Anyone remember the dust-up about do-it-yourself logo creation site Logogarden and their allegedly purloined logos? Concluded to everyone’s satisfaction? Maybe not.
Let’s go back a few years, to the summer of 2011, when the design community blew up the internet over do-it-yourself logo design site Logogarden and it’s database that seemed to be full of logo templates consisting of other designers’ work. Remember that nasty little kerfluffle? If not, you can catch up here, here and here – I’ll wait. The situation was so ludicrous, I was able to purchase the WWF panda logo for a paltry 69 bucks (and was refused a refund when I pointed out that the copyright – and trademark – of the design belonged to the World Wildlife Federation.) Suffice to say, this translated into a world of schadenfreude, the end result of which was a mea culpa by Logogarden officials stating that “some symbols in (Logogarden’s) vast symbol library were copies of existing work” and that Logogarden “would remove any offending symbols as they were spotted.”
They went to claim that they themselves had been duped by “a small handful of dishonest design brokers” who had been paid to provide “strictly original work.” And, it would seem, failed epically. Anyhoo, Logogarden promised to clean out their database of “all offending symbols” and the controversy died down as we moved into the Fall of 2011. Guess we all thought the situation, such as it was, resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. I mean, the symbols had been deleted from the logo maker’s database, right? Well. maybe not. Here’s a looksee at the e-mail I found in my spam laden in-box this morning.
Stellar. Apparently if I move real fast (like the next 48 hours), I can get business cards created with my ‘Steve’s Panda’ logo for a measly $19.95. Howza – after a year-and-a-half, Steve’s Pandas is back in business.
Interestingly enough, I can download the .PNG and .JPG files for free, but will need to pony up $19.95 (save $50.00 doncha know) if I want the .EPS, .AI and .PDF vectors, should I want to create a huge sign advertising my new business (though I’m left wondering what the original $69 PayPal paid for.) To boot, this isn’t the first time that Logogarden hit me up to purchase stuff emblazoned with what is arguably the WWF panda icon.
A few months back, around Christmas time, I received this little missive, signed by John Williams himself (swoon), offering me coffee mugs for a paltry starting price of $24.95 (per,) $89 bucks for 6 and so on.
What does all this mean? Now, I’m not a lawyer (nor do I play one on the Tee Vee) but I suspect this is a copyright and trademark quagmire for all parties concerned. Despite the claim that all “offending” symbols have been removed from Logogarden’s database, there’s at least one still kicking around (Steve’s Panadas), and Logogarden is still trying to harvest some ducats by selling trinkets and merch featuring it (as far as I’m aware, one needs a license to sell goodies with the WWF logo.) Perhaps the “offending symbols” may no longer be available for purchase in the front-end. But as the e-mails above illustrate, at least one is still available from the back end (for the time being, my “logo locker” is still