If you’ve seen deals from Easy Canvas Prints that look just too darn good for a large canvas print, then you might just be onto something. As it turns out, Easy Canvas Prints’ terms of service allows the company to use photos you upload “in advertising, marketing, samples, and promotional materials.”
That might seem all innocent if they want to promote their company using a product based on an image you upload; however, Easy Canvas Prints is also under the same umbrella as BuildASign.com, AlliedShirts.com and Printcopia.com. The various products that your images can end up on include “merchandise, signs, magnetics, bumper stickers, and banners.”
All for a cheap canvas print.
Stay away from the jackholes at Easy Canvas Prints unless you want your images turned into their free stock photo catalog for their various websites.
You can read more on this story from Photo Attorney.
You sound pretty passionate about this one Eric!
I can see it from both sides though really, if you are an already accomplished and accredited photographer who does sell your artwork then yes this could comprise your portfolio but on the other hand of you are a Joe No-one and just want a cheap print then as long as you are not sending in images of yourself with a couple of questionably aged hookers then it might be cool to see a photo you did where lots of people can see it or on something that people want to buy. I would feel proud my image was chosen, but then I have never tried to make a living from my photography hobby so again two sides.
Eric Reagan says
If it was up front and not buried in the terms of service, I would feel differently. However, there is no excuse for a print company to go after rights like this.
Robert Mark says
All the canvas printing companies have the same TOS.
Robert you are wrong.
Reputable companies like prodpi, WHCC, Mpix, bay photo, millers, etc. don’t do that. They might feature you in a catolog with your permission, but they sure as hell don’t sell your photo on their merchandise.
Robert Mark says
Fair enough. I stand corrected. Thanks.
Its not just canvas companies, its everything these days – TOS’s that are too long for anyone to really read them, and these mega corporations get anything they want. They have so much damn power and we the little people have none. Go ahead and sue a company like Apple for instance. The first thing your lawyer will tell you is…. any guesses? HIS FEES
The only people who really benefit from all of this are the lawyers… and since the lawyers are on retainer at these companies, it doesn’t cost them anything extra to do anything that can cause a lawsuit. And while we hear about people getting bazillions of dollars for spilling coffee that was too hot – the truth is that you usually can’t afford to fight so long, and if you do you will not see any real money at the end.
Corporations are patenting living tissue these days. Its crazy but its true. The only way to avoid being used and abused is to simply print your own pictures at home, buy a roll of canvas and do it yourself. Because even without the TOS if a company does use your image you won’t be able to prove that your image directly made them money- and if you get anything it will be negligible.
So pay hi prices for better TOS’s or do it yourself -= but even with WHCC plan on having an issue somewhere down the line.