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.
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.