When Crafters Do Bad Things: Using Images From Other Artists To Sell Your Work Not Only Misleads Your Customers, It’s Just Plain Rude. And Illegal.

Chainmaille Artisan “Capturing Essence” Is Passing Off Stolen Images As Her Own Work. Help Us Stop Her.

Please read the update on this situation!

A post on Maillers Worldwide alerted me to the fact that a business on Facebook might be stealing one or more of Blue Buddha’s images.  No big deal, I thought.  We encounter people using our images without permission every few weeks.  Usually as soon as we let themknow, they apologize and immediately remove the image or add a credit to our company with a link back to our website.  It’s clear they never even realized they did something wrong, and they move quickly to correct the situation.

So it is very rare that I will call a business out for inappropriate behavior. In fact, I can’t remember ever doing it on our company blog before.  But one business has crossed the line.

Capturing Essence has posted many images on her page on Facebook that have been published years before, by other artisans, including two Blue Buddha images.  I reported the B3 images to Facebook, and they have been removed.  I would’ve been content to move on, except I know she is still displaying many images that are not hers.  She claims no wrongdoing and insists all work and photos on her page are her own.  I don’t doubt that some of the images on her page are hers, but others … well, look at the list below and decide for yourselves.  If she were innocent and all these other people stole her images, why doesn’t she say so, instead of deleting all comments that refer to the other images?  Capturing Essence, if you’re reading this, please leave a comment below offering evidence that the photos you claim are your own, are indeed your own!

Fellow crafters and supporters of the arts, I ask you to visit Capturing Essence’s page on FB and let her know that stealing images from others and claiming them as her own is not appropriate.  PLEASE keep a respectful tone as you do this.  I do not want this to get turned around so that we are considered the harassers, and she the victim.  You can feel free to simply link back to this blog post, too.

Here is a list of the images that are questionable.  Facebook may be taking some of them down as I write, so know that I will come back and adjust this list periodically.  I have also contacted all the rightful owners.

UPDATE: Capturing Essence has removed most images, as indicated below!  Woo!

full persian 6-in-1

This image was posted on Red Panda’s website several years prior to appearing on Capturing Essence’s page on Facebook. See first link in list at right.

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.redpandajewelry.com/products/full-persian-chainmail-basics-bracelet

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original –  http://www.longcanyon.com/YOJ/2005.htm (scroll down to week 17, Celtic Visions.  Refer to crazymoke’s blog post about the photo manipulation on this image.)

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.etsy.com/listing/37481945/sterling-silver-barrel-chainmaille

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.finechainmailjewelry.com/byzantine-chainmail-necklace.html

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://chainmaillebymboi.blogspot.com/2009/02/helm-chainmaille-pattern.html

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://youvegotmaille.blogspot.com/2009/02/february-etsyblogger-donnapool.html

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.mailleartisans.org/weaves/weavedisplay.php?key=558

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.flickr.com/photos/redcrow/1279380570/

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.fishlips3.com/class_description.htm (scroll down to chain maille section)

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://wardscorner.net/maillepicts.htm (scroll down about halfway)

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.phoenixchainmaille.com/finejewelry.htm  (waterfall earrings)

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.longcanyon.com/YOJ/2007.htm (scroll down to Double Flower, Feb 26)

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://chainmaillebymboi.com/sterling-silver-and-copper-tryzantine-bracelet/

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.etsy.com/listing/65953685/snowflake-chainmaille-pendant

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.spiderchain.com/custom/index.shtml (scroll down to “HANDFLOWER”)

SUCCESS!  IMAGE REMOVED!
the original – http://www.flickr.com/photos/crazymokes/4349267270/in/photostream  (although the images are not cropped alike, a close examination reveals them to be the same image, and a blog post about stolen photos from the artist shows this to be so as well)

There are other images that I believe to be stolen, but I do not have proof.  If you recognize any other images and know the rightful owner, please contact them and share this blog post.

It is a shame that in the face of all this evidence, she still insists that the photos are hers.  Businesses like this make it that much harder for honest artisans to make a living.  And believe me, I want the honest artisan to make a living!

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32 Comments on "When Crafters Do Bad Things: Using Images From Other Artists To Sell Your Work Not Only Misleads Your Customers, It’s Just Plain Rude. And Illegal."

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Guest
6 years 7 months ago

Wow this is very interesting. My site hasn’t been up very long, but I would imagine I would be upset if someone used one of my images without giving me credit! How did you come across this? Is there a strategy to finding your images on the web?

Thanks!
~Katie Rose

Member
6 years 7 months ago

A lot of the time, it is really by coincidence that you come across something like this. That said, you can use Google Image match to see if you images are being used elsewhere: http://support.google.com/images/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1325808

Guest
sue
7 years 2 months ago

wow! i know image theft in real estate is wrongfully done all of the time but never knew in this arena too. it really is sad

Guest
7 years 2 months ago

I do not create chainmaille, but I do know some of the people who have had their images “borrowed” by this person. It makes me wonder if she is or was making chainmaille, but hers didn’t look nearly as good as the pieces she is “showing”. It gives the potential buyer a false sense of quality and workmanship.They think they are buying what they see when indeed they are not. If she persists and it sounds like she is, a lawsuit may be coming her way. Like Larissa, I shake my head because I just don’t understand why.

Guest
7 years 2 months ago

This happened to us too on our website madebyhippies.com except someone on ETSY was stealing our images and then SELLING them as a sheet of digital images to others to make those scrabble tile collage pendants. That lady couldn’t figure out what she had done wrong either and it took forever!!! to get her to remove it. In the world of images on the internet, it’s SO hard to protect your own photos. Good work getting them taken down!!

~the crafty cat~

Guest
Wing
7 years 2 months ago

I just read the posts and all I can say is WOW! I am a mailer and a photographer. I am proud of the pieces I made and like many others spends hours positioning and taking many pictures just to find that great one that shows off my pieces the best.

If she is a mailer and also claims to like taking pictures then why does she not spend more time taking pictures of her own pieces instead of scouring the internet to steal other people pictures of items that she did not make to begin with?

Thank you Rebeca for doing all that you do. :)