Tag Archives: copyright

Printables

Those who have seen my new year’s resolutions and goals for 2018 might have noticed that I want to make downloadable bullet planners. In other words; I want to offer printables. My plan was to make some journal sheets at some point during the year, upload them on Etsy for 4 months to see how it goes, and then find out what to do next, if anything at all. Recently though, I found out that Storenvy now offers the opportunity to sell downloadable content on their platform. Granted, I’d have to send every order per mail myself, but that’s a small price to pay considering that they don’t charge me for having items listed on their site. And it’s a great step in the right direction for Storenvy in terms of competing with Etsy, so let’s support that.

So I decided, quite spontaneously, to just try and make printables today. It was just for fun, and to get the hang on how it works. It’s not the same as making graphics for anime sites and the like, so it’s a completely new experience for me, and I must admit that I had a ton of fun with my first try! So much so, that I ended up making an entire children’s birthday party bundle, with table name cards in 4 different designs and an invitation design to go with it. I decided that they were good enough to upload on Storenvy at some point, but of course I’d need to write my own terms of use, which I struggled with, so I went to some sellers on Storenvy to see how they did it, and that’s when I found something that made me laugh on the outside, but also cry on the inside.

It’s not uncommon to see a lot of printables using copyrighted images (may Disney, Marvel, DC and other big companies have mercy on their souls), but usually the ones selling those try to just sneak by the system by not mentioning how the images are stolen. And we’re not talking fan art here; because that’s a thing I can fully understand. We’re talking official art owned by the respectful companies that sellers find on Google and use for their printables. Okay, so I found this guy/girl selling printables using images from Frozen, because Elsa is totally hip with little girls these days, and he/she knew exactly how wrong it was to use copyrighted images and charge money for it.

In the description it said, that they didn’t charge money for the images themselves, but only for the time spent on creating the products. And thus it was okay to steal images they didn’t own the rights to, and also okay for the buyers to spend money on them, although not a single cent would go to Disney? Uhm… The thing is that it’s stealing, and that the customer will buy the product exactly because of the image, and not give a flying fuck about the time spent on creating it. When it comes to something visual, it’s the image that sells, and if it’s something that can be sold many times, like a printable or a design on Redbubble and Society6, the time you spend on the design has very little value.

Granted, I didn’t create the images I used for the printables I made so far either, but they were free downloads that came with a commercial usage license, so I’m in the green. Once I get a drawing tablet, I want to draw my own stuff some more, and of course charge a little extra because of the unique designs. All in all, I’m having a lot of fun with this right now, and will hopefully get it uploaded to my Stornevy soon. If I can’t sell jewelry because I have no postbox, then I can at least have fun with printables. It’s not like I expect to sell anything anyway, it’s just fun, an experience, and training for me. But if I do make a few bucks, then they will all go towards a drawing tablet, yay!

Anyway, I’m sorry for turning this into some sort of rant, but I find it sad when people with no respect for ownership ruin it for those who put effort into their stuff. It’s hard to compete with Frozen, Spiderman and Avengers, and knowing that some turd is sitting behind the computer, scraping in money by selling things they do not own makes me angry. Oh well, every business has black sheep, and the online business has quite a lot.

I will just keep doing what I’m doing, have fun with it, and see where it takes me. By the way, I already completed chapter 3 of my story, so that’s one goal for this month that I’m done with. Dante is the other 🙂

Copyright and credit – What you need to know about both of them

Copyright and credit, it’s something we all know is very important, especially to ourselves, but what does it mean?

Copyright means exactly what it says; the right to copy something. When you create a piece of work, let’s say a drawing, you want the copyright for yourself. You want yourself to be the only one owning this piece of artwork, and to be the only one able to make prints with it, thus earning money with your own work, or just to be the only one having the rights to display it.

When someone else uses your artwork without permission, they are breaking the copyright law. Most people, who use other people’s artwork, are not breaking the law on purpose, and also don’t make money with it. Heck, I’ve used both fan arts and official artwork on my websites, and I still do it a little, although I know better. Of course, creating a fan site using official artwork from a series or movie, as long as you don’t make any money with it, can be seen as a greyzone. We all do that, don’t we? And as far as I know, only Disney gets butthurt when you do so. Using fan art or private artwork without permission however, is literally breaking the copyright of someone else. That is something we don’t want to do! We are not thieves, are we?

Yet, because it doesn’t hurt anyone (we think), we still do it. It’s so easy to browse a site filled with beautiful art, and wanting to create something with it. It’s so easy, to just save the image to the PC, which isn’t a crime in itself. But as soon as we upload it somewhere else, be it in its original form, or as something newly created, we are thieves. We are showcasing something that isn’t ours. Creating a design with a picture that isn’t ours, and then claiming the copyright for the work is not right.

This leads me to my next point; credit. Because this is where we stop being thieves.

If you get the permission to use someone else’s artwork, you have to give them credit, as you are still using the work of someone else. It doesn’t matter, if you ask the creator him/herself to get a written permission, or use something you downloaded on a site. Always credit the original creator! It’s the polite thing to do, and you’d want others to give you credit for your work too, am I not right?

But who do you give credit? It can sometimes be hard to find out, as some contributors work for the sites that offer the download you are using. If you cannot find a specific profile, the best you can do, is to link the site you found it at. Believe me; it’s so much better than just doing nothing. If you are browsing Deviantart though, it’s not enough to credit the site as a whole. Give proper credit, and link the profile page of the creator, or to the work itself. This also goes for Google Images! Yes, believe it or not, but Google is NOT hosting all of the delicious images you find on there, and many of them are NOT to be taken and used! When opening an image using Google, you will see a link to the original destination, and the site it is being hosted on. Visit that site, and see if you are allowed to use that image for yourself. Quite often, the images link to profiles on Deviantart, or other sites hosting a lot of images, and then we are back to the point, where we need to ask for permission.

We should all ask ourselves; “Would I like to see someone use something I created without permission?”. The answer should be “No!”. No, we don’t want others to just go and take what we spent time and effort on creating, and thus, we shouldn’t do that to others.

All in all, it’s quite easy to understand copyright and credit, yet so many people don’t know what it’s all about. Whether it’s because they are lazy, or maybe think it’s okay for them to do what they do, if they don’t earn any money with whatever they created with other people’s things. Making money with someone else’s creations is OBVIOUSLY against the law, but people still do it. Go figure.

My last words here will have to be; Respect copyright, and give credit where it’s needed. You’re going to feel good doing so, I promise 🙂

Ever had trouble with people who didn’t understand these rules? Or have you been one of those at some point? Share your story in the comments for everyone to learn more about this!