Wednesday, January 21

Intellectual Property Rights, Angel Policies, etc.

I chanced upon a very interesting discussion in the message boards of SplitCoastStampers.  It's about angel policies of some scrapbooking/stamping/cardmaking product companies with regards to the usage of their products.  I know Stampin' Up has policies like this, but I never really knew that a lot of the other companies have policies as well until I read this thread.

But before I go on, I'd like to share with you the links to the policies of three big and very popular product companies:
I'd like to share with you my post in that discussion:
"Very interesting topic ladies I love this exchange of opinions and ideas. Here are some of mine, and they don't have copyrights

Reading through the angel policies posted in this thread, I can see that they do allow us to sell our craft items that were made using their products in small or local scale like that of craft shows or art fairs. When the product companies were writing these policies, I think they were pertaining to those who abuse their products through mass production and making huge profits out of it. Who among us from SCS alone has mass produced cards and made thousands of dollars, let's say, in one year? If and when I do sell cards, I'd be very happy to just get back what I paid for for the table or space I got in a craft show, which in my area would be $30.

Here's what I think:

- even if we sell our cards, the odds of us making a lot of money is very small. How many cards can one person make to earn at least hundreds of dollars? That's what I like about Wizard's policy because it's specifically stated that "Please do not mass-produce, allow production by hired workers or produce your work in assembly line fashion."

- I totally agree that our use of their products is free advertisement. Knowing each other, we tend to want what others have when it comes to this expensive hobby of ours. When I go to craft shows and see vendors who sell handmade cards, I like to know (and ask the vendor) a specific tool they used if I really like how it looked, and would definitely buy one for myself.

- Maybe this won't make sense, but when it comes to cardmaking for example, can anyone tell me the numbers/percentage between those who sell for a profit and those who sell for fun? Because if I will sell cards in a craft show, I'm doing it for fun And if there's a profit, it just goes back to the market to buy more tools and supplies for this hobby.

- I think a lot of people are giving a different meaning to Intellectual Property Rights. What I know about it is IPR is protection from those who steal somebody's ideas (creations of the mind) in the form of artwork, inventions, designs, etc (thus intellectual) for a profit through reproduction and adaptation. If I sell a card with an embossed background using a Cuttlebug folder and a colored stamped image from Inkadinkado, I don't think that's stealing from ProvoCraft or Inkadinkado. I created a card using tools and materials, and that Cuttlebug folder is a tool, among with the other tools that I used like the papercutter, stamp, scissors, punches, etc. Nestabilities dies are tools. Stamps are tools. The magazines and books classify them as tools. They do wear out or break but they are not consummable like glue, ink or paper. If they are not tools, what are they? Now, if I create an embossing folder that is exactly like any of the Cuttlebug folders, or create a scalloped oval that is exactly the same as that of Nestabilities and sell them, or re-package these products and put my own label on it, that is stealing and is, I believe, a violation of IPR. I don't see any difference with woodworkers who build and sell wonderful furniture and use special tools to give shape and texture to their chairs and tables, to us cardmakers who make cards and use special tools to make our cards look beautiful, and let's say, sell them. If we sell our cards, I don't consider that stealing from these wonderful companies. We paid for these tools for us to use and create with. And what we create using these tools are our creations. Provocraft, Wizard, Sizzix, Stampin' Up and all of these other companies created their products with tools too. Just like what CandyStripe said, we are just using these tools as a framework of our own creations. And I don't think selling our creations is selfish. I think it is selfish for these companies to tell us what to do with these products that we paid for with our hard earned money. You mean to tell me, it is ok to resell an already used Cuttlebug embossing folder for double the price on Ebay but it is not ok to sell a card created with a variety of tools and materials, including a Cuttlebug embossing folder for a 50 cent profit?

- I also agree that it is a different story if we sell embossed card fronts of Cuttlebug or stamped images of Stampin' Up, CTMH or any other stamp companies, or renaming a digital scrapbooking element file and selling it as your own. Because there is no creativity involved in there. You didn't create. You just reproduced, or shall we say, mass produced these items. I consider it the same as photocopying an artwork and selling them. Or burning multiple copies of Beyonce's CD and selling them. That is piracy. And that is selfish.

- However, if it is written and supported by law, as stated by these companies' policies, we do have to abide by it. Come to think of it, why don't these companies print these specific policies in their packaging so the buyers can be aware of it. Not all people who buy these products go to the official websites to read legalities and stuff. Very few people do. I myself haven't read any of these policies until chancing upon this thread. (I know I just said what CandyStripe said in her post, but I just wanted to say it again.)

- Can anyone tell me if there has been a single cardmaker like us, who has sold some cards, made a few dollars profit, and were sued by these companies?

- What about the other countries who are actually pirating these products because the scrapbooking/stamping/card making tools that are available here in the US are really hard to get from their end? Those products that are actually made in China for example, don't you think that they are not being repackaged and sold elsewhere? What about the crafters from outside the US who sell their creations using these tools, whose country's currency value is a lot lesser than the US dollar?

Thank you ladies for a very interesting and healthy discussion. I'm looking forward to more of what you think "

What do you think?

Friday, January 16

Time for an update...

Hello friends and fellow crafters!  2009 has been good so far, even though the first 2 weeks were really busy at work.  But I finally got a breather and so here I am...

I've been working on a 12x12 scrapbook calendar for my DMIL.  This will be the 3rd year that I'm making one for her.  I always take a lot of photos, but I admit that I really don't get the photos printed because I just usually upload them in my personal homepage.  But my DMIL does not have internet, so she doesn't really get to see them.  Hopefully, through the yearly calendars I make for her, she gets to see the good photos, if not all of them.  In this calendar, I designed LOs that include a lot of photos.  You can see more of my 2009 scrapbook calendar by clicking here.

Looking back in 2008, I was able to go to 2 craft shows.  I wasn't impressed with the first one, but I did enjoy the second one.  I was able to buy several items, but this one is my favorite.  I just fell in love with this doll the moment I saw it.  I call her the Brat Doll because she's mad that she didn't get what she wanted.  I love the expression on her face and her crossed arms. 

When I bought the Brat Doll, I made sure she was signed by the artist.

By the way, here's the last batch of inchies I received from Lisa's inchie swap.  Can you guess which one is mine?  I enjoyed making and receiving inchies for the past few months.  Thanks again, Lisa, for introducing me to the world of inchies.

Thursday, January 1


Happy 2009 fellow crafters!

The past year has been an incredible one for me in so many aspects.  Like some of you, we had our share of ups and downs, but 2008 still ended up with a bang.  We had a new addition to our family and her name is Chichay.  She'll be another reason for me to scrapbook!

I believe 2008 is the year I created the most, and it's also the year my craft room officially became my "planet".  In the same year, my planet became "overpopulated", thus making me decide not to buy any craft related items (with some exceptions) from January till November of this year.  *If you're bored right now and have nothing else to do, you can read more about it in this blog entry.*  In this year, I finally learned how to do stained glass and I love it!  I was featured in several scrapbooking/crafting websites and e-zines for the first time (which was heavenly!) and I learned a lot of new tips and tricks.  It's also in 2008 when I met a lot of new crafty friends, especially here in Multiply.  They made the past year really special and they inspired me in many ways.  I'm sure this new year will be the same, and hopefully even more.

For 2009, my goal is to create more and make use of what I have right now.  I have hoarded so much in the past years, and it's about time that I put them all to good use.  I will really do my best not to buy any more, and especially try to resist temptations when new tools, designs, stamps, or any other craft-related products are released in the market (crossing my fingers ever so tightly).  I would also love to make it to the craft show at the end of this year, and maybe (not maybe) sell handmade cards and the like. 

This year's motto will be CREATE! CREATE! CREATE!