Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.
A while back, I wrote a post about how Google Image Search can be used to find out whether any of your artwork has been "borrowed" for use by others. Occasionally, when I'm sitting at the computer, I run searches for a few of my images. Last week, I found my humble little pinecone drawing (a personal favorite, mind you) all tarted up and masquerading as someone else's art—right in their banner! And the most offensive part is that the company is a design firm that offers graphic design, branding, and other creative services! Frankly, judging from the quality of their website and their other images, it's not a very successful company. But if they don't understand artwork copyright infringement, who does?
"As a design firm, I would think that you would understand that it is illegal to use an artist's work without permission. The pinecone drawing being used in your banner and elsewhere on your website is my artwork, and was taken from my website, www.sarahmelling.com, where it is protected by copyright. If you are interested in purchasing rights to use it, I will be happy to send you a quote. Otherwise, please remove it immediately. I will look forward to your reply letting me know which option you choose."
I received this reply yesterday:
"Thanks for informing, it will be rectified soon. Designer has been asked to remove it."
No apology, no explanation. And as of this writing, the drawing has not been removed. Grrr. I'll keep you posted.
Update! They removed it today, August 28!