Basics that Mama should have taught you: Don’t take, share, or use something that isn’t yours especially without permission.
Now in fancier words… Nothing on this site (text, images, artwork, graphics, tutorials, guides, demos, downloads, palette ideas, etc etc etc) in part or full may be copied, altered, duplicated, redistributed, reposted, reproduced, or claimed as your own. Copying all or any portion of this site without consent is illegal and punishable by law. And that’s a fact, Jack.
I began Scratchmade Journal with the sole intention of encouraging others to embrace and explore creativity through art. (Read more about why I began this website here.) I constantly share my artwork and techniques, color charts and printables, in-depth information and discoveries, discounts and giveaways, and I’ve even shared art supplies with many of you. And I spend countless, unpaid hours every week doing so.
In return, all I ask is that you don’t steal my stuff.
I know those who have no regard for copyright laws won’t read this, or if they do, they won’t care. This post is for those of you who have a desire to respect artists’ copyrights.
How to honor artist copyrights & protect artists.
Don’t visit websites that publish illegal content.
These sites are fairly easy to recognize because they tend to be rather generic or may have a lot of information about various subjects. They are content mills, so there won’t be a “face” person or authorship. They can also be very dangerous and harbor viruses, malware, or worse.
Don’t follow people on social media or participate in forums or groups that don’t respect copyright laws.
These can be a little harder to spot, but unless you know an artist or group is valid, avoid countries that don’t abide by or respect international copyright treaties. (e.g. some Middle Eastern countries, Russia, Ukraine, India, China, etc. I’m sad to say it but some countries are notorious for art theft.) Many of these foreign “artist” social media feeds, websites, and groups are set up to find artists to plagiarize. Also, avoid feeds or accounts that do nothing more than repost. And if you notice photos that look oddly clipped or slightly familiar, or "artists" that never share their WIPs or creative processes, that could be your cue to flee.
Stand up for artist rights.
If you see someone breaching copyright laws, privately reach out to the offender regarding the issue. Some people unknowingly breach copyright law so be kind, at least at first. If they refuse to correct the situation or are belligerent, feel free to call them out publicly, not to shame them but to notify others so they can protect themselves against this person.
Most importantly, honor copyright laws yourself.
It is NOT okay to share someone else’s resources, even if the artist is credited. Only the original creator can legally share unless permission is granted, and if so, that permission should be clearly stated. (FYI: “Photo courtesy of…” often means it was used without permission. Instead state, “Photo republished with permission by…”)
This includes printables. No, it’s not okay to share a copy or a direct link to my printables with your sister, art class, nature journaling group, etc. Sharing someone else’s downloads or printables by direct link or as a copy without permission is illegal, not to mention very rude. It’s also not okay to take my information or printable and rearrange it to use in a class or share. More on this below.
If an artist inspires you and you copycat their work as part of the learning process, enjoy your success quietly. Do NOT post a photo of “your” art on social media and do NOT give it away or sell it. By the way, my tutorials are simply to show you how to create your own artwork. They are not given to you to recreate MY artwork.
If an artist’s palette choices, composition, subject matter, etc inspires you and you use the idea, do NOT reshare or repost without permission. You should NEVER profit from the idea. Copyright and plagiarism laws state that the standard for infringement is “substantial similarity,” which means an observer might recognize that the second work takes inspiration from the first. Closely evaluate your work to make sure it complies.
If someone has greatly inspired you but your finished artwork/palette/idea/etc is totally your own, take the time to say ‘thank you.’ Give the original artist proper credit for the inspiration by tagging them on social media, or send an email to let them know that you found encouragement through their work. Most artists are highly appreciative of this and will celebrate your successes with you!
What Is Okay
Sharing a post via social media. Sharing a blog or page link with a grabbed image via social media (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc) is totally fine. Word of mouth is much appreciated, plus I'm happy my work spoke to you, so thanks!
Sharing something that you created using one of my tutorials or ideas. If you use one of my tutorials to create a work of art and your result bears substantial similarity, please credit me and tag @ScratchmadeJournal when sharing the piece on social media. (Again, sharing or selling the actual piece is illegal and punishable by law.) Please show the same courtesy with my palette color ideas, etc.
Sharing my printables with anyone in your single-family household. In other words, I’m fine with multiple copies for use with your child and/or spouse provided that they live with you. Please refer family & friends to Scratchmade Journal so they can download their own. If you’re interested in making multiple copies for an educational group or class, please contact me. Sharing a link or pin to the blog post or store item where the printable is featured is just fine.
If you would like to use or republish any content on this site, please ask permission via the contact form.
Product and store policies are located here.