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I ask this question based on an incident I saw on Dribbble. I am not going to say names or point fingers but a particular person had used someone else's designs as part of a demo and the owner was livid. With that said I wanted to know:

  1. What is a good way to approach other designers?
  2. Is it bad practice to use other designer's work period?
  3. Should it be a courtesy to always include reference of the other designer's to help support them to?

In regards to this, it was also mentioned that some theme developers that sold their themes also included the dummy content of other designers.

  1. How would you pursue that?
  2. Are the developers financially liable for technically selling your content?
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What is a good way to approach other designers?

With caution. Slowly so as to not startle them. And then sniff their butt. Oh wait...I'm thinking of dogs!

Designers are just people so approach like any other human. They tend to look a bit odd what with their thick glasses and tight jeans, but they're fairly harmless creatures.

Is it bad practice to use other designer's work period?

Without permission? Yes.

Should it be a courtesy to always include reference of the other designer's to help support them to?

It'd be a courtesy to ask for permission. Anything else is arguably theft of their creative work.

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Ask first and follow their terms

Most designers will be flattered if you ask for the privilege to showcase their content within your app, theme, whatever. You would be expected to credit the creator and (in the case of interactive projects) include the link of their choosing. Depending on the nature of your project and the inclination of the designer, you may also be asked for a fee.

If you don't, be prepared to take on the liability

If you do not request permission, it would be completely within reason for the designer to demand retroactive payment. In that sense, you would be quite liable. You may also incur liability for any IP infringement in the original piece. Beyond that, you'd have to consult an IP attorney.

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