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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Helper - Understanding Terms Of Use

Happy Sunday morning!  Today is Mother's Day.  Do you have something special planned for your mom today?  Maybe the kids have something fun planned for you.  My boys serve me breakfast in bed and I get to open their cards and little gifts they made at school.  It's all very sweet!  It's such a blessing and an honor to be called "Mother".

Today I'm going to talk about all the terms of use for digital scrapping kits.  This blog post has no pictures - YIKES - and we're talking about all the "fine print" so make sure you've got those reading glasses on!

It's very simple if you're just creating layouts for yourself, creating photo books or printing out your pages to slip into your scrapbook albums.  But if ever you want to expand out further than that with digital scrapping, you venture into a more complex world of figuring out what you can and can't do with a kit you just bought.  So let's see if we can summarize all the terms of use and make it simpler to understand.

Have you seen all these terms:
PU (personal use)
S4H (scrap for hire)
S4O (scrap for others)
CU (commercial use)
CU4CU (commercial use for commercial use)
CU4PU (commercial use for personal use)

When you purchase a digital scrapbooking product, you are not only getting the image itself but also the right to use it as specifically outlined in the designer's Term Of Use.  It can all be very confusing because each designer has their own Terms of Use that they publish with each product.  Even freebies come with a set of usage terms.

Personal Use allows you to use the items inside the kit to create layouts and hybrid projects that you will keep for yourself.  Typically you can also share those layout images in online galleries, blogs and publications as long as you give credit to the designer.  You cannot share these products with other people, resell them or give them away as a freebie.  Majority of the digital kits found in stores are for personal use only.  As long as it remains in your house for your own personal enjoyment, then everything is OK.  Once you start using these items to give to other people or sell them, you're no longer considered personal use.

Scrap For Hire means that you are being hired and paid by another person to create a product for them.  That product may be a scrapbook album, birthday cards, or invitations that you create as part of your small home business.  You are allowed to use the digital kits to create these products as long as you provide the client with a flattened image of the final product.    That way the clients never get access to all the individual elements and papers.  Usually a designer will dictate a maximum volume of items that can be printed - for example the Terms may state that you can only print out up to 300 party invitations for one client.

Scrap For Others is very similar to Scrap For Hire and will sometimes be combined and called the same thing. The difference is that you are creating these products for others but not getting paid for them.  For example, you might create a scrapbook for your teacher as an end of the year classroom gift.  Because you are providing it for someone else, it's no longer considered personal use and you'll need to only give them the flattened images.

Commercial Use products are sold to designers as design tools for creating digital kits and hybrid products for sale.  These products may be elements, overlays, layer styles, actions and other items and tools to create a product for sale.  Typically you'll need to modify the items by recoloring them or adding textures or blends.  Some designers state that you'll need to give them credit if you use their product in your digital kit, others will state that "no credit is required".

Commercial Use For Commercial Use means that you can use these designer items and tools as is or modified to include in a commercial use product you want to sell.

Commercial Use For Personal Use means that you can use these items for creating a kit that will be sold for personal use only.

Phew, is your head spinning now??  You almost need to have a law degree to read all the Terms of Use documents - LOL!  But now that you know some basic terms, it should be a little bit easier to understand.  Designer put in lots of time, effort and love into their digital creations.  It's always important to read those Terms Of Use documents to make sure you are abiding by the designers wishes.  So next time you are unzipping a new kit you just bought, take a peek at the designer's Terms Of Use document as well.

  Hope you enjoy a fabulous Mother's Day today with your family.  Have a fabulous week!

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