Reminder About Proper Crediting of Sources

Hi, all. 

 

I recently received some reports on photos posted to this site which stated that the cookie designs had been directly copied without attribution having been given to the original artist. After investigating these reports, I found the reports to be true. I trust these omissions were honest errors, but they were nonetheless quite disappointing to learn about.

 

Too often in the cookie community (not here on Cookie Connection, but elsewhere online), I hear cookiers complaining about others copying their designs without acknowledgement, and I appreciate those concerns. Had I been the creator of the original art in this week's reported photos, I would have certainly wanted - heck, expected - attribution. Yet, we as cookiers need to be as vigilant about making sure we're credited as we are about crediting those other artists, including non-cookiers, from whom we draw our designs and inspiration.

 

In light of this week's reports, I urge everyone to carefully consider how you would feel if the tables were turned. How would you like it if someone directly copied your work and never mentioned you or linked back to your site? I also urge you to think about the photos you've posted to this site. If you know in your heart-of-hearts that you directly copied someone else's work, or even drew inspiration from it, I encourage you to go back and add credits to photos where you know they are missing. Credits are best placed in the photo sub-title and also in a tag; if you have a link back to the source, then place it in the first comment under your photo where it will hyperlink. More information about how to edit your previously posted photos can be found here: http://cookieconnection.juliau...READ-BEFORE-YOU-POST

 

Please also remember that one of the conditions of membership in Cookie Connection (stated in our Terms of Use that members agree to upon sign-up) is always to make best efforts to credit known design sources. This term is there, in part, to minimize potential liability to members or the site that could result from any copyright infringements. But moreover, giving credit where credit is due is just the right thing to do.

 

I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I will overlook first-time violations of this sort. But if I receive more than one report related to the same person, I won't hesitate to remove that person from the site if I find the reports to be true. 

 

I'm sorry if I am coming across as heavy handed, but I never expected to receive such a report and am frankly pretty rattled by the whole thing. My hope always has been - and continues to be - that this community will set the highest of standards, not just in the quality of its work, but also in the integrity with which it presents that work to the world.

 

Thank you for listening and caring enough to do the right thing.

 

*** EXAMPLES OF PROPERLY CREDITED WORK ***

 

Below are a few examples of nicely credited photos that draw on different sources of inspiration. Listed in parentheses are the areas (title, subtitle, tags, etc.) where the publisher cited her sources and placed links. These are great examples to follow when crediting your own work.

 

Original Art Source (cited in title, subtitle and tag)http://cookieconnection.juliau.../clip/alphonse-mucha

 

Licensed Characters (put in Character Cookie clip set; also called out as a Disney character in tags and subtitle)http://cookieconnection.juliau...m/clip/frozen-castle

 

Cookier Inspiration (cited in subtitle and tag; also a link to cookier's site in the first comment): http://cookieconnection.juliau...aint-your-own-cookie


In addition, the site rules ask that you link back to the original source from which you drew inspiration, which is especially important to do if you've directly copied artwork of any kind. Those links are best placed in the first caption under the photo so that they automatically hyperlink. Thanks again!

Original Post
Originally Posted by Veronica Lee:

If I copy an image I see on Pinterest and the artist's name is unknown, whom do I credit? Most of these images appear on many pinboards and no attribution is  given to the original artist.

Very good point! I was wondering about just the same

Or something like e.g. quilted cookies, needlepoint, ... - there are so many of them, how is one to find out who was the first?

I generally absolutely agree with this topic, but I suppose that a lot of cookies are very similar because it is the same design ideas which are used again and again (flowers, shabby shic, cute little bunnies, flowers again, etc.). Also on this side I see so many cookies which I can hardly tell apart - and that still doesn't necessarily mean that people are infringing.

Or how about all the Frozen Cookies? Is the movie name enough or should Disney be added?

I habe to admit, I am puzzled...

Originally Posted by Veronica Lee:

If I copy an image I see on Pinterest and the artist's name is unknown, whom do I credit? Most of these images appear on many pinboards and no attribution is  given to the original artist.

It's unfortunate that Pinterest has made it so easy for people not to be properly credited but that's neither here nor there, really.

 

If you've done your best to locate the source artist and can't find him/her, then you can't credit that person obviously. However, Google Images allows you to search images across the web, so it's often easy to find the original source of the image that way. In fact, the images copied in this case were easily located in a Google Image search, and the original artists were identified by me that way. This took a matter of minutes. So if I was able to locate and credit the original artist to settle these reports, surely the cookie designers could have done the same thing.

 

Even an acknowledgement that the copied design is not yours is better than no acknowledgement. 

What I am referring to here were cases of other art being copied - not other cookiers' designs. The original artist was easily identified and located, because the pieces were that unique. 

 

All I am asking is that if you know that you copied something from someone, and you know that person's name, then please credit them. It only reflects poorly on you when you don't and your omission is brought into public view. 

 

And, yes, all copies of licensed character cookies on this site must go in the "Characters" clip set and should be tagged as "Disney" or whatever character they are. However, to be clear, I don't support the copying and selling of licensed characters (it's a copyright infringement if you don't own a license/have permission, and Etsy sites have been closed down because of this). I have this clip set because, as one person, I cannot control the flow of licensed characters on the site. But if one day I am asked to remove them all by Disney, it will be an easy thing to do! 

There is no need to credit originators of commonly used techniques, except for clearly known originators (like Montreal Confections for the paint-your-own cookie), for as you said, it's often difficult to say who originated a technique. But, if you directly copy another person's unique cookie design, a drawing, a sculpture, a painting, etc., these are obvious things where you should make best efforts to identify the artist and credit him/her.

(Julia)  But if one day I am asked to remove them all by Disney, it will be an easy thing to do!

 

(Dona)  Grinning!  hahhahaaaaaaaa  I fell out laughing!  hahhahaaaaaaaa

 

As for me, I probably couldn't copythe smallest of detailed cookie...  hahaha    I have cited though and always felt I have shamed them or dishonored thir work  -  smiling !  It's way to much trouble for me to remember a name/the work so I do my best not to copy anyone, but as I've opined I do cite.  This is done immediately so I don't forget.  Still smiling and  laughing silly at Julia!  I am  sorry that you've been put in this position.  Stay blessed!

Originally Posted by donaharrisburg:

(Julia)  But if one day I am asked to remove them all by Disney, it will be an easy thing to do!

 

(Dona)  Grinning!  hahhahaaaaaaaa  I fell out laughing!  hahhahaaaaaaaa

 

As for me, I probably couldn't copythe smallest of detailed cookie...  hahaha    I have cited though and always felt I have shamed them or dishonored thir work  -  smiling !  It's way to much trouble for me to remember a name/the work so I do my best not to copy anyone, but as I've opined I do cite.  This is done immediately so I don't forget.  Still smiling and  laughing silly at Julia!  I am  sorry that you've been put in this position.  Stay blessed!

Hi, Dona! You do a great job of acknowledging  - quite exhaustive, actually - so thank you for that!

Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:
Originally Posted by Sarah's Sweets:

Julia, did you notify the cookiers that made the error in acknowledgment? Just wondering as you said you would give the benefit of doubt and hoped it was an oversight.....   

Of course, but I felt a broader reminder was in order given the circumstances here. It's also time consuming and costly for me to address matters like this solely on an individual basis, as they (and other ones) crop up more than you might think. So I'm hoping that reinforcement to the whole community will help consistently deliver the message that it's important to make best efforts to credit.

Thank you for the reminder.  I try to make my own designs but recently I was asked to do a "working interview" for a cookie decorator position at a local bakery. They gave me a picture they found on pinterest to copy. They really turned out well, and I posted them. However, I did not get the job! But, this experience inspired me to just start selling cookies on my own and it's going very well. The cookies I had to copy were Peppa Pig.  When doing character cookies like those, you don't really have much choice if the client wants them exactly as they are shown.

 

Originally Posted by Cookie Crafter:

Thank you for the reminder.  I try to make my own designs but recently I was asked to do a "working interview" for a cookie decorator position at a local bakery. They gave me a picture they found on pinterest to copy. They really turned out well, and I posted them. However, I did not get the job! But, this experience inspired me to just start selling cookies on my own and it's going very well. The cookies I had to copy were Peppa Pig.  When doing character cookies like those, you don't really have much choice if the client wants them exactly as they are shown.

 

You always have a choice as to what you sell. Be careful selling licensed characters - as noted above, businesses have been closed because of it.

I absolutely agree.  Since it was for a local bakery and interview, I did it because it would their liability since it was for their client. I realize though that I probably shouldn't post the pictures because that could pose a problem for me.  I don't want to be known to do character cookies for this reason so I would refer them to someone else.   

Originally Posted by LilleKageHus:

Thank you for setting it out so it's easy to understand how best to do it Julia. Being new on here and to cookies, it's nice to give credit where it's due and now I can be sure to make a note of anyone's work which influences me whether it's cookie oriented or from another medium.

Thanks. There are many many examples on this site of extremely well credited work. So what happened here is the exception rather than the rule. Over the weekend, I'll try to pull some "best" examples of attribution and add them here as well. I think it always helps to see a terrific standard or two.

*** EXAMPLES OF PROPERLY CREDITED WORK ***

 

Below are a few examples of nicely credited photos that draw on different sources of inspiration. Listed in parentheses are the areas (title, subtitle, tags, etc.) where the publisher cited her sources and placed links. These are great examples to follow when crediting your own work.

 

Original Art Source (cited in title, subtitle and tag)http://cookieconnection.juliau.../clip/alphonse-mucha

 

Licensed Characters (put in Character Cookie clip set; also called out as a Disney character in tags and subtitle)http://cookieconnection.juliau...m/clip/frozen-castle

 

Cookier Inspiration (cited in subtitle and tag; also a link to cookier's site in the first comment): http://cookieconnection.juliau...aint-your-own-cookie

Originally Posted by Couture Confections:
All very helpful information- and thanks for the examples!

What about sports team themed cookies? Do I need to credit the individual team who's logo appears on my jersey cookies?

Yes. Please treat copied logos the way that licensed characters are treated - don't put in the Character clip set, but tag it as "(fill in the blank) logo". Logos are usually copyrighted, so I need a way to quickly find them and remove them if anyone ever asks me to.

Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:

       
Originally Posted by Couture Confections:
All very helpful information- and thanks for the examples!

What about sports team themed cookies? Do I need to credit the individual team who's logo appears on my jersey cookies?

Yes. Please treat copied logos the way that licensed characters are treated - don't put in the Character clip set, but tag it as "(fill in the blank) logo". Logos are usually copyrighted, so I need a way to quickly find them and remove them if anyone ever asks me to.


       


Great, will do! Thanks!

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