Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sarah Kay -- The Paper Shelter





Do you call this Imitation or Inspiration?  Feel free to discuss.

UPDATE: The Paper Shelter has quickly removed the two images based on Sarah Kay's designs from their shop.  We at Stamp Out applaud The Paper Shelter for accepting responsibility for the similarities in the two images, and thereby respecting the original artist's copyright. :)

45 comments:

  1. This is sad to see. I would call it imitation.

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  2. Too many similarities, especially in the second image!

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  3. It's so sad to see this done. I see far too many similarities in both images. :(

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  4. They are just tooooo close to be originals so imitation it is!! But SOOOO sad! :(

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  5. I have always loved Sarah Kay images with there cuteness! When The Paper Shelter first started up I thought wow what lovely images so bright and fresh looking! I would never have known that paper shelters images were very similar until I had seen this where you have put the images side by side. I have few of Paper shelters images and it's sad to think they may have been a copied version from someone else and I didn't know :-(

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  6. You know I have seen those digis when shopping at TPS - and I own both the clearstamps by Sarah Kay / Stampavie and I got other digis from TPS than those ones - but I've never connected them before. Seeing them next to eachother like that, I think there's a bit too much similarities, obviously a LOT of inspiration has been lifted from Sarah Kays images - but the TPS images are great works of art - not like those awful copycat artists out there... I conclude it's not copyright infringement, the TPS artist loved the elements on the girls - so she made her girls pose and wear the same - just borderline bad judgement to not change them up more ;)

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  7. I agree with Hilde. I have several Sarah Kay images and only one TPS. Until you put them side by side I would never have thought anything of it. I like both images, but TPS is very borderline that I can understand why many would think imitation.

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  8. I too, have both Sarah Kay & TPS and have never known how similar they are. Im sorry to say that Im undecided, I agree with Hilde & Amanda (both have explained wonderfully) that its a very bad case of not changing them more and yet, I also think that TPS has been inspired so much by the beauty & cuteness of Sarah Kay. I have many digi stamps from various designers so it would take me years to be able to compare them all. I do not, knowingly, buy/download copied images from the designers that I know so well. I sometimes wish, now, that I had stuck to rubber stamps & the "old faithful" few images for each subject as none of this argument would ever apply to me., as I have, now got so many digi stamps, I cant really make my mind up.
    I found very similar with Sherri Baldy & Heather Valentin Stamps. I have loads of Sherri Baldy (& I didn't realise that she was already "on the bad list" as if, I had known about the "Stamp Out Stamp Thieves" campaign, I would NOT have brought any very similar images as I do believe that theft is theft. I have, since discovering this information about Sherri, NOT brought any more of her images & will continue to keep her on my blacklist.
    It is very sad, too sad, that "new" designers of digital or rubber stamp images do NOT have enough imagination of their own to create unique images., but also, to be fair, there are WAY too many cute images of young girl/women images out in the stamp land, and far too few men inspired creations. There might be more women than men in the world but lets be fair.
    Admin: I sincerely apologise for taking this discussion of track.
    As I re-read this back before publishing, I now know that my mind is going towards IMITATION... this is so sad to see on the TPS designer(s).

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    1. Marg it is a shame that you are believing their lies. Go look up the facts yourself. The release dates, everything. They are bullying and harassing and there is no truth to crap about Sherri. This message will be deleted by them so they can keep it one sided. Believe me.

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    2. Acutally, Sher, you know I don't delete opposing viewpoints (this is Mo) just because they're opposing. You are free to say this -- but the evidence contradicts you, and evidence is all we care about here. Anyone with eyes can see which artist can really draw and which one is copying. Anyone with eyes can also see the evidence that Krista's art was first. Sorry!!

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    3. the sad thing is that it isn't only Krista.... there are other artists who's images have been copied/replicated by this same person. that extends beyond coincidence. that is not bullying or harassment. that is just what my own 2 eyes are showing me.

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  9. Im not sure that Veronica and Pedro of The Paper Shelter were aware that their images were to close for comfort, but I will make sure that our Design Teams are aware of the similarity of these images and will remove them straight away from our Libraries. They are both old TPS images that have been around for quite awhile so whether they were inspired by Sarah Kay, I carnt tell, that you will have to ask the designers.
    All I can do is apologise to those people who have already bought them. Shirley Chalmers Co Design Team Leader for The Paper Shelterxxxx

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    1. Thank you, I, for one appreciate you saying what you have. I have loads of TPS images & papers & my eldest daughter was brought up with Sarah Kay all over her bedroom & toys galore..now I have lots of her stamps.
      {{hugs}} that this is all sorted asap

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    2. Thank you Marg, its come as a big surprise to us girls as it has Im sure to the two owners and artists of The Paper Shelter, hopefully I will have more information later today.
      The design teams have been informed of this problem and WILL NOT use either of these images again, so please accept our apology for this. Shirley A Chalmers Co.Design Team Leader of The Paper Shelter.

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    3. Shirley, that's awesome -- we at Stamp Out are also aware that a company can unintentionally purchase an image done by an artist who has been "overly inspired" (to the point of copying) another artist's work. If you can get this sorted, let us know at Stamp Out and we will put a notice on the post that this HAS been fixed. xoMo

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  10. I think Sarah Kay is hugely popular and have been for a good few years, I don't think they were intentionally copied as all their images share similarities so you instantly recognise them as TPS. However I do think those Sarah Kay images must have been at the back of the designers mind, on the peripheries so to speak, hence the close similarities in the images,so I do think in this case it is inspiration rather than imitation although the second makes it a close call most definitely.

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  11. My opinion is that both of these images are way to close to call! The first one, even the shape of the face, the posture - way way to close - definitely imitation. The second image, well definite imitation - come on, just swapping out the hands and different eyes. The clothes are almost identical, even down to the tank top!

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  12. Both of these images have now been removed from The Paper Shelter website, and all I can say again is sorry, I cannot say whether either of these images were inspired by the Sarah Kay designs but I can assure you that they are no longer for sale and that the Design Teams WILL NOT use them for their card design. Many thanks Shirley A Chalmers Co.Team Leader for The Paper Shelter.

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  14. The Bewitched night is a very old image and the one belonging to Wee stamps was only added to the library back in 2012, ours has been on the website a lot longer, perhaps we could start a witch hunt on this, just be careful that you don't start seeing all the images all blending into each others, of course there will be similarities because we are rather limited to exactly how much our bodies will rotate, so its not surprising that some of each other images are alike.

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  15. The particular two that were put side by side here are the ones we're talking about. If there are/were others we would do a side by side of those. We are very careful not to be overly picky.

    The court would ask; "would an unbiased observer expect this second drawing could have been created without using the original drawing as a reference?" If the court believes the second image could NOT have been made without referencing the first, it would probably be determined to be a "derivative" of the first -- and an infringement. ESPECIALLY when the person copying is obviously in the same field as the original artist (vying for the same customers!) and ESPECIALLY as you said, if there are several examples of copying by the same person.

    Anyone who is IN the art business can pretty easily see when an older piece they're familiar with is copied by another artist. Also, remember, being talented does not necessarily equate with being ethical. On the other hand, pointing things out so that ethical companies "fix" mistakes is what we're after.

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  17. well there is most certainly an influence. I don't think anyone could doubt that. sure makes me shake my head and go 'hmmmmmmmmm'....... although I seem to be doing that more and more these days.

    so very glad to see that their DT co-ordinator popped by and was proactive. that is fantastic!

    I am currently spending several hours every day over on Pinterest reporting images. I have a standard message I copy and paste into the form. I'm sure they cringe over there every time they see my name pop up. I truly don't care though if it gets the illegally posted images off of the boards. I'll be the squeaky wheel for you and Krista and all of the other folks who are being taken advantage of! :)

    I've heard about the new FB group. sorry - don't FB, but I'm with ya all the way! let me know what else I can do!

    hugs, hugs, and more hugs!

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  18. Mo, I have no idea why you would be apologising to Sher. The evidence is clear cut, simple...if people choose to wear rose tinted glasses that is their choice....However, re Krista, facts are facts and cannot be argued with.

    It is clearly imitation. All imitations I have seen so far are obvious...it is clear who the real talented artist is and they are the ones who will still be in business. But hey, what do I know, that is just my opinion....Will you cut this post as I am being honest? Absolutely Ridiculous and childish behaviour that is going to lead to some costly court cases.

    Finally, if I am wrong in my opinion, why have The Paper Shelter taken action to rectify a situation. It may be in error or in hindsight but, if the post had not gone up then the aim and purpose of it would not have been achieved. Well done to those who see the woods for the trees so to speak. Best Wishes, Sonia :)

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  19. Hi everibody,

    My name is Pedro González Morán, the illustrator behind The Paper Shelter (the other one who does the hard work of inking and painting our images is my wife Veronica Atanacio).

    As an ilustrator, I always try to draw images that I like, so I can enjoy drawing them as much as the final result. But I also study the market they are aimed, the tastes and opinions that the public demands. So this way I take references and try to inspire my drawings, always trying to give my style to all that I do. Nothing is further from my intention to copy the work of another, because who would be in a worse place copiying is myself. Not only would be taking away value to the work of others, but I would be belittling my own efforts.

    I have always drawn, since childhood. I've always wanted to dedicate myself fully to the drawing, and I've made up for it. I attended graduate career in Art History, at the University of Oviedo, and a BA in Visual Arts IUNA (National Universitary Institute of Arts) in Buenos Aires, with specialization in drawing. I have devoted much time and effort to this. I've drawn all kinds of illustrations. I have been a concept artist in video game development, I made posters, I have illustrated collectible card games (the Oz CCG http://orionsbell.com/) and developed board games. You can see some examples on Deviantart (http://p-g-moran.deviantart.com/). Also Veronica, who has participated in publications such as Exotique and Expose, Ballistic (you can see her portfolio on CGSociety http://folkvangar.cgsociety.org/gallery/).

    If you look for originality, anyone can come to our shop and check that we have enough variety in style and ideas for anyone to think that we need to copy the work of other artists. I must also say that, although we have been very lucky with our store, we don't maintain it for business: it's something we love, that emerged as a small home project and has grown through the heart, love and dedication that we put, from the first pencil sketch to the last small administrative task of the store, and with the support of our DT and loyalty of our customers.
    We really don't feel worthy of being on a blog called "of shame" or even nearby. It's very insulting, we are not the kind of people who may deserve that description.


    Both Veronica and I have been published, and like anyone it bothers us to see copies of our work. We have allways supproted your initiative and your blog, we have a banner in our blog since we started it (and we'll keep it because we refuse piracy, image thievery,etc). We keep seeing images so similar to our artwork, it strikes us, but we didn't go and post it anywhere. What REALLY annoy us, and happens all the time, is to find our work being pirated, or even resold in stores we all well known. We could spend days sending emails discusing if this is or not allowed.

    But say what is and what is not a copy is a matter of nuances, and for me extremely subjective. I think it's in everyone's opinion, and certainly in many cases this goes beyond the artist's intention. Obviously in this case the degree to which the image is inspired by the other leads to questions, so it has already been removed. I do not want anyone to feel offended, copied or imitated, or enter into discussions or witch hunts. I just want to keep doing what I enjoy, have fun drawing and sketching.

    Sorry for the post extension...

    Best wishes,

    Pedro González Morán
    www.thepapershelter.com

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    1. Hi Pedro -- actually, there is no question that both those images were based on the Sarah Kay illustrations, and you could easily be sued for that by the copyright holder. I am sure you simply didn't know that it was wrong -- I know a lot of artists (even technically talented ones like you certainly are) who do NOT know that it's illegal to use another artist's work for direct reference. But it is!

      Email me at mo@mosdigitalpencil.com if you'd like to talk to me privately. I would love to direct you to some information on copyright law so you can educate yourself.

      Also, we'd be happy to have you join us on the new private SO fan page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/138498463022532/ - this is a topic that is always important to discuss.

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  20. I see this page and I can not believe it, this is very sad. I wonder from what moral place you feel able to publicly humiliate people without the necessary knowledge. Who do you think you are to point and insult to anyone, and then submit it to a public debate (trial) without anyone's request or authorize? No one can get up in the morning and decide on "their own judgment" be a prosecutor, just because "it feels right". Not that simple (thank God!).
    You think you are pointing out something illegal, but are you sure that slandering and insulting "publicly" is legal?
    I took the time to observe the images of who seems to be behind this and I could point a dozen of artists who may feel very reflected in his/her work. But what do I know? Do I have all necessary information to do so?
    Behind these screens are people with feelings that can feel very affected by these allegations. We must learn to measure the impact of our words and our actions.
    It leaves me very shocked and sad all this. Defending the rights is much more complex, more human and more serious than this. Witch-hunts do not defend anyone, not build, only destroy and place who is accusing in a much more questionable place than the one he/she is questioning.
    Hopefully, also posted my message and let planted a reflection.
    Sorry if my english has mistakes, not my natural language.

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    1. I so agree with you Micaela, the problem is made worse when maybe the person they are pointing a finger at maybe have been copied in the first place and their image could have been around longer than the one they feel has been copied.
      Its really turning into a witch hunt and we know what happens then, it can turn out into something we wish had never been instigated, and also just be careful you arnt libelling the wrong person in the first place, its better to talk to the so called offender in the first place and give them the chance to remove the images if they feel that there is a case, than jumping in and labelling them outright.
      I hope that this will happen in the future, I agree when the image is a blatant copy but just have your facts correct first.

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  21. I fully applaud your efforts in stamping out image theft, I did not see the two images referred to in this post but can conclude from the comments that they were indeed very similar - clearly TOO similar - to the Sarah Kay images that apparently inspired them in the first place. I post the message from Mo's Blog re Stamping Out Image Theft" as a comment regularly (particularly on Pinterest where display of images for download without any sign of copyright is rife) Despite wanting to have artists rights preserved, which I most certainly do, I must say I was uncomfortable when reading some of the comments here, particularly the rather high-handed tone adopted by Mo in her comment to Pedro from Paper Shelter; I had presumed prior to reading his comment that he had in some way claimed these images as his own AFTER being called out on it...but it would seem he was not given the opportunity to assess the situation and remove the offending images from his shop (which he ultimately did do) before being crucified here! Perhaps the "shoot first ask questions later" way of doing things is not always the best, I felt that Pedro is genuinely distressed that he has been nailed to a wall of shame! I have no affiliation with either company, I am a business owner myself and do understand some of the challenges faced by business owners and the frustration felt when you are doing "the right thing" and perceive others are not, however, nuking the enemy may not be the only solution; perhaps a conversation first may be the way to go.

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    1. I actually agree with you -- and in the future I will not put up images until after I have tried (at least!) to have a conversation with the artist. (It was my decision alone to put this particular side by side up in the first place, and I think I have just reached a breaking point with the number of violations and the amount of money I have spent on lawyers the past year and a half.)

      Pedro has done a very good job responding to this issue and I really do commend him and think he's very talented.

      xoMo

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  22. Is it possible for you to post the proof that the Sarah Kay image was indeed the first to be created. I'm curious because I would love to know how you decide who is the offender and who has been copied. Until that happens I will reserve judgement as I don't have all the facts.

    I also agree that putting things on here before giving the potential offender the right to defend themselves and rectify the situation is unreasonable and I'm glad to read that you will be more cautious in the future, Mo.

    Finally, I didn't see what you put up for comparison but I'm hoping that it was just the images and not the card(s) that portrayed the images because by posting the card(s) you would be putting the card creator in a bad light and that's not fair to them.

    These are just my thoughts.

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    1. Hi Shar,

      I removed the images (and decided not to press this instance further) because Pedro was quick to take down the images in his shop. I am not going to post any more about it, but if you have been in crafting long, you may know that Sarah Kay is a reclusive illustrator whose unique style has been around for at least 30 years, and many artists are inspired by her beautiful work. Here's a website by a fan of hers, which gives more information about her than anyplace else I've been able to find :) I do know that Stampavie owns the rights to make Sarah Kay stamps from her illustrations. You can contact them for more information If you're interested.

      xoMo

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  23. Oh, and please do not think I'm accusing you of telling a lie ... I'm just curious how this process works. This is my first visit to the site and I've been reading some of the posts and find this all very interesting.

    Thanks,
    Shar

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  24. There will always be opposing view points and that is fine. I owned a brick and mortar stamp store for many years and had five versions of the same Victorian woman stamp or four of the country house next to a stream from different companies. It all comes down to which Victorian woman you like best or country house. So why is it that they could all play together and grown women have witch hunts. And before anyone comes after me fyi I am a customer of all of you. I have Krista' s, mo manning, Sherri baldys, and many many more by different vendors. I like them all and enjoy buying from all of you. So............No one one made me buy Sherri' s stamp over Krista' s or Krista' sover Sherri' s. So with that said ............let's go create something with whomever you like best images.

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  25. Hi Veronica,

    I see the word "witchhunt"being bandied about (not just from you). Not sure who decided that would be the rally cry of the "opposition", but I'm sure it wasn't from anyone who understands copyright law and Intellectual Property rights. I'm going to say this once more:

    Copyright infringment is a crime. Many of the companies in Stamp Out have had their copyright infringed on by either crafters or other artists -- some of us multiple times and in multiple ways. That's why Stamp Out was created. We have the same right to protect our businesses as the convenience store on the corner, or the big bank on Main Street. If you don't have the necessary background to identify an image that has been copied, I totally understand. That's not your job. I do. And if you really do love the work of artists like me -- then you should be trying to help us protect it, not just saying "whatever goes!"

    This battle is not about "viewpoints" -- it's about the small percentage of unethical artists (and crafters) who have no problem cheating those of us who are working hard to make an honest living. Just take a look on Pinterest to see how necessary our fight is. And Pinterest is one single "pin" in the haystack.

    I hope you reevaluate your opinion, and try to learn a little more about why it's wrong to simply accept image theft/copying. The internet has made it very easy to steal our work . . . but it's also made it very easy to spot theft and cry foul.

    xoMo

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  26. Again I will ask why did I have different companies press the same stamp and no issues? Do you see where I am coming from and Mo you are entitled to your thoughts as well as I am mine. At this point I have mine and you have yours I am not asking you to reevaluate yours please respect mine and not ask me to change mine. Everyone wants to enjoy this craft we love. I don't like to read negative things about you, Sherri, Krista, Pedro, everyone. I just want to enjoy my craft. No I know I have a choice not to come here and read this just as much as you have a choice to protect your rights. In my humble opinion it should be done in a court of law with 12 of you peers and not on every blog or face book post. And again........I buy from all of you. Not just one

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  27. Oh and one last thing do you really feel coming at me about my education or my ability to identify an image as being copied but you do was needed? You are correct I didn't study law and my degree albeit is in business I could not find one image of yours copied by Pedro, Veronica or Sherri.
    I spoke my piece and the witch hunt comment.....................think about what it was really about
    Your last comment about pinterest I totally agree with you but I didn't realize this post was about pinterest

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  28. Well after reading all this I must add my two cents worth... I am a big fan of Mo ... I have so many of her images I can't count them ... I also have many of Sherri Baldy's ... I will admit her first images I thought were similar to Saturated Canary and Heather's, but her images now are to me very much her own. With Manga being such a great part of our digital world it is being portrayed much more in the eyes and faces of our images ... although they are not exactly to same they to are similar and I do not see any wrong in this as it is a style.
    I do digital art myself, I however have tried to portray a more normal everyday type of image..(I don't feel they will steal my images lol) I do however give freebies away and I do request that they send their friends to my blog rather than just share. Most do abide by this however I have found them on Pinterest marked as free and I did find one member who had a complete board of my freebies ...
    I do however think that we are making way to much out of this situation, we are bringing so much negativity to the digital world that I do feel that we are hurting ourselves. I do not make a living by selling my digis, it just allows to to buy other peoples to add to my collection..( a lot of Mo's)
    I also teach card classes and I find it extremely hard because I will not use other peoples images, I only use my own ... we I think the girls would rather have variety, but they do not all want to purchase the stamp or digi ... so I have at this point given up teaching, it is not worth the stress.
    I also find this whole nasty problem very stressful ... I know the rules and I think that we just need to spread the rules around and make them more visible ... I do believe that we should not be spreading nasty rumors about our fellow artists (I know some are not rumors)I think we should all stick together, work together and make our industry a strong one.
    OK my tow cents worth ...Live, Love and Forgive ... and help those who go astray!!!
    Huggz Anne

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