Angel Policies, part 2 – Knock-offs and such

Part two of the Angel Policies topic tries to answer this question:

I recently bought some cheap stamps and metal dies from the internet that are rip-offs, counterfeits, knock-offs, or pirates of name brand craft company!  Does the angel policy still apply to the stamps and metal dies?

This question really opens up a can of worms.  First of all, there is a difference between all those terms and we need to know the difference.  A counterfeit is an item made to look exactly like the original, all the way down to the label.  A rip-off or knock-off are imitations of the real thing.  And a pirate is an illegal reproduction of an item without permission from the original company.  A pirate usually covers music, books, and movies, but any copyrighted work as well.

To the best of my knowledge, all the stamps and metals dies from China I’ve seen online (like from Ali Express or eBay) are not counterfeits because they do not sell the stamps as if they are originals.  They are mostly knock-offs because they have been modified to be smaller or larger.

I also believe that some stamps or dies on Ali Express are possibly pirated because I think they are exactly the same as the original, but without a company’s logo.  In my research, I have learned of something called supply companies.  These are companies that generally supply the discount stores and they generally do not design or make any product.  What they do is scour for new toys and crafts from China, India, Blangaldesh, etc., buy it up, (re)package it with their supply company’s craft/toy brand, and supply it to discount stores to be sold.  So, to go back on pirating, if a supply company has bought up a line of stamps or dies, but someone is still producing it and selling it outside of of the supply company’s contract with them, then it is pirated, even though the supply company is not the original company/maker.  On a side note, buying stamps and dies from discount stores or from a discount line in a big store will almost always be cheaper than buying it from Ali Express or eBay.  The reason is because these supply companies buy in bulk (they buy up everything), so it is very low priced for them to buy, then they set a low profit margin to sell low.

So, let’s go back to the topic of Angel Policies!  Almost all stamps and dies from a supply company’s brand has no angel policy on it because the supply company did not design anything.  They just found something, bought it up, and now supplying and selling it back out.  The person(s) that designed these such products also do not hold any copyright or patent to it because copyright and patent laws in places like China are rather bad.

There are also no angel policies on knock-offs either… but you are walking on a very thin line.  The craft companies that designs a stamp or die set hold copyright over the design.  If someone takes their design completely, but decides to resize it to be smaller or larger than the original, it’s not exactly the same image anymore, therefore, the angel policy on the original design does not apply anymore!  But this kind of stuff is so fuzzy, and why there are often so many copyright lawsuits!

My personal suggestion is that if you are wanting to create and sell handmade items using stamps and dies, best go with name brands or “no-name” brands (stuff sold by supply companies), and not with knock-offs.

So that’s pretty much all there is to say about Angel Policies.  I do not condemn the purchasing of craft items from places like China, be it knock-offs or not, particularly for personal use.  But in light of angel policies, always try to be on the right side of the law and follow each company’s policy as a sign of respect to the company and its artists/designers.

Angel Policies, part 1 – International selling

As a budding card crafter wanting to sell my goodies, I of course did my research on how to do it.  The topic of legality came up of course.  The last thing I need is a lawsuit on my hands, or a loss of money because my items might get confiscated due to it breaking a copyright rule.  Therefore, if you plan to sell cards, it is important to know about something called Angel Policies.

Angel Policies are there primarily to protect the companies and the designers for the companies.  It is a policy created by craft companies (the ones that make stamps, papers, metal dies, etc.) that set limitations on their use of their “original” images.  The Spruce has an excellent article about what exactly is an Angel Policy and you can find the article here.  However, my blog post is not about what Angel Policies are, but what it means for an international seller.

Does a company’s angel policy still apply if I don’t live in the same country as the company?

Short answer: Yes.
Copyright is a very large and somewhat difficult topic to tackle…and I do not hold a law degree!  So i’m mostly feeling my way here, but I did do my research and learned that many countries have come together throughout the years to sign treaties about how copyright laws are upheld internationally.  There is no international copyright law, but instead a set of signed treaties that tells what country is in agreement with how a copyright is upheld.  However, it is still up to the countries themselves on copyright details like how long a copyright last and what is copyrighted.  But for the most part, most countries “agree” with each other and will follow the basis of the copyrighted item’s original country’s copyright.

Personally, I think it is also good practice to just follow with the companies’ angel policies.  Many angel policies are very generous, allowing for sellers to sell items as long as there is credit given, and/or a very generous or reasonable limit of sellable items with xyz-stamped image.  I have seen limits of 50 and all the way up to 10,000 items!  Fifty is very small compared to ten-thousand, but as most handmade card sellers are hobbyist, fifty is reasonable limit for one stamp.

Information for (Dutch) handmade card sellers

In the article I linked above about Angel Policies by The Spruce, they also include a link to a list of over 50 craft companies and their angel policies.  I noticed that the list did not include Dutch craft companies.  So I will list them here, and add to the list if necessary.

I would also like to add that copyrights and particularly angel policies is primarily an American thing, so it is not a surprise that many Dutch companies all have a very standard policy installed.  What I mean by standard is that they only require that anything you sell that is made with their products must be done by hand (no machinery), and you may only sell completed projects (making things with the stamps and die cuts and not selling a sheet of stamped images or only the die cuts.)  However, this can change in the future, so always keep up to date to not get in trouble with the law!

Dutch/European Companies Angel Policy List (in alphabetical order)

Craft Emotions

  • Angel Policy: Yes
  • Quantity Limits: None
  • Special Requirements: None
  • Permitted Sales Outlet: None
  • Emma’s Information: They emailed me a copy of their angel policy, which is in German.  The gist of the angel policy is very standard and like many others: that your works must be done by hand and no mass production via hired workers (or machinery).

Craft Sensations

  • Angel Policy: No
  • Emma’s information: I messaged with someone that works with Craft Sensations, and they told me there is no angel policy. (August 2017)


  • Angel Policy: Yes
  • Quantity Limits: 10 cards or projects of the same composition
  • Special Requirements: None
  • Permitted Sales Outlet: None
  • Other information:  Here is their angel policy they mailed to me on August 2017: You can use all products of Crealies for cardmarking and other projects for personal use. You can show these cards and projects on your website, blog, facebookpage and forum etc.
    You can sell your cards and projects as long as it is on a non-commercial basis. That is, as long as you make everything yourself and sell them yourself at a local fair, market etc . You can only sell 10 cards or projects with the same composition.
    Selling blank die cuts made with Crealies products is a violation of the copyright.

Marianne Designs

  • Angel Policy: Yes
  • Quantity Limits: 50 pieces
  • Special Requirements: None
  • Permitted Sales Outlet: sell them yourself on a local market, fair or any other small sales point.  Not allowed to sell on the Internet.
  • Other information: Their angel policy is located here:
  • Emma’s Information: I have emailed them to ask more about their policy and it seems that the policy covers specifically about people stamping or die cutting images and selling it as is (that is, not a final-product on a card, but as pieces to make cards with).  And I quote the owner, “When you use our stamps and dies and you make cards with them to sell, that is never a problem.”

Nellie Snellen

  • Angel Policy: Yes
  • Quantity Limits: None
  • Special Requirements: None
  • Permitted Sales Outlet: None
  • Other Information: This is their angel policy they emailed to me on August 2017: Nellie Snellen welcomes artists who would like to use her stamp images in their own hand-stamped craftwork that they produce to sell. Therefore, we give permission in the form of a limited license to use any Nellie Snellen stamp image for the purpose of creating craftworks for sale, under the following criteria:
    Each craftwork created for sale must be personally and individually hand-stamped by the selling artist and may not be reproduced or copied in any form by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying. Mass production, assembly-line construction, production by workers for hire, or syndication of hand-stamped craftwork for sale is strictly prohibited. This includes selling stamped sheets. All nellie Snellen images are copyrighted, which means that they may not be copied without permission.
  • Emma’s Information: Again, a standard angel policy where everything must be made by hand and be a complete projects.  (A non-completed project would be selling die cuts without doing anything to the die cuts besides cutting them out, or a sheet stamped with images.)


  • Angel Policy: Yes
  • Quantity Limits: 100 pieces
  • Special Requirements: None stated
  • Permitted Sales Outlet: None stated
  • Other Information: None
  • Emma’s Information: They were very vague on the subject.  But I will not pursue this topic any further, since I don’t plan to sell more than 100 items of anything.

I contact the following Dutch companies, but never got a response: Dutch Doobadoo and Joy!Crafts.  If you would like me to find out about Angel Policies from a (Dutch/European) company not listed, please add a comment and I will update this list with the information as I get them.

In part 2, I will explore the following question:

I recently bought some cheap stamps and metal dies from the internet that are rip-offs, counterfeits, knock-offs, or pirates of name brand craft company!  Does the angel policy still apply to the stamps and metal dies?

Thanks for taking the time to read about this interesting topic.  Here is a link to part 2: Angel Policies, part 2 – Knock-offs and such.