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Industry Standards

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by jdaley, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    In Australia, the Picture Framers Guild in Victoria, now the Picture Framers Guild of Australia, established Industry Standards about 25 years ago, with view to creating Industry Standards to enable formal education processes to be set up. This has all occurred and now we have a pretty good training process in place, where once there was nothing.
    We have encouraged members to promote their use of the Industry Standards as a selling tool and that is in part why we refer to them as Industry Standards.

    When The Fine Art Guild Established theirs and FACTS had been active, we considered some of their ideas and certainly dealt with Don at Facts on specific issues.
    I am suggesting the site create a specific "Industry Standards" forum, where they can be laid out and explained. I can say it will do no good trying to change them or reinterpret them, they have done the rounds of the table. Whether you publish the Australian or the FACTS or the FATG ones, if they are explained people may use them and customers may ask you for them, they certainly do here.
    What are your thoughts.
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

    The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now
  2. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If these standards published, how can we access them?
  3. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I think Jim Miller summed it up better than I can by just asking to see it. What do you mean by “industry standards” and how in depth are the explanations? Are you saying that they are published for the public to see or just hinted at so that the public knows some terminology that they can use to find a qualified framer? When it comes to mat board standards, do you have an in depth explanation of the different conservation levels of material and are the mat board companies cooperating to classify their boards into the categories that you have established? Same question about glass conservation levels and whether glass companies are cooperating.

    I have a lot of questions about this and a lot of opinions but I think I need to know more about it first.

  4. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The principle of Industry Standards is GREAT. How to implement them in a non-regulated "industry" is a bit more challenging. I have nothing to add but sympathy, although I would be interested in being involved to whatever extent my abilities are applicable.
  5. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    For many years, PPFA promoted the development of recommended framing practices, but framers rejected the concept. F.A.C.T.S. turned out to be a compendium of standards for framing materials, since creating standards for framing practices turned out to be futile.

    After 28 years of retail framing, including deep involvement with PPFA and F.A.C.T.S., it is clear to me that typical retail framing practitioners resent recommended standards, which they generally consider to be dictatorial. Remember the silly conversations about "framing police"? I've never understood that mindset.

    The FATG standards are good and well-intended, but still meet with undeserved resistance from many framers, who seem to think the Guild is trying to tell them what to do.

    While specifically avoiding any attempt to dictate the use of particular products or procedures for particular framing projects, in recent years the PPFA Guidelines Task Force has developed what I consider to be excellent comparative standards for matboards and glazing products. That is, these PPFA Guidelines compare the specifications and attributes of the available products into four classifications, so that framers can decide for themselves what would be most suitable for every framing project.

    In truth, every frame shop has its own "standards". Some are better than others, usually based upon the body of knowledge within the shop, and the shop's market, intended customer base, and price points. Publishing recommended standards of practice would be helpful only to those who choose to embrace and use the recommendations.
    Woodcarver likes this.
  6. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Very well stated, Jim.
    :cool: Rick
  7. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Your guild has no website (that I can find) so where is this training process and where are all your members? No customer is ever going to ask me for FATG "Commended level" and no trade body is ever going to create enough awareness for any of their levels of framing to be requested on a daily basis in the average frame shop anywhere in the world.

    I have more, trust me, but I'm not allowing myself to ruin my manicure on someone with two posts in 6 years .... not that there's anything wrong with that.
  8. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    The PFGA is currently rebuilding their website
    Here is an email i received the other day
    "Dear Member,
    Please note that the Picture Framers Guild of Australia is currently rebuilding its website and as such its website is down temporarily.
    The email address is also down. Members wishing to contact the PFGA may do so by email, please use cravenco@bigpond.net.au"

    here is also a label that they have for their standards

    PFGA_Label proof Sept 2012.pdf

    Attached Files:

  9. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Not much good really is it - 5 years protection, really? So, what happens if it fades in three due to where the customer chose to hang it - etc?

    You said five years, given a bad hanging location it could deteriorate in less if framed to the highest standards.

    These levels are not about protection (or lack of) of art or anything else, they are about literature and training from the body that made them ... who should be making things simple - like show us you know the best way to frame a thing; get it right, we'll assume you can do it to a lower standard.

    These people http://www.johnjones.co.uk/ say that they have one thing in common with any other framer, joining four pieces of wood, and that's where it ends, but it doesn't does it, because they don't need these stupid standards, just like I don't!"!! (plus I also cut glass and **** like they do)
  10. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I was a foundation member of the Picture Framers Guild of Western Australia which started out well with a strong membership regular meetings, useful talks from experts in various fields etc. We were particularly effective in helping members make the change from the old Wholesale Sales Tax regime to the Goods and Services Tax by organising people from the Taxation Office to address meetings.

    We applied a "skills test" to framers wanting to use the Guild's Logo and advertise their membership and the Guild would step in to arbitrate disputes between customers and members but I only ever knew of one instance where this actually happened. The main sticking point was that many felt uncomfortable about having standards imposed by people who were, essentially, competitors and only a small percentage of the businesses operating were active members so that the public never really knew about the Guild. When the Guild folded some members joined the National organisation but I suspect most just went back to doing their own thing their own way.

    I believe that establishing a set of standards would be a good thing but it will only be effective if a majority of businesses get on board with it and the public becomes aware of it and actively seeks out Guild members. Mostly, I am afraid, consumers will continue to be influenced more by cost and convenience than membership of an industry body.
    Woodcarver likes this.
  11. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    Lots to read carefully and I will get back. It turns out our web site is under reconstruction at the moment and I will report back when its on line.
    As for compliance, there is no doubt many framers choose not to use them, but I can say from experience, framers who do promote and use them benefit.
    A bargain hunter will always shop on price, I don't look for that customer, and sure there are framers who run profitable business's working with their own standards and meet a need in the market.
    Industry Standards are for those who want to use them with customers who want them used.
    Not every customer will want them, but I can say that I have offered to apply the Industry Standards to customers and have won life long customers as a direct result.
    Nobody is forcing these standards down anybodies throat.
    They were there initially to get training in place, which the state of Victoria certainly needed and to offer customers a defined quality outcome.
    Now they can be used to upgrade the results for customers as they choose, and help discerning customers.
    The Guild in Victoria has really promoted the existence of Industry Standards and the promotion has certainly had a response.
    The Industry Standards actually allow for budget framing, the sticker on the back confirms the Industry Standard applied and in the case of Budget work it would be marked accordingly.
  12. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    Robo Framer. I noted a sneer in your entry about my absence.
    I can explain my involvement here and why I have been absent for many years. I was involved with the very early Grumbles. I have been involved with guilds for 30 years.
    For the last 6 years I have had depression and anxiety issues and 2 suicide episodes. I had broken an ankle and I am raising a now 14 yo grand daughter by myself and have done so for 10 years.
    Perhaps when you wear my shoes you may not be so dismissive.
    I have been defrauded by staff and generally found it difficult to smell the roses or enjoy the sun.
    Those times seem to have finally passed and I am back on track and have decided to push one of my passions promoting Industry Standards benefits for those who want to use them, my other passion is to get back road racing sidecars.
  13. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    You imagined a sneer, there wasn't one.

    It's just that I've seen many topics that people have strong opinion on turn in to fisticuffs, started by people who (for whatever reasons and you have my and everyone's sympathy for yours) have little input and then disappear again.

    Any sneer on this topic would be on the subject matter, not on any individual and I'll repeat what I said - know how to do something well, no need then to prove you know how to do it not quite so well, worse still or even totally badly, which pretty much sums up the FATG's levels.
  14. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Many Grumblers have been in the biz for quite a few years. Myself included. :rolleyes:

    Occasionally you get to examine stuff that you framed many years ago. As it happens, this very
    week I took apart a framed le print that I did in the early 90s. The print was hinged with p-90 and
    one hinge had given way. I should mention that I have done 100s of prints for the same customer
    from that time to this and none of the other had slipped..... Anyway, I re-hinged it (with p-90) and
    put it all back together. The mat was perfect as the day I cut it. No fading (std float glass). No acid
    burn. It had a hardboard back, but it did have a 2-ply barrier board. I don't do that any more.

    Last year I had a chance to look at a painting I framed about '84. That had a std core mat which did
    have a nice brown bevel.
    Also taped all round with masking tape and a hardboard back with no undermount. Std glass.
    No fading. No acid burn. Go figure. o_O

    One thing that all these industry standard things tend to ignore or simply don't consider is the fabric
    of the actual artwork itself. To my mind, part of the skill of a framer is to have the ability to evaluate
    what they are framing and apply whatever techniques/materials they deem necessary. How many framers
    check the acid level in the paper that a watercolor is done on? If something is painted on a cornflake packet
    then no amount of conservation framing is going to preserve it long-term.

    It's a fact that the cheaper and nastier the item to be framed, the greater the amount of 'conservation' techniques
    need to be employed.
    Woodcarver, Karlee and Paul Cascio like this.
  15. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Part of the standards issue is deciding what materials to carry/offer. I got rid of all my non-conservation ("decorative") mat samples over 20 years ago, because it always bothered me that the "industry standard" matboard that was prevalent when I started framing in the early 1970s was destructive to the items I was framing, and because I knew it would start fading and the bevels turning brown as soon as it was hung on the customer's wall. It was liberating to not have to deal with that stuff anymore, and to have a great variety of better quality products to use. Sure, I sometimes frame things of a "temporary" nature, but still I don't want my work to look like **** in a few years. I still do stock a few sizes of non-UV glass for these kinds of things, but the number of pieces that get it are a pretty small percentage of my overall work.
    :cool: Rick

    BTW, thank you for using the expression, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." Most people in this country tend to say "The proof is in the pudding," which doesn't really mean anything.
    Woodcarver likes this.
  16. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    Ok Robo, I accept your comments. I understand what you mean about, "who is this blow-in" as we say here.
    I can add I will not resort to fisticuffs, I have presented a concept that framers why wish to consider.
    But at the end of the day it does not really matter how long I have been in this community, I had knowledge to share and was asking a question.
    If some framers want to study them or others and discuss them with customers, it will be a benefit to both parties, that is something I can guarantee from personnel and collective experience in Australia,
    Industry Standards are not compulsory, but I guess an advantage in Australia where we work, its a good guide in an Industry that had none.
    Now training is in place its another tool to set a benchmark, something I imagine all industries, trades and professions need.
    Prior to the establishment of Industry Standards, customers had no idea of what was going on.
    And as we have noticed here on the forum, as soon as an Industry Standard is documented, people want to discuss it, something else that did not occur prior to the publishing of any form of Industry Standards, so I guess they are still working in a strange way.
    Grey Owl likes this.
  17. Sonny

    Sonny CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Upon reading this thread I have come to the conclusion that framers should be working to common standards for each type of framing they do and making not only our industry more accountable for doing the right thing but also making sure the art they are asked to look after if properly cared for. The PPFA has attempted to publish the highest standards in our industry combining the wisdom of many KNOWLEDGEABLE people, and not including here say or long perpetuated myths. A few times each month we are asked to quote on providing conservation boards to large users. Most times we are told our price is twice what they have been quoted elsewhere. When we ask to see a sample of the conservation board that is half our price it always turns out to be a cheap whitecore-not even a good quality one. Many people are not getting what they think and quite honestly the people selling the substandard product don't care because they have an easy time selling a "conservation" board for half of what it needs to be. The new PPFA standards have no grey areas as do many of the others available.
  18. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I think standards generally have more of a place "within industry" as opposed to "from industry (to consumer)".

    For instance, we buy lumber based on grade. Anyone who buys rough lumber does. Usually it's by an NHLA (or NELMA) recognized grade, although there are some proprietary ones that are more defined. The fact is, our customer (let alone the consumer) doesn't really care what grade we buy, as long at the end product is the same. And that is because as a manufacturer, we have set our standards, and our customer knows what they are.

    Similarly for automobiles. Do you think that Mercedes Benz and Kia buy the same brake pads? The buyer doesn't care who made the brake pads or what ASTM specification they meet, they trust the manufacturer to have chosen one that meets their standards. And they realize that when they choose one over the other what they're getting and what they're giving up.

    The "problem" arises, I believe, because framers are quasi-manufacturers. Since the customer doesn't really know what they need, they allow the "manufacturer" to decide. However, these "manufacturers" (framers) are a lot more numerous than automakers, and have a lesser known public reputation. However, this same situation occurs in many other industries as well, with companies much larger than your average frame shop. How many national chains have a line of [something] with levels of "Good, Better, Best". How many people think that Brand A's Better is the same as Brand B's Better?

    I do think it would be great to have widely recognized standards for framing that frame shops could readily and easily explain to a customer to help them decide the level of framing they wanted (it would also allow customers to price shop more accurately). However, as has been demonstrated many times and in diverse ways, framers tend to be an independent sort, and few (in my observation) seem inclined to care about the idea.
    Woodcarver and RoboFramer like this.
  19. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    Its good to hear what you say David, being an "framers tend to be an independent sort," does not mean you can rip or defraud your customers.
    If Framers choose to do nothing, so be it. But those framers who do accept the concept, talk to customers about it and demonstrate benefits well that will be to their benefit
  20. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Actually, since there is no regulation on picture framing in the USA, anyone CAN rip off or defraud their customers. Unfortunately, having (voluntary) industry standards wouldn't stop that.
  21. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    Nothing will stop fraud.
    But Industry Standards can help, because once customers learn about them, they can check if they got what they asked for. In Australia there have been a number of legal cases between customers and a framer who said they used good stuff and did not.
    Its not law here either, but Industry Standards can help.
    Anyway, why go on about why they won't work and think about how you can make something like them work for you. Its simply a matter of talking continually with customers who may want the better quality, better knowledge and better materials and are happy to pay for it.
    If they don't want to pay, so be it, the Industry Standards have not failed, you have attracted a customer not interested, thats all.
    You could even explain, that "within the USA. Industry Standards have not been set up, but in fabulous wonderful Australia, where some framers think about the needs of the customer first, they have set up Industry Standards, and would you like to consider them"
  22. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sorry, I'm just not understanding the difference between the Australian industry standards and the PPFA guidelines that already exist in the US. Could you please elaborate on the differences?

    Jim Miller likes this.
  23. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Had a job in yesterday. Limited edition prints are not what they were of yesteryear, but this was a nice one and worth having.
    Thing was, it had been mounted by the publishers. They no longer operate, but at the time the print was done they were regarded
    as maybe the leader in the UK market. The mat (albeit with hand-done French lining) was standard core. Plenty of better stuff
    available at the time it was done, but they saved a few pennies and used the carp stuff. Worse still, the print was 'hinged' by simply
    slapping a length of p-90 tape across the top edge on the face of the print. I my book this is 'mutilation'. Whatever the print is worth
    it's worth less to a collector than a pristine copy. I've seen much worse atrocities from the same publisher. And many others who should
    know better come to that......
    The point is that if a long established and well-respected company choose to ignore wise guidelines, it doesn't give your average framer
    a lot of incentive to do it the 'right way'. And the big tragedy is that it's often no more trouble or expense - often less, to do it the
    proper way.

    My guiding principle is that anything that goes into a frame should be able to come out again with no sign that it had ever been in.
    Not always completely possible and/or practical, but it's an ideal to work toward. :rolleyes:
    Woodcarver, Karlee and Jim Miller like this.
  24. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    I believe your guiding principle is fantastic.
    As for "The point is that if a long established and well-respected company choose to ignore wise guidelines, it doesn't give your average framer
    a lot of incentive to do it the 'right way'. And the big tragedy is that it's often no more trouble or expense - often less, to do it the
    proper way."
    If you promote the Industry Standards with your customers, you will create the incentive to do things ' The right way' because you can point out the inherent problems of the bad way.
    In my experience, its the customers who ultimately choose, based on information you have given them, and I find many prefer the " right way".
    As for the difference between the PPFA and Aussie codes, please give me examples of what is confusing please?
  25. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's a good question, Ed. I have not seen the Australian standards and, in light of his comments, I doubt that Mr. Daley is familiar with the PPFA Guidelines.

    To my knowledge, the PPFA Guidelines for matboard and glazing products, and for procedures in framing canvas, needleart, and paper are the most comprehensive framing guidelines available anywhere. All of the PPFA Guidelines are well researched, easily understood, and organized so that they can help framers inform their framing customers.

    But unfortunately, even in the USA, most framers do not even know these PPFA Guideline publications exist. Would that be further confirmation that framers generally do not care about industry standards?
  26. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree, and so do some of our framing friends, but we're clearly a small minority.
    Karlee likes this.
  27. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    Jim, you are correct I have not read the PPFA standards, I have not studied the US market.
    My initial comments were simply about our experience in Australia and asking if you saw merit in having something similar, to help.
    Those that use the Standards in Australia also are a small minority, but we have managed to get many customers aware of the availability of better materials and techniques, and that has been a key part of the matter.
  28. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When you say, "the Standards", you are referring to the higher-quality framing recommendations that some group has researched and published, right? Your Australian document or series of documents may be similar to what the Fine Art Trade Guild (UK) and the Professional Picture Framers Association (USA) have endeavored to produce in the past. It would be interesting and educational to see a formal comparison of the various recommendations.

    "Standards" are often perceived to be specifications for the highest-quality methods, materials, and workmanship. And admittedly, that is the starting point for most of them. In that perception, the general reaction of typical retail framers is emotional and defensive, as though some authoritative, dictatorial entity (usually a framing trade association) has the audacity to question their willingness and/or ability to produce worthy framing. They see "standards" as an attempt to tell them what to do. That mindset spurs indignant protests such as, "What qualifies (fill in the blank) to dictate any framer's standards of framing practice?", and over-reactive complaints about imaginary "framing police".

    Of course, the intended purpose of "standards" is to establish some recommendations in attempts to offer education, and not to dictate practices. Also, it is important to realize that "standards" can be formulated for every level of quality, from the highest quality; framing for maximum preservation, to the lowest quality; purely decorative framing for items of no long-term value.

    As previously noted, every framer works to some "standards" of his or her own, based on the individual's body of knowledge acquired from experimentation, self-education, or training by others. Changing that reality may be impossible.

    Perhaps that is why talking to framers about "standards" is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
    Woodcarver and prospero like this.
  29. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Instead of "standards", the newer PPFA publications are "Comparative Guidelines" in which the alternative choices of matboard, glazing, mounting, fitting, etc., are presented in four classifications of quality, from best; Class I, to worst; Class IV.

    It is just a way of organizing the data essential for well-informed framing, and framers thus informed are better able to decide for themselves which class of framing is appropriate for every project.

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jim I agree PPFA has provided the USA framing indusrty with some of the best info possible to achieve the highest standards of framing. Yes there are way to many who know to little. Just because you write it they will come. It is not working... I beleive that goes for any industry codes that are not binding or State/Federally certified and enforced. There will always be ones who do not follow them. Because they don't care or because they did not know about them. Whats the saying "a little bit of knowledge is dangerous".

    Just a fact of life.
    There is no one standard for framing something. Because of the different reasons customers have for framing.
    That I think is where the confusion sets in.

    Associations role : All options should be well defined in minimum standards for each level. Promote these standards by making them available free of charge to all consumers and framers. Perfect world.
    Even still this would not alone reach every customer unless the Framer chooses to make this info available at their shop no matter what country.

    In short confirming the direction PPFA is headed..
    FramerCat likes this.
  31. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Industry standards are a huge benefit in this industry but are only a starting point since it is so specialized. I do the vast majority of framing as purely wall decor due to the area where I now live. Having been in the industry over the past 4 decades I have had a huge advantage in seeing the development of products and the benefit of being able to see the real world results.

    We all compete with those who will claim to be using the best or most proper treatment and anybody who has been framing long enough has seen those claims are not always correct. As a framer we need to have a huge knowledge base and be able to explain any standards by which we are completing framing. I find myself regularly having to protect my customers from the knowledge they have gained from the internet.

    The way I have my pricing set as all package priced there is not a large difference in price for full conservation framing than for decorative framing. That makes life much easier for me because I gladly offer both but will pass on a job where the customer has something of true value but is looking for poor treatment.

    When a customer has a limited edition print that has an edition size of over a half million images I will let them decide to frame it however they desire after explaining the difference. Just last month I had the occasion to look up the current value of a $3,000 L/E print that is currently selling for $75. On a piece like that they can frame it any way they wish. Last week a customer came in with a Robert Bateman piece and I just told him if it were mine I would spend the extra fifty bucks to do it right.

    The director of the Arts programs at the college came in to check the cost of Rag mat for photos that needed un-buffered board. He had been told by the company he bought some board from that all of the rag boards were un-buffered but the manufacturer only makes a small handful of un-buffered Rag boards. The rag boards he had purchased previously were buffered boards so now he has items in museums around the country that need to come back and be re-matted with the proper boards.

    So the moral of the story is that standards are important but not as important in knowing every product, its contents and what the real life differences are among them.
  32. jdaley

    jdaley Grumbler in Training

    You have all hit the nail on the head, Australian Industry Standards cover budget through a number of levels to Museum, and the level chosen is the minimum recommendation.
    REMEMBER the Industry Standards are also for the customer to learn about and that is what we promote.
    I think using the word"guidelines" takes to emphasis away from customer importance.
    I see you mention the right to ignore good advise, we have similar framers here, but they would never be interested and I leave them to themselves.
    If your PPFA is moving down the line of promotion to customers, I believe the market will sort itself out.Anyway having discussed whether Industry Standards or Guidelines are an interesting topic, would it be viable to have a specific discussion Forum about them, where ever they come from?
    regards all.
  33. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I have just learned that PPFA's parent company, Monarch Expositions, has hired a Director of Educational Development, who "...is in charge of all forms of education regarding the PPFA. This includes related materials to CPF, MCPF, Guidelines, education at the National Convention and education at regional events."

    Perhaps this signals a start of new PPFA activity.
  34. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    When PPFA first published this book for works of Art on Paper, it was actually "Standards" but the Legal Eagles had this revised in future printings to "Guidelines" so as to protect the Association... Generally the same content.

    I have to say that the professional certification of individuals, along with framing businesses subscribing to better known practices come through at end of the day in the quality of the product being produced and the reputation of that business. Customers also typically care in how their personal experience relates to them in professionalism, communication and delivery...not to mention price. With that in mind, I don't think that they really would care about reading any additional documentation to know that they "are in good hands".

    Actually John, it is YOUR PPFA too! These documents can probably be found from members of PPFA in Oz...Jared Davis, Quentin Webster, June Anderson just to name a few. The Australian Chapter of the PPFA has some caring and dedicated framers on board.

  35. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John, I absolutely believe that our customers should be fully informed on the techniques and materials available and suitable for their particular conservation and pricing needs. I also believe that the PPFA has done an incredible amount of research and produced some fantastic literature for our industry. The problem is that I have no idea on the legalities of disseminating that specific information publicly. For example: the mat board guidelines and glazing guidelines that Jim Miller mentioned are extremely useful and obtaining a copy as a framer was not difficult, but if I were to photocopy these and hand them out on the streets to everyone interested I would most likely be violating all kinds of copyright and intellectual property laws. Even posting them on my website or quoting them on my TV show might be some kind of violation. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that a lot of time and money went into developing these things so it is absolutely understandable that the creators would need to be compensated and I really have no suggestion as to how that would happen if the information were freely accessible. All I am saying is that properly informing the public is fairly complicated and uniformly doing so is a legal impossibility.

    How do intellectual property and copyright work in Australia? When your industry standards website is back up and running would it be legal to copy the information directly from the website to be used in whatever manner I choose?

  36. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think this is something you should address with the PPFA. The material should read specifically that it is intended to be distributed freely to the public in order to achieve the goal of consumer education.
  37. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Like me, I'm sure copyright owners appreciate your respect for copyrights. The reality is that copyright violations are seldom prosecuted, unless the violator gets caught doing it on a scale grand enough to generate significant income and/or deprive the copyright owner of same, neither of which are common situations within the picture framing industry.

    Many framers apparently think it's OK to copy and disseminate copyrighted intellectual property simply because "everyone does it", or maybe they are just oblivious to the laws. Framers have actually told me to my face that instead of buying my books for themselves, they have borrowed them from framing friends to copy. My jaw dropped the first time a framer told me that, but now I know why so few framers bother to spend the months of work and thousands of dollars necessary to research & develop the text, create the samples, photographs and illustrations, and print/distribute an instructional book. Far from being profitable in our industry, creating books, webinars, and other instructional data is a losing proposition. It can only be justified as a 'labor of love' for fellow framers.

    Anyway, there are some exceptions to copyright laws, such as the exemptions for Classroom Education, Fair Use, and First Use, for example. Most PPFA chapters keep a lending library, and it is perfectly legal to borrow those books as needed. Indeed, members are encouraged to do so.
    FramerInTraining likes this.
  38. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    One thing to be aware of is that copyright law has been strengthened in the last 5 years to include punitive damages. A grand mother lost nearly $30,000 due to an 8 year old grand daughter who had downloaded some music while at grandma's house. Another key case is a guy who got hit with 3/4 million plus legal fees for copying some $5 DVD's.

    In the past the penalty was limited to the profit portion of a pirated work which had little impact but the landmark cases with huge punitive fines have changed the world forever. Wal-Mart has 14,500 full time attorneys on staff and anybody printing works that don't appear to be legal must get approval from the legal department before it can be printed.

    One of my photographer customers is so good that it took her 1 1/2 hours to have 4 photos printed. I asked her why she didn't show them her rack card with her website to get them to print them and she said it was one of the staff attorneys in Bentonville that told her she would need to show the store manager something like that to get them to print the images. They now have her name on file as a professional photographer to avoid future hassles.
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