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Work got plagiarised in a Design Competition

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by logorithm, Jun 2, 2003.

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  1. logorithm

    logorithm Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I recently participated in an international design competition and submitted three designs. Each submission costs USD10. The competition was conducted online and attracted 777 entries on closing date.

    Upon the closing date of the competition, all entries from competitors were made available for viewing on the internet. However, the organiser was still inviting entries after the closing date that the final tally became 790.

    I was shocked and disgusted when a late entry was announced the winner! And what angered me most was that the winning design was clearly plagiarised from my design concept! The designer had made modifications from my design to make it looked like a completely different design! The fact that it was a late entry and that he had gained inspirations from other competitors was most unfair.

    My questions:

    1. Can the competition be rendered null and void and make the organiser refund the fees charged to the competitors?

    2. Can any legal actions be taken against the organiser and the person who plagiarised my work?

    Thank you so much for your kind attention.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I would think that if the organizer violated the rules you might be entitled to a refund. You might also have a copyright case against the late submitter and possibly damages against the organizer for contributory infringment (this might be tough to prove.)

    The worst that is likely to happen is that you can embarass the promoter for future events if he allows the contest results to stand. I'd likely sue him in small claims... might be worth every penny!
     
  3. RaisetheBar

    RaisetheBar New Member

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    First of all what were the rules for the competition? did the rules say "All decisions of the judge are final?" or something like that? Probably there is something in the rules to that effect.

    So until you go back online and figure out what the rules are, and tell us, then you have a stumbling block right there.

    Furthermore, I dont see a copyright lawsuit as likely w/o more information. For one thing, it was a design competition does that mean it is for a useful product or a work of art.

    I would guess it is for a useful product (e.g. a better mousetrap or something). If that is the case there is no copyright issue.

    If you say that the contest was for works of art, then I doubt whether there is a copying claim since obviously it was not the same as yours.

    You also have another problem for copyright. DId this person actually make lots of copies of this design? and distribute them or sell them? If not there is not likely to be a copyright claim. Oh perhaps if it was a statue or something, maybe, but you havent explained what the nature of the design was/is.
     

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