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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Terms of Use (TOU)

I have been working hard to get things up and running, carefully sorting through loads of freebie sites to make sure you're actually getting freebies and not freebies with a ton of restrictions and strings attached! 
As I've dived into this digiscrapping world, I have come across some terms I thought you should know.
CU:  commercial use.   This unfortunately comes with a slew of other meanings! Some people consider "commercial use" just putting it on a blog or site that sells things or is commercial in any way.  For example, I came across some scraps I really liked, but the creator was adamant that her items remain free (her perogative!).  This meant that she didn't want them used even on personal sites that had ads on them!  I thought that was a little extreme, but basically, if you earn money from your blog or site in any way, you want to make sure any scraps or graphics you get say CU on them and then read further!  Another version I found for this was that you could purchase them as a commercial designer but only sell them in products labeled "for personal use only."

CU4CU: commercial use for commercial use.  So this means that I can use it on my commercial site or blog AND may use them to create items for sale.  Again, always read the fine print; designers almost always make exceptions or special cases and you don't want to violate anyone's rights or TOU's. 

CU4PU: commercial use for personal use.  This is basically the same as CU: it's commercial in that a designer is using it but all her products are for personal use only.

PU: personal use only.  Again, this may only include designs for your personal perusal or printing for your scrapbook---if your personal site has any ads, you may not even be able to post finished products on your site or blog!

S4H: scrapping/share for hire.  To my knowledge, this is applicable to a small cottage-industry-type scrapping (which is what I do!), not large-scale commercialized, with a cart, online, genuine business.  I can use this person's scraps to create something for you, which you then pay me to receive.  Typically, these are projects that intended for printing. These may also have other stipulations on them.

S4O: scrapping for others.  This does not have a payment component, in that it assumes you are scrapping for friends and family for free rather then payment, which is why it is often seen in conjunction with S4H like this:  S4H/S4O and often with CU attached as well.  Other people use S4O and S4H interchangeably. 

Mostly, designers just want credit!  If you're unsure (some TOU's are insanely verbose and legalistic) please just email the designers.  There are often lots of exclusions, such as, you may use it for your commercial site and to create items for sale but only scraps, not quick pages or it may say you can only use it for commercial sale items if you alter in some way, such as color and size and add something to it.  It all depends.  Asking directly is always best!  I have seen many variations on all the labels used above. 

I can almost guarantee you cannot get for free something you can then sell "as is" or as your own, of course, that will always be against TOU or even illegal. 

Here is a dictionary for all digital scrapbooking terms. 

I will personally not be posting any items I have created; that is not my purpose here.  Now, "never say never," that could change, but as of right now, I have enough on my plate and I want to offer personalized services.

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