I downloaded a few to see what these designs are really about. Terrible pen tool work and overall very mediocre designs. Fairpixels' business model for "pay what you want" for designs is also terrible and reinforces the horrible idea that spec work is ok.
Weird path segments, unconnected lines, strokes and outlines, multiple redundant anchors. Yeah this stuff isn't good.
I wouldn't exactly classify this as spec work, personally. Spec being the idea that if I do this work for free, you'll pay me later. I see this project as advertising to get their name out there. The companies that will take these free logos are likely not the companies that would pay a fair price for a custom logo.
I think that this is an interesting business model. You can't rant and rave about the lack of craftsmanship or whatever, but if we're being honest, so many brands have objectively worse logos than most of these.
I don't think anyone should feel threatened by this type of thing. Speaking generally, If you can't convince a client that they should pay you instead of taking these free logos then either A) you need to work on how you talk about your work or B) you are speaking with a client that you definitely do not want to work with.
Also, brand !== logo. The big downside to these logos is that you don't own them. You can use the logo but so can every other company out there.
leans back on recliner
Nice little nap. :)