It's rare that I am a serious person. Especially on a blog. I like to be upbeat, happy, and sharing the craft I love.
But I've done some research the past three months or so, and I see a trend I do not like within the crafting industry. And I think it's dangerous to crafters.
I'll be blunt (another rarity).
I love digi stamps. They're either free or very low cost as a general rule. I know I can't buy most good sized wood block stamps for less than 15 dollars. I can't even buy any decent clear stamp for less than six. Or I have to buy a whole set of clear stamps so I can have one stamp.
But I can buy a digi stamp for about 3 bucks, give or take. I can pay for them one moment and download them the next. I can resize them for smaller cards. I don't have to use my gas or my time to drive 10 miles to the store only to find out the stamp I want is out of stock. I don't have to wait for the mail man. I can shop at 3am or on a holiday. If I lose it, I can go to my account and download any stamp I've already paid for for six months or a year.
In return for offering this fabulous very low cost service, many artists are getting what?
Certainly not thanks and appreciation. Nope,,,,,
they're getting slapped in the face by crafters who are illegally sharing files. People are removing copyrights and uploading the stamps as THEIR own work. They are printing out STACKS of stamps and mailing them around the world. Those people then scan them into THEIR computer and have stacks of stamps they never paid for.
And it's not limited to digital stamps either. Some of the best brand names in the business are being stamped on paper, scanned into computers and downloaded onto CD's and sold for the profit of the thief. yes, the thief. Let's call a spade a spade here.
And the artists aren't being paid. That's bad enough, mind you,,,,,doing what's right is it's own reward, my grandmother always used to say,,,,
but it's also to OUR benefit NOT to support such illegal activities. How long do you think artists are going to work for nothing? How long do they continue to be disrespected before they just give up and go find a day job?
Again, I'll be blunt,,,,,,,that means fewer cheap stamps for you. It means more money spent on ONE stamp, rather than a few stamps. It means going out to shop, ordering online, PAYING POSTAGE, and not having the perfect stamp at your fingertips with just a few keystrokes and a credit card number. It means if you lose a stamp, it's gone. Go buy another. It means being stuck with the size stamp you buy. It means fewer artists holding challenges on blogs, which means less chance for you to WIN a free stamp.
So to those who do it,,,,,,,you are biting your own nose off to spite your face. What's worse,,,,,,,
you're biting my nose too. Your rights end where my nose begins, as the saying goes.
Do not share files,,,,,,,even free ones. Rather do the NICE thing for your best bud, and link him to where he can get the file HIMSELF,,,,,for a lousy three bucks.
Do not share print outs. Again, link your friend to where she can get it herself,,,,,there may be far more stamps he would enjoy from that company than just the one you give him anyway.
Do not scan any stamp for any reason. Do not give it away, and do not receive any stamps that are given to you this way.
Do not remove any copyright FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER.
Pay the lousy three bucks and buy the stamp.
If you want to change something on the stamp, or you want to share the stamp for a special purpose,,,,,,ASK. I've done so,,,,,and I've been nicely granted the privelidge. Gee, that wasn't so hard.
Do not sell stamped images on EBAY, ETSY or any other site. It's illegal, and you will get caught. I hope you do.
Because if we don't do the things listed above,,,,,,,,we'll all be out in the cold. Digi stamps will go the way of the dinosaur if we aren't all careful.
And wood block stamps will get more expensive,,,,honest people will have to pay for the sins of those who steal,,,,,,again.
If you still insist on copyright infringement,,,,,,,,visit this blog and see if it changes your mind.
If you want to help, God bless you. Same blog for information.