Friday, June 28, 2013

Letter to the fellow crafters by Mo Manning

I had to share this letter because I know how much Mo is struggling on a daily basis to educate people about the right way to use (digital) stamps. I'm saddened to see she has reached this point where she has to make appeals to the crafter public so they stop the sharing and let her live.
It's very hard to be an artist. My sister Lia is working on 10 projects at a time and is lucky my parents still support her. All she manages to make is pocket money. And I will be open here and state that on a regular month our stamps income is not more than 20-30$.
We're lucky we're small and not in the situation Mo is into... but she's worked very hard to get where she is... so to our lovely readers, please head over to her blog and show her you're there and you support us all.
Thank you!

Letter to The Craft Club (and to all others "sharing" images on Pinterest and elsewhere)

Hey there, this is Mo Manning from Mo's Digital Pencil.  -- I see by your blog posts as well as your posts in your Facebook Group that you are a nice person who tries hard to do right.  I see that you're active in a lot of charities, and that you love your family and friends.  So I'm assuming that you don't understand that you are stealing from me.  But I'm writing today to tell you firmly that what you are doing is ABSOLUTELY stealing, and this must stop because you, my dear, are personally helping to put companies like mine out of business.

It is against the law for you to upload images you don't own the copyright to to the internet for others to share. (In fact when you agree to the terms of use for Pinterest, or Facebook or Flickr, Photobucket, NING, or any other online host, you are promising not to upload any material you do not own the copyright to.)

As I said, I'm sure you hadn't considered that this type of "sharing" might be a criminal act, but the law does see it that way.  Even more importantly in my opinion, is that it's so morally wrong -- and I would think, by your talk of "care packages" and "troops" and "mother's day" you would agree with me.

Think about it.  Every image that you pass around on Pinterest or in a group like this, or via email is then passed around again by the people who get it free from you.  Pretty soon -- and I am telling you this from my own depressing experiences this year --nobody needs to buy the stamp anymore because it's available for FREE thanks to you.  Some of what "USED TO BE" my most popular images (including the one you have in your album here) no longer sell  in my shop.  My income has dropped more than 30% this year.  Can you imagine if someone suddenly cut off 1/3 of your income?  Would you be able to pay your rent?  Feed  your children?

Now look at the huge collection of Magnolia "digis" you say are from your personal collection.  I've seen those all over Pinterest, so I'm pretty sure you mean you collected them from Pinterest and did not scan in the stamped images yourself.   Now the thing is that Magnolia does not create digital images at all, so someone (or many someones) have scanned in all their stamped images and are sharing them as digis.  EVERY SINGLE digital Magnolia image you see or share is STOLEN.  A customer may not make their own "digi" from a rubber stamp.  If you want the digital version, buy it from the store.  If the company doesn't make digital stamps, you are just out of luck -- just as you'd be out of luck if a book you wanted only came in hardback and wasn't available for your e-reader.  (Or maybe you could write to the company and suggest they sell some of their images in digital form.)

Digital stamps -- even ones given as "freebies" are not allowed to be shared except by the artists themselves.  It is NOT OKAY to share a freebie on Pinterest or anywhere else.  Stealing an image from an artist is "as bad" as shoplifting, and even more harmful as then our work is copied and shared by countless others thanks to that first illegal share.

Let me repeat -- there should not be a SINGLE ONE of my, or any other stamp companies' unwatermarked (neither colored nor black and white) stamp images either posted, sent or shared online by crafters.  Anywhere. PERIOD.

Is that so hard to understand?

So, my dear, I hope you take my words to heart - and I mean that.  Because until allcrafters (no matter how nice they are in real life) realize that art is NOT FREE --and until they stop sharing and stop using images they haven't paid for -- crafters like you are personally responsible for destroying the businesses of already struggling artists.  It's not fair to the artists, and it's not fair to our "real" fans who do pay for the art they love and want to use.



  1. thank you so much for sharing this post here on your blog. it's horrible what is happening to everyone's artwork. you are wonderful to support Mo and the others.

  2. Yes! Good on you Mo! I for one pay for my digi's unless I am lucky enough to be given them by the company when one of the Challenge blogs I work for is given one. I purchased two digi's from Mo yesterday - they are so cheap anyway, why not! I support Mo and what she is trying to do with this letter and big hugs to you too Laura for posting it!

  3. You're right, Susan. They aren't overly priced. And in our case Whimsy has sale periods every month where you can get them even cheaper! We had even under 1$ digis... is it that much? For us every penny counts. It helps my sister go on, it encourages her to create more images for crafters to work with. It's what she does for a living, it's her talent and her hard work, her college and highschool years spent in art schools. She should be rewarded for the work she does just like we all are in our own jobs.

    Just think about all those patterned papers, glues, embellishments, ribbons, machines and all the rest... you pay for them and some are really expensive... why not give up 1$ for a stamp you like?

    Like I said, we're not yet affected by this and I haven't seen any of our images stolen (= we have great fans that respect our work and we thank them wholeheartedly!) but it saddens me to see this happening. And I've seen how vicious these guys can get too... creating secret FB groups so they can share and e-mailing the free images to whole lists of people which forward those e-mails to even more people... so in the end your image is being shared for free behind your back and no one buys it anymore.

    I hope Mo will get more supporters and people on her side because I completely agree with her and I know her struggles.

    Hugs to all the fair crafters out there!

  4. well said mo and great to repost laura!!!


Thanks for commenting :). Keep watching to see if you're the lucky winner of my digis!

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