Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some legal housekeeping...

Hi, hello, and greetings....

I haven't blogged in a while, you can blame work and school for that. On the bright side, my thesis is currently at 240 pages and still growing. Yay!

Anyway, I've never really considered certain aspects of my blog, and store, and tutorials. You know, those tricky legal aspects. Copyright stuff.

A fair number of people read this blog now, and that's great! I love sharing knowledge about beading and epoxy clay. However, I logged onto my Pinterest some time ago and was greeted by a little notification:

Names blurred, of course. :)

Now, I know a fair number of people post my designs (not just ones I make available for tutorial, but ones from my store), onto boards titled "ideas". This is fine with me. As long as they are inspired by my pieces to make some for themselves, and not to sell, of course. And frankly, I know, because I am a Pinterest fan myself, that I just pin anything and everything because it looks pretty! Pin away! I do a happy little jump whenever someone re-pins something that I've made.

However, "class ideas" gave me some pause. Especially the 'class' bit. The fact that the bracelet this person pinned came not from a tutorial, but from an original piece that I had for sale in my store, gave me another pause.

Just a disclaimer before I continue: I have nothing against this person and I am not making this post in a reaction to this individual in any way. The pin just brought to my attention that I had few (if any) legal disclaimers on my site.

I don't mind if this person was inspired by my piece and decided to pin it. The issue is that as an artist, I may not want random people to take an original design from my store and teach it in a class. because technically, the design belongs to me. And I teach jewellery classes myself.

So, here's my policy:

Anything I post in "Tutorials" on Pinterest, or on my blog is fair game for people to reproduce. It's a tutorial, after all. However, if it's an original design from my store, that means that I spent hours designing and making it and it is for sale. Please don't copy or reproduce it for sale, or to teach, or to make money from. I designed these pretties, and I am a poor student, and I need to eat. :) Also, my two cats need to eat.

That being said, this person had a ton of pins in her "class ideas" board and she assured me that they were all being used as general ideas. I've met many fantastic people and jewellery artisans and I'm always willing to share knowledge! Besides, it's good karma to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Well, that's it for 'legal' stuff. My husband suggested all sorts of things (he's a lawyer, and he had his serious face on - I like his serious face), but at the end of the day we figured a little disclaimer on my blog would do it.

To emphasize the fact that my cats are cute and deserve to be pampered:

I'm not the kind of person who lets my cats on the table all the time (no one wants cat hair on their burger)
but .... I did NOT have the heart to tell them to move.
And yes, I regularly clean my table.

Which makes a great moral for this blog post! Sure, I could have kicked my cats off but I decided it wasn't really worth it and they weren't doing anything horrible. And I'm not a meanie, and I believe in exceptions. So... concerning the designs of any artist... just exercise common courtesy, and make good judgement calls (especially online). I have my own 'inspiration' boards where I post jewellery I love that other people have made, but I never, ever, reproduce those designs for any monetary benefit. I also would never reproduce the designs in any class situation, even a class I volunteered for, unless I have the designer's permission.    

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