A Note About Piracy

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I always ask if I have any doubt, but it's true we can't follow everyone around to check if our TOU is being followed. I think everyone knows when they are doing something wrong and this is something they have to deal with themselves.

Very informative thread, makes you think for sure. I just like to create and share but I do stay away from creating certain things like anything to do with Disney etc. I agree with Vanessa people know and we all have choices.

Thank you so much to everyone for your comments. I have learned a lot. Thank you Marisa for your wonderful attitude! And thanks to all of you with ideas on what to avoid and what to watch out for.

Well, this is at least two threads in one really, isn't it?
a) Can/should we do anything about people who are abusing your generosity and b) what do we have to look out for when we are creating or buying items related to well-known brands/authors/artists.
As to a) I truly believe you can't, as none of us has the power to follow up on issues as the people in b).
b) Stay away from online offerings of anything connected to big brands without copyright proof, and unless you are very certain of what you are doing, stay away from using graphics of such brands in your kits/layouts for offer.
As mentioned above, copyright varies greatly from country to country. For example, in some countries there's a general rule of thumb "author dead for more than twenty years, you're fine". Not true for Central European countries at all. Most of the work was dedicated to foundations or handed down to family members who then continue to hold the copyright.
For items copyrighted by smaller companies, you can very often get permission to use their graphics because they - very rightly so, I think - consider it extra publicity. I have been making dollhouse miniatures for sale for many years, amongst them a considerable number of sets of modern books. It cost me two e-mails for each book to be granted the right to use the cover in a size no larger than 2" square and no money was involved.

Now for c) Can we have a blacklist of sites or is that a human rights/confidentiality issue? How hard would it be to maintain such a list?

I know, I'm only a newbie, but within the dollhouse miniatures scene I've been dealing with these topics since 1998, which was pretty much the beginning of the internet in Germany...

I find this interesting because I am an artist of a different sort, I write songs, poems and music...and yes, in some ways copyright has really gotten complicated. Thanks to everyone for sharing...gave me some food for thought...

I agree with you Marisa, thanks for explain this issue quite well and help us to avoid get into troubles.
Also I think that there are limits between inspiration and copyright infringement, one thing is to be inspired and do a tag or decorate some pictures, etc., and another is to get the material and offer it in another site, that in my opinion is unrighteous and illegal.
Also I'm in the opinion that when I create something using elements from the web or from scrap kits, I must give credit to the one that created the material, so what I do always on my layouts, in one corner with small letters I write down the next legend “Sk by (here I write the company or designer's name); pp by (…); cl by (…); Ements by (…). Tag'd by (here my own name)”.
Only in the case that I have done the stuff by my own so then I wrote the legend “Created and tag'd by (my own name).
In the case of Disney is necessary always put the next legend “Ements by © Disney” the same with others companies like Time Warner, Vivendi Universal, etc. In the case to use posers on the tag also is necessary to write down “poser by © Paramount Pictures, etc.” or if is a doll “poser by © Tammy, Zlata, etc. someones requires an special personal license.

Sad but true. I disagree with piracy, but it happens. What we choose to do about it is what counts. Thank for sharing, Marisa. And thank you to all the designers that take part in the blog trains to freely share their hard work creations with us

I feel for the designers that get ripped off. There is a lot of time and hard work that goes into even the smallest kit. I'm on of the ones that download freebies and would never think of posting them anywhere on the web. The reason most designers give freebies is to get the business to their stores and sell the full kits. I wish that I could afford every kit that I see that I want but money is tight and I have bills to pay first. I am on a fixed income and have very little money to spare. But I enjoy looking at the kits and wishing I had money to buy them. But I would never claim anything that I did not make, or a kit as my own. Have a great admiration for those of you who design and sell kits.

I do use vintage items in the public domain for some of my patterns, such as floral illustrations or old seed packet covers. And, I sort of cringe about that, because it is not mine, even if they are antique. As for my designs, I just put them out there on the internet as a "good karma" philosophy. So much sadness in the world today, maybe I can make someone smile with something I've put together. If I was a talented, commercial designer I might have a different philosophy, but I don't design on a regular basis and my work is not perfect.

I've enjoyed reading all of the responses.

I have to agree with Marisa. Getting yourself all worked up because someone is using your work against your TOU is just expended energy for no reason. I do not agree with piracy or illegal sharing but there really is nothing you can do about it. One site from China I think, Downturk, regularly takes kits and freebies and puts them up on their site, they even have a category for them. As far as I know they do not make money off of it but they do change the download site to those that are frequently used for pirated items of all sorts. As for me, I have found some of my products on downturk as well as many other designers I recognize but sending them a DMCA does no good. So I've gotten to Marisa's #3, what is put on the internet is always out there and there is no controlling what others do with it except for the big companies who have the money to fight it, most designers I know don't have the money to fight it so just let Karma take care of it, Karma always gets the bad guys sooner or later.

Copyright Alert: Paramount is also a "protect and prosecute" company. I have seen vendors shut down for trying to sell non-licensed shirts, cups and such from movies like Star Trek, etc.

John Deere will protect their stuff too. You cannot sell a green tractor with yellow wheels, even if it looks nothing like John Deere and doesn't use it's logo or anything.

I have a question for you all ... is it ok to make cards for people and post on FB using the things I get from this site?? I like to make birthday cards, get well cards, etc and post to my friends, or in groups? I hope this is not considered piracy?? I absolutely do not ever want to do anything to get into trouble or disrespect you wonderful designers. I really appreciate all of you and what you do for us and I am ever so grateful for this site. I am learning to design my own things and I hope to be able to share with you all someday. smiley If anyone ever asks me where I get the designs I tell them where I got them. Thank you!!

That's absolutely fine Tammy! Enjoy!

Thank you Marisa... and I really THANK YOU for this site!!

@Tina: Sometimes life seems really lame smiley

Wow, trademarked colors. That's sad. That's like one company suing the other company/homeowner, for using the same exterior color palette, on their home!

"It’s essential to note that trademarking a color is different from ownership of a color. Color trademarks are valid only within the same industry. For example, Ford can’t sue HP for using a similar shade of blue, because they are not selling competing products."

This has been a very interesting thread to read. I come from the handmade jewelry world and frankly, a large part of why I walked away were the huge issues and ridiculous battles about people trying to own designs that had existed since the dawn of jewelry making. What I learned from watching that drama was that it just wasn't worth what those people put themselves through. I know of designers who literally spent every waking minute searching the internet for people who were going against what they felt to be their rights and trying to stop them. People who never designed another thing in entire years because they were so busy trying to own something. I am so grateful for this site and all of the glorious design work that is available for my use. I hate that there are people out there taking advantage of their generosity but the truth is this: taking advantage of generosity has been around almost as long as generosity, itself. We aren't going to change the world and we aren't going to stop people who game the system. But what Marisa and the other designers here, as well as those who make up the community, HAVE done is to create a community where so much talent and creativity can flourish. That is worth more than perhaps any of us realize. I'm grateful.

smiley dying to see what you make... smiley

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