Sunday, 27 March 2016

Time to bow out.....

Been taking some time out to have a good think lately over my SixInchSquare many frustrating and stressful issues relating to it over the the last year or so and I have now come to the decision with a heavy heart....that I am stopping blogging on here. No more posts - no tutorials recipes and random ramblings...I am done.
On top of technical issues that have recently prevented me using the blog and uploading images, I've suffered increasing amounts of spam, malicious and obscene comments and I'm seemingly spending copious amounts of my precious time reporting, moderating, blocking etc it's ludicrous! I have better things to do with my time than being slave to the laptop dealing with this.
BUT the main reason for my decision has been copyright infringement and theft of my tutorials and images which came to a head this week.
I've had the odd problem over the years with stuff being used without my permission. Pinterest have been very good in removing content I have reported, but some other websites have been less then keen to co-operate. Some you will have read about on my Facebook page...but one particular case I've not posted about happened last year involving a person stealing whole paper flower tutorials from my blog, then selling as a downloadable programmes on Etsy...YES, selling it! FREE tutorial, they stole, tampered with the images, cropped, tried to remove © marks and passed off as their own sell for financial gain.....unbelievable! (well actually yes totally believable, it happens far too often nowadays grrrr :( ) Had it not been for a very nice person who happened across the Etsy shop while googling for craft tutorials, and then saw my own blog version and contacted me, I would have been completely unaware of what they had done. It's taken months of complaining and I finally found out last night that their shop has been closed. SUCCESS! YAY! Personally I do not think this is all my own doing....I have a feeling that other downloadables and artwork in their Etsy shop were probably stolen and others have also complained...maybe even threatened legal action. Whether this person realised the game was up and shut the shop themselves, or it was closed by Etsy intervening I don't know...I've had no recent communication off them...but all I'm concerned about is that it's gone, stopped...for now.
The problem now is I ask myself,  has it stopped? when will the next person steal images?...why am I putting myself through all this? Not long after I made the first complaint about the stolen tutorial, I received an anonymous comment to my blog which simply said (quote) "your images are public domain...we can do what the hell we like with them. If you don't want other people to use them...then don't put them on your blog". Considering I hadn't made the incident public knowledge, I'm assuming the comment came from the very person (Etsy shop owner/image thief) I made the report about. I don't know, but it's a coincidence for sure...and for the record they are VERY wrong...the images are NOT there for them to do the 'hell they like' with them, they are there to help and inspire and are copyrighted, all rights reserved.....this is made VERY clear throughout the blog to take the images then tamper with them to pass off as their own....then make money from them...IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! Sadly this kind of attitude is common and theft of images and artwork continues :(

I try to take efforts to protect my images, I add © marks, I embed copyright details and I also reduce the size of the images so that if anyone does copy and paste etc to their own files to reproduce, the images are small and of poor quality. It's probably the basic of protection but sadly those intent on stealing images will often be one step ahead and find their way around all this. I can only imagine that the downloadable items they were selling were of pretty bad quality which is equally annoying as I take great pains to produce quality clear and concise photographs and instructions and if any one connects this stolen, rehashed stuff back to me, my reputation is sullied.
I have had over 9 happy years blogging on the has been a hobby, something fun to do outside of work time. I've enjoyed making up tutorials, sharing my crafting knowledge but it's darn hard's doesn't come easily.....(those of you how do tutorials will fully well know this) and now what was once fun, is becoming stressful and all time consuming and ruined by some pretty mean people....
each tutorial I have provided has meant HOURS and DAYS worth of work. It involves much preparation and planning in advance, each card or piece is then photographed and all motions construction of, and details documented at EVERY stage, hundreds of photos are taken...this part can take a good day or so to complete, THEN I have to upload those images, sort, choose best to use, edit, resize, copyright mark and put in order...then it's all uploaded to the blog along with any typed in instructions, all edited again, proof read and re-edited before finally can take 3 days, even longer, to complete from planning stage to publishing the final article.....
ALL this is done in MY SPARE TIME.....AND FOR FREE. My blog is not a professional site...I am not a professional blogger...I get NO financial reward for all this. I do it for the fun and the reward that I'm sharing with crafters out there who acknowledge and appreciate my efforts.....but the theft of my tutorials and the images, hours of hard work all done from the goodness of my heart , now used for their financial gain is quite frankly soul destroying and sucks...big time :(
I am self employed, an artist and jeweller who has to put in many many hours to earn a living and I no longer cannot afford to spend precious time dealing with these people, dealing with reports, constantly monitoring this website, blocking, complaining etc....enough is enough :( 
In order to preserve my sanity I have decided to stop doing the tutorials, and all content I believe to be at risk from further theft has now been removed from this blog...this sadly means all my tutorials and any posts on my artwork etc will no longer be visible and accessible to you. I will leave the food recipes and the info on the Big Shot Plus...and info on Tatty Button, but that will be it. My StudioForty blog will still be up and running as normal and all my Facebook pages are also still in if you wish to continue seeing any of my artwork, jewellery and so forth than please join me there.
I apologise to all my lovely blog followers, and those who have been awaiting new flower tutorials. Thank you all so much for your's been 9 years of fun...but it's now time to say goodbye on here.
xxx Ange xxx