Hello to everyone! I think it is safe to say for the most part we all understand that buying digital images and making a CD and then selling it would be illegal. However, there are other forms of copyright infringement that some people do not even think about. Tonight I would like to take a little deeper look into what is referred to as stamp image swaps, aka RAKs , or just plain sharing.
Every time I have seen this issue brought up in a public forum there are always those crafters who defend it. They defend it by saying 'I want to try out a stamp before I buy it' or 'It is good for the stamp companies and increases their sales, sometimes that is how I find out about new companies' Granted these responses may be true once in a while, I highly doubt that is the usual case.
Why do I feel that way, you ask? Well, below I am going to show an example of a posting on a public forum. This posting is not an "exception to the rule" this is what we, at Stamp Out, have been finding by the dozens every week. What we find very little of, is a person asking for one image so they might try it out and see if they want to buy it.
I also might point out that if these swaps were really helping any company do you think they would be protesting them? Wouldn't they be encouraging them, in fact hosting them, if they were making money from them?
Do most crafters think their favorite company allows sharing/swapping? Just because it doesn't outright say in their angel policy that they forbid swaps, that does not mean that they allow them. Since reproducing and image and sharing it with anyone IS a violation of copyright, many manufacturers have never thought they had to spell it out in their policies. They might just have "no mechanical,electronic or no manual reproduction". They probably never anticipated the world wide web having such a negative impact on image theft . (Although I think we should have looked at it as a warning when all the music was being stolen via the internet) A lot of companies are now adding wording specifically to their angel policies so as to alleviate the belief that since it doesn't say no, it must mean yes. This does not mean it was okay before they changed their policy, or that they are even changing their policy at all. What this means is they are spelling it out for us. They are telling us what a copyright violation is. So, what I am saying is, unless it specifically says "swapping and sharing are allowed" or unless we write and ask a company if we can share their images and they say yes, then it is, by law, NOT allowed.
I also realize some companies are afraid of making the crafting community mad, and afraid it will hurt their sales if they spell it right out or say no, so they do nothing. I say to them, saying no will not hurt your sales near as much as these huge swaps and image sharing galleries do. Please stand up for your rights!
Now onto the belief that we should be able to try it out before we buy it. If someone sends a stamped image to me, they stamp it, I don't. Therefore, I dont think I am tyring it out at all. They are stamping it, not me, so I am not quite sure how that would be trying it out. However, I will play along with the premise that that is "trying it out". Why on earth should we be allowed to try it before we buy it? Really with the internet, blogs,crops and all the forums we can already see what the images look like when they are stamped and even colored, so there is no need to "try it". Also, I think many companies offer a freebie image digitally if we would like to get an idea of what their images look like when they are sitting on our table. Lastly, if we really feel we want to try it, well then we should just ask the company. They may be able to oblige us in some way.
Below is a screenshot of a post on a public forum. (Click on it to enlarge) This is what we see A LOT of!! I welcome your comments, questions and concerns on this issue!
Have a great night,
Have a great night,