Sadly, this is not a happy, cheerful post like most of our posts. I am OUTRAGED that just within this week I’ve heard of five cases of “companies/people” using other professionals’ photographs of their creations and calling it their own.
Seriously?!?! If they cannot come up with their own, obviously they’re in the wrong industry.
When I first started the The Marshmallow Studio, I didn’t add a watermark or logo to my images because I didn’t think it was necessary considering we are the ONLY marshmallow design company out there. Plus, I didn’t want it to distract the eye from the actual design. Boy was I wrong!!!
I also used to allow my students, show attendees and whom ever to snap photos of our pops and displays. Another big mistake!!!
Soon after I started teaching, I found one of MY marshmallow pops on a former student’s Facebook saying: “Marshmallow Pops-We can make anything you want”. Well, needless to say, I was livid. Had phone in hand ready to sue someone. Time to cease and desist I said.
I was forced to add watermarks across all my images and to no longer allow anyone to photograph our creations without prior approval. It truly is unfortunate since the watermark often blocks the design details and I have to refer students to our website if they want to look back to a pop they liked.
At our show booths, we now display signs stating “NO PHOTOS PLEASE”. It might look snobby but I have to protect my work since certain people don’t know how to be respectful.
Yes, the best form of flattery is imitation but the best business practise is to not steal!!!
Remember: when looking for inspiration… you must still add a twist of one’s own creativity while crediting the source. Don’t just imitate, don’t try to duplicate. It’s WRONG!