This isn’t the post I planned to write, but I think it needs to be written, both for the people like me with small businesses trying to make things work, and for our potential customers.
Just as I was going to bed last night I had a message from a fellow Etsy member, for which I am so grateful. It was to alert me to the fact that one of my patterns was for sale via a European site similar to Etsy. The person who got in touch had found one of her own items for sale in the shop, and spotted my Mini Mice pattern.
The shop had about 14 patterns for sale, and presumably they had all been similarly ‘shoplifted’ from Etsy, Folksy or similar, assembled together for the benefit of this unscrupulous person. I hate to think that person is a customer of mine, but he/she would have to have access to the original pattern, perhaps borrowed from a friend? Who knows…
But not only did they help themselves to my pattern, they also copied all my photos from the Etsy listing, and copied and pasted the description too. Completely shameless!
It was quite peculiar finding a picture with my eggcup on my tablecloth on a completely strange site!
I have emailed the shopping site with this information and await their response. I’ve also sent a message to the…..the…words fail me!.. PERSON who perpetrated the crime. I don’t expect a reply to that however!
This is so unfair. I don’t mean to me personally, but to everyone who has beavered away creating something unique, who is trying to make a small business pay it’s way, trying to realise the dream of making a living from their own endeavours. It’s only been possible since the advent of the internet and it’s been an amazing opportunity for so many people. Unfortunately it’s also created many opportunities for underhand, dishonest people to coast along on the backs of a lot of hard working makers and crafters.
I’m not sure what can be done to protect our work. Etsy shows a warning every time an item is listed…
By adding files to this listing, you guarantee that you have rights to the content. Etsy may remove content per our Copyright and IP Policy, at which point buyers may not be able to access purchased files. See our Terms for more information.
….so I presume this is similarly stated by other sites, and if they are informed that someone is contravening this one hopes they take action.
And we can look out for each other as my fellow Etsy member did. We can pass on any information or suspicions which we spot and try and nip these things in the bud. Whether you are a maker or a buyer, this affects us all.
It has concentrated my mind on the thing I’ve been chuntering about for ages and not doing, adding watermarks to my photos. I use Photoshop, and although I had made a watermark layer, it was a bit fiddly and I’ve been lazy about it. Today however I found a handy little You Tube video which made things very much easier. By turning the watermark into a preset brush it’s the work of a moment to add it to any photo. If Photoshop is your thing you can find the video here.
It’s a pity as it doesn’t enhance the image but as I’ve also had pictures turning up without any link on Pinterest I think they are a necessary evil!
As things stand at the moment, the offending shop has been suspended and I don’t want to go down the road of naming and shaming but I think it’s something we should all be aware of, don’t you?
I’ll be back soon with a happier post. I’ve been beavering away with my Green Man and he’s progressing nicely, I can’t wait to show you!
See you soon…x