A local business person I previously did design and illustration work for has re-used a logo and pattern design I created several years ago. The original design was submitted to her for a project that did not go ahead at that time. She has now edited it and used it to brand her new retail business on Chapel Street, St.Kilda.
The 'editing' involved deleting the original word used as part of the logo and inserting the word 'Sugalicious'. Although I was paid a small fee for the concept design several years ago, she should have, in line with copyright law, have contacted me about editing and re-using this design and paid an agreed fee for the re-use of my logo design and pattern for a completely new project.
At no time was an agreement entered into to assign my copyright in the work to her. At no time did I agree that she could edit my design in any way.
My edited design appears on shop signage, product packaging, stickers and is printed on paper bags. It is also used on the business' FaceBook page.
Here is an extract of a letter I wrote to her which clearly states copyright law and my rights:
As copyright owner, I have a number of exclusive rights under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). These exclusive rights include the right to reproduce the Work, and to publish and communicate the Work to the public (including by way of sale, broadcast or putting the Work online). It is an infringement of copyright to do any of the acts comprised in the copyright in relation to the whole or a substantial part of the Work, or to authorise such an act, without the permission or licence of the copyright owner.
I am very disappointed and upset by this turn of events and consider her actions unprofessional as well as illegal. I do wish that she had contacted me in relation to the re-use of my logo, it would have saved so much stress.
Included in this post are photos of my edited design - it looks great used on the packaging and bags, too bad it is being used in breach of my copyright… which is basically stealing.