LogoMaid - Imitation or Theft?

51 comments | Posted: 23 March 07 in General, by Robert Evans

LogoMaid rip-off

I believe it was Charles Caleb Colton, in 1820, who said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. I couldn’t agree more with Colton’s statement, but where does imitation differ from stealing, especially in the digital age that we we live in?

The last few months, we have seen many forms of imitation and/or stealing being brought to our attention via bloggers all over the world. While I find this to be a good thing for design community, it bothers me to see the whole “let’s hang the individual and ridicule them endlessly” mentality often seen in mobs. A better approach would be to use the communities power to make this known on a greater level. Granted, the attacks do help grab people’s attention, but the attacks put people on the defensive, thus they never truly learn their lesson, and instead take the position of not being forced to fix what they know to be theft.

Human nature is really quite fascinating. Personal attacks never actually solve the problem at hand; they never teach the accused of a better road to take; it isn’t a solution but a reaction. So, with that said, I implore you to keep this mind as you read what I am about to say.

The newest theft is that of Dan Cederholm’s Simplebits logo stolen by LogoMaid. If you look at Dan’s logo and then at LogoMaid’s logo, you’ll see that they are almost identical. The discussion on Flickr is long and interesting. Basically, LogoMaid has stated that they are considering suing Dan for their own act of theft. What a strange world we live in where the victim is sued by the perpetrator for the perpetrator’s actions.

It doesn’t stop there for LogoMaid. I have several examples below for you to look at:

The last on the above list, hits home for us here. Nathan spent a good amount of time on this logo, and was not paid for his efforts. I remember when he was making it and putting it all together. It wasn’t something he “just threw together”, he spent time on it, only to have another company steal it and now sell it. In my opinion, all the revenue of sales of that logo, all these logos that have been stolen, should be given to the rightful owners and original creators of the logos themselves.

Now, there are several ways we could go about this, we could personal attack them over and over, but where would that actually get us? Nowhere. We could, as a community make blog posts on our own blogs to point this out. The influence of a community has a real impact on the offender and their business.

I really doubt that the people over at LogoMaid will fess up and remove the logos. I say this because of their reactions to these companies/individuals via email, flickr posts, etc. Nathan received a rather rude email from them, when asking about the Godbit logo and what’s up with that. So, I believe the only to get through to this company and any future companies who do the same, is to use the power of the community and do a massive blog campaign in hopes of reaching any future clients of the establishment. Only when their actions hurt their business will they see the error of their ways.

So, I ask each reader here to make a post on your blog, not just about the Godbit logo being stolen, but the other logos as well. Leave a link in the comments and try to spread this around as much as you can. The more people hear about it the better. Lastly, make sure you include LogoMaid in the title of your post and if you link to them, make sure to put rel="nofollow" in the link.

Blogs that have joined the campaign

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Rick Curran

    Well put, I saw the discussion thread on Flickr and it was a bit out of hand. I think this is quite a good way to raise awareness without it becoming a slanging match.

    Off to write a blog post…

     
  2. 2 Rick Curran

    Ok, posted an article on my blog: LogoMaid: This kind of flattery will get you nowhere…

     
  3. 3 Tudor

    Yeah, I saw the simplebits thread on Flickr yesterday too. What a shame. If it’s any consolation, I saw their awful Godbit knockoff, and your geniune logo utterly kills it. I’d post about it on my blog, but my PageRank is probably 6 digits.

     
  4. 4 Nathan Smith

    Robert + Rick: I thank you both for coming to Godbit’s defense. I have also posted my own blurb at my site, illustrating the various LogoMaid rip-offs.

     
  5. 5 victor

    Doesn’t putting a nofollow kind of defeat the purpose? If Google can’t link your post explaining the truth to the offender’s site, how are then potential customers expected to know about it? I don’t get it

     
  6. 6 eduo

    Victor: The “nofollow” tag refers to the link to logomaid’s site. Not to godbit’s site.

    This is so search engines don’t raise the “relevancy” of Logomaid in their databases.

     
  7. 7 Niklas

    I have found Logomaid copies of Ericsson and Xbox among others.

     
  8. 8 Chris

    I wonder how many more of these will turn up? I was following the SimpleBits saga but was surprised to find that their treachery is even more widespread. Maybe its me being naive.

    For what its worth, there’s a link on my blog: http://theparkerproject.com/article/18/been-caught-stealin

     
  9. 9 Mark Priestap

    Don’t they realize they’re being rude to their own client base? A little humility would go a long way in these situations.

     
  10. 10 Chris Harrison

    What’s sad is that there is even a market for this. The truth of the matter is that a lot of people have little respect for legitimate design work. Design thieves, such as those at LogoMaid profit from this, because they meet the needs of people who would rather save a few bucks than invest in something unique. One could argue that we charge too much and that’s driving people to use sites such as LM, but to me that is complete and utter nonsense.

    It might be a good idea to notify the various companies who’s logos LM has pilfered and resold as original work. I doubt they could afford to fight Microsoft, Apple, Sony Ericsson et al. in a court of law.

     
  11. 11 Brad Wright

    It seems to me that it would be more useful removing the relation of “nofollow” from links and Google Bombing them instead, for a phrase like “rip-off scam artists” or something equally accurate and damning.

     
  12. 12 John Chennavasin

    As an aside, I’m waiting for the day that LogoMaid rips off the A-Style logo…

     
  13. 13 Brady J. Frey

    Share and share alike:
    http://www.pulltoinflate.com/2007/03/26/logomaid-rips-off-their-logo-designs/

     
  14. 14 Grand

    I stand with you – and I have done my bit.

     
  15. 15 Christelle Lachapelle

    I have noticed that some people in the online community really don’t take copyright infringement issues seriously. People seem to think that if your artwork is on the internet, it’s free for their own use. See my blog post, to read about my latest encounter with this…

     
  16. 16 Jason Campbell

    My two cents, it’s a real shame.
    Oh and the link…

    http://www.jasoncampbell.com/?p=9

     
  17. 17 Foo Fighter

    I’m confused.

    You say the company isn’t paying any attention to email or comments made on Flickr and won’t change.

    But you think a blog campaign will work? How did you come to that illogical conclusion?

    What will work is sueing the company for trademark infringement. Hire a frakkin’ lawyer and go to town. This is exactly why we have trademark laws and why they are a good thing.

    A judge taking away all of their money and ordering their shop closed is what will make this stop.

     
  18. 18 greg

    on a funny note, maybe both of you got your inspiration from here – http://equipintl.com/ ?

    family friend’s business, logo was created in the 70’s.

     
  19. 19 Larry Tomlinson

    Ruh roh, looks like Nathan’s got some ‘splaining to do.

     
  20. 20 Nina

    Oupsss, that’s unfortunate Nathan.

     
  21. 21 ceejayoz

    > You say the company isn’t paying any attention to email or comments made on Flickr and won’t change.
    > But you think a blog campaign will work? How did you come to that illogical conclusion?

    A blog campaign hits their business – when complaints start appearing on a Google search for “logomaid”, they’ll start losing customers.

     
  22. 22 Larry Tomlinson

    Foo Fighter:

    If you google Logomaid, you’ll find (not including ‘more results’ listings)...

    1. LogoMaid site
    2. LogoMaid site
    3. SimpleBits ripoff discussion
    4. SonSpring.com discussion about ripoffs
    5. Godbit ripoff discussion
    6. Simplebits ripoff discussion via Matt Heerema
    7. LogoMaid site
    8. SonSpring.com discussion about ripoffs via Jeff Croft

    So yes, I think blog discussion helps.

     
  23. 23 Nathan Smith

    Greg: You didn’t know that I run a dry cleaning cleaning service in my spare time? I can see the similarity, but I think that the rock-n-roll band called Engine Down is closer to your friend’s business. Is this his band as well? :)

    http://equipintl.com/

    http://enginedown.com/

     
  24. 24 Tim Connor

    Sign me up: http://www.timocracy.com/articles/2007/03/26/if-logomaid-made-your-logo-you-are-supporting-trademark-and-copyright-violation

     
  25. 25 Jon Siegel

    I agree with Chris Harrison, the sad part is, a market does exist. Not only that, it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for this relentless drive to save a dime by tossing good design out the window. I wrote a little piece on it here:

    http://www.sasuraisamurai.com/wordpress/2007/03/25/intellectual-thieves/

    These issues frustrate me to no end. These types of discussions are good, but as designers, it’s also our task to educate our clients so events like this cannot recur in the future. Educated clients return to good designers for good service and do not resort to the quick and cheap services of agencies like LogoMaid.

     
  26. 26 GT500

    GT500.org stands with you. ;)

    http://www.gt500.org/blog/comments.php?y=07&m=03&entry=entry070326-230127

     
  27. 27 sambeau

    The only problem I see with this approach is that it provides the oxygen of publicity and desperately needed pagerank for these sites.

    Don’t forget your rel=‘nofollow’ tags kids!

     
  28. 28 Jonathan Stoppani

    So, I think there is a need for a post on the italian side too. ;-)

    Post on garetjax.info

     
  29. 29 Rick Curran

    LogoMaid has apologised to Dan Cederholm and removed the logo from their site:

    www.eloq…..26/logomaid-apologizes-to-dan-cederholm/

    The apology is on the Flickr thread that’s been running:

    flickr.com/photos/simplebitsdan/4292….

    I wonder if they’ll do so likewise for Godbit?

     
  30. 30 Nathan Smith

    Rick: The LogoMaid people still insist that their version of the Godbit logo is an original. It’s sad, because they had it in the free section, so it’s not like they’re losing revenue if they remove it. On the contrary, they garner nothing but bad publicity for themselves by continuing the charade. ‘Tis sad, really.

     
  31. 31 Terry Apodaca

    Followed suit. Here’s my link: simplebits rip

     
  32. 32 victor

    eduo: I understand the purpose and placement of the nofollow tag. But I’m with brad here: If you pretend that people searching for logomaid will find about their scams, google needs to link the blog posts with the site, so that they are found instead of logomaid. And putting a nofollow tag prevents that. So, even if that increases their page rank, I think it’s needed to link directly to them so that the google bombing is effective.

     
  33. 33 victor

    chris: One could argue that we charge too much and that’s driving people to use sites such as LM, but to me that is complete and utter nonsense.

    Umm… exactly that nonsense is what’s being proferred as an explanation when speaking about software and music piracy. But in that case, is not nonsense, uh?

    note: I’m not pointing at chris specifically as someone who would justify piracy while fighting for designer’s rights, nor I’m claiming to agree with either use of that nonsense. It’s just that this kind of double morale affirmations often strike my fancy.

     
  34. 34 Robert

    Victor, Google fixed their system so you cannot google bomb anymore. So, what you are suggesting, will actually only increase logomaid’s page rank and nothing more.

    If you don’t think the blogging has been effective, then you need to google ‘logomaid’ to see that after 1 and 2, the rest about their ripping of logos. That in and of itself will hurt their business, which is the reason I believe they have apologized to Dan because now theif is associated with their name.

     
  35. 35 Werner

    But why would they do that? When it’s already @ google, apologizing wouldn’t help removing it.

     
  36. 36 Robert

    Werner: To save face; to try and salvage their reputation among people who would have bought their logos; in hopes that people would blog about it and that would in turn have a positive affect.

    Apologizing wouldn’t remove what is at google, but they have to try and turn this around somehow from having 100’s of people blogging about it so that in a day theif appears next to there name on google’s front page when their name is searched.

     
  37. 37 Jonathan E

    Following suit:

    http://www.reinspire.net/etc/links/2007/03/28/93/

     
  38. 38 Werner

    Do you think someone would search google for they company name? I would search for the actual product :-/..logo design or logo

     
  39. 39 Chris

    Added my take!

     
  40. 40 Robert

    Werner: Yes, I do believe it is conceivable that someone would search for their company name via a search engine. If you search for logo design or logo, logomaid doesn’t come up on the first page anyways.

    Usually, if someone is looking to see how reputable a company is, they search by their name. So, if you search by logomaid, you can instantly see they are not a reputable company. Hence, our point has been made.

     
  41. 41 Matheo S

    I too have had my two of my earlier web designs stolen by Vilords Media and sold as templates through one of their other sites designgalaxy dot net.

    This has got to stop and even though I have not blogged ever before, I want to take a stand against this.

    My contribution: http://logomaidstealslogos.blogspot.com/

     
  42. 42 Respiro

    It’s a regrettable situation. It’s painful to read about violation of copyrights, but, after all, there’s a fact: a lot of people talked/talk about LogoMaid.com and about Simplebits.com…

     
  43. 43 Breadline

    Logomaid at it again. Sign me up to your campaign. Have blogged it up here.

    http://breadlinedesign.com/logomaid-design-theft/

     
  44. 44 Matheo S

    What I find quite annoying is the fact that the more you browse through the logomaid catalog, the more rips you’re likely to find.

    I mean take a look at this that they have posted on their site: http://www.logomaid.com/detail.php?uid=4378&maincat=1

    And compare it to this logo: http://www.cw.com/new/

    Where do you draw the line between research or inspiration and just pure and simple rip???

    The Cable & Wireless logo was designed by ( for quite a substantial investment I’m sure) Landor. I wonder how this could be justified.

     
  45. 45 David T Brown

    Guys, check this out:
    http://www.templatemonster.com/logo-set/6983.html
    http://www.logomaid.com/detail.php?uid=253&maincat=2

    Seems logomaid has the same logos as templatemonster (the logo sets). The godbit logo seem to be there too, but now I ask myself if templatemonster stole the logo from godbit too…or godbit didn’t say the truth regarding the originality of his logotype…as the logos at templatemonster seem to be there for at least 2-3 years.

    When you’ll get rid of one square (TM logo), you’ll get the godbit logotype.

    I would say logomaid and templatemonster bought the same logos…

    So when templatemonster had that logo 2-3 years ago..it’s quite possible logomaid had too (nr 253 in the collection). Now when did godbit come up with the new logo? When it should be an original..it has to be here for more than 3 years.

     
  46. 46 Nathan Smith

    David T Brown: That’s an interesting point. It looks like they have stolen work from Template Monster as well. Or, perhaps the artist sold the same thing to both graphics warehouses. I don’t fault Template Monster, because theirs isn’t nearly as close to the Godbit logo as LogoMaid’s. Additionally, Template Monster doesn’t have the same proven history of theft as LogoMaid.

    As for when the Godbit logo was created, all I can do is point you to Network Solutions’ WHOIS record which shows that godbit.com was registered in August of 2003, well within the 3-year timeframe you’re proposing. Unfortunately, I did not save an archived version of the early Godbit site, because quite frankly I was too naive to think that it would ever be popular enough to be ripped off.

     
  47. 47 David T Brown

    But seems your website was up just since december 2005 according to alexa:
    http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?q=godbit.com&url=godbit.com

    And according to http://web.archive.org/web/*/godbit.com the logo you currently use wasn’t used in 2005 at all. I don’t see it being used in early 2006 neither.

     
  48. 48 David T Brown

    Also, whois doesn’t proove much. It just proves you registered the domain name.

     
  49. 49 Matheo S

    David T Brown: Do you actually work in the Logomaid offices or do they pay you as an outsource employee?

    And as I posted in the Flickr thread:

    The Godbit logo is of course there when you use the wayback machine just place your cursor over the logo part which is blank now as well as the header and you will see that there is content there that is not archived yet.

    Check logomaid too for 2005 on the wayback machine and you’ll see gaps there too.

    Come on dude! You can’t compare Godbit to a cookie cutter outfit like Logomaid.

    I also find it very interesting that the same comments with the same dictation style is being left on the other blogs… My God, you guys have no idea what good PR is, do you?

     
  50. 50 David T Brown

    Dude, seems like Godbit is paying YOU to prove their innocence. Or are you someone from that company?

    Ok, Godbit said they have the logo from 2003. Now this is pretty funny:
    web.archive.org/web/20050131002318/http://godbit.com/

    Jan, 2005 …. just starting with godbit??? No logo, no graphic..no content? So what the heck are you talking about. If you’ll check before, there is Sonspring website (Christian graphic design).

    Now, if you can’t see that the free logo at logomaid is coming from:
    www.logomaid.com/detail.php?uid=253&maincat=2
    www.templatemonster.com/logo-set/6983.html
    ..you gotta be blind…or just mentaly disturbed.

    Now stop lying around….and think about it.

    Godbit should apologize to templatemonster and logomaid the same way as logomaid apologized to Dan Caderholm.

    BTW, when you mentioned designgalaxy.net stealing your designs…please be more specific. I would like to compare YOUR DESIGNS and the ones you claim were stolen by designgalaxy.

     
  51. 51 Nathan Smith

    David T Brown: As I said already: “Unfortunately, I did not save an archived version of the early Godbit site, because quite frankly I was too naive to think that it would ever be popular enough to be ripped off.” I cannot help the fact that the Wayback Machine archived it as Textpattern was being installed, and I do not see how providing a link to that archive matters in the least.

    I registered Godbit.com in August of 2003, but after the fact, realized that “Godbit means a small piece of something good in Norwegian, especially in reference to food” – as is noted on the Purpose + Vision page of this site.

    Once I realized that, I had the domain name redirect to sonspring.com, which is why you don’t see any Alexa traffic for godbit.com. That does not change the fact that the “G” pixel logo has existed from when I designed the first iteration of Godbit, back in 2003. There really isn’t anything more to say.

    You say that Godbit should apologize to Template Monster, but there was never any blame assigned to them, so no apology is owed. In that regard, LogoMaid is the only company guilty of repeated theft, and will receive no such apology.

    I think enough has been said on this topic. Comments are now closed.

     

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