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Taking Down Suess-Inspired Graphics Again...


Just a quick business related post!!


Good Afternoon Blogges!

I just got this email from a fellow blogger informing me that another artist is being used over the Seuss-looking graphics, so I am not taking any chances and I have removed the graphics. I did contact the Dr. Seuss Enterprise personally, but never received anything back from them. I do not want to get myself or anyone else into trouble, so I suggest you read this email & take precautions...I will keep you updated on ANYTHING I find out. 
Here is the email I received... I did not use the name of the fellow blogger because I did not get her permission to do so yet. I thought it was more important that I let all of you know before I responded to the email... 


Hi Michelle,

I love your blog and you have the cutest graphics! I am not sure if you know this already, if you have been given the heads up. But Scrappin Doodles is being sued over their Dr. Seuss clipart. I thought I would share with you what she just sent me... 
"Hi _____________,
Please remove any reference to Suess on items created using our graphics.
A bunch of new items have just been uploaded to TN that are being referenced to Seuss and that is against copyright law by Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
We do not sell anything Seuss related anymore and have a pending lawsuit against us from DLA Piper law firm who represent Dr. Seuss Enterprises because of this.
The Suess name is copyright and no one can use the name without risking a lawsuit against themselves.
Our new Circus clip art is not related to Seuss and can not be referred to anything Seuss.
Anyone that is selling anything that relates to Suess are taking a big risk against getting a lawsuit filed against them as we have.
It is just a matter of time before anyone else selling Seuss graphics have the same thing happen to them.
We now have to go to court and are being sued for damages for using the Seuss name and creating the Cat with a Hat set.
I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter in removing any Seuss name relating to graphics by Scrappin Doodles since out graphics do not relate to anything Seuss anymore.
Thank you.
  

In a follow up email, where I was clarifying what was/wasn;t allowed...she responded with this...
"Hi _______________,
I understand and this is all confusing.
The name Seuss can not be used in any way especially in relation to any of our graphics because of what has happened with us.
The Seuss name and any variation of the Seuss name is copyrighted by Dr. Seuss Enterprises and unfortunately they are not very nice people as we have found out.
I’ve really had a hard time with this and dealing with these lawyers, they don’t care about the small guy and that we are trying to help teach and inspire children.
They have been extremely mean and ruthless and just keep throwing the copyright law in my face.
Thank you so much for understanding and changing the name, I don’t want you or anyone else to get into trouble from them too.
Thank you and have a wonderful day.


I just wanted you to have a heads-up. =)





I am so thankful for the heads up. I did do a great deal of research and thought that I would be fine being that I had not changed the look of the characters ( number one no-no from reading through their copyright laws) . I am still unsure what I will be permitted to put up, but in the meantime, I think I will play it safe.

I am going to be writing another letter to the company with more samples of my work and see if I get any sort of response back...until then, I advise you to do the same. This is a really tough topic since there are sooo many grey areas in the law, especially when it comes to education and clip art...I will keep my eyes and ears open and I hope that Scrappin' Doodles comes out of their situation okay. I can't imagine what they must be going through - but you may want to send a little support their way... I had previously made quite a few changes to my set; however, I still may need to make even more changes now...we will see...


Thank you for following!


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47 comments:

  1. Hey I just sent you an email!

    Ms. Patterson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh really? I will check right now...-;

      Michelle

      Delete
  2. Wow, that's horrible. We've all had to make adjustments because of this. Thanks for sharing!

    Angela
    The Daily Alphabet

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh shoot - maybe I should delete the "gravy" comment...perhaps the inventor of "gravy" might file a law suit....

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "whoop! whoop! whoop!" {that was the siren} here come the gravy cops!
      Staci

      Going Nutty!

      misssquirrels@yahoo.com

      Delete
  4. yeesh! Poor scrappin' doodles! and that's a lot of seuss stuff I gotta change :(

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know, but change to what? Michelle, I had actually added your clip art to my cart today, but it makes me scared to purchase any and publish. I think because of their focus on Scrappin Doodles, they're going to start looking closely at everything.

    Angela
    The Daily Alphabet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually de-activated it today. I will put it up at a lower price without any of the well-known characters (but what fun is that). I will add more of my own created characters to the set, but if there was something that you needed, just email me and let me know...

      3amteacher@gmail.com

      Michelle

      Delete
  6. Oh, good grief. Those people need to lighten up...we are all just trying to pay homage to the man! I had changed my names on my units, now I'm wondering if I should just take them down completely...darn.

    Natalie
    TeacheryTidbits

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!!! I was just saying that I don't think it should be legal to sue scrappin doodles or anyone for creating educational resources and lessons for the classrooms. It is quite a shame! It is just going overboard because no one in their right mind is ever going to think that scrappin doodles or any other artist for that matter is trying to take credit for the theme...just supporting it in the classroom is all... Oh well, better safe than sorry...

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  7. This is all crazy when we are using it for teaching purposes. You would think that it would "technically" be free advertising for book purchases. My kids have been obsessed with all things Suess right now and I know of several kids who have gone and bought books.

    Just sayin'.

    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am right with ya!! It would be great if I could figure out some petition that we could all sign that would help Scrappin Doodles out. We are all just supporting education and we are in no way tryong to take credit for the pseudonym : Dr. Seuss...LOL

      But what do I know??

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  8. So sorry this has happened, Michelle! All the copy right laws are so confusing! Hope it all comes out well for you!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know...So far, things in my arena are fine...


      Thanks for asking and sending some hope (-;

      Michelle

      Delete
  9. Thank you so much for the info. I took my products down after the email from scrappin' doodles, but I had no idea they were being sued! CRAZY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! It is so sad!! Now, this was second hand information that was sent to me and then forwarded to all of you...so maybe it is not as bad as it seems..

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  10. Bummer! I took down my products :( This is all sad really.


    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know...I am doing a ton of research right now and seeing what can be done. There has to be some way that we can help out Scrappin' Doodles (and other artists, including myself).

      You don't have to take down your products, I think you just cannot have the name "Dr. Seuss" or "seuss-tastic" or "seussy" on the product...hahaha!

      It is most definitely a bummer.

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  11. I Love Dr. Seuss but it makes me want to start a boycott against them and never use, purchase or promote their stuff again. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know....I am in the process of writing a children's series (I can't release the title yet...darn..it is eating away at me) and because of this...I am going to make sure that I include FREE clip art downloads with EVERY book for teachers...LOL! I will start a new trend - I hope (-;

      Thank you for visiting!
      Michelle
      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
    2. OHMYGOSH! I was thinking the same thing Deanna! :( I was bummed last night when I read this... Teachers are the biggest reason that Dr. You Know Who is still "alive" and prosperous!

      Angie
      www.mrsrubinsclass.blogspot.com

      Delete
  12. By the way I bought your Math set today! OH.MY.WORD!!!! LOVE! Thank you so much for thinking of everything. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you soooo much!! That really means a lot & completely put a smile on my face (-;

      I had a lot of help from requests and thought really hard about what I would want and/or use in the classroom. Let me know if there is anything else that would be helpful...

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  13. This issue is using their graphics (or any likeness) on products you claim as your own and it is worse if you are selling those items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I completely understand what you are saying and I do agree to some extent. In these instances, the likeness is to create resources that teachers can use in their products and lessons to accompany the books and illustrations.

      When any teacher or educator uses someone else's book to create and sell a lesson, they are using (to some extent) the owners works to extend the usability of it, but in no way, take credit for the book or the idea of the book. The same is true with book illustrations. They are owned by the illustrator and not the publisher, and therefore, fall under what is known as fair use. This is also difficult to define since there are separate contingencies for education materials. I am not teaching this year; however, while teaching I always wanted clip art that I could use that would enhance the materials and resources I created. Most teachers are the same. What I did - as well as what Scrappin Doodles did- was to create a set of themed graphics that could be used to enhance the resources and materials created to go along with the books that are soo loved and used in the classrooms. In no way was I trying to take credit for the origination of similar characters, but I was providing a service and a resource that would enhance the resources already being used.

      I am fully aware of the copyright laws...I spent hours researching and researching after I received a request that was followed by a comment that made me nervous. I spent time writing everyone who was someone and only received a few responses back (not one from the Dr. Seuss Enterprise) and all of which had reassured me that the illustrations could be used under fair use policy. Even with that, I was still nervous. Copyright is not always black and white and I hope all goes well for Scrappin' Doodles because I know where their heart was in creating their graphics.

      Thank you for adding to the conversation (-;

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  14. It also makes me wants to not support Dr. Seuss, also. I'm so disappointed in them. I hate that this has happened to Scrappin Doodles.

    Angelia
    Extra Special Teaching

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ugh! The Seuss people are joining the disney ppl!! Careful they are scoundrels too.

    Hugs to all of you!!
    Sarah
    shetrick@gmail.com

    ps. your newest stalker!! ;P

    ReplyDelete
  16. I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I'm sorry I didn't see that you got one already. I love your blog!

    Marybeth

    http://cialinichat-mbcialini.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AHHH - thank you! You are soo sweet! Make sure to grab your award as well (previous post) hehehe...I made one myself because there are far too many great blogs for me to only choose a few..

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  17. I too want to not use anything Seuss in my room anymore. My kids love Seuss and a few have started wanting to read because I have made such a big deal about it. Just reading their books wasn't enough to spark the kids interests. Having all the grab literacy and math centers to go with the books is what worked. How farr will they take it. Will all Teachers be sued for making Seuss hats with their class. Maybe someone should start a petition or a barrage of emails to them to let them know Teachers, who are probably their biggest supporters, don't want to support them anymore. I just amy need to take this to my FB page.

    on another note I LOVE your heart that opens with all your social networks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have written them so many times and even sent them samples of my work, but I have yet to receive anything back from them. I am not sure about the details, but I would really like to know if there is anyone who actually knows what the case is really about...

      We really should start some sort of petition and really flood their email box with pictures and letters. They don't seem to want to respond to the people who inquire...I have no idea why...I thought for sure I would get a response back in a heartbeat...but no..

      Oh, my cute social network heart is just that...so cute! I actually got the code from "spice up your blog" blogspot - the best blog tutorial ever!! I posted about them and the link is to the left (towards the bottom). You should def. take a peek at that blog..

      Michelle

      Delete
  18. So sad, I love Dr. Seuss. I had a FREE product in my store, but I deleted it to be on the safe side. Thanks for the information.

    Sarah
    Mackey'sClassroom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problemo... As soon as I got the memo...I wanted to make sure everyone I knew was aware...

      It is was it is...& it is quite a bummer..

      Michelle

      The 3AM Teacher

      Delete
  19. Thanks so much for letting me know about this craziness! I'm soooo confused...can we still use the clipart?? Is it just the "Seuss" name??? I'm not sure what all I need to change..?
    Christie
    First Grade Fever

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry - you're not the only confused one of the bunch...LOL! I would interpret the info to mean that the name, "Dr. Seuss" cannot be used or associated with any other resources or products not owned by the Dr. Seuss Enterprise; however, no one seems to know the details... I would def. not use the name on any of your products or resources & leave it at that....there is no way they can sue everyone...just the person(s) who create the art...YIKES!

      Michelle

      Delete
  20. I truly did not intend to send anyone into panic mode. This is the email I received on Saturday March 10 from Scrappin Doodles. I have pulled all my products, better safe than sorry. =(

    "Cat with a Hat Graphic Collection

    This email is to let you know that we have received notification from Seuss Enterprises that the set that we sold you called Cat with a Hat is a violation of their copyright.

    They have told us to remove the set from our website and to contact everyone that has purchased the set to let them know that the graphics can not be used in anything.

    Anything created (teaching printables, paper crafts, scrapbooks layouts etc..) using our Cat with a Hat graphics set needs to be removed from any website where it may be listed for sale or for free.

    I am truly sorry that this has happened and never imagined that something like this would happen. When I created the set I honestly believed that I made it to look different enough to be ok. I would never create and sell anything that I thought could get me in so much trouble and have to ever send out an email like this.

    I sincerely apologize for this and am so very sorry and am just sick about it and I really am truly sorry this has happened.

    We will no longer be creating any graphics relating to anything Seuss and we will no longer be creating graphics based on any movies or TV shows."

    (She replaced the graphics with a new, different set of circus theme. I removed this paragraph.)

    From this email, and the ones Michelle posted in her blog, it is pretty clear to me that as far as the Scrappin Doodles clipart, it cannot be used at all in any product, free or otherwise. =(

    Samantha
    Ms. Beattie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. No panic, I was just wanting to make sure that we were all updated with the info. There are so many teaching products out there right now that are Seuss-themed and are using graphics from several different artists...It is much better to be on the safe side for sure. I would not want to see anyone get into trouble; including myself.

      Michelle
      I appreciate your email

      Delete
  21. I'm a new follower and am featuring you in my post. I hope you stop by to check it out!

    ~Jena

    ReplyDelete
  22. WOW! I will be removing all of my Suess-related items from the store today and I will no longer be supporting Suess!

    I have a few ideas:
    1) Can you post a link with an email address to where "the teachers" may bombard Dr Seuss Enterprises with emails regarding their policy and "attack" on us.
    2) Has anyone tried contacting the media? A newspaper, tv station, anyone to bring more atttention to this issue? The fall out of "READ ACROSS AMERICA" and the whiplash against the Teachers of america... how is that for a title? TOO LONG! I know!
    3) What about TpT ... they have a "Dr. Seuss Day" category on their site. How is this affecting them?
    4) Who can we write to in complaint of Dr Seuss Enterprises breaking the fair use law? I wonder if there is a lawyer out there who would be willing to sue them on the behalf of us?

    Okay... our of ideas for now. I will be posting a link to this post on my blog tomorrow.

    Misty
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

    ReplyDelete
  23. I absolutely thought the same thing about teachers being the ones that keep Dr. Seuss alive. I think the thing that urked me the most about the Scrappin doodles mess is that you couldn't even give the stuff away for free. So, to me, they are basically saying they don't want teachers to even create resources to go along with the books to use in the classroom and share them with coworkers in order to promote the books.
    Molly~
    www.classroomconfections.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Michelle,

    Thank you so much for the information! I am recently back from a blogging hiatus. In a way I am glad that I missed all the copyright drama that I hear has been going on over the last few months. Then again it scares me to think that there is something I am missing! I know that we all just want the best for our students. It makes me very sad that others don't see that everything we do is for our kids. :(

    Jena
    1st Grade with Miss Snowden

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you, Michelle. I just took all my Seuss things down from TPT and TN. Thanks for keeping us all informed. It is a shame because I am quite sure our products and enthusiasm for Dr. Seuss week caused the Seuss enterprises to increase their own sales and profit. Teachers are primarily responsible for creating a ripple effect of excitement for all Seussy-things. I know the minute I introduced Dr. Seuss in the classroom, several parents told me they went out and purchased more of his books because their child was so excited to read them. Thank you for all you do in your work - it is truly amazing! Know that all of your followers admire your creations and are so grateful for them! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree that the "world" of Dr. Seuss would not be as popular or alive today if it weren't for dedicated teachers promoting literacy. I consider the artwork more as a service than trying to claim any sort of credit for the origination of the characters. But oh well, life will go on and there are many other author's for teachers to consider for literacy around the world themes.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness! You totally made my night (-;

      Michelle

      Delete

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