And so we ask you ....
When is it acceptable to steal? What is ok to steal? Can theft ever be excused? Is it acceptable to steal, because someone has stolen from you? Is it ok to steal an idea or a design because it's not concrete?
This morning we woke up to an email from a person on the other side of the globe. She emailed to say that she had noticed that an EBAY wedding "Power Seller" from Swansea, United Kingdom was using OUR copyright images of OUR personalized plate & signature platter designs in their EBAY listings, so as to pass OUR work off, as their own.
Our "guardian angel emailer" had already purchased the product from the EBAY wedding "Power Seller", and upon realizing that she had been "duped", she reported the seller to the "powers that be" at EBAY, contacted us and also contacted the vendor to demand a full refund.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery however, Hugh and I do not feel flattered in the slightest. In fact, we take this type of theft very seriously. Nothing will make both of us see red faster than to discover that someone is using OUR designs or OUR images, without OUR permission.
This is what we do NOT understand - If a person claims themselves to be an "artist", how hard could it possibly be to come up with their OWN design, paint their OWN piece and take their OWN photo, to post in their OWN listing? Apparently for some, it is impossible to be creative otherwise, they would NOT resort to stealing from others.
Hugh and I work VERY hard to come up with personalized plate & signature platter designs, that are pleasing to our customers. We understand that not every idea is going to be totally unique however, we will NOT copy our competitor's designs (even when asked to do so). Several of us that sell personalized plates & signature platters adorn their pieces with cupcakes, wedding cakes, interlocking hearts, palm trees or comical characters. We paint these designs, because they are popular BUT, this doesn't mean that we thieve from each other. Our designs are all uniquely different and wonderful. This is interpretation, not thievery.
Our "true" competitors are creative, hard working, friendly, knowledgeable, sharing, talented and honest. Hugh and I feel blessed to be part of a community of competitors that "look out" for each other. If we notice that someone using one of our competitor's designs or images, we will notify that competitor and in return, they will do the same for us.
As for today's "incident", we contacted the EBAY "Power Seller" from Swansea, United Kingdom, to demand that they remove the nine (9) listings, which included our images. We did not receive a reply (no surprise there) however, they have since removed all the listings. We have sent notice to EBAY & we have also contacted another competitor, vis a vis their photos, that this vendor is also using.
We would like to thank our "guardian angel" emailer once again, for making us aware of this dubious wedding vendor. We are happy to report that she did receive a full refund from the thief, along with the following note, from the EBAY vendor.
"Im really sorry you feel this way but these plates are of top standard and people have ripped of my pictures as well unfortunatley so I will give you a full refund straight away."
*Shaking my head* I ask again -
When is it acceptable to steal?
What is ok to steal?
Can theft ever be excused? Is it acceptable to steal, because someone has stolen from you?
Is it ok to steal an idea or a design because it's not concrete?