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Old 03-26-2010, 03:15 PM
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Exclamation PrettyScrappy.com: A Statement From Our Team of Designers

Dear friends,

This week our team of designers has been dealing with a very unfortunate situation with a designer at another store. We’ve attempted to rectify this situation privately behind the scenes, but the dishonesty involved in what is going on is something that we as a team feel needs to be brought to the community’s attention.

On Monday, March 22, I contacted Julie Frank, the store owner at Pretty Scrappy, in regards to a kit that one of their designers Robyn Greif aka ScrapperGirl Designs, had created that was in my opinion way too close to one of Libby’s original designs. I asked for the kit to be removed from the store as a courtesy to Libby due to the fact that the kit was essentially a knock off of her original work.

The owner replied to me and essentially dismissed my concern telling me the only thing she felt was really similar between the two kits was the word strips which she had asked the designer to remove from the kit. She then informed me that the designer was "purely inspired" by a commercial use package of medical elements, which she used for the kit and nothing more. Here are the kits so you can see and decide for yourself…





After doing this for 4 years, our entire team of designers is well aware of the fact that you can’t copyright themes or colors, but as professionals we strive to create our own original work week after week, and we know and appreciate that the majority of other designers out there do so as well, which is why a situation like this and the lack of a serious response was very disappointing.

At that time I shared the situation with our team of designers out of frustration at what had occurred. Had the above been the only thing that happened, we would have vented privately for a bit and that would have been that. These things happen - it isn’t the first time it has and it won’t be the last and at some point you come to realize that there is only so much you can do beyond asking for the removal of the kit when stuff like this is brought to your attention.

However, after the initial support of Libby had taken place and our designers started looking at ScrapperGirl’s collection of work more closely, many of our designers found their original elements taken directly from their kits and placed into her kits for sale at PrettyScrappy.com.

The kit below is just ONE example of what we discovered…



And here is a listing of the elements which were originally created by our designers. It should be noted that none of these products are available as CU items. These are elements scanned and extracted by our designers personally for use in their own kits. These are not knock-off items that LOOK like the designers' items, they ARE the Sweet Shoppe Designers' original elements with the name changed to scrappergirldesigns or sgd.



The items above can be found in the following kits available here at SSD. Feel free to click the images if you’d like to look for the items above as they appear in our kits.

Another Year Older (star paper by Christy Lyle made monochromatic by SGD)


Doodles & Damask (flower, bead spill, stitching & button by Penny Springmann)


Heart Whispers (paper tag by Melissa Bennett)


Frolic (wood frame by Shawna Clingerman)


While all of the above is infuriating when so much heart and work goes into our designs, it is even more shocking that we have no record of Robyn ever purchasing these products from us here at SSD or from ANY of our designer’s personal stores. As far as we are concerned, she is claiming elements as her own from stolen products, which is incredibly disheartening and infuriating to be honest. At this point we have not been told otherwise despite several of our designers asking for an explanation.

Once we had all of the above information, we asked for an apology and some action to be taken against this designer, and on Tuesday morning, I received what I thought was a sincere apology from Julie at Pretty Scrappy letting me know she was terribly sorry for what had happened and that Robyn was no longer a designer in their store. While the whole thing was incredibly frustrating, we took some measure of comfort in knowing that this designer was slowed down for at least some measure of time.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday morning we received information that Robyn had not been removed as a designer from PrettyScrappy at all, but had merely changed her design name to Big Apple Designs in an effort to shut us up and make us think we’d “won”. As you can see from the screenshot below, there is no doubt that Robyn who was originally ScrapperGirl had changed her name to Big Apple Designs in the forums and store at PrettyScrappy.



Since Wednesday morning, Big Apple Designs has disappeared from both the forums and store, and the user PlainJane has taken her place in the PrettyScrappy forums.

Again, I wrote to Julie at Pretty Scrappy with my disappointment in how this situation was handled and informed her that we would be making a public statement in regards to this matter so that our concerns would be addressed somewhere since she was unwilling to take the situation seriously. So here we are.

As someone who takes great pride in the professionalism and integrity of my team, it pains me to make a public spectacle like this as I prefer to handle these situations privately. However, due to the lack of action, our team felt that it is time to start standing up for ourselves as designers by making a statement to say that this kind of thing is NOT ok. Digital piracy has many ugly faces, and this is unfortunately a very sad and disturbing one.

We are not out to harass anyone or make life difficult for an up and coming store or designer. This is not a case of a big store bullying a little one, and we realize that there are likely very honest and good designers creating and selling at Pretty Scrappy, but this situation was handled very poorly and dishonestly by the store owner and designer, and ultimately we deserve to have our designs protected one way or another.

Please help us protect our work by keeping your eyes open and letting us know if you see thievery as blatant as this situation has been. We know that similar colors and themes come out throughout the digital community, and that is as it should be as each designer can always bring a fresh perspective to their projects, but when kits are a direct knock off of a designer’s work, or worse when people are claiming someone else’s work as their own, there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed as you deserve to spend your money on designers who put their heart into creating their own work each time they hit their computers. To expect anything less is a mockery of the business we love.

On behalf of the entire team of Sweet Shoppe Designers, thanks so much for your time and support,

Robin
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:25 PM
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Wow. I can't even believe that! I'm so sorry this is happening to you wonderful designers, and I will definetly keep an eye out and support you all.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:29 PM
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sitting here with my mouth wide open. out.rageous. most definitely robin and co.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:30 PM
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OMG Wow. My heart goes out to all of you affected and to any designers who have had something similar happen to them. There is no excuse and it really is a shame that so many think they can make a quick buck by stealing another's work of art. Hopefully this will be an eye opener to others out there as well. It's sad. (((hugs))) to all of you for having to endure this.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:31 PM
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UGH. I can't believe the gall of people. This is so wrong.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for posting Robin! you girls so much.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:36 PM
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I am doing the exact same thing Laura........my mouth is WIDE OPEN. Jaw dropped. I can't believe the lack of integrity.

Robin and designers..... I am so sorry you are faced with this. You have a whole community supporting you! I will definitely keep my eye out. That is just not right.
Not only that.........I will not be even visiting that site. They don't deserve my support or money. Horrible.
Sending out lots of hugs to all you wonderful ladies! ((HUGS))
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:41 PM
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Disgusting! It's really sad that this designer to do this... but then for that store to back her. Just disgusting! Seriously, what are they thinking? Don't mess with SSD, designers, or the community!
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:42 PM
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this is just awful!
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:46 PM
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Ugh. Why do people do this? Thanks for letting us know so we don't buy there (not that I buy anywhere but here really, but still!).
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:46 PM
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This makes me FUME and sick to my stomach. That a designer could do that in the first place, and then outright lie and say she was using CU products... but its obvious that some were never even recolored!!! And then for the store owner to pretend like she took care of it is SO shady!!!!

I'm glad that you posted this Robin. I had not seen the site before, but I probably would have in time, and now I know to stay away from it. I refuse to support businesses who do this sort of thing.

Disgusting.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:47 PM
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yep obvious take from you guys. Sorry you are dealing with it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:47 PM
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Wow, I can't believe it! I'm sorry this has happened.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:48 PM
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wow. I hate that people are so horrible. I will keep my eyes open for sure
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:49 PM
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Actually, I'm not shocked by the "designer's" behaviour (I don't applaud her, either, I somehow can't get how she can feel good about her work if she *knows* it wasn't hers at all). People would attempt such things, that's a known fact. What appalls me is the behaviour of the store owner after you repeatedly contacted her and asked her to remedy the situation. That sucks big time.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:49 PM
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wow I am just blown away by the nerve of this. Kudos to Robin for protecting her designers and store and handling this with maturity and integrity. Honestly I just love hanging out here in the forums, galleries, store, etc. SSD is the best place ever!!!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:50 PM
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Thats so sad. I just don't understand how people can live with themselves when they pull stunts like that!

Thanks for letting us know!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:50 PM
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Robin, THANK YOU. For protecting your awesome designers and for protecting the integrity of this industry we all love so much.

Libby, Penny, Melissa, and all the other girls ripped off - I'm so sorry





What LOSERS! the nerve.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:50 PM
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It's really disgusting.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:51 PM
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Wow. Just blows me away. What a disgrace to the business. I'm sorry that this happened to any of you here. I feel really bad for the designers who were blatantly disrespected.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:54 PM
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Thank you for posting this Robin! This absolutely disgusts me and breaks my heart for all of the SSD designers that were affected by this!

you all!!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:55 PM
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I have seen it before on ebay where many many designers had things stolen from them and not ever recolored. I reported it to all the sites I knew for sure at that time. I do not think it is right to take someones work and claim it as your own and it seems pretty obvious that is what happened. I know I dont spend a whole lot of money here anymore but when I do actually have money to spend at any digi-scrapping stores this is the only one I really go to.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:56 PM
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Oh my word. I have no words. I was under the impression that anyone in a position to write tou's would respect someone else's. Wow. The nerve.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:56 PM
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Wow.

I have chills from reading this.

Hugs to everyone here at SSD affected by this.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:59 PM
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Crazy! It is disappointing that things like that happen; the digi-thievery and the failure to correct the situation by the owner. I'm sorry to those of you who were robbed.

I also feel sorry for the honest designers at a shop where a scandal like this is revealed, they are going to undoubtedly suffer in the back lash.

(On a light-hearted note at least the one doing the stealing and re-selling has good taste)
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:59 PM
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Robin, thank you so much for coming forward with this information. Really, without designers and stores standing up for themselves like this, the community doesn't know and continue to shop from stores that support such behavior. Despite the fact that we see it over and over again, I'm just apalled that people continue to do this. My heart goes out to the design team here at SSD. Y'all in no way should have to put up with this mess.
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMarch View Post
Ugh. Why do people do this? Thanks for letting us know so we don't buy there (not that I buy anywhere but here really, but still!).
Ditto and yeah, mouth WIDE OPEN!

This is so disgusting and I'm so sorry my fave designers were hurt like this! I love you guys and will definitely keep my eyes open!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:10 PM
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Oh wow. I don't even know where to begin. I seriously had to re-read the entire post like three times just to make sure I was actually reading what I thought I was reading.

Robin, I commend you 110% for sticking up for your designers. You should not lose sleep for one second about going public with this. You did what you had to do. Hugs to you and all the designers affected by this outrageous behavior. Makes you wonder how some people sleep at night.

To all the SSD designers, ya, girls! Keep doing what you're doing and being the amazing people you are. And just remember...karma is a beotch!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:11 PM
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Wow, I'm shocked at this....the kit is so completely obvious that I'm just appalled that they deny it! I'm so sorry that you guys have had to deal with this, and appreciate that you've let us know.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:12 PM
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Robin, You never cease to amaze me in your professionalism.
Designers, I am so sorry that this is happening to you.

I am shocked and saddened.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:13 PM
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I am so sorry that someone did that to you girls! I don't blame you for going public, I don't often shop elsewhere, but I'll def stay away from that place!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:16 PM
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I know I have not been around the digi world for some time and don't really have a right to jump in and say anything about this but I just wanted give my most sincere support to all of the amazing designers here at SSD because not one of you deserves this. While I'm not around the boards I am still shopping on occasion and this is the store I always come back to! You all work so hard to create amazing original designs each release and I am truly sorry that someone is doing this to you all!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:18 PM
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Ouch! That is so not right. I am sorry for you guys.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:18 PM
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Wow... I can't believe anyone would do this stuff. {{hugs}} to everyone involved.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:26 PM
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Totally not cool
Big Hugs to everyone and Robin your the bomb so professional and all
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:28 PM
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P.S. Sorry if the joke's silly, but the site -- or rather, the owner plus that one designer -- might be renamed to Pretty Crappy. :-)

I know at this time it's not a big comfort, but isn't imitation the highest form of flattery? Yup, it's still disgusting, and it's still not right, but this helps to cool the rage. I know what I'm talking about, when I was still writing fanfiction I once found a poem of mine, copied word by word, posted by another title at another's writer's profile. The site in question deleted the post right after I reported it, but I can remember how I was shaking with rage. I can also remember that what I found especially atrocious was that the plagiator made a typo in her title (the only part that was hers). In the end I found the whole story amusing, but at the phase when I was still devastated at the "how can anyone do something like this?" I tried to comfort myself with that "highest form flattery" dogma and it kind of helped. Nobody would steal someone's work and try to earn money by selling it if they didn't thought it was good.

Hugs to all of you girls.

P.S. I still find the owner's behaviour more appalling than the designer's. Maybe not a good parallel, but a kid can do mischief, but a parent should not. When this happened to me as a fanfic writer, the site in question dealt with it professionally. But to cover such a behaviour - yuck!!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:29 PM
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thanks for the heads up and WOW...just WOW, I can't believe people would blantely do something liek that! I support all the designer's here and am all about spendning my money here
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:31 PM
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This is just sickening Robin... thank you for letting us know. I know that I am happy to support you and the designers here in any way that I can!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:32 PM
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Wow, that's terrible. So sorry you guys are having to deal with all this.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:32 PM
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I, too, am sitting here with my jaw on the floor. I don't see how people can do stuff like this & sleep at night! (((hugs))) to all of our amazing designers here @ Sweet Shoppe, & to you Robin, for handling this so professionally.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:38 PM
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Big hugs.. pirates suck and to add insult to injury.. the store owner not taking care of it is really appalling too!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:40 PM
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The first thing I just done after reading this post is deleting my account at their shop.
I just bought an item a long time ago so I didn't see the lasts ones and I'm feeling very angry to see what happen!
It's just totally disgusting and bad.
I don't write very often here but I feel I have to when reading you and I want to send all my support for all the lovely team!
I'm sad and sorry for you all.
I'll be very attentive and keep my eyes wides open.
I know digital piracy exist and unfortunately will continue but in this case, it's just incredibly unprofessional and unbearable.
Hugs and love to my favorite shop, you are the Best!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:41 PM
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I'm still in shock that this is still happening out there. Especially the items not even changed, just stuck in there without any changes...WOW!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:42 PM
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I feel bad for you designers out there! This should not happen!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:43 PM
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we talked about this at Penny's forum and I think it just totally sucks....why would someone think they could get away with this and then get caught and not to a darn thing about it, how much lower can you get!!!

You know I support all of you and I hope this all gets resolved soon!!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:43 PM
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I think you did a great job stating your case professionally, Robin. So sorry this has happened to all of you!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:49 PM
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WOW! Thats just blatant - Reinforces my desire to limit where I shop.. Mostly here (like 90%). Just amazing at the gall of some people - get an original thought!!!!
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:54 PM
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Wow. I'm at a loss for words. I'm so sorry that this happened.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:56 PM
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Wow, this is really disappointing and disgusting to read. I really appreciate you going public with this so that we know what is going on at that site. I am not only apalled at the lack of professionalism of the owner on the other site, but also that the kits used were PIRATED. I mean, that's just so disgusting. Truly.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:58 PM
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oh wow. How sad! I am sooo sorry for all of you designers. I know it's never good to have to deal with these issues. So sorry guys. boohiss on not cool people!
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