An Official Response From LogoGarden.com

Following up on the LogoGarden.com fiasco. We emailed the complete list of our stolen logos to service@logogarden.com two days ago. Today we received an email from John Williams himself with the following statement:

First, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. To build our vast symbol library, LogoGarden.com contracts with designers nationwide and from around the world. Many of the symbols in question came from a small number of these designers. If any of these symbols do indeed violate copyright laws, our policy is to extract them from our online symbol library immediately and to terminate contracts with the designers who submitted them. As a business practice, all the designers we contracted with signed a “work for hire” contract that guaranteed their work would be original.

Given the library’s size, although we do our best to ensure originality of our artwork, we can’t catch everything. And while sometimes a design conflict may be obvious, other times it’s a judgment call. We do our best.

We ourselves have issues with our logo symbols being copied, so we appreciate your concern and vigilance. In the future, if you find any symbols that you feel violate artwork you’ve designed and copyrighted personally, let us know.

Thanks for your understanding,
John Williams,
President, LogoGarden.com

Has anyone else received a response from these guys? Sounds like it’s a form email they’re firing off to everyone that contacts them. We emailed him back asking him to remove all the logos in question from the LogoGarden.com, LogoGarden.ca and LogoGarden.co.uk sites immediately.

Within five minutes of firing off that email, we received another email from our buddy John:

Hi Brent, Thank you for your quick response. We will remove these ASAP. – John

We’ll make sure to scour the sites to make sure he follows through on his promise. We’ll update you as we learn more.

UPDATE – 2:40PM CST: Just received another email from John saying, “Hi Brent, These have been removed from the database. I apologize for your inconvenience.” We’ll let you know if that’s true.

UPDATE – 3:15PM CST: Went through the sites and still found our work up there. Fired back an email saying they were still there and asked if they had any plan of action with the “contractors” who submitted their designs. Here’s his response:

Hi Brent, We removed the offending symbols from our database. We also looked at the sample logos that link from home page and have not seen any of your logos. Would you mind taking a screen shot of any of the logos that you see on the site so we can have a visual reference to locate them. As far as the designers that we contracted with, we immediately terminated our contract with them and are implementing a thorough QC process.

I know this has been an inconvenience on your part. I do appreciate your help locating the logos. – John

UPDATE – 5:11PM CST: Had a few back and forth emails with (service@logogarden.com) to clearly identify the location of our logos. They have followed through on removing our work from the sites. Only found (1) outstanding logo on the homepage of their UK site, which I just emailed them about. AIGA actually spoke with John Williams of LogoGarden and provided a list of steps to remove copyrighted work:

https://www.facebook.com/AIGAdesign/posts/10150350813160350

About Brent Pelloquin

A graduate of LSU, Brent is associate creative director at Prejean Creative. He’s been in advertising design for more than 10 years and his work has received numerous awards on local and regional levels.

A quick introduction to Brent:
He’s married with four daughters.
Enjoys anything sports related, as long as it’s not played on ice.
Can be easily bribed with chocolate or World Series tickets.
Longtime San Francisco Giants fan.
Once worked at a movie theater where he also learned how to juggle.
Hopes to one day visit every Major League ballpark and Cooperstown.
Favorite colors are PMS 120 and PMS 2612.

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6 Responses to An Official Response From LogoGarden.com

  1. brian.bille@gmail.com' Brian says:

    I’d reply and ask them what action they plan on taking with the “contractors” who submitted your designs. Curious to see that response.

  2. trtzw@sbcglobal.net' TgW2 says:

    Good luck, Brent. I hope things keep going in this positive direction.

  3. me@scottlewis.info' Scott says:

    Hey Brent. I got exactly the same email, word-for-word. My experience was almost identical to yours. It took a few back-and-forth emails but they did remove my logos from their site. I’m pretty sure this is their standard operating procedure: to just keep selling the copyrighted work until somebody complains. At the very least John Williams is an observer of human nature. He knows he is unlikely to be sued so there is no real consequence to him for selling the work. If he makes a single sale of a logo but then has to remove it, he still benefits in the end.

  4. It’s been nearly 3 weeks since this post, and LogoGarden is now claiming “victimization” by design brokers. Read the full story here:

    http://www.startupnation.com/business-blogs/index.php/2011/09/13/logogardencom-responds-to-designers-concerns-about-originality/

    It seems Mr. Williams is trying to downplay the debacle by adding words like “small percentage” and “few”, stating that only a “small percentage” of the logos from the LG database seemed to be “too close” to established identities; and that only a “few” of the designers and brokers working for LG had violated their contracts (meaning MORE than ONE). Mr. Williams is now claiming that he believes that “all offending symbols have been omitted from our database”. Let’s hope so, but I think LogoGarden should say more than just “oops”, when an industry-wide fiasco of this magnitude takes place – the designers and design firms who were affected by this incident deserve BETTER!

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