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Big name supermarket using my design with no credit

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 12:51 pm
by thestencilstudio
My company design and laser cut stencils for decorating, the stencils are sold across the web from our company website as well as some other sales platforms like Amazon.

I friend noticed one of our stencil designs being used to sell a decorating tool in a supermarket magazine and on their website in the product photos. The design is clearly ours and features the complete stencil having been applied to a wall using the supermarket tool (a small paint spray compressor). A part of the actual stencil is visible in the shot too. No credit has been given for the design and no permission was granted by my company to use the stencil to sell their decorating product.

We are often approached by newspapers and magazines for permission to use our website photos and product shots and usually consent to this in exchange for a mention in the publication or a link to the product featured. In this case the company in question has not used our photos but has used a stencil supplied from us to create their published photos.

At the very least I feel we should be able to add a note to our product 'as featured in...' but I'm not sure where I stand copyright wise? Any advice would be appreciated :)

Re: Big name supermarket using my design with no credit

Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:07 pm
by AndyJ
Depending on how original your designs are, they are likely to be protected by copyright, most likely as artistic works. However when you sell one of your stencils you are effectively supplying a licence to the purchaser which allows them to make copies of your design using the stencil. Unfortunately unless you specifiy on your packaging that the stencils are not to be used for commercial purposes, there is nothing to prevent another company from taking advantage of your implicit licence in the same way as a private purchaser.

Morally speaking, I agree that the supermarket should have credited your product, and I wouldn't be surprised if they agreed to do so in any future advertising campaign. However, I don't think you have a strong case for demanding any compensation for any past use of your stencils.

Re: Big name supermarket using my design with no credit

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:18 am
by thestencilstudio
Thanks Andy

We do state in our terms that...

'We grant a small-use licence for individuals to use our stencil designs on items to resell on a one-off or very small scale basis. For multi-use, commercial use and large scale manufacture please seek prior permission in writing. Contact us at (email address). In all instances please give credit to The Stencil Studio Ltd for the stencil design.'

The design is original and identifiable enough for a friend to recognise it, even though only half the design is visible in the publication.

I will get in touch with them and see if we are able to use the association with our design on our own website.

Thanks again :)