If you are a professional Tarot reader hosting your own website, then you are probably aware of the usual copyright and fair use regulations, which you need to adhere to, so you won’t find yourself getting sued.
However, you might not be aware that most of the mainstream publishers of tarot and oracle decks, such as US Games, Lo Scarabeo and Llewellyn, expect you to pay them a licence fee, if you are monetising your blog, i.e. charging for readings or getting paid for other products and services.
This is important for you to bear in mind, if you regularly blog about decks (reviews, unboxing videos etc.), demonstrating spreads, posting tutorials or simply just post an image on your Instagram.
Perhaps you are thinking that this is covered under the fair use policy, but you need to realise that this is open to interpretation, especially if you are a professional using your website as your business hub.
Before you get yourself into a tangle and wonder, if you are a copyright criminal by posting a card of the day, here’s something very simple you can do:
Avoid posting mainstream tarot images on your blog and social media.
Personally, I have just quit this voluntary marketing position I held with the mainstream publishers for years promoting their decks, while all I get in return is threats of court action, because I am making a living as a Tarot reader.
I am sick of arrogant publishers, who defend their copyright very aggressively, antagonising their customers (a lot of them professional tarot readers!) along the way.
The solution is beautifully simple:
Collaborate with self-published artists, who love the opportunity to have their decks promoted while their images enhance and prettify your blog posts.
I don’t need to go into detail about how tarot blogs and social media have led to a considerable increase in deck sales, yet these publishers want us to pay for “product placements”.
What the big publishers seem to forget:
Professional readers, who have been in the business for years, run well-known blogs and have a big subscriber list, are influencers.
How many tarot or oracle decks have you bought, which were recommended by your favourite blogs or Facebook pages?
Here’s an idea:
It is time for Tarot readers to demand payment from the publishers to feature their decks on their websites.
After all, it’s advertising!
If publishers wanted to run a TV commercial, they’d have to pay for it, so if I did a YouTube video review about one of their decks and demonstrate how well it works in a reading, then I want to get paid for it, too
Perhaps you think I’m crazy, but as you know we sometimes need to let go of outdated attitudes and beliefs, the traditional thought process that says “it’s always been this way”.
To be honest, payment for me doesn’t necessarily mean money; a little gratitude would be enough, and – lo and behold! – a surprise gesture of a free tarot deck as a token of appreciation would send me over the moon.
But no, instead I have court action threats looming over my head in the form of the publishers’ “terms”. Not nice!
Heck, I don’t need to promote their decks. Instead I collaborate with people, who value my support and in return support me – win / win !
So, ditch those mainstream decks from your blog and start supporting self-published indie artists.
In my next post, I will introduce you to my Top 10 self-published tarot decks I love using on my website and social media.