Thursday, January 27, 2011

My new job!! Stempledrukjes!!

Imagine this:

Hey, I have an idea -- I’m going to sell stamps on Ebay!

No, I am tired of drawing my own illustrations -- what are you kidding?  That’s too much work!!  I have this drawer full of Magnolia stamps, so I’m gonna stamp, stamp. stamp, stamp, stamp . . . on paper (wow, this is so easy!!) and now I’m going to sell them on Ebay and make some money selling them!

Wow, what an easy job I have! 

Okay, just kidding -- you don’t have to imagine it, because here it is, a whole list of stolen images being sold to stampers who either don’t know they’re committing theft -- or simply don’t care:

This instance is from the Netherlands’ version of Ebay, (actually, Marktplaats was the first place I found my prints of my images being sold as “stempeldrukjes” a year ago, but the seller did take them down when I confronted her.)  I have also dealt with people trying to sell my images on Ebay UK, so don't think I'd pick on any country -- some of my longest, most dedicated friends are from the Netherlands.

Kind of sad that "stempledrukjes is the first Dutch word I learned.

There’s even a category for this on Marktplaats!  PLEASE -- this is wrong!! I can’t fight for all these stamp companies (at a glance I see Magnolia, Greeting Farm, Penny Black . . .)

Thank you to a fan from the Netherlands who alerted me to this.  If you know the stamp companies whose work is being sold illegally here, please drop them a line and let them know.  (And leaving some “pointed but polite” feedback for these thieves on Marktplaats if you speak Dutch would be most appreciated.)  There are also buttons to report illegal sales on all these sites.

Please do NOT buy printed images or CDs containing stolen stamps, and spread the word that this is not okay.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Open Discussion on Image Swapping

In the comment section of another post, I received this today.  I think maybe this discussion is being lost in the comments, so I'm bringing it out here because it is very important:

"I am sorry to say that I don't agree with the reasoning behind the "don't let anyone else use your stamps" push. Rubber stamps and digital images are made to be reproduced more than once. We pay for the privelege of buying the stamp in order to use the images an unlimited amount of times. It doesn't matter if I use it myself, or my friend who comes to stamp with me on Saturday uses it. As far as I am concerned, it's the same as me buying a book written by a talented artist (Author) and lending it to the same friend when I have finished reading it. Is that against copyright too? Or, if I was to sell the book secondhand when I have finished with it, does that breach copyright? Are you saying that when I have had enough of my stamp (rubber or digital) that it is a breach of copyright to sell it to a new owner?
You made your money once- stop your money grabbing and let us crafters use the images that we paid for. You only drew it once, yet you are selling it a million times over- unlike the famous painters/artists that you compare yourself to, who made and sold one only of their famous images. Let's compare apples with apples if we are going to have a serious discussion here." LL

Well -- here's my response:
Hello there,

Do you buy a loaf of bread and run it through your printer so you can give copies to your neighbors?  Do you buy a chair and you and your best friends all sit in it at the same time?  Of course not.

Sorry if you don’t agree with the copyright policy on stamps, but you shouldn’t be buying them if you don’t intend to abide by them -- otherwise you’re opening yourself up for legal action.  It’s the law, and by simply possessing a piece of intellectual property owned by someone else (art, books, music, video games, movies . . .) you are assumed to have agreed to the policy.  If the owner thinks you are violating the policy by sharing or swapping or copying or selling . . . well, this web campaign is to tell you that there are a lot of artists/companies and a lot of true fans who do care and will keep their eye out for each other.

It is okay to lend someone your RUBBER stamp.  Just as with a physical book, you let someone take your stamp home and you must stop using it yourself for the time they are using it.   This is the same with a library . . . they purchase a certain number of physical copies of a book and that same number of people may be reading them at once . . . and even with Kindle, which is now allowing people to lend a digital book, but only for two weeks -- and it will be unavailable on your own Kindle while your friend is possessing it.

What you’re saying is more like -- “okay, I bought this book -- so I feel I can do WHATEVER what I want with it, so I’m going to scan it in and print it out and GIVE it to the the ten ladies in my reading group so they don’t have to buy it.”  Or let’s kick it up a notch.  How about, “Let’s do a digi swap --  Everyone who wants to join has to pick 5 of their favorite digis and email them to everyone else in the group -- that way, with the hundred of us participating, we’ll all get 500 free images!”

OR . . . let’s kick it up another notch . . . I found these digis on google search, I’m going to erase the watermarks and erase the artist’s signature, and I am going to put them in my Picasa album, and share the link here on my blog and on my LiveInternet page and on my LiveJournal page and all of you WORLDWIDE who would like to download 30 free images by Mo (or 20 by Whiff of Joy, or 5 by Stampavie, or 100 Magnolias) can go here and just grab them.”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

You know what -- here’s the thing.  It is SO EASY to share a copy of a piece someone else’s art.  But that doesn’t make it morally right or lawful. 

We artists are here to tell you that sharing our images is distributing our stolen art.  And lets not go into the “famous artists” thing, that was intentionally rude --  but by the way, maybe if Van Gogh had been able to license his art for a $3 each usage, he might not have died in poverty. 


Thursday, January 6, 2011


Any questions, suggestions, criticisms or comments?