Thursday, 5 March 2009

Crafters be aware Please read i know it's long.

Please be aware that not all stamp companies make stamps for us crafters to us on cards to sell. See below email from me to Whippersnappers people.

Hi,I hope you are well, I have just read your Copyright rules and wondered would you consider "hiring" the images for card sales? Which i understand from reading the US copyright laws can be done. Many Thanks

Unfortunately, our artists count on the royalty payments that their images receive and do not wish to pursue this avenue. It is also not a good business move for WSD due to the number of images that we produce.

Me: (standing up for the honest crafters)
Many thanks for the quick reply, It's very appricated. May i be so bold to ask how will you be able to run this company selling images that can't be sold to make people happy. I agree that people shoud not stamp and image then sell those that is wrong and does effect the stamp making industry, but cards with the image on?????? People rarely make any profit on handmade cards and it is seen as a hobby and not a buissness in most cases. At shool or craft fairs most people only cover the cost of making the cards. nothing more. I & many others make and give cards to people and never ask for money, people though tend to give something because of their honest nature, you do a good job you deserve something back attitude. so it's not always possible to not be paid. A large amount of stamp creaters and makers use the Angel policey which gives the customer, artist and seller freedom sell and promote the work, without major legal issues. People have/will now openly refuse to buy the amazing stamps that your company makes and copying will incress, i fear you may have shot yourself in the foot because of this, This makes me very sad. Are there any plans or guidnece for people who have brought your stamps and now dont know what to do. No one wants to break laws, but many people did buy the products with intent to sell to people. Many Thanks

Dear Nikola,
This is always hard to explain to people because they do not get the answers that they would like to hear.
Most companies use their own in-house artists and own their art. That is why they are Angel Companies. We do not. Our artists are known within many other industries such as illustration, stationery, paper & party products and photography which is all licensed. Some even work directly through agents. The only income they make is the royalty they receive from the images that are sold. In fact, we just found several UK internet companies literally stamping our images and selling them to the end consumer in mass production. The few truly ruin other opportunities for others.
If you were putting your time and efforts into producing a product to support your family, wouldn't you be upset that others are profiting and you are receiving nothing? The profit that you may be making is small but multiply that by thousands who are selling it and the numbers grow significantly. That is why copyright law is so important. We would do everything to protect your rights if you were designing/working for us.
This policy has been in place with our company for over 10 years and will not change. If copyright law is broken we could easily lose the artists that are designing for us and then everyone loses - both the company & the stamping community.
The majority of our customers respect our company's policies and the artists that work so hard to these wonderful designs. Our Angel Policy has always been noted on our website along with the copyright on all wooden stamps. Customers should be checking into every company's copyright law prior to producing product for resale.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
Lisa Bryson
Vice President
Whipper Snapper Design

Hi, That does make good sence for the stamped and copied images, but for handmade cards it's confussing. I think that is why so many people are unsure of this sort of situation. I respect the reasons as an illistrator & photographer myself and know how the copyright rules (in uk & a little of US) are so sadly abused they never seem to get inforced to bad people with out costs. It is such a shame that there are abusers of the system. To help others understand this, would you mind if i put your below explain in one of my bloggs, so that people are clear on the reasons. That way everyone should be happy. Many thanks for your help, I wish you all the best for the future.

Dear Nikola,
Any reproduction for profit is where the legalities arise. Royalty artists receive a certain percentage of profit from the product that their artwork is used on.
Customers do not see the impact this plays in the big picture. They see a few extra dollars in their pockets to buy more stamps - unfortunately, the artist sees nothing. It would be like me taking a B & W image from your blog which you drew and making it into a rubber stamp and profiting from it. Can you image someone taking one of your images, making it into a card and selling it for profit? There will always be those who will buck the system and "get away" with it. WSD respects the work of all artists and feel each should get the credit and income they deserve when under contract.
Lisa Bryson.

I decided not to reply as i think this is as far as it needs to go.

So there you have it if you use certain compaines (this is only one of many) stamps who are not doing the angel policy you can be in breach of Copyright and tecnically be sued/fined if caught. Some stamps are not ment to have there images sold which makes me wonder..... Why make the stamps in the first place??? And why are these artists only getting royalties? There are other ways to earn through art

If unsure what the polices are with a company please check with them before your buy.
Take care everyone, and happy legal crafting.

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