History of the
In 2011, our friend Chris T. Wilson was a window cleaner and had the idea to make a cool print for t-shirts he could wear while washing windows in the upper Ojai Valley of Southern California. One day, he took at least 100 pictures of his fist holding different sized squeegees in various positions and poses. He then used photo editing software to make a design and Squegeelution was born! He printed shirts and J. Racenstein picked it up right away and bought 100 shirts in various sizes.
The design was then licensed to us (Window Cleaning Resource) in 2014 to use as our corporate logo. As time went on, unfortunately, every few weeks other window cleaners were taking the design and using it as their own logo or design. Now, most of them were probably doing this innocently and without malicious intent. They or their graphic designers find the design somewhere online and then, thinking it is free clip art, paste it up on their company websites or on Facebook.
Intentional or not though, these companies are using Chris's copyrighted art. This has given him a hard lesson in intellectual property law. He's learned about the Berne Convention and what creative rights are protected under the international treaty.
The SqueegeePower, Squeegeelution, Squeegeelicious design has officially been submitted to the US Copyright Office for official registration. It's copyrighted and trademarked by us (windowcleaner.com) for exclusive use. Unless you have permission from Chris or Alex Lambrinides or windowcleaner.com to use the design, do not use it. Realizing your art was taken without permission is a terrible feeeling. Time and effort went into creating this design, Chris Wilson should be the only one receiving all of the accolades and profit from it. Taking someone else's art is not only lazy and unoriginal but it is STEALING and punishable by law.
All About Copyright Infringment:
What is Copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement (also known as piracy) is "the use of works protected by copyright law without permission for a usage where such permission is required, thereby infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works."
But I changed it a little... Is that okay?
NO! Just because you slapped some text around the logo or made it slightly different does not mean you created a brand new logo. This is still copyrighted material you are using and yes, this is still stealing.
I found it on the internet. Doesn't that mean it's public?
NO! Small companies need to do their research. Just because something is published online does not mean it's free for anyone to use however they please. Keep your artwork legal - that includes your logo and images on your website, printed material, etc.
I'm a small company. What are the chances I'd be caught?
You'd be surprised! No matter how large or small your business is, you absolutely can be prosecuted for copyright infringement. You WILL have to pay a fine. It's a headache to deal with so just don't do it!
But I got this off a free clip art site...
We are furiously working on getting the Squeegeelution logo off any and all "free clip art" sites. We understand that this can certainly be done unintentionally but it is still something we need to address. If we ask you to cease and desist using a copyrighted image please cooperate with us and do so.
I don't know the laws around this...
Not knowing does not excuse you from stealing someone's intellecutal property. The United States (as well as any other country) has their own copyright laws, so as a small business it's important that you understand the laws. Check this site out for more information or to get educated on the subject.
So how do I keep my business logo legal?
You can avoid copyright infringment by creating your own artowrk and being original! Whenever possible, use only your own material. If you aren't sure, always get permission to use an image. Ask the source directly and simply ask permission. The worst they can say is no after all!
What if I see the "Squeegeelution" logo being used by another company?
Great question! You can email hello@windowcleaner with a link or a screenshot to the image in question. We will take it from there! We appreciate your support in making sure Chris Wilson's design is not copied and used illegally.
More About Chris T. Wilson
That hand holding the squeegee? That's the picture that started it all. This was one of the pictures Chris took that inspired the iconic logo. How cool is that?
Chris washed his first window in 1979 at age 9 in an office building where his step-grandparents was cleaning for their son. He took up various jobs from mowing lawns, janitorial cleaning, etc. At 19 he got the contract to clean the windows for a small real estate office, so he purchased some squeegees and a mop and got to work. A friendly window cleaner taught him a few techniques that got the ball rolling. The rest as they say, is history!
Chris has been in California now for 10+ years and is 99% residential. He services the beautiful homes of the Ojai Valley, but has also cleaned windows in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico and even a few places in Europe.
You can follow Chris on Facebook or at http://windowashing.com.
From the Mind of Chris T. Wilson:
Power Pop goes the Squeegee
Squeegee Agent Smith