10 February 2012

It's Okay To Cry

It's been a rough week (see above). I was accused, wrongly, of unoriginal design in a tee-shirt competition (how silly those words look coming out of my keyboard). My entry was pulled, and an email was sent to everyone who voted for it:
Thank you for voting for this year’s getfit@mit tee-shirt. Unfortunately, two of our finalists, including your choice, were disqualified from the contest when it was brought to our attention that portions those designs were not original, unpublished work, in violation of contest rules.
I had to send a strongly worded letter to their office about copyright and what constitutes original work. My source material was free, and what they found was another website that used that same source material in their own way, entirely uniquely from my own design. The "portions" of work that were "published" were used elsewhere because they are free for commercial and personal use.

What constitutes original design is such a hot topic in the design and blogging community, and it makes me sick to my stomach to be put in this position, but I feel so vindicated knowing that I am right, and they are so very wrong. So why do I feel bile at the back of my throat when I think of my design in the hands of people who don't understand these concepts, and who don't even bother to follow up with such strong and serious claims, but instead jump immediately towards the liability side of things at the expense of one of their fellow employees? Why can't I move on with my day and know that I'm right and they're wrong? Why do the words "libel suit" keep swimming through my head?

All I can do is sit and wait for now. And maybe buy a new wine glass*

*No wine glasses were harmed in this hullabaloo—it simply fell down in the sink and shattered to a million little pieces. It was just a bad day all around, is all.

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