Monday, January 24, 2011

I can't remember if I told you all ready but one of the things I have up my sleeve for this year is to reconnect with some of the wonderful people who buy our Cartolina products. Because we are wholesalers we tend not to talk to the end consumer very often and I kind of miss chatting to the people who actually buy our stuff in the stores. So as part of my reconnecting plan we are going to have a super fun market stall in our local market and hopefully travel to some of the other Pacific Northwest markets - to meet some people and have some fun weekend road trips - can't wait!

We are also going to open an Etsy store to sell some exclusive Cartolina products including some limited edition art prints - to frame for your walls. I'm really excited about this! I get asked all the time for frame-able versions of our designs and finally we are going to do it! probably in the next 2 weeks!

I was talking to a friend of mine who is a very successful Etsy seller and she reminded me to use watermarks on our images when we post them in our shop. I know that I should, but I think it's such a shame :-(

Today I just wanted to touch base with you about the problem of 'right click copiers'. I know that lots of you have had to deal with this problem online but, if you haven't, a 'right click copier' is someone who doesn't understand the implications of using copyrighted imagery without permission and randomly swipes other people images online and uses them to create art and crafts that they sell commercially either on Etsy or another e-commerce site. I recently had this happen here at the Cafe when an artist, who I had featured here a couple of times, started swiping images from other posts here and using the imagery in her jewelry - fortunately I noticed and put a stop to it - but I was horrified!

There are lots of legal sources to acquire the rights to use beautiful vintage imagery. Artists and crafts people should familiarize themselves with the process and the copyright laws so that they are confident that the images they are using are legal. It's a shame that a few people have to ruin it for everyone else. Have you had this problem - how did you deal with it?

I'm looking forward to opening our Cartolina Etsy shop but I probably will have to put big watermarks on the sample images - sorry! This week I would love you all to help me pick which designs we will produce as art prints. They will be printed professionally. They'll be 11 x 17 and I think you'll love them! So I'll put the selection together tomorrow or the next day and I hope together we can come up with a great collection!

P.S. A good piece of advice when you are using vintage imagery or anything that's rare, but in the public domain, is to restore the image and make a few obvious changes to the image so you recognize it as your work. That's what we do - do you have any tricks? :-)


Nina said...

I´m looking forward to the Etsy store!!!

Julie said...

Can't wait till your etsy store is up & running. Please let there be a print of a big red poppy :-)

liza said...

Good idea about making a small change in an image. I sometimes do that. What I don't understand is these publishers who take old images, like 20th century postcards or advertising etc. put them online for sale as reproductions, and say they own the copyright. How can they?? Maybe they own the copyright on a particular scan? Because I've seen this for images I have in my own collections, and I certainly won't accept that some joe blow somewhere owns the copyright on a postcard that I also have in my own ephemera collections. They didn't make it, or publish it.

As for people swiping your images, it happens so fast. There are a few of my photos and designs that slipped into cyberspace without credit, and I've tried to track them down, and have done so, but it's pretty hard. So yeah, watermarks for sure, from now on.

Good luck with Etsy. I use BigCartel, but I understand the allure of Etsy. There are some amazing artists there.

Fiona Cartolina said...

Thanks for the comments ladies. Julie I didn't even think about the big red poppy but now I promise it will be in the running to be an art print!

Liza I understand what you mean about the sellers who say they own the copyright to Victorian imagery - it doesn't seem to make sense that they can own the copyright does it? But what I understand is that they don't own the copyright but they do own that particular version of the art - and as you know vintage ephemera comes in some very bad condition - so once they have restored and enhanced the imagery then they can definitely put a copyright on it. Also I know that if they sell their vintage art on collage sheets then they can copyright the entire sheet so that it can't be reproduced and sold again as is - this make complete sense to me. I actually really respect the people who offer restored vintage imagery for sale - especially if it's rare imagery. I pay big bucks for usage of their images and after spending many years sourcing imagery around the world I know what it takes to find the rare pieces and bring them back to a good condition. Thanks for your comment - it's a good point and I appreciate it here today :-)

Susan said...

Congrats, how exciting!!! :)

Layers and Layers said...

great idea on the Etsy shop ... break a leg :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh. I agree the poppy would be a beautiful print, and of course a trio of ladies and maybe one of your lovely Japanese collages, too. Can't wait to see your shop!

When I first started selling artwork on etsy I included a note on each of my listings that basically said don't copy these; it's bad karma. The first week I had three people "right click" steal the image. One person was selling items with my images within 24 hours (on etsy). And those three are only the ones that I stumbled upon. I then sadly had to start water-marking everything. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to start, but once something happens repeatedly then I know it's time to respond.

As far as copyrighting images goes, liza is partly right. In the US, you cannot copyright an exact scan of a public domain image (in many other places you can). But you can copyright derivative works you've made from those images and you can also limit access to images you own and set terms of use. One of the archives I work with says it best: yes, these items are in the public domain, and if you don't agree to our terms of use, you are free to track down your own original copy, scan it, and use it however you'd like.

Have fun with the shop and the market. I think you're going to love all the "in-person" feedback. Your work is lovely.

Nantucket Mermaid said...

I like your Marie Antoinettish women. They would make nice posters.Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Fiona Cartolina said...

Thanks for the comments ladies.
Anonymous - I'm so glad you wrote and explained the copyrights on public domain compared to derivative works. It's complicated and you explain it very clearly.


Liza said...

Thanks Anon. It's crazy-making trying to figure out copyrights. And ouch, how awful that your images were stolen and so quickly. I have one image, a photo I took of a relatively famous artist/author that I posted on my website. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this on other sites without credit. Periodically I google the author and see if I catch anyone else using the image, which I do. I then email them and ask them not to stop using it, but to give me credit. Some do, but some people just hufff at me, and delete it from their site. Go figure.

mari said...

I think an etsy shop is a brilliant idea - can't wait to see the goodies!

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to see a print of those beautiful red birds from Love is in The Air...and another birdie one Yellow Bird...oh heck I'd love ANY of them as prints, the bigger the better!

Jeannie said...

Fiona, I look forward to seeing your work as prints! Any chance you can include some of your husband's work, too? I love the energy and humor! What a pair you are!

Fiona Cartolina said...

Well Fiona - the red birds did make the cut - I changed the greeting from Love is in the Air to Love is all you need!(less pressure!)
And Jeannie, I know that Doug plans a hostile takeover of my Etsy shop but he's going to have to get his own! Yes he's planning on doing his own version of art prints and I'll definitely let you know when that happens - he'll be glad to hear he has a fan!

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