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Nuts and Bolts: No As-Is Usage of 3rd Party Content

July 22, 2016


Nuts & Bolts – No As-Is Usage of 3rd Party Content

GCU looks for unique and creative submissions, not creative that can be found on many other sites. As such, 3rd party content cannot be used ‘as is’.


‘As is’ usage would be considered; just adding text, changing color, adding a border, etc.


If you wish to use 3rd party images on GCU, you must create something new and different by using them as an element in a new design where the original image is no longer recognizable in it’s original form.


Despite the original artist’s permission to use their images ‘as is’, GCU will not accept them if not transformed into a new design.  Using the original work ‘as is’ with no or only nominal or subtle changes to create a card is merely ‘copying’ and is not permitted on Greeting Card Universe.
This encourages artists to raise the bar for themselves resulting in unique and creative cards that shine and differentiate GCU’s offerings from other sites.


Here is a great example of the same PD image used by two GCU artists resulting in two very different designs by Alda Monteschio and Doreen Erhardt respectively.






TIPS: Include in your Notes to Reviewer links to the 3rd party elements you’ve incorporated into your design and indicate what you’ve done to create a new transformed design.  Additionally consider giving credit to the original artist(s) in your Artist Notes.


You may say GCU’s Stock Card Creations allows just that – “as is” usage of BigStock images with the only value add being text.  You’d would be exactly right!  However GCU’s Stock Card Creations differs in a few important ways and is not subject to the “no as-is usage” guideline.  GCU has established a relationship and licensing with BigStock for this express usage, artist earnings from Stock Card Creation cards do not count towards quarterly thresholds and lastly the review process is very picky with cards being declined for just about any reason.  The service is to spawn quick and clever cards for categories in need and afford artists who are good with words and not images to contribute.


Be sure to read this related blog posting with helpful examples:


The difference is made in the details!


GCU Community Manager
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