Cartoon Copyright

I want to discuss a pet peeve of mine- Copyright infringement.

At least once a week or more, I get an email from a wonderful blog reader who asks if I gave permission for one of my cartoons to appear in their Guild Newsletter, Quilt Store Newsletter, or other publication.  Usually, the answer is no, I haven’t given my permission.

This means I now have to take time away from creative pursuits to write a letter, asking them to not publish my cartoon without my permission.   I also have to now pull down all my cartoons from my blog, and replace them with heavy watermarks on each cartoon on illustration:

In most cases, Guilds or Stores do not realize that because a cartoon is posted on my blog,  it does not make it OK to borrow.   Many do not understand that my cartoon is unique to me, and it is my intellectual property.

So I want to let my regular blog readers know why all my cartoons will have large watermarks on them.

I would appreciate hearing your comments on this subject.  Regards, Carla

17 thoughts on “Cartoon Copyright

  1. Oh, I understand completely, and you are so right! I just don’t understand people who can be so thoughtless. My sister was an amazing artist and she was also frustrated by the nearly constant misuse of her work, art and intellectual property. . . I was there several times when challenged someone for copying her work. I couldn’t believe their reaction when they would laugh and try to represent it as some innocent form of flattery. . . Truly, they all knew better.

  2. Carla,

    I appreciate your blog and the ideas that you share. I do understand your need to protect your work, so I will just overlook the watermarks and continue to enjoy reading and viewing your material. How sad that many people are not willing to acknowledge an author/artist’s ownership of his/her work. Many of my friends think nothing of stealing someone else’s work. Can you tell that this is one of my pet peeves, too?

  3. Thank you for going public on this. People need to know. Your post will help you readers learn ‘good manners’, something public places need to thrive. As a blogging community we should be helping each other become aware of ‘trespasses’ and move toward common courtesy and mutual respect.

  4. There has been so much written in the quilting media in the last few years about copyright, I do not believe that quilt store owners or guild members are innocently copying your cartoons. Go ahead and watermark them, if that is what is needed to protect your intellectual property – we will contine to come here and enjoy them!

    And good for your readers for telling you about the cartoon thieves.

    Thanks for what you do, Carla. We really appreciate all the information, advice and humour.

  5. I think that its a sad commentary on the internet and what we percieve as ‘free’. I can see that cute cartoon just FINE thru the watermark! If that is what it takes..so be it.

  6. I’ve been a guild newsletter editor for over 5 years, and I would never, ever use something without permission like that. If I did get permission, I’d say so prominently under the item. It’s not just good manners, people, it’s the law!

    Honestly, though, this disregard for others doesn’t surprise me. I wish it did, but people seem to be disregarding the intellectual property of others more than ever. Google “Bento Box Quilt” and you’ll see what I mean. Tracey Brookshire is a doll and doesn’t deserve this kind of ripoff.

    Just my .25 worth.

  7. Even with permission to use copywrited work in a guild news letter will not keep the thieves from freely copying it and pasting it where ever they want to send it. Please keep the watermark! I enjoy your cartoons.

  8. I hate the fact that you have to put a watermark on your drawings. Yes, we can see them, but I think it takes something away from them. That said, I understand why you have to do it. Sometimes, I just want to take people who blatently steal a design and knock their heads together. Or maybe a Jethro Gibbs slap upside the head.

    However, I sincerely doubt that it would do any good. My feelings are that the people who steal from others, be it your artwork, items from a store, or lie on taxes, forms to get assistance, etc, simply have no ethics what-so-ever. They feel that they are entitled to what ever they want and will take what ever they want whether it is ethical or moral.

    I have worked with people who have embezzled from the company I work for, had customers who embezzled from their employers and probably thought that what they took was due to them and wouldn’t be missed. I CAN NOT and DO NOT understand how anyone can steal anything.

    Enough, my blood pressure is going up and I don’t want to get you all upset.

    Carla, do what you have to do to protect your property. I know we all understand. I appreciate all that you share with us.

  9. I agree with all the above. If a person made a unique pattern, piece of art, written material, and someone they knew bought their product and copied it for all their friends then they would get the message. I do think that sometimes people don’t THINK about it — so it’s good to have a reminder on your blog. Love your cartoons, your art work, your quilting and your sharing spirit Carla!!

  10. I’m so sorry you had to do this- but completely understand. I guess it bugs me more because you are so giving of your work. I took your quilt whispering class last October and when I emailed you a few months ago and asked if I could use some specific things you had on your website that we had learned in the class, you gave me permission and even told me where I could obtain more things I might want to use! I so appreciated that and just hate it that people take advantage of you in this way!

  11. Hi Carla. This might be a dumb question! I’m pretty unfamiliar with how this works, but I’m wondering if you do grant permission in certain cases.

  12. Hey Carla! I am still alive, just busy! As to this post, I’ve been fired exactly one time in my entire life. I had been hired/contracted by a large quilt show to teach at the show. I sent in the supply lists, etc. On my list, I require a book for the class. The author is someone I consider a friend, and without her generosity in teaching, I would have never machine quilted. I got a call from the teacher coordinator, and she insisted that no one would sign up for the class if they had to purchase the book. I explained that I used designs in the book, and it was necessary for the class. She INSISTED that I just make copies, like “she did in her classes.” I politely explained copyright, and it is not right to do this to anyone, and I would not do it. So, I got canned! I’m very proud to say that I was canned for NOT stealing! LOL!

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