Start the year by stealing? No thank you.

Happy 2018 everyone.  I hope you and yours are safe, and warm!  Minus 12 on my way to work this morning. I so want out of here….  But I digress!  Only one working day into the year and I already have my post for the week!

Guy walks into the store this morning.  We have done a few small jobs for him before but nothing big and we really don’t know him very well.  We get to talking to a lot of our customers and build that relationship that helps keep them coming back.  We had 4 different ones bring us food this Holiday season, and one gave us beer!  Nice! Anyway, this guy has a business card that has a full color picture in the background.  Nice looking card.  We didn’t do the artwork originally, he gave us the PDF to print from.  It was even set up correctly with bleeds, which is a rarity for customer supplied art.

He says he wants to replace the picture with a new one and then order more cards.  Since the art file he gave us was a PDF, we may not be able to do it.  We can open and edit most PDFs in Illustrator, but depending on how it was originally created, it can’t always be done.  I tell him this and that we’ll try and can he email us the photo.  Sure, he says and a few clicks on his phone the photo is emailed.

A few minutes later I go to download his photo from email.  It is a 12k jpeg that says ‘shutterstock’ all over it.  That means that he went to the Shutterstock website, found a pic he wanted and copied the preview pic, thinking he can use that instead of paying Shutterstock for the photo. Now the fun begins.

“John, I can’t use this photo.  It is way to small to print clearly plus it says Shutterstock all over it.  Did you download the EPS from the site?  That’s what I need”, I say.

“Why can’t you use that?”, he asks.

“Because it has their name all over it and that would be stealing” is my only reply.

The next words out of his mouth are the same ones I hear maybe a dozen times a year.  “Can’t you just Photshop that out of the picture?” he asks.  Sure, I probably COULD. Some clipart would be pretty easy to do that. Most photos, however, take a higher level of Photoshop to remove and restore the picture than I possess. So I just tell him that it would cost him more for me to remove the words and restore the photo than to just buy the photo, and even if I could, I am not committing theft.

After a few minutes of trying to convince me to commit theft he finally says to forget it, he’ll get them done elsewhere.  Perhaps I should pay him a sales call in a few weeks and see if he has any new business cards.  And maybe send one to Shutterstock along with this story…


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