Jul 27, 2007

Angel Policies are Real Devils

I can't believe I have never blogged about this! Angel Policies as applied to much of the scrapbook industry are ridiculous! I can completely understand a stamp company limiting the use of a stamp. I mean, it was purchased ONCE and has the potential to be used many times for profit. That's not fair to the stamp company who is in the business of selling as many stamps as possible. But, to apply the same thing to scrapbook paper, stickers and embellishments is unimagineable for the most part. Yet, some of the biggest companies out there do just that.

Let me get this clear in my head - scrapbook paper, stickers and embellishments are meaningless in their little clear packages. No one ever hung a Jolee's package on the wall and called it art. These things, like paint, yarn, beads, etc. are specifically made to be incorporated into a finished piece, but they are not finished pieces on their own like say, the Mona Lisa! Can you imagine if Delta told you that you couldn't use their craft paint on a craft you were going to sell unless you got WRITTEN PERMISSION???

So, I buy all those scrapbook supplies with the idea that I will mix them with each other and add my photos and create a unique page. That is permissable, until I try to then charge someone for doing it.

Suddenly, these companies put themselves on par with Renoir and their products become "art". And, if I mix and match them on a page with someone else's photos for pay, I am a criminal. YET, I must purchase all new products for each page. I am not scanning a single sheet of paper into my computer to print out and use many times, I am buying new paper each time I need to make a page. Logic would say, "That's a good thing" for that company - who is in the business of SELLING THEIR PRODUCTS!

But, alas, no. Some see it differently. They see it as copyright violation. HUH?! It's a PIECE OF PAPER, PEOPLE! I don't think anyone who designs scrapbook paper will ever get inducted into the Artists Hall of Fame (there isn't really one).

Now, some companies limit your use to 50 pieces. I can see that. At a certain point, you have turned into a factory using their stuff. But, most people just want to use a sheet or two in their custom scrapping service. Others will say that you can't combine their stuff with OTHER brands. That's silly - get over yourself. Others will say that you must get written permission. Some will say that you may not consign your work to be sold in a shop. While others say no to anyone charging to make things with their products. All of them live in fear that you will cut their copyright off their product and someone might not know it was THEIR stuff. Okay, fine, I can understand that - but isn't providing the customer with a list of copyright information going to cover that?

Should you live in fear of the ANGEL POLICY? Nope, absolutely not! If your customer buys the products from the LSS (or even from you at retail prices), then I believe they have a right to do whatever they want with them. Even Creative Memories acknowledges that their consultants can make books using CM products provided by customers. Once a customer buys it, they can use it any way they see fit and do anything they want short of actually violating the copyright by claiming they MADE the products. So, scrap on scrapbook artist! There's nothing to fear. Where it can get sticky is when you are doing premades. Then people start having opinions. Of course the answer is simple there too - just find a company who isn't all wrapped up in their products as "art" and use them instead. Some companies understand that artists starve for the sake of art while businesses sell products for the sake of profit...


Anonymous said...

Kim -
I'm one of those scrappers-for-hire who doesn't get caught up in the Angel Policy hoop-la. All supplies for my client albums are purchased for that client specifically ... and the client reimburses me for those expenses. So basically she purchased the supplies herself (through a personal shopper). :o)

Angel Policies are a hassle and really not worth my time (time is money, remember!). If that company doesn't want my business, then I certainly won't give it to them. It's just silly, IMHO.


Amy said...

I whole-heartedly agree! If I am buying your product, what exactly is the problem here? The ONLY reason I would see for limiting someone's use is because they don't know where it's going or how it might be represented (think Cookie Monster on a naughty card or something). But to punish the rest of us for those tiny few who might misrepresent their product is just craziness. I was actually told by Sandylion that I couldn't put their licensed products in a page kit. What???? That's totally insane. It's called bundling, people. I'm not even taking the darn things out of their packaging. Sheesh. So yes, your blog hit a nerve with me today. LOL.

Me said...

Yet... Sandylion sells their stickers in Dollar Stores. That seems more damaging to their brand than allowing you to mix them with other products in a professional presentation.

Stephanie said...

This was an awesome post and I don't see why these scrapbooking companies don't understand. Great points and thank you for the angel policy for that company.

The Cute & Adorable, Yet Ever So Humble, mE said...

Oh my goodness! I totally agree! I think that Angel Policies aren't angels at all... It seems ridiculous to pay good money for something and then only be able to use it for your own personal viewing. You don't see Moda (fabric) telling seamstresses that they can't sell clothing made from Moda fabric without written permission... LOL!

leldot said...

glad to have found this site. making handmade cards to sell and going crazy about what things I can use or not.
thanks, dot

Anonymous said...

The original and most important underlying principle of an Angel Policy is to not allow mechanical or electronic reproduction. This makes perfect sense in our growing digital world. It does not make sense to allow someone to buy a stamp, or sticker or scrapbook paper and allow the buyer to make a digital copy to use over and over and over again on for sale products. This "one purchase and many uses" is what they are trying to stop.

Shona said...
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