Pirated kits

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Pirated kits

[The specific information regarding the site with pirated content has been removed so that Pixel Scrapper does not continue to give these kinds of sites free publicity. Users who notice specific instances of piracy that they are concerned about are encouraged to contact other members directly through their personal contact forms rather than posting in the forums.

Please see Marisa's reply to this topic, below.]

HERE is DCMA info and the letter you can type to email to these sites

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as Digital Rights Management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works and it also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.

On May 22, 2001, the European Union passed the EU Copyright Directive or EUCD, which addresses some of the same issues as the DMCA. But the DMCA's principal innovation in the field of copyright, the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service providers and other intermediaries (Title II of the DMCA), was separately addressed, and largely followed, in Europe by means of the separate Electronic Commerce Directive. (Unlike U.S. federal laws and regulations, the execution of European Union directives usually requires separate legislation by or within each of the Union's member states.)

Here is the form you need to fill out and email to all sites that are sharing and/or hosting your files illegally:


[Your Company Name][Your Full Name, Title][Your Contact Email Address][Your Phone & FAX Number][Your Mailing Address][City State Zip]

TO: [Rapidshare, Yahoo Group Name, MegaUpload, etc.] Attn.: Copyright Agent for Notice of Claims of Copyright Infringement

Re: DMCA Notice of Copyright Infringement

Dear [Named Representative]:

I, [YOUR FULL NAME, Owner of COMPANY NAME], certify under penalty of perjury, that I am an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner of certain intellectual property rights.

I have a good faith belief that the items or materials listed below are not authorized by law for use by the above named domain name owner or their agents and therefore infringes the copyright owner's rights. I hereby demand that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material or items claimed to be infringing.

My contact information is as follows:

[Your Company Name][Your Full Name, Title][Your Contact Email Address][Your Phone & FAX Number][Your Mailing Address][City State Zip]

Allegedly Infringing items or materials:

[ in detail]

Infringing material that I demand be disabled or removed in consideration of the above:

[ IN DETAIL the URLs and work(s) you are requesting the company to remove or disable]

Location of ORIGINAL WORKS:[your website URL or other location showing the original works in use]

Sincerely, /s/ Your Full NameYour Title__________________


there are a couple of parts to the Winter Wonderland blog train that our users have posted that are on the front page of this site -__-

Oh my God, I knew this was going to happen any time, well I better do something about it!! This makes me really upset smiley

I was just coming on here to give a heads up about this! Please tell me what a good game plan of resolution is . . . I'm ready to pull mine early. HELP!
smiley smiley

I just saw that too. I saw Jessica's contribution to the Dec blog train ALREADY up. smiley

It makes you not want to offer freebies. How are you supposed to protect against it?

that's really upsetting, can't believe that some people need to do this, unfortunately there is and like Amanda said this issue makes me not to give free offers anymore, i really love doing this for free, even though i don't get any benefit from it because i don't sell my kits anywhere, all i do its for free, but regardless the issue i guess its time to look for a store and start selling my kits, what makes me think this is not going to happen again with the kits i want to sell?, o well.. let me know if you guys have something in mind that we could do to stop or prevent this problem.. i'm willing to help...

ohh and @Kiana: thanks for letting us know.. i'm still looking if there is any other kit of mine..

I've found 2 of mine so far. One that was offered from my blog and another that was offered from the store's blog. It really is sad that people like that have to ruin it for everybody.

I've started notifying stores/designers that I'm familiar with whose items I see on these sites. I would suggest to do the same. Maybe if enough people step up to file complaints it will put some pressure on the ones doing this. If anything, maybe the sites they upload to will close their accounts.

This makes me sick. I see a lot of stolen content from designers and from the 3D community. I'm going to start reporting as well.Some of the content is not and never was offered for free.

I created an account at gfxtra and there's an option to flag the listings as malicious. I did that to all three of my items I found on there. I also emailed the user directly who has uploaded them.

Someone in another blog train group said they contacted GoDaddy, which is who hosts this gfxtra site, and they said if they get enough complaints they can actually shut the site down. I would strongly suggest emailing their copyright complaint dept with the form that Kiana provided and pass the info around to other designers to do the same. Here's the email address: CopyrightClaims@godaddy.com and the full godaddy info:



There were lots of designers on there that kits were NOT freebies. Piracy is just a sad, sad, reality for everyone doing anything digital. Us included. smiley

I agree Kiana. I had wondered when I saw work from The Shabby Pickle. As far as I knew, her kits were not freebies.

I have found 3 of mine already, I hope there's no more but I have to keep looking!! smiley This is frustrating and sad!!!

It is, Jiovanna. The saddest part is that it doesn't seem like something that can be prevented if we want to keep offering freebies. For me personally, I decided to only offer freebies that will have minimal parts. Something I don't care if someone else puts on one of these sites. Plus, I noticed my smaller sized freebie sets weren't touched. So, maybe that will be a deterrent. My blog train portions will be similar. I'd rather work around it than be frustrated when something I've spent so much time on ends up stolen and given away for free forever. smiley

That's just truly awful... I hope you girls can get this stopped somehow - it's not right.

I'm not saying that what has been done is right, so don't get me wrong. But... In the midst of the upset, take it as a compliment, too. It's being pirated because it's beautiful. I think that's someting worth noting, if at the very least only in passing. smiley

where did you, who had your kits pirated, host your downloads? Just trying to figure out if it matters. also, do you use an URL shortener/tracker like bit.ly or so?

I don't know if this will help any of you that feel so badly about your kits being posted on sites like this,
but this is how I deal with it so I don't get upset and have it affect how I feel about making freebies for

When I make and post a freebie...yes...a lot of work goes into it...But I refuse to let people that do that change
me and I will keep working on things to share with everyone. I pretty much know it when I post it, that it more
than likely going to end up on some site like this one...and there are Tons of them. I know what I make and give
makes someone else happy, especially for someone like me, who is disabled and simply can't afford to buy anything
extra...heck, sometimes we can't even afford to get our medicine. So I Will keep making freebies because it makes
me happy to make someone else's day a little brighter.

Putting your kits only in stores and selling them won't change it. I went thru quite a lot of pages on there, and if
you look closely (especially since they don't take the time to make their own preview to hide the designers name),
there are a bunch of kits whose designers Don't give their kits away. I saw Kristin Aagar, NitWit Collections, Bundles
by JustSoScrappy and a bunch more by various designers bought at Scrap Orchard.

This means that they actually had to BUY those kits to turn around and give them away free on their site!!!

So I decided to try to figure out why anyone would do that. Well....if you look at the links they give to download
from....NONE of them are mediafire, 4shared, dropbox, box...etc. ALL of those links to to download sites where
they get paid not only for every download they get, but the get paid even more if they can get people to buy
premium accounts from their links. So they're spending a few dollars to make a lot more dollars back than what
they paid out. Those sites hosting those downloads are who need to be shut down. That will be the only way to stop
it...or at least slow it down. MegaUpload hosting was shut down by the US FBI.

My choice is to not let them get to me and create negative emotions. I prefer the positive feelings that come from posting
my freebies and from coming here. If you think about how very positive and helpful everyone here is to each other...than
it might help you too. We can take our lead from Marisa and Jordan and how they went about creating this wonderful
community here. If they let people like that upset them enough to shut down this site (I'm Not saying they would!!!
but as a 'what if ')
, how would that make all of us feel. I think it's safe to say it would make us Very sad.
This site has brightened the lives of so very many, including me.

So what I've done is take a little bit of that disability income to pay for a premium mediafire account to make it easier
for everyone to direct download without risking getting a virus on their computers from all those darn pop-up ads.
And now, I'm working a little extra bit harder to get some kits into a store to sell and hopefully by the time I have to
renew that account, I will have made enough to pay for it again. I also became a supporter here as soon as they
offered it at an introductory price, because I can pull off donating that a month, but if I waited until the cost went to
where it was going to be, I would not have been able to do it.

It's my way of being able to contribute and give back a little something, while supporting Marisa and Jordan to help
keep this beautiful community of very Caring people going. They have pioneered a way to make it possible for
everyone to enjoy this..not just people with money that can afford to pay. Everyone is welcome and can get
beautiful things to document the special moments in their life....no matter how much, or how little their income is.

Thank You So Much Marisa and Jordan.

And also a Huge Thank You to all of you here that make it such a wonderful home-away-from home.

((Hugs)) Kathie

I don't know... I'm sure I'm naive AND I'm NOT a designer so I can't even begin to claim to understand how y'all feel about it at all.
I just went there and this site that you shared where these were found makes me very, very nervous. You can't just download... It appears that you have to "sign up" and give them your information and possibly even a credit card. Not to mention I just click on two of the pages you shared links to and even with my pop up blockers I still had three ads and various things open up. Scares the CRAP out of me so I closed out the pages quickly. smiley Last thing I need to do is get a virus or more spam or give someone information to hack my personal stuff. Anyway, I'm sorry this has happened to y'all!!! smiley

Rest assured people that there are still good and honest people who would probably be as scared as me to go there. Plus it didn't seem really free more like they wanted you to pay so much a month to download so in my opinion that seems to defeat their purpose of stealing it... if you're paying to download it why not just pay to buy it???

But like I said I am naive on the subject. Nine years of digital scrapping and I've never understood how people can do such a thing. I feel I've been blessed a million times over with freebies from designers for the price of what I've actually purchased in all this time. It is sad that people think like this. Sorry ladies! Good luck getting it straightened out... and for those of you that continue to make freebies and still bless us honest ones out here despite those who steal your designs, THANKS so very much for all your kindness and generosity! smiley

@Lorien - I hosted mine at Mediafire

@Kathie - thank you for the encouragment!! smiley

@Shawna - like you, I've been a consumer, I only recently started designing. I agree, going to sites like those is scary and I'd never risk that to get something, somewhat free, as you said it seems you have to give them credit cards and information before even getting the downloads. I've only been designing for about 2 months, and before that I was just a consumer. I can say, that I personally believe that there are far more ppl willing to pay for kits, or earn them in challenges at forums and such than there are just trolling looking for freebies like that. In the 4 years I've been digi-scrapping I have never happened upon a pirate site like that because that wasn't my intention.

I was thinking and thinking about it and I guess I had an idea that I´ll start to do on my freebies - I´ll write on the bottom of my preview, in a contrasting background (probably black) "The only secure link to this kit is at <my blog>". Guess it will make people that arrive there by mistake will find the legal way to get the kit... other idea is to include a "please read" in the zip saying: "if you didn´t download this kit on <place the right URL> you got a pirate copy of this kit that may come with virus and malaware. If it happened to you, please delete the full kit and check your computer with a good anti-virus programme."

What do you think about these ideas? It may be a way to take advantage of piracy to advertise our work...

This is just aweful!! smiley But I am going to continue to make my freebies!! Just because it's fun!! I am also thinking about a solution but I think it's going to be a hard one, the internet is still a bit of a western movie. If anyone wants to steal then some sad people are going to do it anyway. And because we are from all over the world is also very hard to take legal steps in my opinion.
I think that we have to continue to make our community stronger so we can report to each other and let that kind of people know that we are not taking it.

And I think Lórien and Kathie have a point. And there are ways to track your images on the internet. I think I am going to figure out how that's done.

@Lorien - That's a really good idea. If anything, it might scare the people away from using the pirated copies.

I did get an email reply to my complaint from one of the sites where my files were hosted (uploaded.net) that they have initiated the removal of my files and would block any further files with the "identical checksum" (whatever that means). At least, it may be worth it to put your complaint in and let the chips fall where they may. I was really upset about it yesterday, but have since calmed down. I prayed for them...lol! Still gonna do what I did before but will probably take up Lorien's suggestion about putting a disclosure about pirated copies and possible viruses. smiley

Thank you, Kiana, for your concern, and to everyone else who has posted here: it’s obvious that we all care about supporting each other as digital designers, and that is wonderful.

That being said, I think we should all take a deep breath smiley. Ultimately this is not something to panic about. Let me tell you a little about my approach to piracy.

First of all, I dislike using the word “piracy” in relation to the misuse of digital files. Piracy is a serious accusation that involves theft and destruction. We all still have our files, so no real theft or absolute destruction has been perpetrated.

Still, it feels bad to have something you’ve created used in a way you don’t condone. However, as digital content creators in the 21st century I would strongly advise coming to terms with the idea that your creations will be used outside of your parameters. As far as I see it, our choices are simply these:

  1. We can keep your creations to ourselves.
  2. We can share our creations and spend lots of effort and worry trying to lock them down, which we will ultimately be unable to do.
  3. We can share our creations and allow that sometimes they will escape us.

While the third option is not ideal, remember that current technology can be used for good or bad. While digital distribution makes misuse very easy, it also makes this site and our community possible. Without it we would not be able to share with and encourage each other. I choose to think about all the good things that have come from sharing my content, rather than focusing on an incident of misuse.

Lastly, remember that any publicity is good publicity, especially on the internet. Any time we post links like this and make a big todo about it, we are giving these bad sites a kind of victory. You know how we have a link drive here at Pixel Scrapper to help with our search results? We are now running a link drive for this site which none of us really like. If you really feel that a particular case of unethical distribution needs to be brought to someone’s attention, it’s best to use email and inform the person directly. On the whole, though, I would recommend staying focused on the positive ways your items are being used, rather than being caught up in the negative.

This is not an easy issue, and there is not an easy answer. But remember that a case of misuse does not take away all the other cases of generosity and fairness.

I just wanted to chime in on this quickly, and say that I agree with Marisa that it is wonderful that we all care about each other and our creations, but that ultimately I think focusing on piracy is counter-productive for digital content creators (this is something I've had a lot of time to think about since I first started creating and distributing computer games on the internet fifteen years ago).

It doesn't hurt to send in copyright violation complaints to sites like this (or to their registrar), but the unfortunate reality is that every time a site like this goes down, another one will simply rise to take its place. At the end of the day, if pirates want to steal your digital creations, they will. The only way to fully protect yourself, like Marisa said, is to stop sharing your creations completely (which includes selling via online stores).

The good news, though, is that if you focus on creating quality content, there are people out there who will choose to support you, and who will care about you and your terms of use. This community is proof of that. It’s simply not true that everyone will choose to pirate your creations, even if they are available that way.

The site posted above is chalk full of pirated content, and most people who visit it are going to know that. And like others have mentioned, that site actually makes it really difficult to download anything. That’s not going to stop really determined pirates, but most people searching for legitimate-use items are going to take one look and run the other way (like Shawna smiley).

A few things we can do (mostly already mentioned):

  1. Stay calm and positive.
  2. Make it easier (not harder) for legitimate users to download and/or purchase your items; that way everyone has less incentive to pirate (it doesn't take much to make downloading from your own website easier than it is on that pirate site).
  3. As others have mentioned, include your TOUs and a link to your website in a text file when you distribute your kit, just in case a legitimate user does get it from a dubious location without realizing it.
  4. As Marisa said, we can stop giving these dubious sites free publicity.

@Lorien - I think that's a good idea.

@Marisa and Jordan - thank you for chiming in here. I agree, that this is a reality of having digital content. It's going to get misused some how some way...so I agree, that you have to take the good with the bad.

Jordan/Marisa: Should we remove the link so we don't send them free advertisement (or traffic) as you mentioned? And if designers are concerned Kiana could send them the link directly. Just a thought. smiley