I am upset - Updated

I can't think of another title for this post other than to express exactly what I'm feeling right now. I came across a link on Facebook to a post today on The Pocket Source showing some pocket scrapbooking planners.

One of them was this gem:


Does this look a little familiar?

Oh, right. It's a rip off of MY FREEBIE that I put on my blog last year.

This isn't something I would normally get so upset about except that the person who designed this is SELLING THESE in her online shop.

Honestly, I am so disgusted that someone would take a design I made for free, to help people, and try to profit from it.

I have always said I enjoyed giving freebies to my readers, as a thank you, and as a way to share things I've made with others. But when someone knowingly rips off one of these to sell, that's crossing a line I'm not ok with. I will be seriously re-evaluating what I share here in the future.

Updated @ 1:22pm:

I received a response from Kelli, the designer of the above planner page:

Melissa, I am sorry you feel I stole your design. I did not copy, steal, or create my planning pages with malice. I had not seen your pages prior to the social media war you began against me today. This is my own design. However, I can understand how you feel, as I would feel the same way if the shoe were on the other foot. With that said, I removed my listing from my site and will make modifications so that the pages are less similar. To be honest, I've gotten feedback that the page you are referring to isn't very practical because not many people create day based layouts. I too have found I don't use this page, but use my other pages more often when I plan my own Project Life book. 

While I have a hard time understanding the explanation, I do appreciate that she has contacted me and agreed to remove the design, and I would like to move forward from this. As for the social media war mentioned, the only places I posted were here, on my blog, and my personal Instagram.

One of the reasons my discovery this morning had me so upset, is this has happened before. Last year I learned of a designer passing off some of my washi tape strips as her own. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with my freebie use license, it's right here on my blog. But, technically, and legally, there is nothing stopping anyone from taking a design and copying it. I just have to hope that people appreciate what I've created and are honest.

I would also like to also add that I do not fault The Pocket Source at all. TPS is a wonderful site, and I think long-needed in the pocket scrapbooking community. They're brand new but I subscribe and am excited to see what they bring in the future.

I do feel that being inspired by other designers is good - everyone is inspired by something. Take a look at the top digi scrapping sites today and you'll see similar designs or styles among them. Someone sees a font combination they like or a phrase, or even a pattern, and many versions pop up. This is unavoidable. I'm not saying not to be inspired by my designs to create your own, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't be inspired by others. After all, as several people have told me, imitation is a form of flattery. But there is a line between inspiration and copying, and this morning I felt that line was crossed. I could be wrong, and this could all be one big coincidence, but that is how I felt and why I reacted how I did. However, rather than letting my anxiety disorder cause this to eat me up for weeks, I would like to move forward. I don't wish to publically bash Kelli any further, especially as she's taken down the item, which, again, I appreciate.

As for future blog freebies my plan is to retire several of the older ones in the near future, so grab them now while you can. I will make a formal announcement of this soon and give ample time for you guys to grab them before they expire.

14 comments:

  1. Melissa, I am sorry you feel I stole your design. I did not copy, steal, or create my planning pages with malice. I had not seen your pages prior to the social media war you began against me today. This is my own design. However, I can understand how you feel, as I would feel the same way if the shoe were on the other foot. With that said, I removed my listing from my site and will make modifications so that the pages are less similar. To be honest, I've gotten feedback that the page you are referring to isn't very practical because not many people create day based layouts. I too have found I don't use this page, but use my other pages more often when I plan my own Project Life book.

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    1. Kelli - I started no war. I posted here and on my personal Instagram that I was upset. While I appreciate that you have removed the listing and will modify it, I do have a hard time believing that you've never seen my design prior to today. They are exactly the same layout, with changes to font & shapes. You've even used a similar color scheme with the aqua and gray. I posted mine back in October, and yours went live on January 31 according to your Facebook page. I'm sure based on this information you can understand why I feel this was a copy of my freebie.

      All this being said, I am happy to update my post with your side of the story and put this issue to rest. Once again, thank you for removing your listing.

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  2. I am sorry this happened. I actually LOVE your planner and use it every single week! I had started something similar as an Excel file, but yours came along and it was exactly what I needed/wanted and it was pretty on top of it all! :) So, THANK YOU, from a loyal fan. :)

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    1. You're one of my oldest fans I think Tanya! Thanks :)

      I cannot imagine tracking this kind of stuff in Excel, you'll have to share with me what you came up with sometime. :)

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    2. Also I should have said earliest instead of oldest! You're not old!

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    3. LOL, I am gettin' up there in years! :)
      I promise it was nothing fancy in Excel ... just Day of the Week, some notes, and what pics would go with them.

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  3. Hello Melissa - I stumbled upon your site just today in search of planning project for Project Life - newbie over here. I found your page introducing your plan for 2013 - may I just say, it is brilliant! And then, I wandered over to 'home' and found your troubles here. From a newbie, thank you for your generosity that I have found in my brief visit here today. I am grateful!

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    1. Well, welcome to the blog! I hope you find more that you like here :) Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. Thank you for posting the update Melissa. I am ready to move on as well. I did take a few minutes to browse your blog. Very cute!

    I used the term "social media war" because someone has been posting nasty comments today on my facebook page and actually calling me and harassing me (even went so far as to leave me a voicemail). I am very unnerved, but after talking with a good friend about it, she helped me to see that you may not even know the person who is harassing me. I'm feeling very attacked, and I'm not a bad person. :) I hope you hold no hard feelings, and best wishes on continued success with your blog!

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    1. Kelli, I am so sorry that someone took it to that extreme. While I was genuinely upset I would never want someone reading it to attack you, and most especially not actually call you. I assure you, I have no idea who would do that and do not condone such behavior.

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  5. This is all quite ridiculous to me. IT'S A CALENDAR! Not sure any of the parties involved can claim it as an original idea. Newsflash: Franklin Covey and DayPlanner have used it for years. I'm sure you all can find something more productive to do with your time. I'm curious what took longer - designing your calendar page or all this banter? PS. Did you get permission from Becky Higgins to use her brand name? Technically it's hers and is under copyright.

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    1. First of all - I do not brand my items as the Project Life brand, but in reference to Project Life as a form of scrapbooking. And should Becky wish for me to stop referring to Project Life I absolutely would remove all traces. However given that Becky herself has contacted me personally to use some of my blog posts in her Creative Live class, as well as linking to my projects from her blog, Facebook, and Instagram, I'm guessing she doesn't have much of a problem with it. I'm not copying her designs or claiming I created Project Life. But thanks for concerning yourself with that.

      Second - It's not a calendar, and Franklin Covey and DayPlanner do not own the copyright on calendars, even if it were.

      Third - if this is so ridiculous to you, why take the time to post such a nasty comment here?

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  6. Wow, people can be down-right nasty, can't they? Personally, I have really enjoyed your freebies and would never dream of selling something of yours, or anyone else for that matter. While I'm new to digital scrapping, I have scrapped for MANY (like 15 or so) years and can only imagine how much time and energy it takes to produce those freebies. It's just a shame that people do what they do to cause bad feelings and mistrust. Anyway, I hope the rest of your week is AWESOME!!

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    1. Thanks Cindy - hope your week is great too!

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