Design Ignorance

by Julia Hummel

This story I am about to share with you, is a great lesson to be learned by anyone reading especially students like myself working toward a design related field. Erik Solheim tells a story about an electronic company rightfully using his photograph. A designer for an electronics company ignorantly used a photograph off of google  images without considering any copyright infringements before using it in an advertisement. Lucky for Erik, he came across the image and put up a strong fight until he was compensated. However, the fight was exactly that. The design company responded with a less than humble response appearing very ignorant and rude. The attitude portrayed by this company, only fuelled Erik’s anger and motivation to make a point and to ensure a lesson to be learned. Erik ended up being compensated $4000 for the image, however because the company could not take responsibility for their mistake, they wound up $4000 short, bad publicity, and an angry photographer. This is a lesson to be learned, it is very simple to use an image knowingly or unknowingly which violates copyright laws. In any situation, it is wrong, and needs to be avoided especially when producing client work and attaining profit. Situations like this can be avoided in many different ways, most importantly by being aware of copyright laws, and remaining humble, civil, professional while taking responsibility for your mistakes. If you would like to read more about Erik’s situation, please visit his blog.