Violation of Terms Of Use!

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Violation of Terms Of Use!

I have a question. I was looking around on the internet when I found a store that had a super cute kit for sale, then I realized that most of the kit was actually my designs. I thought it was cool, except for the fact that none of my designs were changed or altered in any way whatsoever. I clearly state in my TOU that the designs have to be altered in some way for my CU designs,not sold or given away "as is". I don't wanna come off sounding mean or anything, but its like, they just plopped a lot of my designs down, and threw it in a kit and are selling it. I don't mind people using my designs to make kits for free or for sale at all, but come on, I feel they should AT LEAST change it up in some way to make it their own design(Even if its just changing the color)....Am I just being too anal? Have any of you had this experience before, and if so, what do you think I should do?

Nope! Well, no experience, but if it states it in your TOU, then call them out on it! It's not that hard to make a simple change, and it's what your licensing states! That's just wrong that they would just put them out there as their own...good luck!

Is it a designer in a store with other designers or just a single person shop? Either way it doesn't matter. I would contact the designer directly and ask that they make the required changes to the kit. I honestly think that some people just don't understand the TOU's, so maybe explain it in detail in an email. Once you get their reaction, then you can go from there. I would also give them a time limit. If they sell at a store and they don't fix the kit, then you can contact the store owner. No designer wants to be called out to a store owner and, as a store owner I wouldn't want to risk the reputation of my shop and the other designers by having someone on my team not following another designers TOU. If its the store owner/only designer, then you could contact the ISP and then they would risk being shut down if they don't fix the kit.

It is a designer in a store with other designers. I couldn't find an email in the store or on her personal blog, so I sent her a message through her store at etsy. I then downloaded one of her freebies, which had an email in her TOU, so I sent her another very nice email about it. I hope this
will resolve it, but then, the store was a Brazilian store, although in English, and the designer seems to be from Europe somewhere, so she may
not have to even abide by American TOU. Oh well, at least she will at least know about it if it was an honest misunderstanding. Thanks for all the input and advice.

I think you're doing the right thing. Check her response and see where to go from there. I think most people just get confused by TOUs and/or forget which TOU goes with what. I also think that when people see CU they automatically think free reign. Good luck!

Unfortunately, it may be a lost cause if dealing with someone outside of the country. But, if its an Etsy store (which I believe is a US company) you may be able to report the infraction to them and they may have some clout and force them to remove the item from the shop. That would be my last resort if she doesn't willing make it right on her own.


Tell me (in a contact form message) who it is and her e-mail, and I will send an e-mail in Portuguese.

It´s not a surprise for me that it´s a Brazilian doing this. As I said, that´s why I´m very careful and restrictive on my TOU: Most of brazilian so-called "designers" just pick things from others without care (some have the concept that "if I download, it´s mine" and others "if I can´t read the TOU because it´s in other language, it´s mine" and a third group think as "I´ll use it as I want till I get caught... then I find other one to steal from".

I find this kind of behavior really disgusting. Yikies!

I've never had any experience with that simply because I am not a designer. But when downloading people need to read the TOU before and often just to make sure they understand the guidelines and when in question ask. I hope you get this straightened out.

I'm not a designer so no experience but it's wrong and I'm glad you are calling them on it. Hope you are able to get it resolved!!!

You might want to patent your designs this way when they do it again they will have to pay a fine, or take your design's down.
If you Google (invention patent) you will find many companies that will help you.

What a bummer. So sorry you have to deal with that. smiley

Shelia, there is one designer from Molly's faves on Deviant Art named Marmite Mamie that had the same thing happen to her last year or the year before with her freebies she posted on there. I read through a lot of her postings about it. I'm not sure if it's the same thief or not, but if it was that would be REALLY bad. You might want to contact her as well and see what she did to resolve the situation.

I'm totally agree with Cat, most of designers don't really understand if they MUST or just NEED to change the elements they use...I think it's a friendly way of thinking. As I'm french and speak a little english , I take one summer to read all the designers TOU I used. Now, I know my favorites designers: those one allow freebies or not, those one allow to resell "as is" this one no...etc...but trust me, it's really hard for foreign people.

good luck

So, I'm curious.... Did you get a response from the designer?

Sorry to hear of this!

And sorry but I disagree with the others, about it being a language thing. I think it's a lack of morals, WHAT designer wouldn't want to CHANGE something! As someone who has been in the arts over 30 years, of one kind or another, I can't believe that someone who loves creating things to sell or give under "THEIR" name wouldnt WANT to somehow put their stamp/mark/style on what they are putting out for others. TOU or not, if you design and create, you NEED to put your style on it!!! Otherwise your just stealing!

My son shared an interesting phrase from his new Language Professor. "On plagurism: NEVER steal someone elses stuff, without giving proper credit! BUT you can't plagerize yourself! If you wrote something in the past, or came up with a great idea in the past, and want to use it in my class, great! .... But you must expand on that thought!". I say all that cause I guess I wish everyone else would have the love of creating things of their own...SOOO SORRY you've been hurt be someone who apparently doesn't have their own "love to create" and felt like they had to steal something from someone else just to make a buck, or a name for themselves. Praying that you can get this resolved!

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and advice. Unfortunately, I haven't heard back from this person and the kit is still up in the store, but, I am really wondering if this is worth going after. I mean, doesn't this sort of thing happen all the time? As far as my TOU (which you can read HERE) being clear, its pretty straight forward I think. About not being able to read it in English, when I see a TOU in another language, I just use an online translater, and its
pretty straightforward after that. However, It still could be a misunderstanding, I haven't even had a second to write an email to the store, or have Lorien help me since it might have to be written in Portuguese. So, I'm still wondering if I even should worry about it. Also, the designer is from Northamton, England, United Kingdom,so I would think that she could read English, but who knows.

Ok, I just sent the store a very nice email about the situation, and I included the email I sent to the designer as well. Maybe I'll get a response sometime soon:)

The issue has been resolved:) The designer did change the color and added texture after all. (It was just soooo subtle, she just darkened it a little, that I couldn't tell). Even though it didn't look changed at all, since she did technically "modify" it, she really didn't breach my Terms Of Use, and I apologized and am just moving on from this. Thanks for all the advice and encouragement from you all! I learned a lot from this for the future:)

Its nice to know that they actually did follow the TOU. It gets a little disheartening to always hear that people aren't respecting the terms when they download your hard work. I've always wondered if I should put a clause in my CU TOU that the modifications must be significantly noticable. I have seen that sort of wording in other TOUs.