UPDATE – All of the images in question have been removed! Yay! It took about 24 hours for that to happen, and I know that in this time, we collectively left hundreds of comments on her page (which were quickly deleted). We did it!
Late last night, I wrote of the businesswoman who was in copyright breach by using other maillers’ images and claiming them as her own on her page on Facebook. At that point, all of my images had been removed, but I just couldn’t sit back and watch such blatant violation continue to happen in the chainmaille community.
So many of you were angered by this situation as well. You shared the post and my comments on FB. You went to her wall, pointing out the URLs of the original images.
Your comments were very quickly deleted, sometimes within seconds. And she continued to claim that she did nothing wrong.
Every cloud …
Her immediate action was to watermark the images. Obviously, watermarking your intellectual property in this day and age is a great idea, and I support that. However, she also cropped and watermarked a few images that were clearly not hers! Some of the photo manipulation has been documented on fellow mailler crazymoke’s blog. These manipulations can be difficult to spot at a glance, especially to non-maillers. But—as several maillers have pointed out—it is statistically impossible to have two separate images of maille drape in exactly the same way, with the seams of the rings in the same positions, the reflections the same, etc. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to “prove” this to Facebook, unless the rightful owners of the images continually report those photos as copyright infringement. (No one except the rightful owner can file a copyright violation report on Facebook.)
[NOTE – these images have also since been removed. Yay!]
…has a silver lining
On the other hand,
most none of the images on my long list are no longer on her page on FB! So it seems that, at least, she recognizes that it is not appropriate to keep those images on her page. Yay! (I do, by the way, have screenshots of many of these images when they were on her page … just in case that ever would come in handy.) Perhaps the fans who continue to loyally support her will wonder what ever happened to all those other designs she once had on her page.
As artists, we take it personally and feel violated when someone wrongs us. And part of us may want them to be punished. But that rarely happens. That’s just not how the world works. We may think it is unfair that her fans believe she has done no wrong, and we may not agree with her suppressing the hundreds of comments made on her page over the past few days. But
if she removes now that she’s removed all the questionable images, I will at least feel as though we accomplished what we set out to do. This outcome likely could not have been achieved by any of us fighting her alone; it really did take all of us banding together.
Thank you to all who have come out and will still come out to support this issue! As artists, we really do need to protect our work. I hope the owners of the images that get stolen on Facebook always report image theft to Facebook. And I will keep an eye on this business. The optimist in me wants to believe that somehow, she’s learned from all this, and will turn over a new leaf.
Although, I won’t lie, an apology would’ve been nice.