An angel policy is a paper crafting term that’s used by designers to protect their designs from being mass produced.
It usually relates to where a designer has licensed their images to a paper craft company who then manufacturer products to be used in the making of cards and other paper stationery.
More often than not, it will relate to a rubber stamped image. For example, hallmark cards license some of their characters (tatty teddy, Wellington Bear etc) to a company called Docrafts who then create papers, rubber stamps, embellishments etc, all along that theme.
When you rubber stamp an image, it’s essentially reproducing an image over and over again, so copyright may come into question.
However, this is where the angel policy comes into play.
The designer and manufacturer will agree a limit to the number of stamped images that an individual can make. Eg, 50 cards with one particular rubber stamped image is fairly normal.
It is there to restrict mass market sales (hallmark obviously make their own cards and don’t want Jane Smith up the road creating 5,000 cards to compete with them!), and to keep a cap on just how much their image is reproduced.
However, as I don’t do rubber stamping, and don’t use preprinted images all that often, the angel policy is quite a grey area for my crafting.
I’ve just had a lovely conversation with a licensing manager at Hallmark Cards because someone decided that my 6 week old online shop ought to be reported for abusing copyrights.
Fortunately I’m not (I knew that anyway, having checked all angel policies first!), but it did amuse us both that someone took time out from their day to go to my website, then go to Hallmark’s site, find their ‘report’ page, fill in the contact form and send the email.
For 2 notepads.
I have no idea who would utilise their time I such a way, and obviously for data protection purposes, Hallmark cannot release that information.
I’m not really bothered, but what it has done is put my designs right in front of the biggest greetings card manufacturer in the World.
There’s always a silver lining!
Happy crafting (and don’t forget to check the angel policies, if you’re unsure, email the designer)