27 May 2007 ~ 0 Comments

The dangers of cross-posting, part 2

Although I just posted recently about cross-posting designs, I came across a great example of why this is such a terrible idea.

This is a really cool shirt (I even singled it out as such recently when I was discussing my disappointment with the Six Cities competition).

But since it is so easily recognizable as a great shirt, it won two competitions at the same time. In the Inspire Brand contest, it won its fight easily. In the Teetonic competition, it was printed. The Inspire entry was made on October 22nd, and the Teetonic submission was made November 2nd (just over a week later).

I’m not sure what the legal ramifications are for the designer in question.

The Inspire legal terms say that “The participant may display or archive the design in a portfolio or personal collection but may not sell or reproduce the design for commercial purposes without written permission from Inspire.” Unless permission was obtained, this is in violation. I doubt that permission was obtained because it still appears on the Inspire web page, but I have no proof of this.

The Teetonic terms and conditions state the following: “By entering the Competition you warrant that no Design or comments submitted by you to Teetonic.com will violate any right of any third party, including but not limited to their copyright, trademark, design right, privacy or other personal or proprietary right(s) whether registered or unregistered and that the Design has not previously been submitted to any other competition.” This is a clear violation of the terms, as the Inspire entry predates the Teetonic entry and thus this design was submitted to another competition before these terms were agreed to.

This whole thing is a messy legal situation if the websites adhere to their terms. I have no interest in maing trouble for anyone, so I haven’t contacted any of the sites involved. I took the step of making a comment in the battle page at Inspire that Teetonic printed the design, which ought to prevent it being printed at both places. But I think my point is pretty clearly illustrated: Read the terms, follow the terms to the letter and protect yourself from legal action.

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