Saturday, July 26, 2014

Since it's not our artwork or our copyright, why do we care

“Unlicensed charts on Etsy/Ebay. .. since it's not our artwork or our copyright, why do we care if these people are breaking the law?”
The reason we care is that it takes business away from legitimate companies, the ones who do pay big bucks for licensing. The ones who work very hard on artwork reproductions to produce high quality charts rather than just 2 minute completely computer generated knock offs. The ones who are legally trying to make a living rather than skirting all the laws to make a quick buck. The ones who care about artists work and artists making a living as well.
Imagine you're an artist or a photographer, whose living is made from your creativity. You work very hard on your artwork, putting in many hours, sometimes weeks or months, to get it perfect. You are really proud of it and put it on your website or Facebook page to show of the work you're so proud of, and try to make some money from all your work. Someone asks you if they can chart it for cross stitch, and pay you a royalty each time it sells. They painstakingly recreate your art in cross stitch, trying to remain as faithful as possible and showing you their progress all the way along. They give you full credit for the work, and give links to your website and they sell 3 of them and you're pretty stoked because your artwork is making money. Someone else saves the picture and creates a cross stitch chart of it to sell. They don't ask you, they just do it. Because they don't have to pay a license or royalty to you, they charge half the price and sell ten of them. They don't take a whole lot of time to make sure the reproduction is faithful, they just open it in a cross stitch program, convert and save it so nobody know what it will look like stitched. They don't give you credit for the artwork, they don't give you any money for the work and they don't even tell you they've done it. How would you feel?
Oh I know, you're not very creative, you couldn't draw to save your life, right? So it's pretty hard to imagine. So how about this? Imagine you'd taken a beautiful photo of your kids in front of a fantastic sunset and posted it on your Facebook page. Someone decides they like that photo and saves it to their computer and then goes on to create a cross stitch chart of it and puts it up for sale. They didn't take the photo. It's not their kids in the photo. They don't give you any credit for taking the photo, let alone give you any money for using your photo, yet they sell ten of them. How would you feel? Cheated? Angry? Violated?