Samurai logo disqualified from bracket

I have a disappointing announcement to make today regarding the IceHL World logo design contest. It has become necessary to disqualify one of the entries in the Osaka Samurai bracket.

On Sunday, Icethetics reader @mjmarch47 (on Twitter) pointed out the clear similarity between the logo submitted by Daniel Otters and the poster artwork for the 2013 movie "47 Ronin."

In fact, the similarity is not a coincidence. I've communicated with Daniel about the concern and he confirmed having used the photo as the basis for his submission.

As a reminder, the first rule of the logo contest stated as follows:

DO NOT STEAL ARTWORK. No copying or tracing. No clipart. No adapting existing designs. No "borrowing." Create something original and distinctive.

I wrote the rule to be very clear. However, Daniel's violation of it appears to be a simple misunderstanding. He wrote via email:

By simplifying [the design] and creating a three-color logo from a photo, I thought that this would not be a case of violation. I see lots of designers simplifying faces of animals from photos.
So perhaps that was the reason why I pushed the thought of violation away from my mind. By reading through the rule again and looking at the logo on the photo it is all so clear that it must be a case of violation.

Because of this fact, Daniel's logo must be disqualified and Colin Magee's design now automatically advances to the final round of voting.

There's a reason I'm sharing this with the community. I want you all to understand that I trust Daniel's explanation and have accepted his apology for the error in judgment. We will move forward from here.

Furthermore, Daniel assures me that his Hawaii Honu and Stockholm Hammers logos are his own original designs. As such, his Hammers logo will remain in the Stockholm bracket.

For those who weren't around last year, Daniel designed the winning Hamilton Steelcats jerseys during our rebranding contest.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, feel free to email me directly. Thank you.