Today, I sat and read this great and disturbing article from Lisa Gantz. She is an amazing, inspirational artist and I just love all her work and her tutorials. This article she wrote is about the ups and downs of selling your artwork online. She also writes about her pirated art and how she deals with it. When I first learned that one of the very first products I listed on Creative Market was hacked, I will admit I was….
” A LITTLE FREAKED OUT!!! “
My “freaked out self” contacted Creative Market to see what happened. I hadn’t even made a sale yet as far as I knew. They told me, unfortunately, the person purchased my product, decided it was ok to share it with all of these freebie sites. They refunded the person and banned him/her from making further purchases. This is something they can not control, which I understand. Then I thought…WHAT THE HECK?….the person got my graphics and I didn’t even make a penny from their thievery! They gave me a link that has this formal legally binding request form to have my file removed from their site. I filled it out to the best of my ability and started sending it out to the websites abuse person. I will admit, it was not that difficult to do for most of the sites…yes, there were maybe 10 sites or more that I had to send this to. Most, and I mean MOST, sites were respectable and took down the file. I had to become a member of the ATT site though in order to send my file..I found this odd, but it worked. About a month later, I did the same research online with my files name and found maybe 2 more that had gotten my file. I repeated the steps and sent out the emails and maybe 1 of them responded and removed the file.
A few of the sites were not that easy to find the website source who actually had my downloadable file. As I was going through all of these sites, I saw tons of other artists designs and wondered to myself if they all knew about them, if they knew their products were being hacked just like mine! Then, today, after coming across Lisa Gantz article, I knew that these artists are all in the same boat. So, should I continue to hunt down my files? Is it worth the time and effort to make sure that they are not just handed out for free? To this day, I have not made a sale on Creative Market, but that is mainly on me I know. I don’t blame them at all. But I now have this fear that if I add a new product, will it just get hacked!
What I don’t understand is why somebody would purchase the product, then go and upload it to all of these freebie sites???? Are they making a commission somehow? I just don’t get it! Perhaps its because they got their money back? The good thing is now I have ALL of these saved documents to all of the places I found and if this happens again, all I need to do is change the file name and send the email off to them. Crazy right??? Perhaps since I only have a couple of my graphic designs on Creative Market right now, it is easy to do this. But once I start adding more and more, and hopefully sell some of them, this will be a bit less freaky and stressful.
The reality is, this is going to happen again, people are people…not all are thieves. I strongly believe most people are honest and respectful. I don’t want to give up on my dreams because of these thieves and their wicked ways just to earn a quick buck! Fear will get me nowhere!!!
Any thoughts on this article I would love to hear them…