Internet theft

Have you ever posted an image of one of your creations to the internet? Many people have, and many people use these images to sell products. I do. I take pictures of all my quilts and use them as examples of my work so that others know what they can expect. I post them all over Etsy, Zibbet, Pinterest, my blog, and Facebook.

Last week I received a message from a fellow Etsian that she had seen images of my work posted in a “secret group” on Facebook and the woman was claiming them as work she could do. The kind messenger added me to the group, and sure enough, there were my images. I contacted the admins and confronted the woman. I told her that while I was flattered she thought my work was good enough to claim as her own, I did not want her using them. She took them down and apologized, but she knew it was wrong and I’m still angry about it.

If you’ve ever had anything stolen from you, you can understand the feeling of violation and distrust that comes from that action. I know they were just pictures, but here’s the thing: I’ve worked for two years to build up my reputation, business, presence, and skill. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and loads of valuable time to do this. My business is always on my mind and in my heart. I explore new techniques and improve my skill set whenever possible. The theft and use of my pictures is like having someone else say, ” Screw your two years of work. I’m claiming them as my own and building my business off of your back!” It makes me so angry because not only is she trying to profit off of me, but she is also destroying a reputation I’ve tried so hard to build up. I handle my business with integrity and client trust and recommendation. When I see someone using images that aren’t theirs, I instantly think they either can’t do the work or have never tried.

We live in a society that includes citizens who think it is their right to take from others when they haven’t done a thing to deserve or earn it. While there are some working hard and living off of their own work and profit, there are others that think that should get a piece of the other person’s pie. Our own first lady had stated that, “Others should give up a piece of their pie.” We’ll, I’m sorry Michelle, but if they want pie, let them bake it themselves!!!

For my little incident I spent many hours over a period of 3 days watermarking my images. On Etsy that includes 98 images. I bought a watermark from https://www.etsy.com/shop/NolaRejeweled and a program called uMark. The watermarks only cost me about $6. The program costs $30 if you want the pro features, which I needed. This is not a huge amount, but it was certainly a lesson learned. I’m going to continue fighting to keep what I have earned, as I think all working American citizens should. Don’t give up your pie if you’ve worked hard to find all the ingredients, put them together, and bake it! You want pie? Work for it, but don’t give it away. 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandi Holland
    Dec 14, 2013 @ 18:34:14

    Very good recommendation. Thanks for your help. Found your post through Teresa Rusk G+ page.

    Reply

  2. Sandi Holland
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 02:05:19

    Which is why I don't think I'm going to worry about posting at Craftori.com anymore. They don't allow any images with watermarks or text at all. I had begun to use ID text on my images when I joined them. Was disappointed that my images could not be used there, and had begun to not use a watermark on some just to post there. But I was able to save one of their images to my desktop with no problem.

    Reply

  3. Tammy Lyons
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 18:47:16

    I noticed that about Craftori. I published once on there and was very nervous about not having my watermarks on there. Seems Craftori would understand about the need to protect one's images. Hmmm…

    Reply

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