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
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!