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Someone Stole My Pattern Images!

Yes, you read that correctly. It happened, and it’s not the first and nor will it be the last time. The person had used my and my tester’s images in their Etsy listing for a made-to-order product of my free pattern, as they hadn’t made their own and taken photos. I believe they were unaware of what they doing was wrong and I am going to tell you below how I handled it.


There are many ways your patterns will be used and abused, but for this post and my situation, I wanted to go over what to do when someone is using your images for their gain. Whether it’s a scam or someone who simply doesn’t understand that what they did was wrong, there are ways to handle the situation calmly and quietly.


First things first. You have to protect your work and there are a couple of ways to do that. I personally have a disclaimer on every pattern that says;


This is an original pattern by Tegan Shepherdson © 2022. Please do not reprint, repost or sell any parts of this pattern, but feel free to link back to my website, shop or social media accounts. You are more than welcome to sell finished items made from this pattern with credit given to Tegan Shepherdson.


Feel free to copy or reword that for your own use. The purpose of this information to is make the reader aware of the terms and conditions of purchasing or downloading your patterns, allows you to control how your pattern is used and gives you a leg to stand on when sh*t like this happens.


Secondly, watermark your images with your logo or information. What happened to me with my images now means I will need to watermark all my photos. If you don’t know how to watermark your images, there will be a step-by-step guide at the bottom of this post.


Approach


In the event you have added a disclaimer to your patterns and your images are watermarked, but someone has used your images for their own gain, what do you do?


It’s so easy to be angry and want to bite back, but by being calm and approaching the image stealer with understanding and reason will likely get action sooner rather than later. Avoid social media for now. I know you want to document it and let everyone know what’s happened, but cool your jets. The culprit for me was on Etsy, so I was able to contact the seller directly via Etsy chat. If it’s on a platform you are not a part of, you may need to do a bit of digging to find a contact.


Understanding


Whilst you might have all the information right there on your pattern and think the person who has done this to you is a complete imbecile, take a deep breath and think about it from their perspective. They might be from another country that doesn’t understand your written language all too well. Your disclaimer or fine print might not be easily visible on your pattern. Or they are just trying to make a living and got so excited they missed the disclaimer altogether.


Be Polite


Here is what I wrote in my message to the seller.


Hi there!
I’ve just been made aware that you are using my and my testers pattern images for your (listing name) listing.
I’m really glad to see you have found joy in making my pattern and wanting to sell your makes for your business ☺ However, my pattern states at the bottom of the first page, “This is an original pattern by Tegan Shepherdson © 2022. Please do not reprint, repost or sell any parts of this pattern, but feel free to link back to my website, shop or social media accounts. You are more than welcome to sell finished items made from this pattern with credit given to Tegan Shepherdson.” this includes images.
May I ask that you use your own images ASAP of the finished item and add a small note at the bottom of the listing that the pattern design is by Tegan Shepherdson? Most importantly, your own images ☺
If you have any questions, please reach out. Happy crafting and selling! xoxo


Yes, it’s a little kiss-ass like, but the response I received was quick and what I wanted. In just a few hours the seller had read my message, deleted the listing and wished me a nice day. Bingo!

Now, what if that didn’t work?


Report


The reality is, not everyone is going to listen to reason, and it may start a long war on your images. So, I would adapt the 2 attempt rule.


First attempt: Inform and ask nicely.

Second attempt: Warn you will report.


Reporting is easy when it is happening on a platform like Etsy, Ribblr or Ravelry. These larger platforms usually have a fine print of their own informing sellers they need to use their own images for their own work or have permission to use them. If your second attempt does not work, now is the time to report to the platform. Screenshot or save the listing, images and conversations you’ve had, just in case they are deleted or removed, or you may need to present them to the platform as evidence.


Look Out For Each Other


Chances are, you may not be the only one affected by this user, so you might want to go through the seller’s store. If you recognise anyone else’s work, contact the designer directly. That’s how I found out about mine! Word of mouth is a wonderful tool within our community.


Okay, now that it’s over, you are probably busting at the seams to tell everyone about this on social media! But, I would still avoid it if you can. There’s a time and place to point fingers and shame. In my case, I’m not saying sh*t. It was clear they were not a scammer, they were just trying to make a living and did not understand my disclaimer or missed it completely, and were understanding when I approached them. I didn’t recognise anyone else in the store and someone else had already spread the word within my circles. If it’s a one-off, just-my-pattern situation, there’s no need to spread on social media.


If you feel people need to know when you can clearly see a theme, then I am not here to stop you, it is your call.


How to add a watermark to your images


Canva is a wonderful tool, and there are so many ways to use it. I have the paid for version, but I believe you can do this in the free version too.


Upload your image and logo (making sure it’s transparent), then place your image where you want it on the blank canvas.


Add the logo the canvas, resize and place where you want it to be. Try to avoid placing over the product itself.



Make sure your logo is highlighted. In the top right hand of the screen, click on the ‘Transparency’ icon and slide the dot to where you want it. I made mine to 50%.



Now all you have to do is name your image and download. Here is what mine looks like.



Now to go and do all of them… There are so many! 😣


I hope this was helpful in some way, and I will be writing about more types of scenarios throughout the year.


Do you have anything to add? Comment below.


Happy Crafting xoxo

Tegan

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