Well, it finally happened.
The dooms-day I’ve been dreading is finally upon me. After almost 5 years of successful Etsy selling, and building a brand and business up to be self-sustaining, everything has crashed in and around me over-night because of copyright issues. When I received the email this morning, I couldn’t even get all the way through it. I read about one paragraph and skimmed the rest as it confirmed the news I had been anticipating for years.
It didn’t come as a complete shock, the stuff I was selling was almost entirely Harry Potter themed items and almost every time I told someone what I did fora living, they asked “how do you get around copyright issues?” And I always replied with the same thing: “I don’t actually know. They’ll catch me eventually.”
*looks around shiftily*
But that was MY work!
Now before you get all up in my grill that I was just scanning in what Warner Brothers made and selling it as my own work, it isn’t anything like that. Well, not completely like that. I made everything from scratch, and printed and tested and re-tested every product, but even so, it’s based on intellectual property that doesn’t belong to me, and I knew it. Of course, I didn’t understand anything about intellectual property rights when I began five years ago – but I wasn’t thinking this far ahead, I was only thinking about how to make something cool for my niece’s 9th birthday party at the time. But alas, the time has come to switch gears and learn a valuable lesson.
By the time I got through the email from Etsy, outlining how they had received a note from Warner Brothers legal team, and a list of all the products that infringed on rights, my brain was thrown into hyperdrive. It almost felt like my body was floating a foot beneath the water line of a lake, suspended perfectly in the water, audio muffled, and vision blurry, barely breathing. Luckily, this was just a temporary thing and the phase would soon pass like a case of bad gas.
My mind next started spinning with questions – what am I going to do? How am I going to afford rent? Where am I going to live? How am I going to buy groceries? I was banking on this income over the next few months to pull me forward! My entire livelihood was just ripped out from under my feet in ten-seconds flat. How does someone deal with something so sudden? If you’ve ever been poised on the edge of something and about to fall off, you’ll know the feeling.
So, it’s time to start something new. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to go about it, but it’s time, the Universe has loudly declared it and I have no choice but to listen, so it’s now or never, and I’m going to dive right in to the unknown. There is no better day than today to begin! Time to start swimming!
The sun isn’t shining today, but cloudy days are perfect photography days – there are fewer harsh shadows.
There’s a silver lining to this cloud. Maybe there are several. I’m gonna start looking. 🙂
Meanwhile, the shop is still up, it’s just got much less in it now. If you still want to check it out, minus the Harry Potter items, here’s a link:
Printyca Shop on Etsy