What is an Angel Policy?


Posted on 10th September 2012 by Papermilldirect
Filed under How To Sell Handmade Cards

What is an Angel Policy?

Angel Policies can be very confusing but they are something that a card maker using stamps and die cuts and planning to sell handmade cards, should be aware of. If you are basing your business on these stamps and die cuts it's important to know that you are not breaching any copyright laws.

Angel Policy Stamps

With the arrival of online market places people are able to sell handmade cards all around the world with minimal set up fees and so companies who produce these designs have felt it necessary to limit the use of their products. The basic principle of an angel policy is to limit the use of their products to those of cottage industries and hobbyists, card makers selling in small quantities. They allow a card maker to use the stamps and to sell handmade cards created using these stamps but only to a certain extent, they are aimed at stopping people using them to create mass produced lines.

The Copyright Guidelines for Crafters and Hobbyists

Here is a snippet from Provo Crafts angel policy, they make Cricut machines and cartridges which are used by many crafters. "Provo Craft hereby grants limited permission to private individuals to incorporate Copyright Material and Third Party Rights into Finished Products that may be offered and sold to others, but only in the quantities and in the manner expressly permitted in this Angel Policy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Walt Disney Company (Disney Consumer Products, Inc.), Sesame Workshop, Hello Kitty (Sanrio, Inc.), Warner Bros. (DC Comics, c/o Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc.), Martha Stewart and Nickelodeon (Viacom International, Inc.) characters and images MAY NOT be reproduced and sold. Any person who uses Copyright Material or Third Party Rights pursuant to this permission agrees to comply with and be bound by the terms and conditions below and all applicable Third Party Rights Restrictions. No individual cuts of Copyright Material made by or with CRICUT® or CUTTLEBUG® brand products may be sold."

This snippet is from the Sizzix angel policy "The Die Images are proprietary and/or copyrighted by their respective owners, which mean that they may not be copied without permission. To help protect these proprietary permission provided herein, all Craftworks created for sale using Die Images must be attributed to the respective proprietary rights and/or copyright owner by marking each Craftwork with the same copyright notice found on the label of the relevant die (or on its packaging) used to produce the Craftwork."

Following the Copyright Law for Handmade Items

The over arching advice is that you seek out the angel policies of all of the images / stamp and cuts you use to ensure that if your card making company does take off you will not be accused of breaching copyright. It can be as simple as remembering to add a credit to the designer on the rear of the card and so will not necessarily mean you have to stop using the images. We found this useful list of rubber stamp companies which have angel policies.

Have any of you had any issues with angel policies in the past? Do you find them confusing?


5 thoughts on “What is an Angel Policy?”


12th April 2013 at 11:36 am

Hi Jill - I posted the question over on the papermill facebook page and there were lots of useful replies - https://www.facebook.com/papermilldirect/posts/245929188883827


11th April 2013 at 8:46 pm

Good place to start with: http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/ Typographical arrangement of published editions magazines, periodicals, etc.: 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published. (Magazines, NOT books) Books: copyrighted for authors' lifetime plus 50 years after their deaths OR if Copyright terms based on publication and creation dates: 50 years after release; if not released, 50 years after making (sound recordings). These are answers I found quickly, but I always recommend you to look yourself from trustful sources. Never ever take "I was told by someone" or "I heard this from someone who thinks it is...". My answers are based on the link I posted on the beginning of this reply and also list of countries and their copyright laws regarding books. Hope this helps. xx

Jill Ryan Browne

11th April 2013 at 4:43 pm

I have a question about wider copyright issues:- I have a collection of fabulous old books and magazines from the late 19th century to the 1950s/70s, and would like to use some pictures and text (eg recipes and household hints) in my craft work. Can anyone advise me please about restrictions? There are lots of 1950s and 60s images being reproduced commercially at the moment, which makes me think the copyright on this era has now expired, and so presumably the years before this time as well. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you in advance - Jill

Lori Woodard

07th February 2013 at 8:58 pm

I agree with the statement above, I also believe each company that want to restrict what you can do with their "tool" that is used for creating should have to state their angel policy "restrictions" on their product.

Chris Braithwaite

26th January 2013 at 8:06 pm

It's not enough for a company to take your money for a product, but then to restrict it's use? I think it's a joke. Sell your product for the price you want and then let the customer use it as they see fit. I don't agree for one second that there should even be licencing options for different categories of use (commercial, personal etc). It's the equivalent of saying: "Customer: How much is this? Retailer: how much can you pay?" Thankfully all of our creations are 100% my own.

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