Anti-Anti-Piracy Seal

Thursday, May 12th, 2005 @ 11:22 PM - music

If you haven't seen the FBI's new Anti-Piracy Seal yet, well...you must not have bought anything new within the last year. This seal is being attached to CDs, DVDs, videogames, software packages, and most other digital media. The little bastard is everywhere you look, reminding you not to bootleg copyrighted material. This is all well and good, however - what if you don't mind if your work is shared on a peer-to-peer network? What if you see a value in allowing others to alter/remix/edit your product?

Independent artists need a method to alert fans that they won't face 20 years of prison time for downloading their songs. In an effort to combat the FBI's Anti-Piracy Seal, I have created an alternative logo for artists who aren't concerned with file sharing and federal level copyright infringement. QLP can even get this logo personalized and printed on to anything from coffee mugs to car magnets.

Public Domain Dedication This work is dedicated to the Public Domain. Feel free to do with it as you please.

This seal is available in a variety of high-resolution print and web-ready formats and color styles. Here is an example of the seal on the back of an album. Please right-click (alt-click on Macs) to download.

GIF, Transparent Background 120x110 - ColorGIF, Transparent Background 120x110 - GrayscaleGIF, Transparent Background 120x110 - B&W

GIF With Transparent Background, 120 x 110 pixels.
For Websites (all color styles) | Download above ^

Illustrator 10 (all color styles) freethemusicseal-ai.zip | 990k
EPS (all color styles) freethemusicseal-eps.zip | 1.22mb

PNG Color w/ Alpha Channel color-seal.png | 395k
PNG Grayscale w/ Alpha Channel grayscale-seal.png | 338k
PNG B&W w/ Alpha Channel blackwhite-seal.png | 117k

JPG Color color-seal.jpg | 760k
JPG Grayscale grayscale-seal.jpg | 532k
JPG B&W blackwhite-seal.jpg | 499k

Shirts and Mugs available from CafePress.

$20.00 Men & Women's T-Shirts
$12.00 Coffee Mug

Anti-Anti-Piracy Seal Store

Article was last edited on Monday, January 30th, 2012 @ 1:10 PM


RaynerApe says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 2:00 AM

Excellent design! I hope people put this beauty on their website to support the notion, but I doubt anyone but some alternative bands would ever dare to do this. Which is a shame.

Max Malm says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 1:59 PM

Great article blogged

Carl says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 3:24 PM

You do, of course, realize that the FBI will be soon cracking down on you for copyright infringement? I do like the idea though. Good for you!

RIAA, Motherfucker! says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 4:27 PM

The RIAA will sue you, bitch.

Nate MC says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 5:16 PM

This is great but useless unless you release it under a CC license or put it into the public domain in another way. Otherwise artists can't do anything with it and it would be of little help.

Nick says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 5:47 PM

Just so everyone understands, this seal is in the Public Domain. Everyone can use and alter it in any way.

Anil says
Saturday, May 14th, 2005 @ 7:41 PM

Maybe, 'Permission' would work better than 'Warning'... 'Warning' is kinda scary, isn't it :-)

Great idea though... I hope this catches on.

Eric says
Sunday, May 15th, 2005 @ 4:32 AM

going to absolutly use this on the back of our CD coming out soon!!! thank you!!!

David says
Sunday, May 15th, 2005 @ 5:38 AM

Just so everyone's clear, Wikipedia says that works of the federal government are not subject to copyright law, so there's no problem with using this modified logo.

Ash says
Sunday, May 15th, 2005 @ 4:56 PM


JV says
Monday, May 16th, 2005 @ 8:19 AM

It's a great idea, but I think when artists that claim they support file sharing are confronted with the choice to use this seal most will quietly decline. I think a lot of artists are saying they support music file sharing just to look cool...Threaten their money and they will change their tune real fast. No pun intended.

Nik says
Monday, May 16th, 2005 @ 9:27 AM

To all those people who think that this will get a lawsuit, remember that this counts as parody, which allows fair use of images. So even if this was a corporate logo, it wouldn't matter. You can sleep easy =)

Babzi says
Monday, May 16th, 2005 @ 12:01 PM

I saw this on BoingBoing earlier today and now on some other blog. I wonder how long before it really spreads. I should probably post over at Persian Eye

Dead Air says
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005 @ 12:30 AM

I've e-mailed this and posted it all over the place. Thanks so much for the design. For those who question it's usefullness, you don't have to use it. I'll be using it immediately, and I think quite a few indie artist will. It certainly puts forth a challenge for those who are actually in favor of filesharing but on a label that saddles them with the FBI warning!

Konrad says
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005 @ 7:19 AM

So I see you're not only talented in making music! ;)

Greetz from Germany

Providencia says
Tuesday, May 17th, 2005 @ 10:13 AM

I do agree with another comment. Consideration should be given to change Warning to Permission. For the ultimate flip-off reject their language.

Slim says
Friday, May 20th, 2005 @ 11:12 AM

Yeah, I think the term "Warning" causes a little cognitive dissonance, considering the total message you're trying to put across. How about "SHARE IT!"? I'd put that on the back of my upcoming album! Another alternative, in the spirit of your project: how about posting a version that leaves that part of the banner blank, along with info on what font you used, so that bands with Photoshop skillz can put their own spin on it. Thousands of personal variations with the same graphic/political impact--an open source "fuck you" to the labels!

Nick says
Friday, May 20th, 2005 @ 12:09 PM

For those who don't find the humor and irony in the "Warning" tag on the label:

All of the files are setup so anyone with basic Photoshop and/or Illustrator knowledge can change them. The font used in the seal is http://www.linotype.com/44262/chaparralprobold-font.html">Chaparral Pro Bold - which, unfortunately isn't free. However many other fonts will look just as good as a substitute.

Liu says
Sunday, May 22nd, 2005 @ 5:09 AM

The idea is very good , but i can 't totally agree with the way it s done . I think it could be really great if the logo is totally opposite of the original , not just in his aim but in his form , As it s post it will be more interresting if it s can inspire the feeling of joy in sharing more than a big warning . The other is that i can 't agree with that offcial form used from the FBI logo , it s still too sad ,and cold . what you think about ?

Little Monkey says
Tuesday, May 24th, 2005 @ 8:48 AM

Great idea, hope somebody's gonna do it France too !!!

Sherps says
Thursday, May 26th, 2005 @ 11:41 AM

Guys, the whole point of the "fuck you" is meaningless unless you pirate the FBI logo. It says "I can hear you but I'm not listening". I say good job and keep the modified FBI logo!

Neonerz says
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005 @ 1:40 PM

I think this idea is GREAT!

To all you people who think it should be altered in some way (i.e. replacing Warning with "Share it" or whatever), thats the best part of this label, its comepletely in the public domain and he states many of times that YOU may alter it anyway you would like.

Crimson Blood says
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005 @ 1:53 PM

Whoa, i love this man ima spread the word get mah friends to put it on there cd's

Canada Checkin In

Ps. Even though file shareing is legal in canada :p

Greg says
Tuesday, June 14th, 2005 @ 2:40 PM

Perhaps instead of 'Warning' you could use 'Warning/Guarantee'. Remember back in the days of Tipper Gore and the PRMC? (That's why we have 'Parental Advisory' stickers). Anyway... The stickers on Frank Zappa's albums said (say?):

"WARNING/GUARANTEE This album contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress. In some socially retarded areas, religious fanatics and Ultraconservative political organizations violate your First Amendment Rights by attempting to censor rock & roll albums. We feel that this is un-Constitutional and un-American.

As an alternative to these government-supported programs (designed to keep you docile and ignorant), Barking Pumpkin is pleased to provide stimulating digital audio entertainment for those of you who have outgrown the ordinary.


Lee says
Thursday, June 16th, 2005 @ 6:01 PM

Awesome job!

BigRECzilla says
Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 @ 2:42 PM

Ayo this is HOT! I appreciate y'all having this post here. And oh...thanks for the font info--I've been looking fior that joint for a minute. Holla!

Danny says
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 @ 1:49 AM

I love the concept. I just LOVE it. Music was, and should be once again, an ART and not a BUSINESS... record companies lost millions of dollars last year through file sharing... GOOD! Like they really need the money. I'm gonna use this on my band's cd and spread the word! I commend you! JOB WELL DONE!!


Mike THe Drummer says
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 @ 9:17 AM

I have a question and a comment. First the question. If someone produces a specialized product, or service, and desires to be paid for their work, should they not be paid? Should anyone who wants to enjoy (use the aforementioned service), edit (manipulate aforementioned service for self profit) or give away without consent (thereby making the value of the origin of the work Zero) of the creator?

My statement: Good products such as music or other wise (original that is) takes many hours of effort and can use up a tone of resources. No one has the right (notice I said the right, not ability) to abuse their talents and resources for personal gain, be it for pure self indulgence or profit.

Convince me other wise. I'm open to discussion.

Thanks for this web page,


Nick says
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 @ 10:02 AM

Sure, everyone who works deserves to get paid, but it isn't necessary. I get paid for my artwork. But it just-so happens that this seal I have created, as ART - (which took many hours of effort and a tone of resources) is being given away for free, for two reasons:

  1. I don't want money for it.
  2. No one would pay money for it.

I also get paid for my music - but at the same time don't care if someone shares it. Because I feel that the exposure is worth more than lost album sales.

In my spare time, I do some programming, creating scripts for use on the Internet. I never ask compensation for these works, because I enjoy feedback from users around the world - who would otherwise not have used my creation if it had not been free.

While it is nice to be compensated for work, if that were the driving force behind the majority of creative projects - I think you would find that everything sounds like MTV, looks like a Steven Spielberg movie and tastes like McDonalds.

Please note that I'm not condoning stealing and sharing copyrighted works. Institutions like copyrighting were put in place for a reason, for creators who need/want to get paid and recognized for their work. This seal was designed for those same creators, for all the reasons outlined in my article. As such, any creator has a choice whether or not to place this on their work. Anyone has the right "to abuse their talents and resources for personal gain" ONLY IF the creator gives permission - and that is what this seal is all about.

Kreaper says
Thursday, November 6th, 2008 @ 12:26 AM

haha love it definetly going on the next album.

Slim Gooney Grrr! says
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

Hey Nick! I just wanted to say that the seal you created looks great! I'll definitely be using this also! Thanks Alot!

Also, I noticed you created 4 variants:

  1. Color
  2. Grayscale
  3. B&W
  4. Black Transparent

Do you mind creating the white transparent for use?!

Poet On Watch says
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 @ 4:39 PM

I want to get paid for the effort I put into my art/ my full time job. I have to pay my rent, I have to pay my doctor, I have to pay my car note, I have to pay to go to school to be the best artist I can be and pay back student loans. I will use your logo in hopes that folks will understand that artist need to make a living off there art and give back to me what i have so openly given to them.. To host my website it cost, to print my Cd it cost, to pay phone bill it cost so I hope that y'all understand where I am coming from and support the work of working artists and there families.. i will use the logo I like it a lot but I also do not like sleeping out side.

Jeremy says
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 @ 6:58 PM

Download classical, download something to see if you want to buy it or not, download bands that already have zillions. but always support music, people wonder why tickets cost 80$ now, when they haven't paid for a cd since the late 90's. Those of you who buy beer, starbucks and cable tv but can't cough up 14 bucks for a cd should be pissed on. I understand the promotion coming out of it. Yes music is art not business, it is sacred , but artists deserve more than a right click and a blank disc you fuckin d-bags, I hate big business as much as the next guy but letting the big black cloud that is the industry dominate your mindset to the point where suddenly not making money is cool? "POET ON WATCH" put it pretty good. but unless you have songs etc. that really mean something to you, that you are willing to fight for, well you have no clue of what I'm even talking about

HIM (Not His Infernal Majesty) says
Friday, April 23rd, 2010 @ 9:26 PM

As much as music is an art, I can see where people would want to be compensated for their work. But one ALSO must realize: People don't like to spend money, ESPECIALLY the younger of the generation. Most teenagers don't have the money to BUY music, and if they could ONLY buy music, if they couldn't just right-click and save it off of a filesharing sites, artists wouldn't get half the attention they get. Don't you understand? It's EXACTLY like free programs versus paid. Why would you spend $700 on Photoshop when you can install open-source GIMP? Especially if you're young and can't AFFORD Photoshop? Freeing art is the only way you can truly hope to gain any sort of recognition. And if you don't free it, we'll just take it anyway. Might as well be willing to share.

Logo Designer says
Sunday, March 4th, 2012 @ 8:03 AM

You have uploaded an incredible resource.