the BBC that I saw the hoax story, it was the Guardian. It links to the BBC video:

George Bush's clean hands in Haiti George Bush unfairly mocked after video appears to show him wiping hand on Bill Clinton after handshake in Haiti

C'mon, Ed, you gotta be more conscientious! Maybe I'm an idealist, but I want progressive media to be above reproach! How else can I stand on my high horse and look down my nose at the hacks on Fox? I would really hate to give that up. Really. Don't take that away from us.

Email Ed and ask him to correct this on the air.


The second person I'm calling out is much more upsetting to me, as it has a direct impact on my (in)ability to make a living.

I've had my graphic design work stolen many times. Once, another designer put his name on my work and added it to his online portfolio. It was easily resolved; I sent a "cease and desist" letter and it was removed. Somebody once sold copyrights to my work to a third party, and that third party had no idea it was stolen work. They paid a thief for hot property. I've never been compensated. It's not really that big of a loss; it's the principle. I studied graphic design for nearly a decade, and I've invested thousands in software/computers/fonts/books etc. It's my vocation and my passion....I've been laid off three times in the last ten years.

So, a few weeks ago, I check out the Coffee Party. As a designer, I quickly see they could use some help. I consider volunteering. But, something is bugging me: the logo? It looks mighty familiar. I reminds me of something...ah, yes, it's the big iron coffee cup on the wall of my favorite indie coffeehouse nearby! I Google to see if I'm right, and the first hit I get shows the original designer of this EXACT coffee cup is this little sign-making shop in PA. Not cool.


Now, designers get inspiration from each other all the time. It happens every day, and inspiration is acceptable. Necessary, even. Sure, we all hope to create wholly original designs, but sometimes a client won't settle for anything other than "just like" another design. I once had a client who insisted on a "letter orb" exactly like one they'd found online. I refused to copy it, but I did create this (right) for them. (I really hate it; it's a knock-off and the shape of the B is all wrong! The client insisted on the shape...and the client loved it.) It's SO not original, but it's not stolen, either. The original orb? Awesome!


So, I contact the founder of The Coffee Party USA Annabel Park (Annabel'sbio) to quietly let her know her inexperienced designer has stolen a copyrighted design and this opens her and the Coffee Party to a lawsuit. I figure as soon as she knows, she'll want to act on it quickly to avoid even a hint of unethical behavior. I don't hear back from her immediately, but I finally get confirmation from one of her moderators she's aware of the problem and she'll contact me for help with a new logo. I have some free time, so I start playing around with designs. We email back and forth, she tells me she really loves my work, then, she asks me to call to discuss it further. I call her twice during the windows she told me to, and both times she doesn't answer. So, I figure she's just busy.

She calls me back, finally, and to my complete shock, she informs me that she's consulted "with several lawyers" and they told her "not to worry about it." She says they're keeping the stolen logo, as is. I'm shocked. Up until this point, I thought the whole reason we were communicating was so I could volunteer my time to help create an original logo for The Coffee Party.

Apparently, while I was working on design ideas, making sketches and getting her feedback, she was preparing a defense for plagiarism? (Why?) As soon as she reveals this, I tell her I think it's crazy to violate copyright law, and it's no way to start a "middle class" movement. This ticks her off. A lot. I apologize four times for using the word "crazy" because she keeps bringing it up, over and over. She then claims the logo is clip art, which I'm about 80% sure is wrong, but if she's right, fine. She can use royalty-free clip art legally. The conversation ends with an awkward, tense silence, then a little while later she sends me this:

March 20 at 1:28pm   Report
Eileen, I just wanted to reiterate that I think you're really talented and I am very interested in working with you. I'm sorry about your disappointment with the logo but there are many opportunities coming up to contribute your design talent.


I shake off the possible implication(?) that I'm "disappointed" she's rejected my offer to redesign her logo for free - as if that's some privilege? To work for free? Designers get that a lot. Companies offer you "the chance" to design their multimedia advertising campaign solely for the "opportunity" to "build your portfolio." Yeah, I made the same offer to my accountant. No dice.

Anyway...I reply to Annabel:

I'm really struggling with this. I just can't be a party to co-opting somebody else's work.

I just spoke with the manager (I think she was the owner?) at Jamma Designs. They did, in fact, custom draw that coffee cup by hand, and therefore, they do own the copyrights, just as their website states they do. I didn't tell them why I was asking, or mention the Coffee Party in any way, and I promise I have no plans to do so.

Attorney permission or not, does this change anything for you?

Yep, I called Jamma Designs. I told them I was a graphic designer and I had a client that wanted to use their Coffee Cup for a logo, and was it possible to buy the copyrights for this purpose. She said the design was drawn by them, and they have no interest in selling the copyrights. I figured if Annabel KNEW for a fact it was copyrighted material, she'd want to do the right thing.

Three days later, Annabel finally replies:

I am comfortable with my lawyers' counsel about the current logo.
I would like for you to stop sending me messages about this to me.

OK, now I'm disappointed. I thought progressives cared about not ripping-off the little guy? I searched around, then tell her how easily I found more evidence of copyright infringement by H Daniel Marquez Rios and used as her Coffee Party logos. He even puts his name on these obviously stolen designs! Duh.

This Seattle version of the Coffee Party logo is clearly ripped off from Frasier, and the "new" space needle? That's stolen, too. Both these images come up on the first page of Google image search for "Seattle Logo."


And I finish by telling Annabel this:

Aside from inviting lawsuits, you should be deeply ashamed of yourself for defending your theft and plagiarism. I sincerely hope it never happens to you.

I'm not surprised her response was to "unfriend" me.

It's one thing to be so young and inexperienced that you don't know any better. It's entirely another to know what you're doing is wrong and defend it - for no good reason! I offered to DONATE an original and professional logo that she responded to with: "Wow that's great!" But for some inexplicable reason, she'd rather steal somebody else's work. I don't get it.

Many people assume design work is "just a drawing" and therefore not valuable. If it's so worthless, don't steal it!

We all know plagiarism is wrong, right? Design plagiarism is equally wrong and HUGELY financially damaging to designers. Most think copyright infringement harmless, but it's so not! Here's why; lets say this Coffee Party gets big - five years from now, it's like or DFA. The logo is doing it's job, being the face and name ("the official stamp") of the organization.

Before it (illegally) became the logo for the Coffee Party, Jamma Designs was making and selling this sculpture to the restaurant industry. Who knows? Maybe they invested in a warehouse full of this "generic" coffee-cup sculpture?'s not just their sculpture anymore, its more (it's become an identifiable logo!) how many people are going to buy a wrought-iron "Coffee Party Logo" to decorate their restaurant? (Now they have a warehouse full of junk.)

Now, what if everything "Jamma Designs" creates and advertises online gets stolen and used as a logo for another company? What would be left from them to sell? Not much. Without copyright enforcement, what could they possibly advertise that wouldn't be stolen?

It may seem like nothing but a doodle of a coffee cup, but the Nike swoosh is far less complex and we all recognize it instantly. Same with Target's red bullseye. Logos are valuable; and they are VERY hard to design well. If it was easy, people wouldn't be stealing them so often.  

I hope Annabel will change her mind and make it right by either re-designing the logos or getting legal permission from the original designers. (No way I'm going to do the design work, though!)

Who's already joined the Coffee Party on Facebook? I encourage you to post on the wall and tell them to make this right! Are you going to Coffee Party meetingsthis weekend? Bring this up! Don't condone unethical, illegal practices that hurt small businesses. If we liberals don't hold "our own" accountable, we lose the right to bitch about conservative hypocrisies.

The Coffee Party/Annabel's slogan is: "Wake Up and Stand Up!" So, I'm following directions. I'm standing up. Obama says it all the time: Sunshine is the best disinfectant. What the Coffee Party is doing is wrong. Hold them accountable! My private efforts failed. I hope you'll help by shining more light on this, Kossacks.

Originally posted to Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 04:32 AM PDT.


Is it ever OK to steal copyrighted designs and use it for a company logo without permission of the copyright holder?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for keeping everyone honest! (56+ / 0-)

    Just for the record, this is the proposed logo I submitted to Annabel.


    I just uploaded it now, and I'll probably delete it off Flickr soon. Just to be clear, I informed The Coffee Party that I haven't granted them any copyrights to my design work, so please DO NOT distribute/save or link to this image. Sadly, I did send Annabel a high-quality sample of this (now I wish I hadn't!)

    Silence is consent.

    by Eileen B on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 10:39:25 PM PDT

    •  WOW~! That's gorgeous~! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B

      "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

      by Annalize5 on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:19:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not report them? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, axman, vc2

      I'd grant some wiggle room if they were interested in fixing the problem, and probably under a few other circumstances (e.g. if they had no budget or if the people they "borrowed" from had a history of making dubious copyright claims -- I include Disney's lobbying to extend copyrights in that category).

      But now that they've said they are acting on a lawyer's advice, why exactly should you not copy all of their statements to the people they ripped off?

      Thus ends my last flickering interest in the "Coffee Party".

      PS: I once read an idea to fix copyright by having it automatically expire after a set amount of time (MUCH shorter than at present) but allowing it to be extended with payment of a fee that doubles for each additional year it is to be extended. That way, we'd know what is and isn't in copyright, and big companies could still get their works protected for extended periods if it is really worth it to them -- and society gets some benefit from that.

    •  That's lovely work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, Eileen B, Pandoras Box

      She ought to be ashamed of herself.

      How can you trust the organization if it starts out like this. She's revealed what kind of person she is.

      too bad. Your logo is to die for.

  •  Heck (10+ / 0-)

    Even "The Coffee Party" is derivative to the point of banality.

  •  Personally, I'm sick of 'copyright' escalation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Public domain, etc, etc, is getting reduced all the time and I'm tired of people getting pushed about.

    Okay, so it's your job and all and sure, get paid, but I'd feel a lot more sympathy for you if 'copyright' holders were not constantly paying off congress critters to tighten the noose on the public.

    What's a musical recording up to now? 75 years after the artist's death? 100? How would we ever have a Disney today with such restrictions?

    Sorry, but there are more important things for me to care about than this.

    And while we're at it: even if the video of Bush was real, I didn't support the 'outrage' over it, but people using it for humor? That's okay by me!


    Let the record be corrected: the 43rd President of the United States of America was Dick 'Dick' Cheney

    by DiegoUK on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 04:45:06 AM PDT

  •  My father was an advertising writer for 35+ years (17+ / 0-)

    so this issue is one that is close to my heart.

    Thank you for standing up and doing the right thing. What Annabel has done is theft, and it will reflect badly on the coffee party as this all becomes very public.

    What is your next step as far as the company who owns the copyright is concerned?


    Planning a March for Legal Accountability for Torture in Washington, DC, September 4th, 2010, the Saturday of Labour Day Weekend.

    by Chacounne on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 04:48:10 AM PDT

    •  Fascinating and difficult issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B

      One implication of this comment is ominous.  If the Coffee Party gains traction, can't you just see its enemies making an issue out of this?  "The grassroots left wants to stifle innovation and productivity not only by taxing us to death, but also by stealing the work-product of it's own!"

      ACORN redux.

  •  I'm looking at that original BBC video (11+ / 0-)

    And I still see Bush wiping his hand on Clinton's sleeve.

    Either that, or he's groping Clinton.

    That kind of movement is unsafe at any speed!

  •  Well Bush still looks to be using Clinton's shirt (9+ / 0-)

    to wipe off his hand...even in the BBC video. It's that little drag of the hand after the push that just looks odd. It seemed a silly thing to make a big issue out of.

    But the logo issue is really disappointing. If they really ripped it off from a small design shop, that is a real shame.

  •  As for the video (8+ / 0-)

    I think saying that it is "clear" that Bush was only prodding Clinton back in line is a bit of an overstatement. Even in the original BBC video it seems a bit questionable how Bush was dragging his hand down Clintons shirt ( now that sounded dirty ^^ ).

  •  I watched the BBC video (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevin lyda, leevank, Book of Hearts

    and it shows the opposite of what you said. No credibility, sorry.

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 04:52:57 AM PDT

    •  The video embedded in this diary is NOT (0+ / 0-)

      the original video. The original video is on the BBC website. I can't embed that here.

      You really think I'd link to something I hadn't watched repeatedly?

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 04:56:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the first story I read about it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, Fabian, Eloise

      George Bush's clean hands in Haiti  George Bush unfairly mocked after video appears to show him wiping hand on Bill Clinton after handshake in Haiti

      The above video has been doing the rounds of the interweb, showing former US president George Bush in Haiti. As you can see from the video, it looks like Bush shakes hands with someone and immediately wipes his hand on Bill Clinton's shirt.

      An NPR news post on the subject was headlined: "Hand-Shaking Bush In Haiti Wipes Mitt On Clinton's Shirt", and plenty of tweets and blogs thought the former president was guilty of insulting Haiti and possibly Clinton. But it seems unlikely, although without being there at the time it's impossible to say for certain. An equally likely version of events would show the personality differences between the two presidents.

      The video clip above appears to have been selectively slowed at the point that Bush touches Clinton's shoulder, making his gesture seem worse than it was. In the full-speed BBC version – available here – Bush is seen tapping Clinton on the shoulder twice and then plucking at his sleeve. Clinton is notoriously unpunctual and an enthusiastic glad-hander, whereas Bush is known for keeping to a tight schedule. So it's just as likely that Bush was encouraging Clinton to hurry up.

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:00:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't think too much of the coffee party after (8+ / 0-)

    reading their info, I think even less of it now.

  •  Seeing what appears to be the original video, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nova Land, glendaw271

    I'm still not completely convinced that Bush is not wiping his hand on Clinton's shirt. He may not be, but this would be consistent with other documented instances of his dismissively cleaning his glasses on the clothing of a Letterman staffer and his public use of hand sanitizer after shaking hands with Obama.

    Nor does it justify or negate the crows of approval from the right who were more than willing to believe Bush had done exactly what the doctored vide appeared to show.

    That said, if the video was doctored without explanation in an attempt to manipulate facts, that was definitely wrong.

  •  One detail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nova Land, Fabian

    The "space needle" design on the Seattle Coffee Party logo is, on second look, not ripped directly from the Greater Seattle Jewish Business Network logo (though it could be ripped from somewhere else).  The Jewish Business Network design has curving lines that nearly meet in the middle; in the Coffee Party design they're more widely spaced.  The horizontal line at the bottom of the JBN design tapers to a point, and doesn't solidly connect with the right 'leg' of the tower; the CP design is a straight horizontal line.  The two designs differ in smaller details as well.

    So either the CP Space Needle design was a re-draw, or was borrowed from elsewhere, or was a new design that just happens to resemble the JBN design -- I don't imagine there are that many ways to draw a recognizable Space Needle with seven lines.

  •  I watched the BBC vid (5+ / 0-)
    and it still looked like a wipe to me, rather than two quick pats.

    But that coffee logo is a reprehensible ripoff. Thanks for showing us this.

  •  I think you've got a point about the logo, but ... (4+ / 0-)
    I frankly don't see much difference between the two videos.  In both, Bush clearly wipes his hand on Clinton's shirt, and that's consistent with his repeated lack of respect for other people's personal space (and indeed, their very persons).
  •  As a graphic artist (8+ / 0-)

    I think you might be correct in your assessment of theft. However, I'm less certain about copyright violation.

    I am not a lawyer, but I suspect that if Annabel et al. found something very similar from a copyright-free source to point to (say, a CorelDraw cd, which is what this very generic icon looks like to me), the aggrieved party's case would be weakened greatly. They can also argue the addition of the other material (flag, coloring) renders a unique design, as long as they don't use the unadorned Jamma Design version in any materials.

    It may seem like nothing but a doodle of a coffee cup, but the Nike swoosh is far less complex and we all recognize it instantly. Same with Target's red bullseye. Logos are valuable; and they are VERY hard to design well. If it was easy, people wouldn't be stealing them so often.

    Yes and no. Corporate logos have a history of prior use, wide exposure, and sadly, the lawyers to back them up. In real-world terms, such a logo is "valuable" primarily because of the business' investment in its identity, less because of its intrinsic worth as a design (even given the cost of development).

    •  I spoke with the artist. (8+ / 0-)

      It was hand drawn. They own the copyright. They actually registered it.

      Yep, it looks like clip art (which makes me wonder WHY anyone would bother stealing it?) but in this case, it's not.

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:35:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you believe them... why? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What if that person you talked to just took the mug from clip art and added added a steam line, or took it as is and they simply are taking credit so they don't catch hell from you?

        I ask because I couldn't find that owned by anyone at their outfit.

        You are so quick to profile the good and evil designers out without any real proof.

        You saw that in the Fraiser logo, but that skyline drawing has been around way before that show.

        I'm not saying that designer doesn't appear to be lazy, is creative, or good. Not at all. But you're creating some holy crusade because a dime a dozen designer used some art so played out it verges on the brink of public domain, if it is not already.

        PS- Your point about the Ed show and keeping that high horse, agree. Just get off it about this design case you are prosecuting. The legs are made of spaghetti.

        Fox News and WWE: Because delusional people need news and sports also. -5.12/-5.28

        by gimmeshelter on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:14:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why wouldn't I believe them? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, aravir, melpomene1

          Their website hasn't been updated since 2008. So clearly, they published it BEFORE the Coffee Party.

          I called them and offered to BUY copyrights to it, not give them a hard time about it, so WHY would they worry about "catching hell from" an anonymous voice on the phone trying to give them money? That makes no sense.

          It also makes no sense to distrust them -- all their designs are clearly by the same artist. They sell custom designed artwork - it's what they DO.

          You have a very tenuous grasp on what's "public domain" if you think there's a "brink" between copyrighted art and royalty-free art. There isn't. It's either copyrighted, or it's not. THIS IS.

          Silence is consent.

          by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:24:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the front page of their site says (0+ / 0-)

            it was updated just over a month ago.

          •  Ok, where is your proof for your claims? (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe they didn't want to admit it wasn't their original design they created. As such, they didn't want to further compound the problem by selling something they didn't own.

            Why not believe the guy who you claim stole it if he is a designer? Because you have proof, right?

            You don't have any proof. You claimed they registered it. I can't find any evidence of it. They probably meant they put a ® on their page.

            Otherwise, show me the registration online. I searched. Maybe I am just overlooking it, so show me.

            I looked at the image you linked. It looks surely looks reproduced to me. You can see that also by the artifacts.

            So what if they published it before? What if I was original creator, and just because they stole in 2008 they would be cool, but this other guy who did the logo still gets the whole writeup over a piddly ass piece of clipart?

            Go read on copyright... you seem to think it is black and white, 2+2 = 4. Ah, if only it were that simple we would not need lawyers for IP matters and I would have saved a lot of money spent on having them protect my IP.

            Fox News and WWE: Because delusional people need news and sports also. -5.12/-5.28

            by gimmeshelter on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 07:55:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm done arguing with you, I need to go. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nova Land, marina

              But I will point out that ® is not the copyright symbol, it's the trademark symbol. The copyright symbol is a letter C in a circle.

              Trademarks can be partially researched online, but takes 3/6 months of research by a lawfirm to complete the whole trademark research process. I know, because I've been through the expensive process several times.

              This has nothing to do with trademarks. Copyrights are automatic as soon as a work is complete; official registration isn't necessary, but it's helpful if you intend to enforce the copyright.

              Buh bye.

              Silence is consent.

              by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:03:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I thought you would know this, but... (0+ / 0-)

                You said they registered their copyright. Registering a copyright does not mean putting ® on it and it being registered at the moment of conception. It means sending your work into the copyright office and putting it on file so you have record of being the original creator.

                You said they did that. I asked for proof. You can search by name online in 5 seconds.

                Their logo cannot be trademarked unless it was for actual use by a trade name. You said it was just a design they sell. A trademark needs to be on a brand, not just tucked away for resell at some point.

                But, again... if it were, it would be on file with a simple name search in 5 seconds, not 6 months.

                I'm just saying you went through all the trouble to be this super sleuth, casting stones at a guy who used a piece of clip are in a silly logo, while not even bothering to find out if the "victim" you portrayed was even in fact a "victim"

                I just suggest if you are going to ride your "high horse" on this you should at least take a couple seconds to find out the truth, or not assert it. In addition, your interpretation of protection and fair use when it comes to copyright simply isn't accurate.

                I'm done now. Bye.

                Fox News and WWE: Because delusional people need news and sports also. -5.12/-5.28

                by gimmeshelter on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:13:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dude, you have no idea what their names are! (0+ / 0-)

                  And you definitely have no idea what their DBA is. It's owned by two partners. They can register their work under any name they choose. What is it about "I spoke with them" that you find so impossible to accept?

                  Silence is consent.

                  by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:23:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Their names are: Jayne and Mary Alice (0+ / 0-)

                    Wasn't that hard to find on the website... just admit that you didn't bother to find out if they were the owner because you wanted them to be the owner so you could get all twisted over nothing.

                    Fox News and WWE: Because delusional people need news and sports also. -5.12/-5.28

                    by gimmeshelter on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:26:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  IT'S CLIP ART! Custom designs... bah. (0+ / 0-)

            I wished I would have looked soom. They make custom metal signs! They use clip art to create signs. This isn't some design house turning out logos you are crediting with being the legal copyright owner.


            Just a quick review I see multiple graphics that I recognize from graphic packs.

            You went all balls out on the guy for using what is likely a piece of clipart he could legally use from a CD pack he bought 10 years ago.

            Coffeee party, fail. But this whole crusade on cheese logos and infringement, fail.

            I don't mean to stick it to you on this, but this is such silly bone to pick on so many levels, even if it wasn't an "authorized" coffee mug.

            Fox News and WWE: Because delusional people need news and sports also. -5.12/-5.28

            by gimmeshelter on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:23:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  In fairness (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If I did that from scratch, I'd be upset to see it swiped. But the bar for litigation may be high here. While from an artistic point of view just outlining the art in white and slapping in a flag background and Copperplate type is easy window dressing, from a legal perspective it may make all the difference. The "designer" can argue that they have made something unique and not derivative. The general test of copyright infringement is whether an "ordinary" person would say that one work is copied from the other; if it were me, I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay court expenses while counting on common sense to prevail.

        •  oh it's not unique (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, Eileen B

          you can overlay the original on the copy and it matches up perfectly. There's no doubt it's ripped.

          •  Yes, it's self-evident (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but that's not the only legal point. The Red Cross's logo consists of a simple red plus. Does that mean I have to pay them copyright royalties if my logo design incorporates an identical red plus? (There'd be a hell of a lot of poor designers out there if so.) The second design is not just the coffee cup, and I believe the plaintiff would have to prove that it was a strictly derivative work, which is a higher bar.

            •  Thank you, sheesh. Plus, there is no plaintiff (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Plus a hundred other things I am just too tired type out... not for haggling over piddly clipart dispute.

              Fox News and WWE: Because delusional people need news and sports also. -5.12/-5.28

              by gimmeshelter on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 07:59:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It's not just similar (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok, Fabian, Eileen B, axman

      It appears, on my monitor of course, to be an exact replica of the original design.  

      {Clever sig goes here}

      by NoVa Boy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:59:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The very existence of the "coffe party" is (14+ / 0-)

    really stupid and counterproductive to progressive ends. Why would we want to validate the legitimacy of these morons by copying them? It makes absolutely no sense at all to me. We already have the Democratic Party. We don't need to make these fucking dumbshits look normal by immitating them. This just invites another series of false equivalencies by the MSM. "Look, the teapartiers are whacko, but then the left has these Coffee Partiers...." I see no upside whatsoever. Teabaggers should be mercilessly mocked into oblivion, not immitated.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:35:02 AM PDT

  •  I just tested the BBC video on my wife (5+ / 0-)

    She hadn't heard of this controversy, and I didn't tell her before asking her to watch the BBC video.  After showing it to her, I asked her what Bush's action with Clinton had been, and she immediately said, "He wiped his hand on Clinton's shirt."  She had absolutely no doubt about it being that, rather than a couple of quick taps on the shoulder.

    •  Once again..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land

      I have no problem with this perception. I have a problem with Ed Schultz showing an EDITED version of this video rather than the UNEDITED video.

      Presenting an edited version as the "truth" is unethical.

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:01:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It looks to me like he wipes his hand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        on Clinton's shirt in the BBC vid. The YouTube seems jerky and doesn't give a good idea of what really happened. Was Ed's clip any better on the show?

        Ed should have played the BBC version.

        I'm sticking with the sweaty palm theory I advanced above.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:11:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have no idea how much you think it was edited (0+ / 0-)

        Have you timed the period of contact between Bush's hand and Clinton's shirt in the two videos?  They frankly don't look that different to me, and virtually ALL video clips used in news programs are edited in some fashion, so as to focus on the salient point.

  •  As a writer, I'm with you. (12+ / 0-)

    As a lawyer, I can imagine what those other lawyers told Park.  I had a case transferred to me form another law firm because they gave very bad advice that opened the client up to legal liability.  I'm now defending that lawsuit because another lawyer had no idea what they were talking about.  I'm not a specialist in copyright law, aside from my personal research while wearing my writer's hat, but I can imagine that Park was told that the "alterations" to Jamma's design makes the Coffee Party logo an essentially different work.  Well, that's facially wrong, if that's what she was told.  The "alterations" are all to the background and color fill, there was no alteration of the basic design of the coffee cup - not even its tilt.  Sad that Park would open her nascent whatever-it-is to a legal liability that would probably bankrupt it just to defend a copyright infringement suit.  What an advocate!

    {Clever sig goes here}

    by NoVa Boy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:53:51 AM PDT

    •  Very interesting. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, axman, happy camper, vc2

      Thank you for your opinion; a very valuable addition to the conversation.

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:59:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I remember a story from Jeff Smith (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Nova Land, Eileen B, Silent Lurker

      the creator of the graphic novel Bone.   He was talking about the hassle of doing the necessary work of defending his copyright - literally his rights to copies of his work.

      A band in Germany (IIRC) used an image of Bone on their CD cover.  No request, no authorization, no nothing.  Teh Laywers sayeth to Jeff Smith "You can't just let them get away with that.  It undermines your legal ownership of the image.".  It's true - if you don't vigorously defend your rights, you can lose them!  Well, Smith got a copy of the CD, listened to it and liked it.  Instead of having Teh Lawyers issue the CeaseAndDesist, he had them tell the band "Hey, this is my art, my work.  You can use it - but I want it credited properly to me.".  They agreed to change the CD cover to comply with his request and everyone was happy, even Teh Lawyers.

      Show me the POLICY!

      by Fabian on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:30:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stealing is wrong! I will not join (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, Fabian, marina, Eileen B, MKinTN, NoVa Boy

    the coffee party. Not that I would have anyway, the name is too silly. I will however join the f**k you you right wing nut party, if only someone could come up with a logo.
    Where's Thomas Nast when you need him.
    Never mind we've got you.  

    Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people Who will not be slaves again!

    by axman on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 05:54:55 AM PDT

  •  Disappointing (8+ / 0-)

    As someone who has had copyrighted articles stolen I get so frustrated with people who don't recognize theft as theft.

    In my case, the articles were on my website to attract traffic and hence business.  A much bigger site stole and republished the articles (with embarrassing errors, btw).  The magazine publisher for whom they were originally written called to fire me, saying that his readers wouldn't pay to read what I wrote if they could read it for free on this other site.  Our agreement allowed me to publish or sell the articles, but his point was that I ceased to have value to him.

    I was able to salvage my relationship with the magazine, but felt I had to quit posting articles on my website in order to do so.  The lack of current material undoubtedly affects people's perceptions, and the readership who link to my old articles on the other site instead of mine give that site a boost in rankings.

    And people who've read the stolen articles call me all the time to take up my time asking questions about what I wrote.

    Intellectual property is of value to the owner, and theft is theft.

  •  I'm not so into the copyright do's and don'ts but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nova Land, Fabian, melpomene1

    As told by our diarist this was a very clear issue, and wouldn't have been very difficult to resolve, but the approach taken says loads. Instead of contacting the originator of the content or switching logos with a big sorry, they go for the lawyers. Not cool.

    I've had a problem with the coffee party since the beginning anyway. They might be more softs spoken and leftward but they also seem to have some of fairy dust stuck to their eyes, Ross Perot or Tea Party style. At least the Greens run for and win elections. I joined, looked around, didn't go back.

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 06:22:51 AM PDT

  •  After reading your diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have to say that I'd never want you near any project I was working on. There's something a little disturbing about the path you took from wanting to help this group to publicly shaming them.

    I'm from a family of artists, and I believe in copyright protection generally, but this is just bizarre.

    I mean,

    1. Are you really concerned that you sent them your proposed logo? Trust me on this one, your logo is safe. I doubt the group will ever want to here from you again.
    1. Do you hunt down copyright infringement as a hobby? Can you give an example of such a dogged pursuit for a random image on a random site you had no personal dealings with? I'm asking seriously.
    1. You stated in your email exchange:

    I didn't tell them why I was asking, or mention the Coffee Party in any way, and I promise I have no plans to do so.

    Doesn't your very public shaming campaign make a joke of that statement?

    I've got no dog in this fight (though the coffee party group has been advertising on our local progressive radio station, which is good), but I've got to say you seem to be going way overboard here. When I google "H Daniel Marquez Rios", the third entry is now your statement:

    I searched around, then tell her how easily I found more evidence of copyright infringement by H Daniel Marquez Rios

    Are you sure he really deserves your wrath that much? He looks like a decent kid. He looks young too, from a generation that often doesn't think of copyright in the same way as older folks.

    What you are doing, IMHO, is pretty close to stalking.  

    •  He's a thief. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, Fabian, Eileen B, vc2

      Yes he deserves a public shaming.

      {Clever sig goes here}

      by NoVa Boy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 07:26:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Got it. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, Nova Land, Fabian, melpomene1, vc2

      You don't like me. I'm ok with that. I'm not a fan of potatos.

      I've been ripped off so often, I do have a dog in this fight. It's bullshit. I've got so many clients that owe me money or just outright steal my ideas/designs (even when they signed a contract!) and have some kid trace my work (poorly!) in Photoshop that YES, I get ticked off when I see it happen.

      I'm sorry, but if somebody catches you stealing something, and rather that reporting you to the owner, they just contact you to HELP you out? Like I did for Annabel? Have the decency to STOP STEALING. If you don't? You're just as bad as all those people that have ripped me off.

      I live WAY, WAY below the poverty level - and I work my ass off. 70/80 hours a week, including all the volunteer design work I do. Last week, I actually ran out of food. Wonder why I'm pissed? I've got clients that owe me LOTS money, and I'm eating ketchup and soup crackers to survive until one of these jerks coughs up a check so I can pay rent.  

      I gave Annabel several chances to do the right thing. I spoke with the copyright holders, and I've emailed them to confirm the design is theirs. Sorry, but it's stolen.

      If these Coffee Party people don't want to be known as thieves? DON'T STEAL.

      But it's somehow MY fault? I'm the one who's wrong?


      If a third of my clients/former employers had a third of my integrity, maybe I wouldn't be so pissed off. Or broke. But thanks for your opinion -- thieves are acceptable. Got it.  

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 07:41:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not saying thieves are acceptable (0+ / 0-)

        I'm saying you seem like you're being kinda over-the-top.

        Seriously, can you point to an example where you've championed the copyright cause (no complaints there) where you are a disinterested party?

        The reason I ask is this: those coffee cuppers didn't steal from you, nor did the designer guy. But they did give you the runaround and kept the very logo you wanted to replace. You are an interested party.

        Now if you regularly go around and out people that grab images as a hobby or a calling when you aren't an interested party, then this whole thing would be consistent, and I'd have nothing to say about that.

        I'm just worried that you are making this personal for some reason and that's what makes it wrong.

        So, honestly, can you provide a link to another example anywhere on the web where you went this far championing the rights of a copyright holder that a) wasn't you, or was b)a business you had no link to?

  •  Aside from blatant stealing (5+ / 0-)

    without even the merest attempt to personalize the image, whoever put the CP logo together should be ashamed to be so freaking lazy. How hard is it to draw your own coffee cup?

    I respect others' work, no matter how simple it might seem. But it appears that some people think anything they see is free for the taking, just because it's out there.

  •  GDub looks SO uncomfortable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    surrounded by all those black people.

    i could hardly watch these clips--I am so glad George W. Bush is no longer pResident.

    in my opinion, it looks to me in the unaltered BBC clip that W's wants to wipe his hand on Clinton's back, but he knows there are cameras present and he knows what that would look like, so he pats Clinton first and then wipes his hand.

    so I won't email Ed and ask him to retract because I think his interpretation is correct and I would swear to that under oath.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    --Tom Harkin

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 07:03:05 AM PDT

  •  When she tells you she consulted with lawyers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, Soundpolitic, DiegoUK

    She alleviated her legal concerns in the situation.  

    She didn't alleviate your ethical concerns, and that's the problem for you.  

    The Seattle Skyline stuff is a little too much.  

    Skyline images like that are a dime a dozen.  

    The skyline image is clearly not stolen. It's intended to be reminiscent of the Frasier logo, because Frasier resonates with some people, and because it was set in Seattle, it sometimes gets used to represent the city.

    If Dailykos is a book, I'm the doodles in the margins.

    by otto on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

  •  I don't know if or how much I could pay (4+ / 0-)

    but since we have (created well before I read your diary - several weeks before) a "branch" of the Coffee Party over here on the Kitsap Peninsula and need a logo that is NOT stolen property, may I commission you to make one that is unique for the Coffee Party of the Kitsap Peninsula?

    The things about our area that are really iconic are that you generally get here by taking a Washington State Ferry and that as you look west from Seattle or our area, you see the Olympic Peninsula with its majestic mountains. The Washington State Ferry is public transportation and the mountains are part of a national park. I do not think using either one would be wrong. Another iconic thing about our area is salmon.

    I do not want to further the use of stolen graphic design. I do want something that represents our area as well as a coffee cup (we are as addicted to coffee as Seattleites). But 100% of it should not be stolen property, as I completely agree with you that this is wrong to its core.

    Can we work together on this, Eileen, or should I try with my limited design skills and no software to  do something myself? I'd consider it an honor if you say yes.

    Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

    by Kitsap River on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 09:39:27 AM PDT

    •  River, I'd give you a kidney if I could... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      but I really want nothing to do with the Coffee Party. If you want/need design work for anything other than the Coffee Party, I'm your woman.

      Until they show some integrity, I can't in good conscious, partake in promoting them.

      Why not join PeanutButter PACinstead? "Ministry Of Truth" just started working there, along with a few other Kossacks. I'm going to be helping them with their graphics.

      Silence is consent.

      by Eileen B on Fri Mar 26, 2010 at 04:26:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I already have, again long since. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Charles CurtisStanley

        Stranded Wind invited me. I hope to be one of the Kossacks working there, eventually if not sooner.

        Understand completely your feelings on the Coffee Party and I'm very, very* tempted to leave them where they are.
        *very tempted, as in, withdrawing from the Kitsap one which I started.

        And many thanks, Eileen. I will let you know if I can send some work - preferably paying! - your way.

        Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

        by Kitsap River on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 03:04:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's about more than logos (0+ / 0-)

    My assessment of your diary is that while you are indeed an advocate of individual rights, you are allowing a very-well-addressed wedge issue to unbalance your attitudes about what the Coffee Party is about.

    And it's not about logos.  The second we start talking about these kinds of things and digging in our heels is the moment after the chance to make progress has passed.

    I'd also advise you that you are graphic designer...not an attorney.  And if Anabell has been advised by attorneys that her logo is fine and you don't want to accept that, than who's mind is getting in the way here?

    I encourage you to let the issue slide because it's just a logo, after all.  Focus on the conversation and getting our citizenry active and engaged without getting into back-and-forths like this.

    There's more to life than logos.  And there's so much more to life than just insisting that you are right.

    Be of sound mind and politcs -SP

    by Soundpolitic on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 07:36:30 AM PDT

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