Offer I can't refuse?!

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Kate Tiler
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Offer I can't refuse?!

Postby Kate Tiler » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:07 pm

OK am I just being too sensitive (again!) or post-PMT riddled to not want to jump at this request? Just been asked this in an email:

I am going as a trader to the tewksbury medeival festival this year & I want to get a few t-shirts printed for some friend's and family to wear while they are there to advertise my stall.
As i love the green man and as i will be selling some of them, he is the image i want on the t-shirts.
I was mooching on google trying to find some medeival green man images and one of your tile designs was one of the first i found.
I love the image!! It's exactly what i was looking for.
I know i could have just copy & pasted it without your knowledge, but as i want to re-print the image i wanted to ask your permision first?"

I have sent back:

I'm sat here laughing out loud at your comment "I know i could have just copy & pasted it
without your knowledge"...

Tewksbury medieval festival is an event that I've traded at before, I'm a living history
demonstrator & a re-enactor and I am friends with about half of the traders who will be
at Tewkesbury and several hundred people in armour who will be there taking part.

If any of them saw your t-shirts with my tile image on it they would first ask you where
you got it from & secondly contact me to tell me someone had ripped off my design!

I do give permission occasionally for people to use my images - in fact the most recent
was for someone to have my bear tile as a tattoo.

I shall have a think about this but I must say that you've not started off on a very good
footing with me - never mind 'Blessed be' - what about the karma you'd be taking on by
ripping off something that is very personal to me?!

It might just be because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment with the amount of people I love who are ill and the amount of moving workshops that I'm in the middle of - but am I right to feel p*ssed off?!

Should I just roll over on this?

Or should I suggest that as they are selling green men they take 5 minutes to photograph one of those & have that printed up instead?

What do people think? I'm just about to start a new website for me & Charlie & put up more tile images but I'm wondering whether to bother now...
"In art as in life everything is possible as long as it is based on love" Marc Chagall

Eric the well read
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Postby Eric the well read » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:47 pm

Hi Kate,
If you do put up images -use a watermark and copyright notices. It won't stop people copying but it will make it a lot harder!

Charge the guy a royalty fee and he'll either put up or shut up.Whether you can keep track on how many he's sold is a different matter - so make it a one off fee.

P.S Haven't I just spotted a photo of you on the cover of the Coventry schools programme?
The people on this forum turn up EVERYWHERE! :wink:


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Kate Tiler
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Postby Kate Tiler » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:49 pm

Coventry Schools programme? Please find me a copy!

"In art as in life everything is possible as long as it is based on love" Marc Chagall

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Postby Eric the well read » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:55 pm

Kate Tiler wrote:Coventry Schools programme? Please find me a copy!

info AT
or 024 7683 2386

Hope this helps

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Postby nathan » Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:01 pm


I honestly think in this case a simple but polite no would suffice.

"I'm sorry but i am not interested permitting use of my copyright protected assets for this venture."

If they then turn up deal with it then. I know you are a little peed at the suggestion, and I don't blame you in the slightest (the email you have been sent is clumsily worded enough to be highly inflammatory, in your place i would have been 'officially upset').

Problem is that if you go any further than the above it could actually provoke somebody into doing it anyway (just to push buttons). It's not worth giving them the satisfaction (if they are that way inclined), or getting their back up (if not).

Keep their details on file (printout and electronic in it's original form) and file your response in the same fashion.

This said, if you were to start getting into the decent sized T-Shirt business yourself i think i'd be up for one (especially the bear).

Huge big squishy hugz
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Postby busy mole » Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:26 pm

It is an inappropriatley worded Email that they have sent you. The assumption is that they are perhaps doing you a favour in asking you, that they assume acceptance on your part, and were planning to do it anyway. It may not be deliberate on their part, but you would most certainly not be unreasonable to refuse, it i after all your property.

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Postby andy1863 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:02 pm

If it is your work it is your copyright and even better if you have proof that you created it.
I have had a similar occurence with literature I have produced, if you give permission verbally or otherwise you give your rights away.

Erics suggestion is by far the best and then jump if you see your work copied

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Postby Nigel » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:00 am


Don't suffer in silence write a firm email if possible copy yo solicitor telling them NO,

It might not mean anything now BUT its like an open sore it will come back and bite you.

Debs had this happen to her and it still rankles 8 years later or tell us who theya re and I'll go and stnad outside their stalla t Tewks it will put msot folsk off :D

There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Kate Tiler
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Postby Kate Tiler » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:17 am

ROFLOL! Bless you Nigel, just what I needed!!!

I'm finding life a struggle at the moment, even the good stuff is hard work & having people I love at either end of the country with similar illnesses isn't helping - although both are doing OK now I'm still living on my nerves.

Daft thing is I couldn't work out how I felt about the email & whether to say OK to it or not! Guess writing here has made me realise how I feel!

"In art as in life everything is possible as long as it is based on love" Marc Chagall

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Postby Type16 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:05 pm

I'd go with every one else.
NO WAY! Its your creation.

I have had a couple of copyright infringements for my business creations, but only had to come on heavy once.

Lots of people write their name or a copyright symbol on their images -- small so as not to detract. The © image is hidden in most fonts, it can be revealed (with others) by opening the Character Map, or hitting the Alt+0169 keys.

Good luck.

Archers have a way of making their point
Walk softly & carry a big (pointy) stick

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Postby Drachelis » Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:08 pm


Why not tell him that the image is copyrighted to you, however, you could get some T-shirts printed and sell them to him for a commercial price.

Actually your designs are so great that T-shirts printed with them might provide an extrwa source of income.

Shadowlight Designs

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Postby gregory23b » Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:08 pm

Tell him to

a) get off to a good footing by not ripping people off

b) increase the choice of goods by bringing new things to the market - not reducing it

c) to get some sense of perspective re the smallness of the trader community

d) by outlining copyright issues that copying other people's work only screws it up for everyone else.

We get enough of this crap already.

thanks but not thanks needless to say a weather eye will be kept out for such people at Tewks.

middle english dictionary

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Postby frances » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:26 pm

Dear Kate,

Your designs are lovely and appropriate. But don't print boring 'ole 't' shirts - go for more expensive tabards or bags or tea-cloths.

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Postby Scottish Lady » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:04 pm

All I can say is, make sure you charge what you are worth if you decide to let them go ahead. You could specify a certain number of uses only, after which they would have to pay you again.
Ian has had a lot of copyright problems over the last few years. He went into a bookshop and found a copy of a book using 31 of his illustrations! When he contacted the author through a solicitor, the guy tried to tell us that Ian had done the work on wee scraps of paper while he was staying with him for a week - it was at least six months hard work. The guy paid up, (reluctantly), and Ian's new musket was named after him! The next one was when Ian was looking at a DVD on Highland Clans, and found a photograph of one of his paintings of Culloden on it. He had to buy the DVD to see how they had used it - every time they mentioned Culloden in fact. The company claimed that because it was hanging in a public place at the time they filmed it, they assumed they could use it even though it was signed and copyrighted - no chance- again they had to pay up.
We took our advice on what he could do, and what he could charge from the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook, and from DACS, The Design and Artists Copyright Society, 13, Northburgh Street, London, EC1 0JP Tel. 02073368822 or email They were really helpful, as our solicitor had no specialised knowledge in that area.

Scottish Lady/The 'Meenister'

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Annie the Pedlar
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Postby Annie the Pedlar » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:13 pm

Thanks Mrs Scottish Lady, I've just passed your advice to my son Dan, the fledgling illustrator.
Remember him, Kate. Having to feed him cornflakes? Ah...those were the days. He's got to his first turning down of work because a. he's got too much on, and b. it's not paying enough. Good eh?

My first reaction to your problem was take a cut. Impose a royalty. Take the money and run,
But thinking about it your designs are unique and are part of your image/persona/brand. So, on second thoughts, I think I'd go more with the "just say No" brigade.


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Postby Black Letter » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:35 pm


What a cheeky *******! Would you be able to identify the person if they turned up? i.e. does the email address give a name, or a trading identity? Just a thought, it may help you keep an eye on them! :wink:

We would just second what others have said, it is your hard work, your lovely design. You have to do what you can to protect it.

I don't know what is worse, someone sending you that email (and acting like they would be doing you a favour!), or the thought of bumping into someone at an event with a tshirt of your work on it, without your permission. :shock:

You could, as others have said, take a cut of this. The difficulty would be the logistics of how this was done and the level of trust required between the two parties. i.e. you would not want to provide them with a high quality image of your work (which may be required to provide an image for a t-shirt) as there was no guarantee that it wouldn't be misused. There would be ways around this but it might take time to sort out.

We would advise putting copyright text on all your web images. We also digitally watermark all our images as an extra measure. This is useful as it date stamps the image and provides an embedded link to your url when the image is opened in editing software. We have to pay for this but I went through a paranoia stage last year when realising how good 'google images' was.

Anyway, good luck. We will keep our beady eyes open and let you know if we see anything!

Phil and Tam

PS on a more pleasant note if you do decide to make your own tshirts for your own sales, please post on here as otherwise we might think that people who have bought them are the rip off merchants and they might be open to abuse :D

Black Letter
Calligraphy - Design - Illumination - Illustration

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Postby The Bearded Dwarf » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:14 pm

Not sure if this would be of any help, but.....

Sometimes when you right click a picture on the web, you get the message "right click disabled", or similar.

Not sure how you code a web page to do this, or whether it would stop anyone who was serious from ripping off your images, but it would certainly discourage casual theives.

Perhaps someone on the forum with more wen knowledge than me could advise.

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Postby Neibelungen » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:22 pm

Doesn't do anything other than stop the right click.

If you check the browser cache there will be the image in there to copy over.

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Postby Eric the well read » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:23 pm

The Bearded Dwarf wrote:Not sure if this would be of any help, but.....

Not a lot I'm afraid. I have a gadget on my 'puter called 'GRAB' and it will collect any picture in about 10 secs, Even if it wasn't there, it would only take a 30 sec 'workaround' to copy just about anything.

Best solution is to put up warning copyright notices and watermark all photos,
They can still be copied , but it takes a lot more effort to get rid of the watermark and if you find them out once they've done that, you're in a stronger legal position.


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