Monday, March 10


In the craft industry, CASEing is a popular term.  Some say, CASE stands for Copy And Share Everything.  For others, it stands for Copy And Selectively Edit.  And again, for quite a few, it means Copy And Steal Everything. 

This hobby is very diverse.  With all the materials presently available, you can make scrapbook pages, cards, small projects, big projects.  You see a lot of other people's work on the internet, magazines, books, craft stores, even newspapers and pamphlets.  Every now and then we see a layout, design or technique that we like, and we would copy them.  Maybe we will do exactly the same, or maybe add a touch of our own, or give it a totally different look based on that layout or design.  I would say, IMHO, that any of those that I just mentioned is CASEing.

This has been an issue for a lot of crafters who make their originals.  According to many, when you CASE a project and feature it in magazines, websites, your blog or homepage, it's but proper etiquette to mention who or where you CASEd it from.  It's also better to include its link in your CASEd project.  For some of those who create originals, CASEing is a form of flattery.  If other crafters copy their design, layout or technique, that means what they did is really good.  They also consider it as free advertisement.  However, other crafters don't see it that way.  Especially when money is involved.  Most of the time, we don't even think about those things when we CASE something.  We just love to create.

Money.  I guess that's what makes the big difference with the CASEing issue.  If somebody makes money from CASEing your original design, what would you do?  The big question is, how would you even know if somebody is CASEing you?

But then, scrapbooking digital elements and designs would be a different story.  I've heard and read a lot of stories about people who actually copy from others, and sell for a profit.  Now that is a totally different story.  I just can't understand why people do that.  Isn't the bottom line for everything is ETIQUETTE and HONESTY?  Why would you even claim somebody else's creations as yours?  And worse, make money out of it?  I am very thankful to those who offer their digital creations for free.  Hey, FREE.  So why won't others just be thankful and use those freebies as much as they like?  Why do they have to turn around and sell them or claim it as their own?  The sad thing is, there's no way this can be controlled.  Until somehow a law is made for this type of situation.

Here's what I think.  When you post your original creations anywhere, especially on the internet, you should be aware of the risk of CASEing, whether you will be credited or not.  How would you know if your original creation is being used in China, Australia or Antarctica right now?  I guess that's the risk.  If you don't want other people to CASE your original creations, don't post it on the web or submit to magazines, etc.  Just keep it to yourself, or sell it on your own.  Or if you want to spend some money, get a copyright or something.  If you want to CASE something, give proper credit.  Especially if you totally copied the entire thing.  Let's make the craft world a happy place :)

For my case, I really don't care.  Some of my creations were inspired from other creations.  Some of them my originals.  But still I post them on my homepage, and I do my best to give credit to others' creations.  Bottom line is, I want to share.  Maybe somehow, others may get ideas and be inspired from what I did.  I guess that's my way of paying it forward to those who shared their own creations and have inspired me.  And I really believe in this thing called karma.

So fellow crafter, what do you think about this CASE-ing issue?  I would love to hear from you :)

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