I learnt the hard way, I had my logo stolen and used without my permission or knowledge. This post explains what happened and how to copyright your work to protect it and yourself.
First, I was Googling “Frog Voyage” to see if my domain, had been registered by Google yet, what I found was un-nerving. The first page in the results was the following;
A phishing site with fake products, that turned out to be a front, the company details were also stolen from a legitamate company in the United Kingdom too. When I spoke to the company, they seemed as suprisedas I did, therefore I spoke to the company hosting the website, MyShopify.
After speaking with the organisation, I recieved the following email;
I completed the DMCA Notice and Takedown Procedure. A treaty set up in 1996 called the ‘Digital Millennium Copyright Act’ protects artists like myself from things like this from happening. Soon after completingthe form I recieved the following email;
The logo was indeed taken offline. You can see below the company have replaced the logo the words ‘Frog Voyage’;
So, what could I do to further prevent this from happening? I started to look at copyrighting my work.
The UK Copyright Service
The logo artwork itself is copyrightable. As the organisation states “Any work which has a real or potential financial value should be registered to provide evidence of originality for the copyright owner.”
The current charges for online registration are £39.50 for 5 years or £65.00 for 10 years per work.
Other work that I need to protect are the main characters of the experience. I had these five characters comissioned by a professional illustrator. I needed to ensure that I owned the rights to the characters, therefore I created and had the illustrator sign a contract which explicitly stated the rights of the artwork were solely mine, and that she would only use them in her portfolio to show her work. The contact is as shown below.