I received this email today:

– – – Start of Email – – –

Dear Naina,

We are a startup in Real estate by the name of “xxx Properties” in Chandigarh.

Co-incidentally I came across the logo designed by you of “xxx”. As we are in the process of promoting through facebook and other media I would like to have your permission to use the said logo/ its variant on our “facebook” page with due credits.

I have just uploaded the said logo only for you to see at the moment. In case you don’t agree the same will be removed at the earliest.

You can visit the page at the following link:

Awaiting your response.

Thanks & Regards,

Mr. Owner of xxx

– – – End of Email – – –

I wasn’t sure if this was a joke so I clicked on the link and they have used the logo on their Facebook page. I’m not sure what the hell just happened.
I did respond to their email but I’m likely to be seen as someone “holier than thou” because of it. But maybe, just MAYBE, next time the person is thinking of anything similar, they will at least THINK about what it might entail? Or am I dreaming?

– – – Start of Response – – –

Hi Mr. Owner of xxx,

I hope you are joking.

The logo is a registered trademark for an American client of mine.

It isn’t about “agreement”, it’s someone else’s intellectual property. I would recommend you to please speak with your lawyers before sending such emails directly to the brand designer or the company whose logo it is. Might save you legal trouble.

Is your company willing to give me a house for free? I will live in the house and give you due credit. [ I hope you understand how absurd that sounds! ]

Very much in shock,

– – – End of Response – – –

The gentleman responded saying, “I did not knew that this design is a registered trademark of your client. I was looking for a “xxx” design and came across your’s. we shall not be using the same.”

I don’t know what that means – so if it wasn’t a registered trademark, anyone can use anything as they please? A digital graphic design is just a piece of design to be found on “Google” and used however deemed fit?

I’ve faced this with large organizations, smaller companies, individuals launching freelance practices and a range of regular blokes who meant no harm but did it anyway. So many say “But I found it on Google!” And I want to tear my hair out. They pick up my images and my designs and I’m expected to send legal notices out to everyone? Don’t I have work to do? But if I don’t respond with legal notices, does that mean that their belief of “We will get away with it!” is proved true?

My friend & lawyer @dkmahant is currently helping me with one such case but it’s only been a back and forth of legal notices where even their lawyers are claiming “It was nothing.” Do I take it to litigation? Or do I give up and focus on creating more intellectual property that can be copied blatantly?

When the hell is this fucktardiness going to stop in India? When in doubt, ASK. At least the gentleman above ASKED. And he has also removed the logo from the Facebook page and told me they won’t be using it. But how many others are there who are using and I have no clue? I find it horrifyingly bleak that I am elated with what should be considered “normal”. Normal should be common, not uncommon.