Here is my suggestion to protect designs.
All designs should have a 99design automatic watermark on it in and only the contest owner should be able to see the design with no watermark.
This will prevent public to steal design.
Hope this will be implement.
Also, all past contest should not appear in the search engine. All contest should not appear on Google.
Rubinco Nineski commented
Be happy to steal your ideas. But after 2 or 3 times they will pay you, becaouse they know who you realy are (very good player). THANK YOU.
I agree with the first part but not with the last one, I would say place a time frame or do a library for past contests but do not erase them straight away.
These finished contests can be used NOT as a guideline to steal designs for other contests but as a learning tip for other people.
Darwin Street commented
WATERMARK DOESN'T PROTECT IDEAS
It won't protect it, but it helps. I used to always use watermarks and was upset that 99designs seemed to discourage it.
I totally agree with Middy . Watermarks are not effective against tracers .
Right now allot of contest holders dont treat copyright violation too seriously . We all know those big logo contests with 1-2k $ that end up locked . Those are like the clearest example of stealing . CH opens contest , gets 1-2k designs then locks it , next thing you know one of the designs is their logo .
If 99designs were to put up some sort of warning so that each person can see then this could discourage some of them and the percentage of stealing would drop .
Not only Google, I think. Yandex, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, etc.
But that doesn't stop the contest holder from closing the contest without picking a designer, and then taking the design that they like without paying the designer. I've seen this happen
Needed. Automatic watermark should exist and there are like a million java scripts to do so. It should be added with upload so none could just save the work (steal).
it's just me commented
Interesting subject, made me google some info for watermark technique. Too bad there is no 'perfect' way for protecting designs. But I read if you combine multiple watermarking techniques, we may get robust watermarks on a design. And still there are no ways preventing tracers doing their 'duplicating' jobs.
Well, nowadays everybody is designer, that's why here clients pay designers cheap :(
Visible wmark can be easily added while designing. Invisible wmark need software. I found a freeware which may do the trick:
*haven't use it yet, try it at your own risks!
A watermark isn't going to do crap. They can still save the design and take it off to their wife at home, or their graphic designer nephew to do up. What it needs is a BIG FAT disclaimer on the bottom of every entry as to the copyright holder and any use of the design without consent could end with legal action. Quite frankly I think this happens so much that 99designs could probably make a good business out of chasing intellectual property for the designers for a percentage of the fee win. Also ALL contest holders should have to post as part of their brief as to what market the design will be used (eg: NSW Australia, California USA etc) and if it is media the intended magazine/publication. This way we could track down the usage a little easily from those blood sucking leeches who get what they need and then do a refund on the contest. I have also suggested to 99 that as part of the refunding process the CH needs to post an 'acceptable' comment as to why the pin was pulled or risk a percentage being charged for distribution.
I think everybody can also add for self a watermark its not a big deal, I created an action for my this is done in few minutes :-)
stocklogos.com is another site that utilizes a watermark in it's submitted designs...the technology exists...it's a matter of "will" by 99designs.com
I agree with Matthew. Unless it's a blind contest your concepts will still be exposed and vulnerable to copying. I think they should implement a logo court system like logot**rnament*com or just have all contests be blind (only CH to see the different designs. Accurate designs should be based on accurate contest briefing and not another person's concept or a trend. I think the "other" site does this really well with the markers that show if a logo should be fun or serious, colourful or grayscale etc. along with info about the company and what they do
But what is there to prevent one designer to steal from another?
yaa,,it great idea.i think it will work. istock, shutterstock, many sites doing this why don't 99 designs..