Today is my son’s birthday.
For various drama reasons, I vowed a couple of years back that my children wouldn’t get anything personal from me ever again. This includes mailing a card from my mailbox in my front yard. I’m not really their mother anyway, they often told me over the years, even though I was there their entire lives. Okay fine.
For my son’s 22nd birthday, though, I decided to get a little personal. Usually I order a gift card for them through giftcards.com and go about my business. This year I uploaded this picture of Linette (to the right) with a zombie note. Basically I gave him the desire for brains for his birthday. (Someone has to do it, might as well be me.)
Without telling me, the card company cancelled my order. I found out today, after the fact. I called them about it.
The woman was very stern to me after putting me on hold for a while. She told me that the order was rejected because, and I’m going to quote, I had “taken a picture off the internet.” They had strict policies about stolen artwork.
I told her, but it’s my artwork. MIIIINE. My character, my creation, mine. The comic is mine, the domain is mine, I publish myself, it’s mine. It didn’t matter, I was told, because their automatic system checks for image pings and if an image has had 10 or more backtracks on the internet they cannot even use it.
Furthermore, she told me, they had emailed me the night I’d uploaded the card to let me know.
Which was bullshit. What I’d gotten from them was a note telling me the card had been mailed, not a note telling me the card had been rejected for wanting to use my own artwork.
I tell myself that at least the angsty old bird was honest about her assumption that I would feel the need to steal something from myself. When I tried to have a personalized credit card through Credit One they were very rude to me about it and didn’t have the balls to lay the claim directly at my feet. They just pushed me around a lot and made me wish I’d never gotten a card through them.
Still. Who cares if my artwork has had 10 backtracks on the internet? Of course it’s had 10 backtracks. Seriously. IT’S ON A FUCKING WEBCOMIC SITE. And only 10 backtracks?
So what if I was making a personalized card using a photo of a family member that I’d gotten from a family shared website? That would certainly have more than 10 hits, because the entire family would be sharing that shit.
Also other artwork I’ve uploaded to that site with more views was approved. So. What the fuck ever.
I’ve been using giftcards.com for a couple of years now, but I think for Christmas I’ll be shopping for a new service. And I’ll be careful to use artwork I haven’t uploaded anywhere yet, just in case. I am my own artist, I do my own stuff. I’m sorry if my stuff looks so professional you confuse it for mainstream media, but honey… if it were mainstream media I wouldn’t have to use your lousy service. And I most certainly wouldn’t.
It’s just another reason why this copyright situation has gone too far, that artists can’t even use their own artwork without getting accused of being criminals.