Hello everyone, perhaps an unusual title for my blog this evening, but there is a very serious issue surrounding using licenced characters in crafty projects for sale.
If you are just looking for my normal crafty update jump down to the next title near the bottom of this post.
So why can't anyone make and sell stuff using these characters? The simple fact is it is illegal to use and sell items that feature a licenced character unless you hold a licence yourself. This includes anything Disney, Peppa Pig, Hello Kitty etc. etc. I know that some people are thinking "but everyone does it" that does not make it right. You can legally buy ribbons etc. (from someone who is licenced to sell them) and make something with them - but you must not sell them or advertise them for sale.
Companies can and do issue legal notices - and have taken legal action in the past. The most notable place being Etsy, where a large number of people complain that they can't sell their stuff when hundreds of other crafters blatently do.
Why am I making such a point of this issue? Because a couple of months ago I was extremely shocked to receive an email from Etsy that some of my items had been deactivated for breaching copyright. I couldn't believe it, because I've always been very careful to make sure that I can legally use those items. Here are the items that were deactivated...
No-one bothered replying to my email, however a month later I received a second email from Etsy saying the complaint had been withdrawn and I can relist those items. I've chosen not to for now, because the whole business left me quite shaken - even though I was in the right.
Now that I make bows, I will be competing with hundreds of people selling hair bows, and many, many of them will be selling items that feature these characters and, no doubt, they will make a lot of money from doing so - even saying something is "xxx inspired" breaches the copyrights and licences. I, however, will not sell any item that I am not licenced to use and will continue to make regular checks on Angel policies before using items in my cards too.
In other news...
I've also started working on my core message and a couple of item descriptions on Etsy, but they can wait till next week.
Before I join up with the fabulous Handmade Monday, I thought I'd leave you with this picture I took last week. It was the set up for taking product pictures.
Have a good week everyone x x