How have you been? Great I hope! I'm anxiously awaiting spring. I know it's coming pretty quickly the birds and squirrels around here have been pretty busy trying to get their families started for the next season. I know, TMI, but it just reinforces that the dreary weather will soon be gone and the flowers will soon be showing their gorgeous colors.
I'd like to get on my soap box for a little bit today. I was browsing through Pinterest the other day and I noticed a pin on an image that I have in my collection. Of course whenever I run across something like this, my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to check it out. And boy was I surprised and disappointed.
I discovered that the site has several of my images listed for sale and that one of my images is their top seller. Now comes the mixed emotions. I'm pretty proud that from all the sellers of vintage images that mine were selected for their site - my images must be pretty darn good. Then the anger sets in. How dare they use my images without first consulting with me!
Now, you may be wondering how I know they are mine. Well, I can tell by the way the graphics present themselves on my images. I've cleaned up and edited so many cards that I can pretty much tell whether it's one that I've had my hands on or not. It's kind of like asking a person how they know that a painting is the one that they painted. One becomes intimately involved in their creation and can recognize the results of their habitual practices. Over time, I have developed a method to my madness and I can see my work in the resulting image. I know that there could be multiple copies of the card floating around out there and I've seen copies of the original card being sold and they could have legitimately acquired it from a different source. I have also encountered other image sellers who do sell some of the same images as myself. But this particular site has too many of the same images that are contained on the same CD for it to be a happy coincidence.
My images are not rote scans. I can spend hours and hours working on a card, cleaning up the flocking, removing the tears and worn spots, straightening it up and making it square and all of these changes and modifications are strictly due to my hard work and make my images anything but rote scans.
I wonder how they can arbitrarily assume that it is a rote scan. The only way I can even see this happening is if one has the actual card right in front of them and can verify that the image is 100% positively the same as the original image. Which of course, it never will be because with time and age and the type of paper the graphic changes. With tears and wear, pieces need to be recreated in order to fill in the missing spots. All of this requires judgement calls and decisions on how best to fill in the space and some creativeness to figure it all out.
In my opinion, if they don't have the card, they can't even begin to make the claim that it is a rote scan. Maybe a simpler option might be contacting the owner of the image and simply asking if it's ok to use it. And if the owner says no, then go shopping, look for the card, purchase it, check out the copyright, scan it yourself and use your own image. Any of these options would be better than just assuming that it's ok to use something that's not yours.
The reselling of images produced and created by someone else can be a copyright violation. If this company wants to sell images then they should darn well make sure that what they are using is approved by the creator of the image. Or they need to get their butt off of their chairs, purchase the original card, check out the copyright, and then scan and create their own images to use versus "borrowing" them from someone else. I can produce the card that was the starting point for my images. I wonder if they can do the same? My guess is probably not!
What does this practice say about the honesty and integrity of the company. I sure don't think that I would buy something from them - the trust factor sure wouldn't be there for me.
Now comes my dilemma, what do I do? I've always said that my primary goal is to share these gorgeous images with the world and in a sense this expands the sharing. My sis always tells me that I share too much... lol But I'm not in this to make tons of money. I'm the happiest when I get to share, make a little money so that I can buy more scrapbooks (lol) and put a smile on someone's face because the image brings back a memory or tickles a sweet spot. But I also find it really upsetting when someone feels they are above the law and can do whatever they want. So I really am torn on this issue. What would you do?
Ok, I'm done, sorry I just really had to vent for a while.
I would love to share with you two of the Valentine cards that I made this year. I keep practicing my skill and hope that someday I will really turn out a WHOA-SHER!. But anyway I'll keep trying... lol Sorry for the blurry pictures... lol
Sure wish I could point you to a CD or Cut Out that has these images on it, but sadly they haven't made it there yet. If you're interested in purchasing a copy of either of the images, send me an email and I'll get it to you.
Have a great week, plumb full of smiles!
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