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face painter copy cats

Post by facepainter1221 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:26 am

They are out there. Copy cats I like to call them. Painters that can not think on their "own" 2 feet. Local Websites have been reproduced extrememly & uncomfortably close to my own. How do you handle that? I find it somewhat flattering but more irritating than anything else. These are painters in my area (10 mile radious or less) and are after the same events that I do. They mimmic my designs (I can deal with that) my business banner, the similar name of their business, the similar look of their site, the places I have painted in the past, events that I have done, VERBIAGE on my website, my choice board, same furniture (My chair, table cloth etc) What is one to do? It is most irritating to me. I would love to send an email to call them on it but what do you say? I pride myself in being self taught self developed and all my own thoughts in the set up & atmosphere I create a elaborate face. I aligned with no one to learn and acquire what I have...it is all me. I have recently taken down my Events listing page because of the chasers, although I had it up for over 5 years and have a good number of loyal patrons. I would love to put it up again. Any feedback on this would be helpful on whether events listing shoudl be posted or not and how to handle mimmicing to an uncomfortable degree..

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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Metina on Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:15 am

Wow! I am working all day, but will give this a thought.

-Metina

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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Winger1200 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:15 am

Post the event listing, esp those you have a contract for or exclusively. Stress how long you have been in business, how much parents & businesses like & depend on you and "altho local painters immitate me, be assured you are getting the original real thing here' or something like that.
Know the competition's weakness and point out your strong points.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Winger1200 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:18 am

He, he, I would also mention that "immitation is the MOST sincerest form of flattery but why settle for an immitation when you can get the real thing with me ; ) Your competition will get the point and change when they see it boldly on your site.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by LoneWolf on Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:14 pm

Ask if they want to work for you, since you already have the same stuff =D
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Perry Noia on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:16 pm

Often Immitated! Never Duplicated!! Very Happy
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Rosenberg-Cox on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:36 pm

I am sorry to say, unless you have a copywrite or something similar, you can not stop them. I agree with adding the statements like: in business since ____ (they can't say they have been around as long as you), why settle for an immitation when you can get the real thing with me, etc. I also limit how much I put on the website. Prices, I post but the actual agreement is not available for download. I have a contact form instead so I can mail the details to them. I also only put two or three recent testimonials so they do not have my client list.

It is very frustrating.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Winger1200 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:45 pm

Well said, Perry! It should be the third line on her homepage!
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by CABBYJ on Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:10 pm

As someone who is just starting I receive my inspiration and business sense from other painters. I never thought it would offend anyone. But I don't go around exactly duplicating them either. I also believe in giving credit where credit is due. I never belittle myself in taking offense when others copy me, I look as you can try as much to be the original but odds are if you are copying me you don't have the drive or determination to truly endure in the long haul.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by JBax on Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:03 pm

How awful. It reminds me of "McDowell's" from Coming to America. But you are not a billion-dollar international chain.

Can you get an email list to get the word out to loyal customers? Like how Metina sends out the step-by-step newsletter. You will have some control over who gets info of upcoming events, and the people who are legit will have access to know where to find you. A newsletter might be a really good idea. You could list upcoming events, talk about specials, or showcase services you provide. Maybe highlight work you've done. It's kind-of how I use my blog. Now that I think about it, my blog on google can be set up so only authorized users can look at it. You could have basic info on your web page, and former customers/potential legitimate clients can access your blog if they wish.

Sorry about the stream-of-consciousness response, but I hope you can work something out.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by facepainter1221 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:56 am

Thank you all for your awesome responses. I do state on my home page "first established" in 2003 & also state "7 years painting & counting" I will definately add "immitation is the MOST sincerest form of flattery but why settle for an immitation when you can get the real thing with me." I do not post prices b/c I base my rate on where the event is at & how many children, so people have to contact me first. I do not use a contract - never found a need to. I call a few days prior to confirm details etc etc.

*****Question for Rosenberg-Cox ---- I do have a copyright statement posted on my site b/c I employ alot, alot of pictures. If I do have the copy right posted - what does that entitle me to????? You mentioned if I do not have one I can not stop them..But I DO have a copyright. Please let me know what that exactly covers me for????

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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Metina on Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:37 am

I would say instead of using so much energy and time fighting it, figure out a way to use it. I know this is easier said than done. For your "style" is it something that could be named and readily recognized. Can you use the words like "Original", "True", "Exclusive Process" along with the often copied ect..... I want to caution you about getting too negative or dramatic with it because none of your customers will understand why and will think you are crazy for going so overboard.

If you feel comfortable, post some of the competitor web addresses so we can review. You can also work with your web hosting company to ban certain IP addresses from viewing your site. When I suspect someone is doing something on the forum that is unsavory, I can block their IP address. Yes they can go to another location, but it sends a message that their behaviour won't be tolerated.

-Metina

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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Tilum on Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:55 am

Metina wrote:I would say instead of using so much energy and time fighting it, figure out a way to use it. I know this is easier said than done. For your "style" is it something that could be named and readily recognized. Can you use the words like "Original", "True", "Exclusive Process" along with the often copied ect..... I want to caution you about getting too negative or dramatic with it because none of your customers will understand why and will think you are crazy for going so overboard.

If you feel comfortable, post some of the competitor web addresses so we can review. You can also work with your web hosting company to ban certain IP addresses from viewing your site. When I suspect someone is doing something on the forum that is unsavory, I can block their IP address. Yes they can go to another location, but it sends a message that their behaviour won't be tolerated.

-Metina

I think you mean i can block certain IPs Haha

If the website is the same then you can get copyright infractions, that makes anyone change their website Razz

~ Tilum
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Rosenberg-Cox on Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:24 am

In regards to a copywrite: If you apply for and are granted a copywrite from the government, you could sue someone for "copying your work" as their own HOWEVER you could not sue them for having their version of your idea. I have a copywrite logo on my site but it is not enforcible as I have not actually applied for a copywrite. Example: My watered-down version of the disney princesses (no detail faces, just body and dress) in not a copywrite violation as it does not look enough like the actual disney princesses. Disney could not copywrite the dresses or positions a charature stands. Example: many of us have our versions of the spiderman face in mask form. Since Spiderman never wore a mask, it is our interpretation of the look, not a copy.

Here are the basic steps in appling for a copywrite:
Make sure what you want to copyright is your original work of art, literature, poetry, music, multi-media, computer software, etc. See the U.S. Copyright Office Web site for details.
Visit the U.S. Copyright Office Web site to determine the exact category of your work and for detailed information. (See Related Features for links.]
Either contact the U.S. Trademark Office to request an application form or download one from their Web site. (http://www.copyright.gov/forms/).
Complete the application.
Mail the completed application and a copy of the work to be copyrighted along with a $20 filing fee to the U.S. Copyright Office. ($20 fee per work).
The Copyright office will send you a certificate of registration in from 6 - 8 months.


Tips:
A copyright protects only the physical expression of a work. It does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation.
Names, like company or organization names, names of performing groups, or names of people cannot be copyrighted.
Copyrights remain in effect for the lifetime of the certificate holder plus 70 years unless renewed.

Please note, I am not trying to discourage you from dealing with the copycats. I agree, it is one thing to get a few ideas from establish painters but it is something completely different when they copy everything! (Banner, website, advertising, etc). However, there comes that point where each of us has to deside where are energy is better spent.

Does the Better Business Bureau have a catagory for this?
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Rosenberg-Cox on Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:28 am

I just looked at your site and can give you a few suggestions. PM if you are interested. Just a few thoughts.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:45 am

Have you considered maybe it is time to upgrade your site? Once others start to copy you, it is time to up your game.

Annoying.... but it is a way of making sure YOU stand out.

Guest
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by facepainter1221 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:01 pm

Tell me more...please. How do I do that, where do I go, can I have as many pics as I do??? Think it is time to upgrade..can't wait to hear from you.

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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:31 pm

All you have to do is edit and/or replace what is on your webpage right now... it will depend on how you created it...

Since I created my own using Yahoo Small Businesses' PageBuilder program, if I wanted to change mine, I would just start editing it myself - changing the header and the background templates, creating new pages and saving them with "dummy" names without linking them to the current pages until I had them all revised

Then I would go in and delete the old page and then rename the new one with the name of the old page, check all my links and it would be live.

Given how many pages I have on my site it would probably take me a week or so to completely change everything. But meanwhile my current site would stay in place, and only when I did the actual rename and save would the new version be visible.

My program is really easy and I edit my pages all the time - I replace photos, add new stuff, new pages... it is almost like word processing but with lots of photos!

However, if you had someone else create your page.... you might need to start over, get a completely new site created/designed and just upload a completely new version onto your domain.... it shouldn't be difficult.

Guest
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by moonprints on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:53 pm

Another place to go if you are not familiar with web design and are more comfortable with templates is http://www.oswd.org/
This is an area where web designers have made up templates that are "open source" meaning they are meant for others to use. Sometimes there are limitations on what you can do with the design, usually something like leaving the "designed by XXX" at the bottom or asking for permission first, etc. They will usually be listed on the sample page or the place you go to download a specific page, so just be on the lookout. Still, it is a great place for people who are not very web savvy to get ideas or to help with getting a basic site up.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Perry Noia on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:43 pm

if you don't have a web page designer software yet, I use NVu ... it's free and works kind of like microsoft frontpage.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by starponysmama on Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:29 pm

You do not have to apply for the copywright in order to have one. Copywright is in effect at the time of creation of the work. You can still sue. A Trademark is used for names, symbols and such.

Reference: West Business Law Book from my college courses.


Rosenberg-Cox wrote:In regards to a copywrite: If you apply for and are granted a copywrite from the government, you could sue someone for "copying your work" as their own HOWEVER you could not sue them for having their version of your idea. I have a copywrite logo on my site but it is not enforcible as I have not actually applied for a copywrite. Example: My watered-down version of the disney princesses (no detail faces, just body and dress) in not a copywrite violation as it does not look enough like the actual disney princesses. Disney could not copywrite the dresses or positions a charature stands. Example: many of us have our versions of the spiderman face in mask form. Since Spiderman never wore a mask, it is our interpretation of the look, not a copy.

Here are the basic steps in appling for a copywrite:
Make sure what you want to copyright is your original work of art, literature, poetry, music, multi-media, computer software, etc. See the U.S. Copyright Office Web site for details.
Visit the U.S. Copyright Office Web site to determine the exact category of your work and for detailed information. (See Related Features for links.]
Either contact the U.S. Trademark Office to request an application form or download one from their Web site. (http://www.copyright.gov/forms/).
Complete the application.
Mail the completed application and a copy of the work to be copyrighted along with a $20 filing fee to the U.S. Copyright Office. ($20 fee per work).
The Copyright office will send you a certificate of registration in from 6 - 8 months.


Tips:
A copyright protects only the physical expression of a work. It does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation.
Names, like company or organization names, names of performing groups, or names of people cannot be copyrighted.
Copyrights remain in effect for the lifetime of the certificate holder plus 70 years unless renewed.

Please note, I am not trying to discourage you from dealing with the copycats. I agree, it is one thing to get a few ideas from establish painters but it is something completely different when they copy everything! (Banner, website, advertising, etc). However, there comes that point where each of us has to deside where are energy is better spent.

Does the Better Business Bureau have a catagory for this?
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Rosenberg-Cox on Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:50 pm

Laws change. My information came directly from the US Government website,(http://www.copyright.gov/). I have been in court over this before. Sure anyone can sue anyone over anything but winning is a different matter. I could not win the last one because I did not have a copyright because I did not apply for one. The was the judge's decision. I never had that judgement before. On the up side, you can apply for a copyright at any time and back date it if you can prove the date.

In the past, I would put a picture in a sealed envelope and express mail it back to me, never opening it. When I needed to prove the date I created it, I would have the Judge open it in court. The postmark proves the creation date and since it was seal, it was not tampered with. In the past, this was good enough for me to win the case. Not anymore.

I have given up on stopping the copy cats and now concentrate on stay one step ahead of the competition. Unique creations that are harder to copy, website with unique properties, moving galleries in place of still pictures so it is harder for someone to sit and study, etc.

This is a chance we take every time some one photographs our work or we put it out on the internet.
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Judy on Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:00 am

Maybe sending them a message asking if they would like you to be their mentor would get your point across. You may be surprised though as they might take you up on it seeing as they want to be like you! Shocked

You also might want to take at look a free watermarks that are available onlline to put on your original designs on your website. I personally have never used them, so I can't advise how they work, but it may be something worthwhile to investigate.

People with original designs make books and sell them! Might as well make some money off of your ideas! Very Happy
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Rosenberg-Cox on Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:24 am

I like Judy's ides of the watermarks. I have done them on documents but had not on pictures. The book idea sound great as well.

On a side note: Love the new pic Shannon!
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Re: face painter copy cats

Post by Guest on Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:01 am

Seeing as I had to upload a new avatar figured I'd be seasonal!! That's me BEFORE make-up in the morning...

I watermark all the photos on my site and most of what I post everywhere OR in some cases I crop and reduce the size and pixels so much that they aren't suitable to enlarge for printing purposes... A 1" X 1.5 inch 72 pixels per inch photo is NOT going to be useable for display purposes!

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