rite to be pissed off??

this guy emailed me a while back:

Hi Luke,

Just a quick message to let you know I found your site during a ‘freelance-3D-artist’ search, and was particularly impressed with your portrayal of the ‘Turbo Cooler’.

The ‘story book’ type detail - initial idea/sketches, through 3D design stage and final animation is exactly the way I’m looking to promote my latest business venture.

I am in the final stages of setting up a 2D/3D CAD design service to assist the UK patenting industry. I would like to add your contact details to my list of freelance designers (3 at present around the UK), with a view to using your obvious skills when the need arises.

Please confirm whether or not I can use your ‘turbo cooler’ sketches/stills on my soon to be completed web site (“courtesy of Luke Woolfson”), as I have no doubt that the interest generated by our combination of potfolios would generate great interest and consequently - paid design work for us all.

I await your reply with interest.

Kind regards,

Rob Hastings
MD 3DMidlands.com

Take a look here: http://www.3dmidlands.com/prot.htm

Then take a look here: Luke Woolfson, Industrial Designer in London, United Kingdom

The way the guy writes the blurb on the main 3D midlands page:

_Based in the West Midlands, we offer a comprehensive range of design services, including:-

  • 2D CAD
  • 3D Architectural & Interior Design
  • 3D Modelling & Animation
  • Website Design to suit all budgets
  • Graphic Design
  • CD Design / Production / Duplication
  • Exhibition Stand Design_

though he does give credit to me on the front page of his crumy site…i still got the write to be pissed off…havn’t i?


you are soooo right! He only mentions you as a contributor but the guy does NOT mention the kind the mount and the quality of the job U have “contributed”…He presents your work as if you are one of his partners (are you?i guess not). These things happen…
I once sent via e-mail some designs for alloy weels i had done and never heared back. I do not imply that he stole my work or he even manufactured them but you have to be very carefull…

good luck!

Looks like you’re being exploited my friend. Imagine this scenario:

Frustrated by my unsuccessful attempts at landing new accounts, I decide to boost my business and image of my company in this way.
-I’ll do searches of all the portfolio sights for the hottest, kicka$$ images that are sure to impress potential clients the way they impressed me.
-I’ll ask for permission from those designers to use THEIR work to help promote myself (oh excuse me, promote them), with the promise that they’ll be on my underground freelance network. So when something comes in that may be up their alley, I may shop it out to them (not necessarily though).
-Now MY company has a hot portfolio, looks like the shiznit and clients will be banging down my doors. I’ll get more accounts and work. If I get too overburdened with work, then I’ll shop it out to one of my “extended staff” (but lower than the prices my company charges so I can make a profit).

Generally, this is what freelancers do and how we’re used, (myself included) so I’m not knocking it, but I think that the fact that he wants to use your own portfolio images as representative of the work his group does is a little shady. Especially if you’ve never actually done work for him or recieved a paycheck yet.

He’s using you to generate work for himself, the overflow of which may or may not get sent your way. Seems like he’s walking a fine line there.
Your website looks better than his, the clients he attracts from your images could’ve been clients you rightfully could’ve gotten on your own. He may have just successfully assimilated his competition (with no real money, just maybe’s) and will have the work sent his way.

Virtual offices are fine, I know 2-3 person firms that use freelancers as virtual staff. But they get the work based on THEIR own reputation, skills, and portfolios of past work, the freelancers complement them. That’s the right way to do it.

This is what I call one of those “middleman” work models which I hate. Here’s an example. Right now I may potentially have to take one of my freelance clients off of my hitlist. I was approached by a recruiter, said he had a client looking for something. He told me who the client was, and it turned out to be somebody who I was already in contact with, I’ve already met on my own due to my own efforts a while back, etc. I had even just recently emailed them an update to my status a couple of weeks back, etc. I just haven’t gotten work from them recently.
So he goes and approaches them about me (granted they already know me). I don’t get accepted for what their looking for (fulltime) but they tell him that I may be good for contract stuff later on (which they’ve already told me). He tells me that and wants me to call him if they contact me for any freelance stuff so HE can iron out the details?!
He didn’t do anything for me in my opinion, but he just plopped himself in the middle of my process and now expects to make money off of it. It would be something different if it was somebody that I’ve never dealt with, that I only knew or made contact with due to his efforts.

Sorry for the rant, just had to get that off my chest, a little cheaper than a therapist!! Anyway, I don’t think you should work with this guy, seems extremely suspect. Anybody can just snatch up all the freelancers looking for work, use their images to represent themselves and look like they’re a good talented firm. You’d probably do better on your own (and would make more money also). Good luck to you.

cheers guys! much respect to your rant there skinny…i am just pissed at the way he has used the images…just like you said. Ahh well skew no shit off my back, if somone downloads my images from my site there is nothing to stop doing what ever they like.

From your description of the “middle men” i shall approach thing with an air of caution after i am out of uni and in to the big wide world.

Did you tell him yes he could use you as a source, or did I miss something. If you never answered him or told him no I would have some words with him, big ones, like the lawyers use.

luke I dont know how it works at your place but I think here there might (not certain) be additional issues in that the IP rights to the work we have done while we are here belongs to the university, not to us (of course if the design goes commercial then usually the designer is still involved, gets a cut and the kudos, etc. but thats another issue)

Hi Luke,

Firstly, take it as a compliment that someones’s looking at your site!

But, there are quite a few issues you should (and probably are) aware off.

1 - did you give permission for your images to be used? If no, then there is obviously copyright infringement. The University covers 50% of the copyright and design rights to all our work (it may be a higher % actually), so I would firstly notify the person that action will be taken if you work isn’t removed, then notify the uni and take it from there.

There was a case where a Northumbria students work was copied by a company which was in most the UK design Magazines. Although this is not a design issue, I would be inclined to stand firm on this one and take the appropriate action.

2 - If yes, then I would be careful what exactly you’ve said yes too. Just use of the images? Or have you agreed work? If agreed work, then where’s the contract, what’s ur % and the middle mans? How much do you get paid…and probably more importantly who pays for the software? and how can such a poor site attract clients?Oh…and the Uni/You copyright stills applies.

3 - If this get is legit and you get work…can I some too please? LOL

I know graduation is looming and we’ll be looking for work, but as the other guys have said you are better off going it alone. (IRC you’ve done this before anyway?) I know you don’t want to be a CAD monkey, so like you said to me…not being a proper designer would be a loss to the industry (LOL)

Personally, I’d not stress about it, drop the guy a non-threatening e-mail, finish your final year, and look forward to New Designers. I’m sure they’ll be a few suprises there…!

well …erm…I did say yes he could use the images…as long as he put reference to myself and my web site…which he has kind of done… I also said yes as I have been getting requests to post stuff on the more visualisation sites, like 3d central and thecreativemonkey.com. Here lies my assumption that it would be a similar thing, lots of peoples work shown in a portfolio type style, obviously I had been slightly naive and should have looked at his site first. I doubt this guy will get much work anyways.

My whole thing about copyright and IP in terms of university work I could give a toss….I see uni work to build up my portfolio and to get a job out of it….I would rather be an industrial designer at this point of time than an entrepreneur. I am sure I would feel gutted if someone ripped of one of my ideas and made a million but I guess that’s the risk u take putting them in to the public domain. Patents are only worth as much as u could pay a lawyer/solicitor to take action.

The thing, as I mentioned before, that has pissed me off is the way he has manipulated the images so they look pants and put his blurb text next to them implying he did it.

How about this!!!

Buy a gun, go round to this no-hope company and start a Matrix style frenzy in the foyer (if they have one)

Might make you feel better.

I think the guy has a bloody cheek overpowering your work with his brand like your images show. Speak to the guy and ask for better publicity.

If that doesn’t work, do some promotion, or should i say demotion of your own, if you know what i mean…

I’d also mention that many universities have a claim on any work produced by their students for up to 'x" years. I’d check you might not have been in an “official” position to give permission for the use of your images.
I was surprised this was the case when I graduated with my first degree, one in fine arts (they don’t own the work but have some say)

I believe this came out of some issues that arose with patents and other engineering developments that were deleloped using university resources and ‘research’. Sorta like how you are supposed to reference work that you’ve used in a bibliography even if your source was some student’s “published” thesis.

I’d demand better representation or get in writing that you are an actual partner.

edit: man, what’s going on, I must be going dylsexic, I swear I read this thread, and only just now (few days later) notice that my point was brought up a couple of posts above. :unamused:

OT, you guys (luke/paul) /know/ you are goin to New Designers? We had to say if we were interested then they will tell us at the degree show (4-8 June), will take approx 1/10th of the yr ie 10-12 ppl I think. Still is more than they took in previous years I think.

yeah i guess both paul and me should be at new designers…allthough everyone puts there names in, Bs/c, BA product and BA furniture and they are going to let us now in a week or so who is going. Normaly DMU has a furniture stand and a product one soo i should de plenty of people are going as there an’t alot of us this year around 30ish i think.

Yeh, I will be going for definate. Though it’s still to be decided what work I will be presenting (need to get the finger out on my major!)

Of course they only want the best there but there aren’t a lot of us left so there are more spaces than last year. Though IRC the BSC course have loads of students in comparison to other years.

If you ever come down, then say hi. Luke looks like…er his avator I will probably have some daft mop-top hairdo (and a scottish accent)

How did you get on in the past? I never made it down as I live near Glasgow out of term-time.

I will def be going… question is as what. A visitor methinks! Have visited the last couple of years with a friend who is a furniture designer tending towards the ID side of things. It is useful to have someone to discuss the ins and outs of products while you are there. I always run out of time for looking round though, will have to get there well early this time round as it was very costly in broken undergrounds and missed trains last time. Also it will be cool to visit the lboro ID lot there, and our furniture ppl.

The coolest thing I can remem from last yr was a chair that was only a chair when you sat in it (confused yet?) The guy stood up and it was a flat panel, then when he sat into it, it became a chair. He didnt initiate conversation with ppl looking at the exhibits, he just casually sat down as they walked past and waited for them to do a double-take. Of course there were lots of other cool things too, plus shopping in Islington and the wonderfully dark and airconditioned Hogs Head pub down the road from the Business Design Centre. As for the centre itself, well its a big greenhouse. I have theories about taking a non-stick frying pan and an egg and how long it would take to cook brekkie… :unamused: :slight_smile:

As for the major, well it will all be done with in less than 2 weeks… or to put it another way, it all has to be done in less than 2 weeks :open_mouth: Still its going better than past experience… reminds me I sooo shouldn’t be on the internet. :neutral_face: Good luck with it all.

TRM - are you still a student? Where abouts (loughborough buy any chance?) and what you studying?

We have 2.5wks left, and yeh it’s getting stressful (well, always has been LOL). Pick some SLA’s up 2morrow, and have another 5 to get ready for thursday :confused:

Dam the internet! Broadband has destroyed the live of many LOL :frowning:
Good luck to you to!


ahh…a wee tin-ter-net break for us all then…i remeber that chair aswell…certinaly rulez, though he wouldn’t let me take a photo of it…grrr, but should be a laugh thus year.



Industrial Design and Technology.

Stress? Ha. I past that stage months ago.

But broadband also helps with research, and when you need things in a hurry. A mixed blessing.

Sigh. :unamused: :sunglasses: