Emerging Kerala has been a subject of controversy ever since its inception. The latest one in the list is over its logo.
Controversy emerged after a copyrighted image was noticed on a website scientificillustrator.com, operated by a Missouri-based artist Gina Mikel, which was similar to the one used in the investors’ meet.
However, organisers sorted out the issue much before it came under public scrutiny. The organisers claim that it was not plagiarism and that they had paid for the image. However, Mikel came out with an explanation in her website that she was paid only after the issue came out in public.
Through an alert social media, Mikel was notified about the use of the image, which she had put up for sale on her website. She soon contacted the organisers, who immediately switched to the troubleshooting mode and settled the issue.
Mikel explained on her website: “I was contacted in April 2012 by someone who told me that the image was being used by the Emerging Kerala organisers. I then contacted the organisers through their website to express my concern (that I had not been notified in advance nor had I been paid for using it, etc.) They forwarded my contact information to their design firm, which then requested an invoice and paid me for use.”
“Artists prefer, of course, to be contacted in advance before their work is used. However, it was cleared up in the end and I appreciate that,” Mikel added. Representative of a Kochi-based private advertising agency, which is in charge of the advertisement, clarified that it was not a case of plagiarism.
“It was like hiring a picture. Anybody can buy and use it. There is no issue as we have paid for the logo,” he said.
When asked about Mikel’s explanation that she was not informed of it in advance, he said that he was not aware of it. “The programme itself is for looting. Then why so much fuss over a logo theft,” was one comment in a google group-discussion over the issue.