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It’s no secret that image theft has been increasing between crafters lately – especially Silhouette Cameo and Cricut small business owners. Today, I want to share what is okay to do with someone else’s photo – and what isn’t.
What you can do with someone else’s photo:
- Post it on a social media site with credit to the photographer/or business owner of the image. If you can include a link, that is even better! If you can’t find the source of the image, say that you can’t find the source or do not post it.
- Pin it (save it) on Pinterest with a link back to the where you found the image online.
- Save it for your own use to use as inspiration. (Don’t copy it, be inspired by it.)
- Contact the owner of the photo and ask for permission to use their photo.
What you cannot do with another crafter’s photo:
- Advertise it as your own photo.
- Use someone else’s photo to sell the same product.
- Example: “I can make this for you for $XX.”
- Example: “I sell these.”
- Use another crafter’s photo to ask your customers if they are interested in buying a similar product from you.
- Use another crafter’s photo in a collage of things you make.
- You are not allowed to crop or block out another crafter’s watermark to try and pass it off as yours.
If you are ever in doubt about using a photo, simply ask yourself: “Did I take this photo?” If not, you cannot use it to sell something unless you get permission from the owner of the photo.
So, why can’t you do these things? First, it’s bad business. You should use photos of things you make to sell rather than profiting off the work of another crafter. Second, it’s copyright infringement and you could possibly be sued because it is illegal.
Help spread the word with the images below. Pin them on Pinterest, share them on Facebook, Tweet them, put them on Instagram, and plaster them across the groups that you are a member of. I truly believe that crafters take the photos of others because they don’t know that they shouldn’t.
If you need to protect your own images, see this post and this post.
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.
Monday 3rd of October 2022
I once experienced this when shopping for a pair of preloved boots on ebay; notified the seller, who was astonished and quite grateful to be notified. I hope she managed to address it. Subsequently I’ve noticed how frequently this seems to occur on Amazon with photos used by sellers from China. Being a crafter, some of the images are blatantly snatched and don’t even match the product being touted.
Christine, Cutting for Business
Tuesday 4th of October 2022
Yes, this happens a lot with overseas sellers, because it is hard to get the photos removed.
Friday 16th of September 2016
Hello Christine! I would like to first thank your for this site, I'm truly learning a lot. With this being stated i do get a lot of inspiration form other crafters. I'm a hair stylist that specialize in bridal styles. I love crafting as well. I'm looking to incorporate some crafting services and creations during my down time of styling hair to utilize time and keep funds flowing. So i just want to clarify that being inspired, creating my version of the idea, taking my own photos and advertising my work is perfectly fine correct??? Thanks for your help.
Saturday 17th of September 2016
Correct, Ebony! :)
Wednesday 3rd of August 2016
I may be experiencing this problem now. A fellow crafter that I follow, took 15-20 pictures of my work from Instagram and posted on her Facebook. I commented on the photos with my etsy shop address. What do you recommend? I'm new at this. My shop has been open for a few months
Thursday 4th of August 2016
Hi Cris, You might find this post helpful: https://cuttingforbusiness.com/2015/03/12/help-i-found-out-someone-is-copying-my-silhouette-cameo-designs-now-what/. Good luck!
Thursday 30th of June 2016
Shaking my head that you even need to post this. So sad that some crafters, who obviously are working to create their own business, would think it was OK to use some else's photo. Thank you for posting this! I hope it gets through to those who are not thinking about what they are doing.
Thursday 30th of June 2016
I know it is - and I hope it does!