3M 'Steals' Post-It Note Jaguar Viral Sensation
Sadly, there have been a few too many examples of brands co-opting the work of others for their own financial gain. Here's another. In December 2006, Scott Ableman and his co-workers decided to play a practical joke on another co-worker who drove a Jaguar and was one of those people who would park his car in a very remote spot so as to avoid scratches and dings. Ableman and friends plastered the co-worker's car with Post-It notes, took pictures of the resulting colorful design and posted them on Flickr. The whole thing turned into somewhat of a viral sensation.
Flash forward to early 2008. After seeing the viral sensation, 3M contacted Abelman to ask if they could use his work in an upcoming promotion. Abelman was more than willing. He checked with a friend in the licensing business to see what a fair price would be. 3M balked citing they could recreate and shoot their own version for $750 - $1,000. Abelman reduced his price and countered with $2,000. Ke never heard from 3M again thinking the project was dead.
A few months later, he started receiving many comments on his photos hosted on Flickr from people telling him they had seen his photo in Staples and offered congratulations for his seemingly lucrative deal with 3M. Turns out, 3M create and shot a Post-It Note car of their own for a POP.
There are more details on the story here but it sure does seem like yet another example of the big guy rolling right over the little guy with without regard for copyright let alone common decency.