Option one: Get tough and threaten them with legal action. This will most probably mean that you have lost the client for future commissions, but you will get some sort of pay-out if you are persistent. Option two: Let them off, smile and hope that they continue to commission you for future work. However, it is likely that they will continue to infringe people’s moral rights. Option three (do this anyway if you went for option one): Expose them as unprofessional idiots to the design community by sending examples to blogs, networks and creative communities.
Carl Rush, Creative director, Crush Creative
If designers don’t want to be copied, they should say so and create an audit trail behind original work. A standard e-mail signature addition raises awareness of an anti-copying policy on every e-mail communication, for example: ’All intellectual property rights are and will remain the property of (insert name). Any infringement will be taken seriously.’ Look out for Anti Copying in Design’s soon-to-be-launched digitally produced IP/confidentiality agreement. To access or receive images or creative work, the recipient ’signs’ an automatic confidentiality/IP agreement. A copy is stored by Acid.
Dids Macdonald, Chief executive, Anti Copying in Design
The fact is that you cannot lead without people following, but there is serious cause for complaint if there is ’passing-off’ of influenced work as original, or if original work is copied by a retailer that wants to profit from, not contribute to, the origination effort. The world would be a duller place without the collages of Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi and many others, and I am pleased rather than aggrieved if my products appear in magazines or movies. For example, much contemporary music uses sampling and Google reproduces millions of images.
Sebastian Conran, Director, Sebastian Conran Associates