September 10, 2012

All you have to do is ask

Something has been bugging me and I feel I want to address it again. 

Some scenarios to ponder:

Last post I shared a link to a friend's blog and mentioned that I had colored some Mo Manning images and gave them to her to use in her designs. She doesn't color but OH EM GEE is she talented with the designs and I thought my colored images would look so cute with her talented paper finesse.

Crafting forums with a thread for  "trading" stamped images. 

A selling forum where someone will miss buying a cute stamp for sale and say "Stamp me a few of that stamp and send them to me I want to color it"

When I first got started coloring, I asked someone I met in the crafting world who lived close to me to "bring your stamps over" so I could stamp some. I wanted to practice my coloring but I didn't have any stamps of my own yet.

An organized group purchase and swap where  someone lists the new releases coming out and asks participants to pick one or more to purchase. The organizer will then buy all of the stamps in the series have them delivered to her, then will open all the stamps and stamp images for everyone of the entire release and send the one they ordered with copies of all the others.

A seller making a "kit" of coordinating papers, embellishments and stamped image that you can color that will look OH so cute!

A trade site where no money changes hand but instead you offer to trade some stamped images for merchandise.

This past February I got together with a small group of my special and closest crafting friends and I took a couple of images (again Mo Manning) for everyone to color so I could teach them what I had learned taking Copic classes and practicing.

So, which of the above scenarios is STEALING?  Some of them?  None of them? All of them?

The answer is ALL OF THEM... UNLESS you ask for and receive permission from the artist!  Each company has what is called an "Angel Policy" or "Terms of Use" and you agree to those policies and terms when you purchase images from that company/artist.  All artists have the terms posted on their web page and in the instance of buying digital images, you usually click a box that you agree to these terms before the transaction can be completed. 

Now when I first got started and asked my friend in the situation above to bring her stamps over, I wasn't aware of these Angel Policies and Terms of Service until I purchased some stamps on my own. Then I felt like a real din dong for asking her to do that. She was gracious enough to decline and I really respect her work because she is an AMAZING colorist who I have learned a lot from. My point is to READ what you are agreeing to. If you don't read and you don't inform yourself, you are still STEALING.

What about the first and last scenarios where I shared images I colored with a friend and the last where I took a couple images I printed out to some friends to help them learn to color? Did I purposefully STEAL from Mo Manning? The answer to that is very simply NO! The reason I know I didn't steal? I ASKED Mo Manning directly if i could use her images in those instances and she granted me written permission. So my point? All you have to do is ASK!

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