I realize I am SUPER late in responding to this whole mess. That's just me, I guess. Here is the thing: I am, as many are, very disappointed in Provo Craft. The fact of the matter is that I bought my Cricut for $127.00 on ebay. I don't HAVE more than that to spend on one scrapbooking tool. I am a tool nut and cannot fathom laying down $300+ just for a die cutting machine. I actually love my cricut. It's supplies are readily and locally available and it has an ease of use unmatched at it's current size and price point. I will be keeping and using my E until it dies...after that I can't promise what will happen.
As for some issues that continually come up in this discussion.
1) 'A company can't tell you how to use your microwave or stove and they can't tell you how to use your cricut'
-This is actually true. A company cannot sell you a tool and then restrict how, when and with what third party materials you choose to use it with. However, the lawsuit of MTC vs. PC actually wasn't REALLY about that. PC (and some highly paid Bank of America-funded lawyers) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit that basically stated that MTC was making money from their trademark by using PC-branded products" illegally" to promote their program. It also stated that (through cartridge backup) it was circumventing their image copyrights. Now, was the INTENT of the lawsuit to limit and restrict the use of the Cricut as a tool? Of course it was. THAT was the real goal of the suit, and unfortunately, for us, it was a goal that PC achieved.
What would I have done? Well, there could have been some restrictions set by PC to limit the use of their trademark to any third party company. Also, they could have charged a fee to any company that wanted to use that trademark. A simple, lucrative, and creative solution.
2) 'ACTUALLY in the TOUs of the PC website you can't sell ANYTHING made with the cricut in any way'
-This actually can only be true of images owned by and/or created by the company. If you cut a circle in a die cutting machine and then cut it in half and use it as a bowl to hold fruit stickers on the front of a card- you can sell it. If you leave it a circle and use it as a moon - you can sell it. If you own the tool and the paper and the glue you can do with it what you please as long a it is not representative of or directly created, uniquely by another individual and copyrighted. They did not create the circle, nor the square, or any other number of common and uncommon public domain shapes. Ridiculous.
What would I have done? Sell images for commercial use with a commercial license. A commercial license is much more expensive than a product sold for non-commercial use. Simple, lucrative, and creative. Are we sensing a theme?
3) 'PC was just protecting their product! They have a unique item and they have the right to protection! The machine did JUST what it is supposed to do before the third party programs!'
-No miss Cricut Circle Zombie, they were NOT protecting their product; PC was protecting their market share and so was Bank of America. They were misusing the law and their political heavy hand to edge out any 3rd party product that enhanced the user experience of their product while NOT adding to their bottom line. Secondly, they sell a TOOL that also is compatible with ACCESSORIES sold by their company. Just like the accessories sold by Apple for the iPod, they are expensive, branded, and NOT the only good option available. But, unlike PC, Apple chooses to work with other companies to improve their customer's user experience and make the use of their product possible for many ages, educations, and income levels - PC could take a lesson. Lastly, yes, when the original bug was released it did JUST what it was supposed to do without 3rd party programs. Well, Maps did exactly what they were supposed to do before the invention of the GPS, but I don't see anyone backtracking on that technology, now do I?
What would I have done? Well, the most intelligent thing that a company can do these days is go digital. Instead of retiring all the old carts and making expensive "Best of" carts that they can't GIVE away, why not make the retired images available as SVGs in an e-store a la iTunes and QK Silhouette? They could make TONS more money on the launch of a new and improved CDS with integrated SVG software and continue to glean profits off of old designs that cannot be purchased any other way. They would also be opening the door to all the customers who might never have bought ONE PC product except that now all those great PC cart images can be cut on ANY machine they already have. Simple, lucrative, and creative.
The verdict? PC made this issue very complicated, alienating, and in-the-box. They forgot who they are selling to. They forgot that scrapbookers and crafters are often artists at the core. Artists JUST DON'T LIKE words like 'restrictions' and 'market share' because it makes us feel like a business that used to be behind our art is now just another big roadblock in the WAY of our art. Art is free and therapeutic and flows out in a random, wild jumble that can only be organized by the people we share the art with and the TOOLS we use to realize it. Of all the cardinal sins that can be committed by a company that has build its foundation on art, the number one offense is to purposely refuse to be creative. Their overwhelming greed has caused them to loose sight of their first goal which was to make creativity more easily available to the masses. They forgot to be creative with their solutions and frankly they are starting to loose much of the creativity in their products. The Imagine is just about the least imaginative pile of overpriced, expensive to maintain piece of crap I have ever seen.
I won't deny that I, along with many others, have been bitten and am still nursing a bite from the 'Bug. But, I'm starting to watch my crafting waistline and a brand new Silhouette might be just what the doctor ordered. :)
At times like this, it ain't easy being a Queen. But, what is easy is not always right and what is right is not always easy, so chins up Queenies, because it's still good to be us.