WWYD - "You Stole My Work!"
As designers, we all work very hard every day at coming up with the best and most creative solutions for our clients. Sometimes, it takes a conscerted effort to get the juices flowing and develop original ideas. We do the research, work on the solutions for the project, and refine them down to the best of our ability to be presented to the client. What happens when a colleague, competitor, or someone else out there accuses you of copying or stealing their work?
WWYD - Situation 4
Here's the scenario. You're working on a freelance project and you go online to find images and ideas to communicate the solution for your client. You're grab some images to use for your concept board or to further study to create your message. You also get some verbiage or quotes from the Web to add to your creative process.
You find one image, in particular, that would fit perfectly for the campaign, but you're not an illustrator and don't know how you would reproduce it effectively. So, you place it in Photoshop or Illustrator and basically redraw it. You may even tweak the original image in order to make it "your own".
You present your final work to the client and he loves it. The job is a complete success and you go away from it with a smile on your face and a pat on your back. Suddenly, out of the blue, you get a phone call from an irate artist accusing you of stealing her artwork and threatens to sue. You really don't think you've done anything wrong and try to explain that to the artist. She'll have no part of it and hangs up. Suddenly you're worried that you'll be billed, or served, in the next few days. What would you do?
The above scenario may have happened to you. You may "borrow" certain aspects of another artist's work for your own purposes, but change the details and nuances to make it fit in your campaign. What's wrong with that? Is that OK to do? Please post your comments here and share with us your ideas or real-life experiences.