The Fox Is Black mark used without permission for new NBC show, ‘Revolution’

The Fox Is Black mark used without permission for new NBC show, 'Revolution'

The Fox Is Black mark used without permission for new NBC show, 'Revolution'

I woke up to an @reply from Mike Smith on Sunday morning with a simple statement.

@thefoxisblack looks like NBC is jacking your jawn

Immediately my stomach rolls, preparing for the unknown weirdness the Internet is throwing at me. I click the image he attached and sure enough, there’s my mark in an advertisement for NBC’s upcoming show Revolution. The ad is in the most recent issue of Wired magazine, though it could potentially be in more, I’m still not sure. I’d always hoped I’d be featured in the pages of Wired one day, just not under these circumstances.

I want to make it clear that this usage was never approved. No one ever asked, no one ever emailed, and I wouldn’t have ever said yes even if they had gotten in touch. My fox mark is a symbol of pride for me. It’s the icon for something I’ve spent the last 5 years working very hard on, which has opened the doors to so many amazing opportunities. In fact, I’m so proud that I have the black fox tattooed on my forearm.

And now my mark is being equated with “Wolf Saliva” for a prime time NBC show. According to Wikipedia, as of July 22, 2012 Wired magazine has a readership of 837,966. Potentially over 800,000 people now equate the brand I’ve been building for the last 5 years to “wolf saliva.” Awesome.

I mostly have a lot of questions of why it happened. Did a designer on the project find the mark on my site and think, “No one will even notice.”? Did they think by slightly altering the mark that they could get away with it? Did no one at NBC check to see where they got the icons for this advertisement? And–biggest of all–why couldn’t they have just drawn their own wolf instead of using a mark that’s a fox?

Currently I’m working with a copyright lawyer to start figuring what to do next but any suggestions or advice is definitely welcome. I’d also love if you as a reader would share this story to let NBC know that this isn’t ok to do. As many of you know NBC has been getting sued a lot lately for using fonts without permission so, clearly, they still haven’t learned their lesson. This happened to me–what’s to say it won’t happen with something you designed?

I received a message from Wired and as it turns out, it was their creative team, not NBC’s who did the promotion. Wired has reached out to me to discuss the situation. Thank you everyone for all the support on this, you all are awesome friends and readers.

August 20, 2012 / By