From the Factory Archives
(12.Jan.04) Protecting Your Creations
We don’t usually comment on what happens at 3rd party websites, but we’ve received so many emails in the past few days about Hein Mevissen’s decision to close down his popular site – MixThePix, we thought we should respond.
One of the sad truths about the Internet is that although it allows unrivaled levels of communication, its very nature makes it very easy to steal other’ people’s work. From miss-appropriation of HTML source code, to stolen Perl scripts to icons, piracy of this nature happens on an epic scale. The Iconfactory has had more instances of this than we care to admit, and one of the ways we keep abreast of the situation is by the watchful eye of all of our fans out there (thank you!).
Artists like Hein are perfectly within their rights to demand that their work is not used commercially unless they specifically say so on their website or in their documentation. Just because we’re talking about icons (or freeware), doesn’t mean copyright and intellectual property rights don’t apply. The danger is that when you put something “out there” for the masses, there will always be those who will appropriate and misuse it.
It is an impossible situation, and unless artists are ready to shell out big bucks for lawyers and cease and desist notices, there is very little that can be done to make someone stop using your work. The Iconfactory fully supports the efforts of individuals to distribute and control their creations, but like yourselves, we are always searching for the best methods to do just that. Pixadex iContainers were intended to at least slow down icon hungry pirates, but as we’ve seen from Hein’s case, if someone is intent on stealing your work, they will find a way. In the end we’re all in this together, and maybe that’s the best defense we have, each other.
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