I know about copyright, I’m in a business that knows full well what it means and it annoys the heck out of me every time I discover I’ve been ripped off, but somehow I thought this was different. I was wrong. Shane gave me a lecture about what I can and cannot use from the internet so now I know. I’m smart in some things but this totally went right over my head.
All the pictures in the internet are untouchable if they contain a company label. In my stupid brain, I believed if I used a cartoon I was advertising them. What a putz! I didn’t know you had to purchase the rights to use them on a blog. I’m angry with myself for not thinking it through and of course, I will never do it again. But…. paying $178.00 today was excessive for the use of their itty bitty drawing of two stick women discussing weeds. Perhaps these companies splash their cartoons all over the map to trap people into using them so they can then track and fine them. Really, who would pay $178.00 for such a dinky design? I can’t get that price for detailed patterns that take hours to draw, let alone a poor sketch that took five minutes!
So from now on no funny cartoons with my stories. I called the License Compliance Service company that is working on behalf of CartoonStock Ltd. today to see if I could get a reprieve for my first offense but I could tell they were well prepared. It was icy and they were firm. They said it was not to be used by Social Media. I asked why their image could be plastered all over FaceBook but not a personal story on a blog. The woman said I own my website. Apparently we don’t own our FB pages? It sure hurt to pay that money; the costly lesson is like a stab to the heart, after the blade ricocheted off my wallet.
I think wow, if I went after everyone that copied and ripped off my designs over the years, with that kind of sledge hammer attitude, and collected that kind of penalty for each, why I’d be down in the Bahamas sucking on Goombay Smashes through a big long straw. I’d be retired and sitting on a cushy bank wad.
I’m one of those people who respect copyright law in all walks of life. Others are out there ripping stuff off all over the place and get away with it….I feel sort of picked on. Like getting pregnant the first time you have sex at 15, not fair! It wasn’t like I was making money off my weed story. This wasn’t a major crime, but the heft of the fine seemed a bit over the top. I would have paid $25.00, said “oops I’m so sorry, I will never do it again” and not let it burn my arse for the rest of the evening. I just think $178.00 is excessive. Yes, I know I’m wrong and don’t have a leg to stand on….I’ll get over it…..
I’m writing this for cathartic purposes and to spread the awareness so no one else has to learn the hard way!
On a happy note, I'll finish my "Hook Nook" Pillow this evening. I'm loving how the two K's connect.