Victory over the copyright issue!

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.

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16 Comments on "Victory over the copyright issue!"

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10 years 4 months ago

It is too bad that Capturing Essence didn’t realize that she was doing herself a disservice in so many different ways:
1. She has left a bad impression on the chainmail community, a community that has extremely good-natured people who are willing to share their knowledge and ideas. These chainmaillers will no doubt be wary of posting designs or images for fear of having their original designs and images used without permission.
2. She has ticked off THE chainnmailling gals that she stood to learn from like yourself and your colleagues. In this process, she has divided the chainmail community, which is really too bad.
3. Her Facebook page did not even look good with so many different styles of images. It seriously lacked cohesion. It is so much better without the offending images, meaning that it wasn’t even worth it to use those images in the first place.

10 years 4 months ago

I’m so glad this (seems to) be at an end… based on a comment I think her husband posted, I think she really thought what she was doing was OK — hopefully this will be an education to her!

I did post my final thoughts here:

Thanks for keeping up on this Rebeca!

10 years 4 months ago

I’m so pleased to see a positive outcome for this! I can only hope that she has indeed learned her lesson. I have a hard time tamping down the skeptic in me that says she’s just biding her time until the spotlight is turned away from her once again.

10 years 4 months ago

I wanted just to respond to L. Bergin’s comment —

It bears reminding that about this time last year, Germany’s 39-year-old defense minister resigned after being forced to admit that he’d plagiarized more than half of his Ph.D. thesis 5 years previous. It just strikes me as unfair to assert or imply that intellectual property theft is an issue isolated to a certain age group.

10 years 4 months ago

I’ve finally started watermarking my photos. It’s going to take awhile and I should’ve done it a long time ago, but my photos haven’t been stolen/used as far as I know.