Monday, May 27, 2013

Nope, I'm Not Flattered - And I'm Not Going Away

For those who have followed me and my work for the past decade or so - you've likely heard this all before. So feel free to skim or skip as you see fit.  For those who don't mind a bit of ranting, stay here and get ready.

This morning, several people alerted me to yet another website that has stolen an image of mine.  This one is slightly different than the dozens of other sites that have stolen my images to use to sell their copies of my beads - but I will go into that later.

This website - Indian Bead Store, aka Dev Exports has taken the below image and used it on their main website.
Midnight Mermaid bead set, made in June 2009

I can, of course, prove these beads are mine, because I have several other photos of them that aren't published online.  I also know what they're made of, how they're made, and can point to the fact that they carry my artistic voice.

I also talked about these beads in my post about CiM Mermaid, added to this blog in December 2009 (originally written in June, and moved over from my old Word Press blog).

Now, I'd like to talk a little about how people have responded to my many discussions about this kind of thing over the years, because I just need to get a few things off my chest.

First, I know most people are just trying to be helpful - and I really do appreciate that.  However, there are a few things being said to me that just don't help at all.

"It's because your beads are so beautiful!" - This comment (and its variations) is incredibly kind, but misguided.  The people who lift my images to use as marketing for their own work do not do so because of the beauty of my beads.  They do so because it is easy.  My website is A simple search for lampwork brings up my website and all the images therein. I think the image thieves are looking for a quick and easy way to design their websites, and my images are right there, easy to lift.

Other artists don't have this problem nearly as often, because their website URL's are often their names or business names. I have thought of changing my web address, but I have had for over ten years.  It's established, and I think it would hurt my business to move.  But I am still considering it.

"You should be flattered!" No.  No I shouldn't.  I get no credit for the image, my name is nowhere on the site.  The images are usually taken because it is easy (see above), and because they think they can copy the beads. Often, they do.  This not only hurts my business, it makes me feel used and tossed aside. Yes, it's true that I should grow as an artist and make beads that are harder to copy.  I know this.  It's hard to grow as an artist when things keep happening that thwart motivation, though.

"You should watermark your pics!"  Yes, I tried this for years, but people were able to lift the images, remove the watermarks and proceed to post the images wherever.  A passing familiarity with photo editing software makes this pretty doable. So I stopped watermarking my pics because I think watermarks are ugly.

"Don't let this bother you - just ignore it!" and "You're letting them get the better of you!" This is a blatant disregard and invalidation of my feelings.  If I could ignore it, I would. I am sensitive. I admit it. It's really difficult for me to just turn a blind eye when I am being stolen from, used and when I lose business to bead exporters. It hurts me as an artist, and it hurts my bottom line. As far as I am concerned, this nerve is still exposed.  Whenever I think I am over it, it happens again.

I've also had people over the years post and email me that talking about this does no good, and is pointlessly negative. To those people, I say "Bite me". Talking about it not only helps me vent the anger and frustration and hurt - it also informs others that this is happening.

Legal action is not possible for me (overseas, expensive, etc), so all I can do to get some recourse is inform others. Posting about this online is the only way I can keep the issue relevant, and maybe stop people from buying from stores that refuse to do their own work and earn their keep legitimately.

I can't offer customers beads that are as cheap as those on an exporter's website.  But I can explain that they are not going to get what they see there, at all. Not even a little bit.

Now, I promised to explain why this particular website is different from the dozens of others that have stolen my images.  Here's why - Indian Bead Store and Dev Exports also sell glass rods.  More specifically, they sell something called "Dev Glass".  Looking at this glass on their website, it seems that this might be Devardi glass - an indian glass company that came on the market a few years ago.

I am not a fan of Devardi glass - their company or their business practices, and to have my beads on a website that sells this glass really makes me sick.  Plus, as a seller of this glass, which is used to make beads, this company should know better than to steal an artist's images to use as marketing for their own stuff. It's a slap in the face.  This website - Indian Bead Store/Dev Exports seems to be affiliated with Devardi glass.  If they are not, it's a huge coincidence.

At any rate, I would like to implore you, the bead buyer, collector and user, to refrain from buying from any website that steals artists' images for use as a marketing ploy, please. And spread this around if you feel like helping me out.  I would really appreciate it.

I'm done ranting for today - thank you for reading.


***Note - I received a very rude email from the owner of Devardi insisting they are not affiliated with this company. I am not certain whether or not I believe him.  He threatened legal action.  However, it's completely legal for me to state my opinion. I am still of the mind that this is no coincidence, but if I am wrong, well, I am wrong. I doubt that, though. I am still not a fan of Devardi, and never have been - something which I am completely within my rights to insist. 


  1. Kandice, that sucks, again! Many (((hugs))) to you.

  2. Kandice,
    My heart breaks for you. You are so talented!!! This just really stinks!
    Heather Ferman

  3. Very well said, Kandice. Thanks for continuing to enforce the issue. And, it's not just your beads that are beautiful, your photography is outstanding, too!

  4. I'm so sorry to read about this happening to you -- once again. You should not feel flattered, you should not ignore it, it is not negative to point out another blatant plagiarism or use of your photography and beadmaking skills -- it is a wise business practice. Go for it! Hold your head high and call the thieves out every time, even if it is tiresome and repetitive.
    Kathy B

  5. You have every right to be pissed and I would be too. I have not bought glass from them but I have bought tools. I will stop buying anything from them. That practice is unacceptable for any reason. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Kandice, This happens to me on a regular basis and whilst there isn't always something you can do about it, sometimes you can. That domain is registered to their webhost,
    Cloud Group Limited
    c/o UK2.NET 91-95 Brick Lane, 2nd Floor The Old Truman Brewe
    London E16QL
    United Kingdom
    +44 7885 970 053
    I'd recommend contacting them and tell them that their client is breaking the law and that you want to file an official copyright complaint against them. Many won't do anything but sometimes you find an awesome host who will either dump the client for being in breach of their usage terms or at least remove your content from the offending website. Don't change your domain name under any circumstances. It won't make any difference other than hurting your business.

  7. Kandice, I completely agree on so many levels! We have had our images stolen on several occasions as well...and you're right, you can't do a darn thing about it! Not only does it take from your business (and livelihood), but it gives customers the impression that the work is "easy" and can be done by anyone. We have been glass artists for over 10 years as well, this is an art that takes many years to build up your own personal style (we only have millimeters-centimeters of real estate to create on). I know when I see your gorgeous beads, they are YOUR's the distinctive look of each artists work that sets us apart. When someone steals our images, it's as though someone is stealing a part of you. I have had this happen in jewelry design as well, where my own customer has taken my design and written in to a magazine with a tutorial (published) for MY well known (as my) design-with her name on it! You are not being overly sensitive-when others steal from our creative minds-it hurts! Big hug to you-stay strong and keep creating beauty!
    Krista Tseu

  8. I really feel your pain and I'm so sorry you suffer from such dishonest scoundrels....I wish you the strength to pursue ANY recourse you can!! I totally agree with your anger and frustration, and it really sucks to have your beautiful work posted on a web site with such substandard work and materials. And your informative response to this crime, posted here and well tagged, should surely serve, at least, as a "buyer beware" on the web, BUT I really hope you can get them a "Cease and Desist" notice, to remove your work from their site. Sending you courage and understanding, hugs.....

  9. Thanks everyone for your comments - I really do appreciate them!

  10. I completely agree with you on every point. It outrages me when people steal images and even more when people call themselves artists when all they are is production line workers who copy others work. An artist develops their own style. This style is yours, another style is someone else's. Why does anyone want to steal or copy? It makes no sense. That is not art. I will definitely keep that company tucked in the back of my mind and not only will never buy from them, but will spread the word as a perfect example of the cheap knock-off, most likely non-annealed, possibly made by 10 year olds in other countries work. I feel the same outrage with our local bead store who buys lampwork beads in bulk from China, sells them for pittance, won't refund when they break days or months later and has the nerve to say the local glass artists charge too much for their work. Disgusting. -Erin

  11. Haven't been here in a bit, but saw your posts on the new CIM colors and popped over. This shit really pisses me off; enough so that I sent them an email (not that it'll make any sort of difference) expressing my disgust. The thing that annoyed me the most was how they claim their stuff is unique; HAH! Idiots. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.


  12. kandice, I appreciate your crystalclear analysis of that situation! and I am sorry this happens to you, but I have no advice what to do about it than what you just did: make it public, make it clear! thanks for this