Monday, January 23, 2012

CS Desigs A Piece Of Our Heart

The piece above uses Sorrow one of my soon to be released digital desgns
The sentiment on the piece above reads:

When people  take our Art
without asking and use
it without permission
it is more than Stealing
it wounds our very souls
and tears out a piece of our Heart

Those of you who frequent my CS Designs, Doodle Pieces blog and purchase my digital designs know how passionate I am about my ART. It is something that has always been a very important me and even a healing part of my life and it really tears out a piece of my heart when someone goes out of their way to abuse my work with no regard of the pain it might cause me.

Recently I had the pleasure of sponsoring my first challenge on another challenge blog other than my own Art With No Boundaries. The owner of the challenge as well as her entire team did a fantastic job creating with the designs I supplied them with and I am very pleased that I chose to do this. What should have been a great experience for me however was tarnished by something I found when I went to check out some of the submission to the challenge.

A blog that entered the challenge I was sponsoring, entered an ATC using my original Loreley, Stars and fish digital design and visitors to this blog would naturally assume that the person that created this project had purchased the design from me legally. This is not the case, the person that did this has never purchased any of my designs from me.

Although the design used on the ATC is of my beautiful Loreley, the image on the ATC was traced which was obvious by the crudeness of the lines. Unlike other designers that create their initial designs on paper and then scan them to create their digital stamps, I draw all my designs on my computer which gives my lines a crispness and perfection that cannot be duplicated by tracing.

Even more deplorable and the feeling of being violated is the extra slap in the face because had this entry won the challenge, this person would have expected to receive a prize from me which would have in fact stolen from and abused me even further.

If you create any kind of creative content for the web, you are probably very aware that there is a very large percentage of web users that, are ignorant about what creative copyrights really mean or, intentionally go out of their way to take and abuse what does not belong to them. Although the theft of creative content has been a problem online since the web began, there is a new scourge of taking our work off of our blogs and tracing it to use as a means of deceiving others in order to gain more of our designs. This is not only disturbing it threatens to shake the very foundation of the creative community as a whole.

At first I thought the abuse of my Loreley design was an isolated incident but after checking into this even further, I found that this blog master had done this to more than just my design. It involves at least 4 Designers that I know of as well as up to 3 copyright violators if they are not all the same person which is another possibility.

All the blogs found to be doing this so far have Russian authors and even with a language barrier I am sure most decent people know right from wrong. It is wrong to knowingly take and trace something that does not belong you and then deceive, a challenge blog hostess, the artists who sponsor such challenges, the other participants who’ve entered the challenge as well as an entire Design Team that go out of their way to leave encouraging comments on participating blogs. Even worse is expecting to be rewarded for such a deplorable act.

By now you have probably figured out that this has the potential to be very far reaching. Just imagine the nightmare this could present for everyone not just artist if this type of thing is allowed to continue. This is especially true of those of us hosting, sponsoring, judging or participating in any challenge, as there will be no way for us to know what is a ligament entry and what is a fraudulent one. It is impossible for every artist to check each and every challenge on the web to make sure that people are not tracing our designs to use in this manner, but at the moment I can see no real solution to this problem except to make as many people as I can aware so they can be more vigilant.

It is not enough that artists / Digital Stamp Designers be made aware that this is happening; education and awareness needs to reach everyone, which also includes those that create with our designs. If you are an artist/ designer, challenge blog owner or even a paper crafter who is passionate about what you create, please help spread the word and help us find a solution to this.

Please post a link to this post on your blog so that your creative friends can become informed. One voice alone often does very little but many together might make a difference. I would also appreciate hearing your thought on this so please leave me a comment. If you have comments or questions that you do not feel comfortable posting here, please send me a private email. You will find my email address through the button navigation menu at the top of this page.

If you would like more information about copyrights and how to better protect your work on the web please visit my CS Designs for an extensive list of copyright tutorials I have written over the years. Also please my copyright my awareness button.


Jenn Borjeson said...

Chris, I agree with all you have said and wish there was a magic solution to all this. I will continue to be vigilant and notify artists of any possible infringements. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

Ellis said...

That's so bad that they do that, not unfortunatly not the first russian theft of designs I've heard about, but I will link to this post on my blog, may I use the card you made as the link?
Hugs, Elenor