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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Black Listing of Design Team Members.

  I must raise this subject, as its getting on my nerves.

Over the past few years I have been lucky enough to join Design Teams for various artists and Companies. When I started blogging, I was lucky enough to jump straight on a DT or 2, though I was completely new to blog land.

 I didnt understand blog land, I had no idea what was right and what was wrong, as there are NO RULES WRITTEN DOWN!
I also didnt think that people in the craft community behaved in a nasty fashion, very naive wasnt I?


I started working for a company, and was given a bit of information about something that was going on, some of the people who gave me the information believed they were telling the truth, they were duped like me, and it would seem we were lied to.
Something happened that resulted in myself and others finding out the truth and since then we have steered well clear of the company involved. We didnt know at the time that we were being lied to, would you? All we had were emails, some quite hysterical, and vitriolic attacks by people we didnt know. We were very confused.
Now it has been drawn to my attention that I am to be on a Black list because I USED to be on a certain Team. Even though I and others left when we found out the truth? I never said anything nasty, never left nasty comments, never got involved in the vitriolic goings on, I left when I knew, quietly. Now there is talk of a proposal going around that ANYONE who has worked on some of the more unscrupulous Companies Design Teams, is Black Listed, and should NOT be allowed to be a Design Team member on any company that sign up for this proposal.
EXCUSE ME! That happens to be a defamatory proposal, and damaging to my relationships to my Peers.
I had no knowledge of what was going on, when I found out, I behaved with impunity and withdrew from the Team. I have never left nasty messages, or been involved in any of the nasty goings on, which are still on going. But because of that you want to Blacklist me? And anyone else that comes into contact with a company you disapprove of? Future, Past and Present design team members all over the world are affected by this!
Can you please explain what gives you the right to damage my reputation in such a way?
Have you EVER had any contact with me?
Do you know why I left?
Have you EVER asked me about it?
The answer to all those questions is NO! You have NOT!
Yet you now claim the right to blacklist me?
Who made you Judge and Jury?
Where's the Innocent until proven Guilty?



I only started watermarking my cards when I realised that other people were taking the cards and posting them as their own challenge entries. I only started Copyrighting my blog when this was pointed out to me. There is no set of rules for crafters entering blog land. MOST crafters are genuinely good, kind, sharing,  law abiding, generous citizens. However there are those out there who dont abide by the unwritten code, and it would seem are taking un-watermarked images and using them without paying the artists for them. I suspect that generally, the people posting the images on Pintrest arent aware that they need to watermark them, or that they shouldnt share the image that has inspired them. Yet instead of doing the sensible thing and trying to come up with a set of guidelines for Crafters in Blog land, Crafters new and old are insulted, dictated to, and informed in a very condescending manner of what we are expected to do by some one who believes they are the only person who can say anything?
There's a lovely quote by Thumper from the Bambi film, "If you cant say anything nice, don't say nothing at all." If you're upset fine, but think about what you are doing and how you are saying it, come up with a CONSTRUCTIVE means of getting the message across instead of being sarcastic, and insulting those who you should be educating.
People draw in many ways, and gain inspiration from many sources. Some of the Main digi artists with a certain style have obviously been influenced by Disney Princess films, Big eyes, flowing hair, yet it would seem that only one or two people are allowed to draw in that style? Personally I'm NOT a fan of the big eyed digi's or stamps, I prefer proper artwork to work with, which is why I have withdrawn from many teams, but I do NOT see why only a select few are allowed to draw in that style, if anything I should think Disney and other companies should look at certain Digi artists, to see if THEIR copyright has been breached.
But I do NOT agree with taking an image and altering it slightly then re-selling it. If its your own work, then you have the rights to it, just as I have the rights to the pictures of the cards that I make. If its not yours, then you DONT have the rights do you?
 I do NOT think its okay to post unwatermarked digi's or stamp and scanned images to Pintrest. If you want a digi, go buy it, they are reasonably cheap. If you want the Stamp, go buy it, you normally get more than one for your money, even if you have to save up for it.
I do NOT agree with theft.
I do NOT agree with the idea of Blacklisting Design Team members, or Artists that had contracts with other companies.
I do NOT agree that there are only a few people who have the right to decide which person or company is Blacklisted or not!

I do not agree with the idea that a select few can be Judge and Jury, with no trial, on wether a person has acted with impunity. That they alone can decide wether or not others were duped. That they can merrily allow defamatory posts and comments to remain visible when they have been contacted about the defamatory nature of the content, insulting and hurting others business in order to draw more business to their own by playing "Poor Little Me".
There is a world wide Recession, in case you hadnt noticed. Many business are being hurt by customers finding their pockets shallower than before, or simply by the fact that they have moved on from one style to something else, Playing unfairly damages you more in the long run!
I have also noticed over quite a period of time that some of the people involved in creating this Black List have also been accused of copying others work, wether these accusations are founded or un founded is moot, as far as I am concerned.  If you live in Glass houses then dont throw stones!
This proposal affects EVERYONE who has or will ever have a desire to work on a Design Team. Who knows what company will be the next to feel the wroth of the people running this list? The fact that the people proposing this action have been accused in the past of breaching others copyright, fairly or unfairly, makes the whole thing a sham as far as I am concerned.
Quite simply this is an attempt to increase their market share at the expense of others reputations! Which in all honesty STINKS as a business practice!

Please dont think this is an off the cuff response to the talk of a black list. It isnt, this has taken 4 days for me to write this post, and is my considered view on this subject.


Lou

Edited to add this link: http://lexiesblogstardate.blogspot.co.uk/ another unhappy blogger!

20 comments:

Sandra Crosfield said...

Very well said, good on you for speaking out. xxx

Linda Simpson said...

OMG Lou what the heck has happened? I can't believe that there is a black list. I will ring you for a chat.

So Sorry that this has happened to you.

Hugs
Linda xxx

Lexie said...

Great post Lou. Shall be adding a link to it from the post which is remaining at the top of my blog, if that's ok.

My post's been added to slightly. Talk about Pots and Kettles!

xx

Gram's Treasures said...

Very well said. Somehow, the fun of colouring images is disappearing. It all kind of leaves a bad taste.

Craftyanny said...

Hi Lou
I've just came over to say 'well done you' for standing up for what you believe in.

Someone posted a link to your blog on the group you mention so I'd not be at all surprised if you get a few more visitors throughout the day.

I've just given notice to all of my DT, for personal reasons I might add but to be honest with all of this carry on at the moment I'm fairly sick and tired of blogland and FB. Now I'll make a card when I feel like it, use any image I love and see what happens from there.

Take care
Anne x

lulucker said...

Amen to all of that! x

June Nelson said...

Very well said im so sorry you had to go through this, but I agree we should be able to buy and be able to colour and be able to make what we like with whoevers images we want, if you go back all designers will have look somewhere for inspiration, even if its not blatently obvious, its very sad it has all come to this, personnaly I shall do as I wish and if no one likes what I do they dont need to visit my blog or leave me any comment its their choice, I always try to find out the truth and in the end y ou do, thanks for this I will share if that is ok with you x big huggies June xxxxxxxxxx

Denise @ kc242 said...

The sad thing is that as designers for companies, providing samples and ideas is very expensive for us. And then to be black balled is a outrage. Having to watermark our own creations and posting copy write info on top of that. I have been a designer for many years and have thousands of digitals and stamps. All of my items, especially my digitals have come honestly. Years ago even mo manning gave freebies on certain sites. I have many of them. How do
"they ". know what is legit and not. Makes you afraid to use them.
Thanks for speaking out!!

Andree said...

Thank you Lou for taking a great deal of your time to write this post. What you've said is very well considered and I wholeheartedly agree with you.
Innocent people are being dragged through the mud with no right to defend themselves. All on someone's self appointed authority. It smacks of elitism to me xx

Shelagh McCarthy said...

very well said post Lou, Blacklisting ha, who the hell do these people think they are,I agree with everythng you have said.. and good on ya for speaking up xxxx

Net said...

Very well said!

Mo Manning said...

Hi Lou, Oh my gosh -- I was notified of your post this morning when I checked the Stamp Out page. WHO has a Blacklist? Please clarify that it is not any Stamp Out member group -- Stamp Out has said over and over publicly that we will NOT allow a blacklist.

You can email me privately if you prefer. mo@mosdigitalpencil.com

xoMo
Mo's Digital Pencil

Mo Manning said...

Okay! Now I have read again (and the link at the bottom) and I do see you are talking about ME (right?)

I think you are listening to rumors that are not true. I have said over and over on the old and new SO pages that none of us at Stamp Out will abide a Blacklist -- our whole group agrees to that. So if someone told you that, I need to know who so I can set them straight (I'm pretty sure an overly impassioned crafter must have tried to speak in Stamp Out's name -- because there has been some crazy stuff in the (less than two days) since we opened that group. We let a lot of people in at once -- and did not exclude fans of Sherri Baldy and The Paper Nest (who a couple of the SO company members do have legitimate beefs with,) and it was tough to stamp out (pun intended) the usage of the word "Blacklisted"

That said, I personally -- Mo Manning -- DO have a rule about my current DT members being on Baldy's or The Paper Nest's teams at the same time they're on mine. In that case, they would have to choose for themselves which team they'd want to be on. No blacklist -- I personally just choose not have my team associated with companies who are not able to abide by the Stamp Out code of ethics that my company abides by.

. . . and . . . for the same reason I personally don't sponsor challenge blogs that associate with those 2 companies. But that's my choice. I make it for moral reasons -- ABSOLUTELY NOT MONEY.

I hope you'll email me to ask if you have any questions.

xoMo

Nicky Wilcox said...

You said it as it is there are some very sick people out there. xxx Nicky xxx

Anonymous said...

I am curious as to who has made a blacklist of designers, could you be more clear on that? I am afraid that things are getting blown out of proportion here if this is in regards to what I think it is.

Kathleen said...

There is NO blacklist, what was said is that an artist is within her rights not to allow a person onto her dt if he/she thinks they are compromising said artists beliefs. Which is as far as Im aware is ANYONES RIGHT in life. We are all allowed to have our principles and to stand by them! This rumour of blacklisted crafters list is a load of rubbish. People need to stop spreading lies and focus on what the group is about, to stop the illegal sharing of digi stamps and blatent copying of images that is slowly destroying our favourite artists and our crafting world.
Having read the comments above they are all pretty much in the same vein of, 'I will do what I want, I will colour whatever images I want and no one can tell me who I can or cant design for' is that not the same as the artist saying I wont pick A for my dt because A designs for etc ? We are all allowed make our own decisions, and if you lucky enough to get asked onto a dt, you will always have rules, some have more than others, but you are expected to abide by those rules, if you dont you leave!
Best wishes
Kat

Anonymous said...

I'm getting more and more furious about some stuff. Maurie Manning isn't superior in this business, and she can't try to brainwash people who will have a different opinion or just are true fans to her.

There wasn't a blacklist?

From Mo's keyboard:

I have NEVER (and I have never heard another SO member) use the word Blacklist except to deny there was one. We have said over and over when asked by crafters to do so that SO would NOT tell them who to buy from, or who to DT for. That it was strictly their own choice.

Ummm with a bit of reading I found this

Yes, It would be blacklisted by the Stamp Out Artists for promoting a company that was copying one of our artists.

than she adds:

One more thing -- I would say we are "boycotting" instead of "blacklisting"

Well she is saying WE so she is speaking for ALL SO affiliated companies..not cool!!

So get of your fricking high horse and just admit you're do it for your personal and monetary gain, I want all the fans and money they have, and I won't let any other artist, established or new, get the change of stealing MY money.

And to be GUTTED that Tiddly Inks and Louby Lou left that group because of this shite, and don't want to be part of doing the Mo dance. What about the artists and crafters Mo Manning accused of being "stupid, copycat amateurs"?!! They are NOT allowed to be gutted?!!

This is a sick game you're playing.

Daffodil said...

I support you every step of the way Lou.

Gill McCall said...

This is an excellently worded and constructed blog post.
You are so right that no one has the right to dictate to us as crafters who we craft for and should not and no one has the right to form a black list or a blocked list or whatever anyone wishes to call it.
This is the world of craft for god sake and not a credit company where you get a poor credit score - so in their opinion "we" DT members who have been on DTs for the "alledged" companys are now to have a poor DT score - thats utter crap.

This "SO" FB page created on sunday was new and was full of Sherri bashers. I was added on sunday without my permission i hasten to add and was booted from it on monday, for no reason. I did not infringe any of their "rules".
I Messaged Maurie (mo) herself on FB on monday which was read at 630am but she didnt have the common decency to reply to me. Typical avoidance of an issue from a nobody so why should we listen or take any heed of this silly little groups nonsence.

Rhoda said...

Hi Lou,
I saw your post over on the MTC forum and I wanted to say that I stopped by your blog. Your creations are gorgeous!
I've been a digital scrapper for many years but never got into digital stamping.
I was wondering if there is a digi stamping forum to learn more about using digis and the markers. Do you have any markers that you recommend for a beginner?
thanks, Rhoda