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Tag Archives | Sure Cuts A Lot

Provo Craft Issues Statement on MTC, SCAL Lawsuits

Provo Craft today issued a public statement in response to public outcry about its lawsuits against Makes The Cut and Craft Edge over their 3rd party software for Cricut machines.

As previously reported on Scrapbook Update, Provo Craft recently settled its ongoing lawsuit against Makes The Cut. Around the same time, the company filed suit against Craft Edge over their similar Sure Cuts A Lot software.

Consumer response to these lawsuits has been largely less than favorable to Provo Craft, but until now the company has not discussed the matter publicly due to the ongoing litigation in the two lawsuits. Today, however, the company finally issued a statement related to the lawsuits, saying that while it couldn’t comment on specifics of the suits it hoped that “context will help our customers understand why we have taken these steps, and why we believe we are acting in both a fair and ethical manner.” Continue Reading →

Provo Craft Sues Sure Cuts A Lot, Alleging Copyright Violations

Editor’s Note: Please note that Scrapbook Update is an independent news organization and not in any way affiliated with Provo Craft or any party involved in this lawsuit. 

Provo Craft’s attorneys have once again moved to take action against a company making third party Cricut add-ons. The company filed suit in U.S. District Court on January 20th, 2011 against Craft Edge, the producer of Sure Cuts A Lot software, and Craft Edge’s owner, Brandon Kuroda. The suit alleges that Kuroda violated Provo Craft’s copyright on the Cricut Design Studio software when he created the Sure Cuts A Lot software code, and that the company has been violating Cricut’s trademarks in its products and marketing.

Provo Craft is seeking compensation, damages and attorney’s fees in the suit, as well as an injunction preventing the future sale of the Sure Cuts A Lot software.

Sure Cuts a Lot is a software program by Craft Edge Inc. Developed in 2008, this program was designed to allow users to cut out any true type font, various shapes/dingbats, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files and even their own personal creations with their Cricut Machine. While no specific cartridge is required to use the program, it is necessary to insert a cartridge to cut with the machine.

At its launch in 2008, SCAL was only a Windows release and was met with mixed reviews within the Cricut community. Many people eager to expand their library of Cricut fonts quickly purchased the program. Other Cricut owners, fearful of damage to their machines, shied away from even trying the demo version. Provo Craft also scared off some users by issuing a formal warning stating the use of third party software with the machines voided the warranty on them. Continue Reading →

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Provo Craft & Make The Cut: The Technology Background

As noted earlier today on Scrapbook Update, Provo Craft has filed a lawsuit against software company Make The Cut over an issue that is somewhat new to the scrapbook industry: digital copyright security protection.

One issue seems to be of particular interest to Provo Craft in the lawsuit. Make The Cut recently provided an update that included a new feature they described as “experimental”: cartridge backup. Although Make The Cut indicates that their software doesn’t create a full reproduction of cartridge date, even partial data copies was apparently enough to warrant major attention from Provo Craft’s lawyers. This may explain why Provo Craft has chosen to take action against Make The Cut while seeming to leave alone Craft Edge, the maker of Sure Cuts A Lot software which also allows cutting from a computer with Cricut machines. The Sure Cuts A Lot software doesn’t access Cricut Design Studio or allow the use/copying of cartridge images.

Creating backups via cracked security protection has long been a fought-over issue in the technology world. The issue has been fought about regarding DVD’s, gaming cartridges, and other types of media. Media companies have pretty much always held that it violates their copyrights to create back-ups of the media they sell, or to transfer those media to other formats for use (such as ripping DVD’s to store and watch on your computer). But software, which doesn’t always work but still exists, to crack the copyright protection on DVD’s continues to be distributed via the internet. An exception to this are CD’s, which iTunes even has a built-in feature for importing, because there are usually no copy protections installed on them. (One notable exception: Sony BMG got in a lot of trouble several years back for installing computer-damaging root kits on some of their CDs that caused problems for users who inserted those discs into their Windows computers. They ended up as the subject of a recall, several class action lawsuits and state & federal sanctions.)

The creation and maintenance of closed operating platforms (where a company uses copyright protections and proprietary technology on equipment or systems to control how purchasers may use them) is also a highly controversial issue to many. Apple is (in)famous for doing this with the iPhone to control what applications users may run on their phone. The phone’s lockdown has resulted in a practice called “jailbreaking” where some users hack the phone so that they can install applications other than the officially approved ones sold in the iTunes App Store. The result has been a running battle between Apple and the jailbreakers, where the iPhone is repeatedly secured with a new operating system update, and then hacked again by jailbreakers. The same battle has already started over Apple’s brand new iPad device. (This differs from devices like a personal computer, which is designed as an open system designed to have any compatible software you can get your hands on – or even write yourself – installed on it.)

Provo Craft has in essence created a closed operating system for the Cricut with the secure proprietary software that runs the machines. Only their cartridges can be used in the machines, and only their Design Studio software or Gypsy can be used to access the machines for cutting. Companies like Apple say that a closed system provides a better user experience by eliminating outside errors being brought into a system. Many users agree and like the natural simplicity of a closed system.

So why does Make The Cut (and iPhone jailbreaking) exist? Because some users feel that once they buy something they should have the right to do with it whatever they want. A certain segment of consumers sees the purchase of an item as absolute. It’s a black-and-white philosophy: “I own it, so I should be able to do what I want with it.” These users chafe under limitations of a closed system.

These issues may be new to the scrapbook industry, but they certainly aren’t new to technology. As technology invades the scrapbook industry more, we will see more and more of them.

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