In the morning of January 18, we at M2.0 Communications were embarrassed to the core of our being.
A Facebook post on the M2Social Page by artist Ronna Encarnacion pointed out that one of the outsourced articles on our website used images that were copied from her work. Her post featured a side-by-side comparison that proved without a doubt that it did.
The Artist’s Side
It was mortifying. While we might use pegs or be inspired by certain works, we do not intentionally copy or use art without permission. Our condemnation of plagiarism doesn’t stem from fear of reprisal, but because we are artists too.
Artists have been treated horribly. It’s too easy to use or copy other people’s work without repercussions. We too have faced companies that use work without permission or clients that commission original work in return for a handful of pesos or the promise of ‘exposure’. These practices devalue our work and our art.
As brands, it’s our responsibility to treat creative work like priceless arts-not meant to be copied. After all, they wouldn’t be called artists just because. These people worked hard, practiced hard and toiled to perfect their craft.
Doing What’s Right
As soon as we realized the lapse, we apologized profusely to Rona and took down the offending article.
We also investigated the incident. M2.0 Communications
While the plagiarism wasn’t directly the fault of M2.0 Communications, we are still responsible for everything that is uploaded to our
What to Do When Called Out
But this issue isn’t unique to us. There are many companies that discover they have been using plagiarized artworks in their marketing materials. Here’s what they can do:
When a brand is caught plagiarizing, it can’t take its time. Plagiarism implies that your brand is too lazy or too uncreative to make something new original while exposing the company to copyright claims.
Investigate the Incident
It’s crucial to understand the details of the plagiarism. It will help to determine how much the company is responsible for the mistake. It may even be the rare case of great minds thinking alike. In which case, it’s okay to defend yourself.
Make a Plan
Depending on your investigation, formulate a plan that will protect the brand. Rely on the truth. Owning up to a mistake is far better than vehemently denying that the brand did anything wrong.
Contact the Artist
When a brand does something wrong, it’s on the company to make things right. In this case, the brand needs to contact the artist and offer an explanation. He or she has a right to know your side and the steps that you will take.
Take Down the Plagiarized Work
Unless the brand receives the artist’s permission, removing the plagiarized work is the only right thing to do.
One case of plagiarism isn’t a death knell for a company. But continually being involved in plagiarism will sink the brand. Learn from the mistake and create processes that prevent this from happening again.
Plagiarism hurts the artist and the brand. Be careful in creative works and, if it appears, resolve the issue as fast as possible. At the end of the day the most important lesson we learned