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Take Your Watermark And Lo-Go Away

, , , | Working | June 20, 2022

My business is in need of a logo, so I reach out to an artist online to make a design for us. We come to an agreement, and they get to work. As is typical for art commissions like this, they provide us with an example image of the final product that has a large watermark across the image, ensuring that we can see what the final product looks like while also preventing us from stealing the image.

Everything looks good, so we send the final payment, and they send us the finished image. Except, rather than removing the watermark like the contract we signed with them specified, they have instead changed the text of the watermark to their signature.

We reach out to them.

Me: “Hi. So, the image looks good, but I think when you went to remove the watermark, you just changed the text, instead. Could you send us the final image without the watermark?”

Artist: “I sign all my work.”

Me: “Okay. That is not what was agreed upon in the contract we signed. We need the logo to look like the specifications, without additions like this watermark.”

Artist: “I sign all my work.”

That is the only response they give to any follow-ups before they just stop responding when we try to get a refund. In the end, we contact another artist, explain the situation, and provide the “signed” image to them as part of their specs, and they are able to recreate the basic image without the watermark. We pay them and use that logo.

Nine months after this whole debacle, we get an email from the original artist.

Artist: “You have been using my creative property without permission. This is an official cease-and-desist notice. Legal action will be taken if you do not properly cite my works.”

We considered engaging, but in the end, we decided to just ignore it. It has been five years since then, we are still using the logo, and we haven’t heard a peep of any “legal action” from us not using the “signed” logo.

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