Your lash work. Someone else's name: What to do when your content is stolen

 
You're lounging at home in your PJs, scrolling through Instagram, when BOOM — you see a bomb lash set you did. It's YOUR work and YOUR photo. But not only is it posted on someone else's account, they haven't credited you. What do you do?
 
Every day, lash artists and companies, big and small, face the issue of stolen creativity. Whether it's a lash picture that's been stolen on Instagram, an idea for a course that's been copied, or an product formulation that's been "borrowed", it's important to know what situations require a response or action — and what exactly to say or do.

It's a thorny issue, so we decided to wade into the messy world of defining whether imitation truly is a form of flattery — or whether it's a malicious action that hurts the bottom line. We asked our experts to weigh in on the right ways to respond.
 
1. Pick your battles
"Ugh! I’m sure we all have experienced this — if you haven’t, then you likely will at some point in your career. There is nothing more annoying than putting in tons of thought and work into something, then having someone come along and claim it as their own efforts. But, at the end of the day, I like to pick my battles carefully and this is something that I feel doesn’t deserve too much of my time or energy. If someone is using my content and not giving credit, I will politely address the issue and leave it at that."
- Kristen Wade, LashPRO Educator
 
 
2. Sometimes imitation really IS flattery — so let it boost your ego!
"You can always watermark your image. But personally, I try and feel flattered they liked my image so much they wanted to share it further!"
- Crystal Harvey, LashPRO Educator
 
"Be the bigger person. Yes it sucks, but step back. And take a breath. It’s flattering that others are so in love with what you do that they want to copy you. Focus on yourself and continue to do what you’re obviously awesome at. But of course, if you're dealing with image stealing, definitely approach them professionally.
- Samantha Taylor, LashPRO Educator
 
"I haven't personally encounter this issue, but when other lash artists repost my work (usually credited), I feel honoured. I am making an impact and statement on social media and people can recognize my style of lashing."
- Debbie Vo, LashPRO Educator
 
3. Know when to confront people — and make good on threats when you do
"I would contact them.
Step One: Comment on their photo stating that it is your work.
Step Two: DM/email them with screenshots of their posts and proof of your original work. Give them a time frame to remove the image (24 hours, for example) or threaten to charge them usage fees of your content at $50-100 per day of use.
Step Three: If the image is STILL not removed, contact a lawyer and proceed with collecting damages.
It's YOUR work, so take ownership of it!"
- Courtney Buhler, CEO & founder of Sugarlash PRO™