LayerVault. What's up with the DMCA?

over 10 years ago from Allan Yu, YUI/YUX?YUSUX?

  • Connor Tomas O'BrienConnor Tomas O'Brien, over 10 years ago

    Guys, this is honestly pretty disappointing. The illustrations you allege "infringe" are, as many others have pointed out, extremely similar to prior work on The Noun Project. In fact, I recently used a "flat" newspaper image on a recent project that you'd probably call me out for "stealing" from you... which would be true, were it not for the fact I designed that asset almost two years ago. That basic newspaper graphic has existed for at least three years. It's almost generic at this stage.

    The sad thing to me is that it seems as though you mistakenly believe you've created your visual style out of thin air, and are unable to recognise or admit you used other artists' work as inspiration.

    Even worse, in fact, is that you made the conscious decision to promote your company's visual aesthetic as part of a "design movement". You essentially encouraged others to copy your "look". If you made it clear from the beginning that you felt ownership over your visual aesthetic, nobody would have considered it ethical to release a "LayerVault UI kit". However, you continually referred to your style as "flat design" and repeatedly suggested you wanted other designers to follow.

    I find your actions pretty difficult to follow. Yes, some of their assets are similar, but how can you not recognise why issuing this DCMA leaves an extremely bad taste?

    15 points
    • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 10 years ago

      Here's a link from HN comparing some of the Noun Project Icons.

      2 points
      • Connor Tomas O'BrienConnor Tomas O'Brien, over 10 years ago

        Yes. And if you have a quick search on Dribbble for "newspaper", "gears" or "talking head", you'll find dozens of similar images that predate both the LayerVault and Flat UI designs.

        The issue isn't whether the images are similar, or whether the Designmodo folks deliberately copied LayerVault's assets (I'd say they did). The issue is whether LayerVault's assets were original to begin with, and I think it's fairly obvious they weren't. And that's okay! Certain symbols (like interlocking cogs or a face and speech bubble) work because they're used so commonly. What's problematic is when somebody mistakenly believes that their particular rendering of a commonly-used symbol is original and attempts to claim ownership over it.

        2 points