Lately, I have been sending emails again to the publishers and authors of the decks I use most, to ask them formally for permission to keep using the images in my blog. I explained that I always use low-res picture (photos, when I can, instead of scans), and ALWAYS link back to the publisher and the artist. You can check this yourself: there's always a copyright line in every post.
Very well. Almost all of them said yes, no problem... except Llewellyn Worldwide, Ldt. I just reiceved this message:
"Unfortunately, Llewellyn cannot grant you permission to use our materials in this way. Please remove any and all Llewellyn-owned images from your website within seven days. Failure to do so will result in us filing a copyright infringement claim with your ISP. Thank you for your compliance."Short and deadly, but I understand they must have their reasons to answer this way. However, this response was very heart-breaking to me, because the Enchanted Oracle is published by Llewellyn - and it's one of the decks I love most. It's been a wonderful companion in my healing journey and I love to share the readings I do with it.
I will obviously remove all Llewellyn images as they have requested. This includes the Enchanted Oracle, plus the Legacy of the Divine, the Bright Idea Deck and others. There's also the Sacred Scarabs, but since the photos were used in a review I don't believe this is illegal.
I know that sharing images of the cards in websites can cause a few problems.This topic has been discussed ad nauseam in many different tarot websites, and I am definitely not trying to bring this thorny topic back to life. I'm not here to throw rotten tomatoes at them or start a flame war either. With all honesty, I do not feel angry - I just feel deeply disappointed.
I had the best of the intentions, but I know the road to hell is paved with them. I shot myself in the foot. I suppose I should have consulted Llewellyn when I first began using their decks... mea maxima culpa.
Right now, I am thinking how I'll do to replace all the pictures with something else, because I really don't want to delete entire posts. They are part of my story, after all. I dislike to think that my posts using the Llewellyn decks will now look maimed. Yes, maimed. Because I do not use the pictures simply to make the blog pretty... the images speak. If they didn't I would be reading chopsticks or rain drops.
I guess I wasn't expecting this, after getting so many positive responses from other publishers. So I leave you this warning: if you are a fellow blogger, it may not be a good idea to use Llewellyn decks in your posts, lest you have to go back and delete everything.
And before anyone accuses me of 'attacking' Llewellyn, let me say this is not my intention at all. The fact is, sharing my experiences with my cards here is an important part of my card reading practice. So their adamant prohibition makes me uneasy. Of course Llewellyn has the right to make their rules, but I also have the right to disagree. I do like Llewellyn decks, I probably wouldn't be feel upset if I didn't. So, consider this a vent, not an attempt to slander anyone.