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I noticed something rather odd and couldn't take my mind off it. I visited this website Martin Média and I immediately recognised their logo as Stack Overflow's.

I checked like three times in order to be sure and I think it definitely is the same logo. Now I'm not sure which one was created first but I know Stack Overflow was launched in 2008 and it reads 2010 on the other website.

My question is, isn't there some legal issue here?

  • The domain does exist since 2006 or earlier, but I can't find a clue since when the website is online. :/ – Time Traveling Bobby Aug 12 '10 at 7:35
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    @Bobby, seems to be late 2007 at the earliest: web.archive.org/web*sa_/martinmedia.fr – Pops Aug 12 '10 at 14:06
  • FWIW, I plugged the SO/SF/SU logos into TinEye and didn't find any knockoffs... including the one in question from Martin Média. – Pops Aug 12 '10 at 14:20
  • @Popular - did the image include the title? – ChrisF Aug 12 '10 at 14:22
  • @Chris: where possible, I used both with and without. But the engine spit an "image not special enough to generate a unique signature"-type error for the SU no-title logo. – Pops Aug 12 '10 at 14:33
  • Double FWIW: I also plugged the knockoff logo into the engine and got no other knockoffs, but did get the real logo. – Pops Aug 12 '10 at 14:35
  • This is a great spot - ho wthe hell did you find it? – Marko Carter Aug 12 '10 at 15:45
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    @Marko Actually I first saw it in the footer of a web agency's website http://www.maecia.com/ while browsing… – Lou Aug 13 '10 at 9:39
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    FYI, maecia.com still has the SO logo associated with martinmedia.fr as of today (2010-08-07). – MPelletier Aug 17 '10 at 14:52
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Wow, that's pretty egregious. We'll follow up on this one, because as it says in the footer:

site design / logo © 2010 stack overflow internet services, inc;

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  • Now the footer says "© 2010 Martin media group" (in French, according to Bing Translator). In any case, it's a blatant knock-off. – In silico Aug 12 '10 at 9:44
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    The company responsible (sjcom) is also citing it as an example, here - or direct image link – Marc Gravell Aug 12 '10 at 12:11
  • @Marc ouch. This looks like the work of an intern with a grudge :) – Pekka Aug 12 '10 at 14:10
10

Message sent:

RE: your stolen logo at http://www.martinmedia.fr

The logo in your header at http://www.martinmedia.fr has been stolen from http://stackoverflow.com. This logo has been in use for over 2 years at our site and was custom designed.

Immediately cease using this logo and remove it from your pages here:
http://www.sjcom.fr/category/realisation/
and here:
http://wp1.ecom54.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/MartinMedia-550x398.jpg
and here:
http://www.martinmedia.fr/

If I do not receive a reply from you within five days, we will make it clear that you have stolen our logo in every way possible.

Michael Pryor
Stack Overflow Internet Services, Inc.

Update 1:

Bonjour, Je viens de recevoir votre e-mail au sujet du logo.

Je vais examiner tout ça afin de comprendre le problème.

Je vous contacte début de semaine prochaine.

Sincères saluations,

Steve Jaïch

Rough translation: I got your email about the logo, let me look into it, and I'll get back to you next week.

Update 2:

Logo Removed 2010-08-17

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    Ugh. The thought of having to deal with this in the French legal system is clearly a waste of time. Better to bring the power of internet shame down upon them. – Michael Pryor Aug 12 '10 at 14:04
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    I don't know, but according to their web site they gross 10 million euros per year: not too small. Also, according to Wikipedia, breaching copyright in France is a criminal offence known as 'counterfeiting', with possible fines and jail terms. – ChrisW Aug 12 '10 at 14:57
  • Looks like they've taken the image down – Noel M Aug 12 '10 at 20:51
  • @Noel, wp1.ecom54.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/… is still up – juan Aug 12 '10 at 22:27
  • The second sentence translates to: "I will examine all this so that I can understand the problem." Wow, that's pretty arrogant! – MPelletier Aug 17 '10 at 14:48
2

Just making people aware of this question in the conversation here: What are the rules on using the Stack Overflow logo?

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