I’ve only been blogging for less than a year, and certainly not consistently. That being said, its been brought to my attention these past few months about the INSANE amounts of intellectual property that is being stolen on a regular basis by various websites, many of which are claiming to “find” tutorials or do “roundups” of which are un-sourced. Now we all know when you say “found” you really mean “stole” and manipulated it to be whatever you wanted.
How many people are aware of some of the many sites that are doing this? I’ll admit I was in the dark about how important watermarking and logo placement was until this whole thing just became glaringly obvious. That said, I am reluctant to share some of my projects or tutorials with the world here, if they might just end up in the hands of thieves. In fact I’m trying to think up a way to keep certain sites from being able to access my page at all. I think thats possible.
http://guang.taobao.com/ Chinese website that steals your tutorials and its almost impossible to find a way to contact them to take it down.
http://www.saifou.com/ “Inspiring Images” that don’t link back to their sources.
http://www.repiny.com/ Images are there and ready for you to pin to Pinterest, again with no links to the original source.
http://www.usefuldiy.com/diy-nautical-necklace/ This website is blatantly stealing, the images are watermarked and yet there is no link back to the source. THIS is why its important not to put all the steps into one image!!
http://handmadera.blogspot.com/2012/04/braid-necklace-diy.html Oh hey, where did this come from? Because I know its not yours!!
And last but not least, there are plenty more stealing tutorials out there, Handimania, I don’t even WANT to link to their site! But I want you ALL to know, stealing someone else’s tutorial, images, content, words, photos, and ideas is STEALING! And it is wrong! And we shouldn’t stand for it!!
PS. Are you a handmade artist? Do you think you’re safe? Because you’re not!
Watermarking with your logo, your website, etc is incredibly important! Learn how to do it! There are a bazillion tutorials online to help you! Here are some of my favorites: Add automatic group watermarks by Craftionary, Add a Copyright Watermark by PhotshopEssentials, Video on Youtube by Jen Swedhin, Create in Photoshop by PhotographyBlog, How to Watermark without Photoshop by ArtsyFartsyMama. Figures, I can’t find the one I used, regardless, these all give great instructions and videos really help, plus if you don’t have Photoshop, no excuse! Don’t make it easier for someone to steal from you. Also, there is no shame in pasting your watermark right over your image subject!
And to go along with how insanely cranky and frustrated this whole talk makes me, I posted a comment to the Handimania Facebook page today for their “Ask us Anything! Monday” of which there are absolutely no answers, but like 20 questions. Someone said “where do you find the instructions for things you find on pinterest? I always see awesome pics of the finished products, but I can never find the instructions.” So naturally, I thought I would help out and give an answer: “The instruction are with the actual tutorial on the site they stole the content from.” As of 10:20pm EST that answer has been on the site for 9 hours. Soon after this, another brave soul made a similar comment.
I really think if we all spread the word, maybe more people, and maybe the people who don’t understand copyright infringement, will start to understand that its not ok to encourage this type of behavior. That stealing is stealing regardless of where or how its done. Just because you can’t hold it in your hand, doesn’t mean it wasn’t taken from somewhere without permission or without giving credit where it is due!
To make it easy for those of you who would like to share this message, I have made 2 screenshots of the above mentioned Q&A and already pinned them to some of my Pinterest boards. I would LOVE if you would repin them: http://pinterest.com/pin/212443307395164061/ (currently located in my Digital Scrapbooking board and includes both mentioned comments) & http://pinterest.com/pin/212443307395164142/ (which only includes my answer and is located in my DIY Projects board). I WILL be spreading these pins along my other boards, on my Twitter account, and to any other blogger I can. You don’t have to be a blogger or DIY-er or Handmade-maker to support this and say no to stealing. Every share could make a difference!