A New Opportunity for Artists of Many Kinds

Think Canva but with more fun.

Touchgram messages use visual art as full backgrounds and page elements. Pages also include  sounds you trigger by touch and visual effects like games, provided by shaders and particle emitters.

You will be able to sell any of these items in our Marketplace, setting your own pricing as discussed in more detail below.

You can also make up entire templates like digital greeting cards, where a person buying just fills in some quick text or adds their voice. You can use your own art in these or reuse art from the marketplace, assuming the artist grants permission. Everybody gets paid.

Touchgram is safer for artists because we control both creating and playing a message. Your work is never just visible on a website to the user, who could download files. It's always played back within Touchgram.

Jewellry and other physical artists can market via Touchgram too!

The works on Touchgram messages include a link back to your store. You can have pictures of your stunning jewellry used in messages and people who like them will be able to read about you and go buy from you online. 

Our digital payment system described below is only for the images, sounds etc. inside Touchgrams. If you link back to a real-world store, that's all your income the same as if people just found you from a web search. Except, they get there because they already love something you did.

​Ways you get paid

Scenario Explanation
Sally buys a sticker from the marketplace to send in messages You get paid once when Sally sends the first message. You don't get paid again by her if she sends more messages with that sticker.
Sally buys a Per-use item animation from the marketplaceYou get paid every time she sends a new message is sent with that animation included.
Jan receives your item in a message from Sally, copies half of the message and sends it to Thuy.You get paid (again) by Jan, either just once or each time if it's a per-use item.
Sally buys a greeting card Template from the marketplace to create a message, that Tomas made containing your art.You get paid the reuse price for your art.
You set reuse prices differently from normal use - you might want to encourage a lot of template authors to use your art and set a low reuse price.
You make a greeting card template using some of your works but also sounds and animations by others. Sally buys your card and sends a message by it.
You get paid by Sally and the sound and animation artists are paid the reuse price.

​Permissions to control how others use your work from the Marketplace

Thumbnail of the Creative Commons flowchart for picking licenses.

These permissions can be set independently of any license you may choose. 

They are designed to support the Creative Commons licenses, which are often used for creative works

See this table  for a good explanation or the flowchart version full-size page.

We don't force you to pick a license for items put in the store, default is normal copyright with the only extension being you have to sign a release allowing reuse. Shader effects are often released under the MIT License, typical for open-source software.

The table below shows corresponding Creative Commons licenses (CC BY) where appropriate.

Permissions you can set as an artist, on Marketplace itemsExplanation
No Reuse Allowed
Normally, simple marketplace items such as art images, sounds, animation effects etc. are available for artists who are composing larger works, such as animations or templated cards. This gives you payment of your reuse price for items they use.
Note: They are not allowed to just copy your entire template and reuse it under a different name. There must be substantial change & you still get paid.

Setting the noReuse flag bans someone from reusing your work to compose their own marketplace item. You can still apply it to items you sell for people to use in their messages, that's the entire point of the store.

No Resale Allowed
Your work can be reused in a free work but someone is not allowed to take it and  compose a work for which they charge, even if they are adding significant value. 
Item Charged Per-Use Every time a message is sent with one of these items, you are paid. The sender cannot send their message if they don't have enough balance to pay for it.

Be careful about user backlash - people expect to pay for stickers only once and use as many times as they want.
 Details Hidden  Hide any template, or portion, to prevent someone seeing how things work.
You would use this if you were making a template with something complex and you don't want your ideas copied, like animations or logic rules.
If you set this on the entire Message then people cannot use the View Source command.
 Change not allowed  Someone can look at how your template or a part of it works and they can copy and reuse it  but they cannot change it. Eg: an artist who composes a complex animation can ensure it is only ever used as the complete item.

​Permissions as applied to Messages

Permissions you can setExplanation
No Reuse Allowed If you are composing a message and set noReuse, it prevents someone from copying that item into their own message. This is a bit against the spirit of our community of encouraging creativity by mixing and making. But, it’s recognised as a valid right for you creators! 
 Details Hidden  For any message, or portion of a message, you can set this to prevent someone seeing how things work. You would use this if you were creating a puzzle for friends and you don't want them to cheat.
If you set this on the entire Message then people cannot use the View Source command.
 Change not allowed  Someone can look at how your message or a part of it works and they can copy and reuse it  but they cannot change what they copy. This is more often used by people putting templates in the marketplace.

Artist Sales and Control as a story

The marketplace has a broad set of rules to let you control how your work is reused. The emphasis is on fairness to artists - if you think we've missed something please get in touch.

Touchgram normally allows any message to be saved to Favorites and the contents to be viewed with the View Source command. That lets people see how messages work and mix pages or elements into a new message. All assets preserve the original artist credit and rules. If you have a price associated with an element, someone can't copy it and claim credit - you still get paid.

You may want to protect how a page works, if you have some interesting combination of touch sensors and actions, or hidden elements. You can allow reuse of pages without seeing their details, or totally lock out any reuse. 

Take an example of a Valentine’s Day card using work from a band of people.

  • Arwen makes a two-page card for sale.
  • She uses a picture as the background for the first page, from a painting by Frodo
  • Merry recorded a short, joyful whistle sound that Arwen set to be  played on touching the painting.
  • Opening the card to the second page, as the page is shown there’s a sparkling firework effect by Gandalf - he’s donated it for free use.
  • There’s an exquisite small picture of a rose from Samwise which is repeated around the edge of the second page.

Arwen, Frodo, Merry and Samwise all expect to be paid for their work being used.
Gandalf’s work is free but the card still contains a credit identifying his work.

Lets say the components are priced in Touchits (tc):

  • Samwise’s rose picture reuse price 20tc (normal sticker price is 5tc)
  • Merry’s whistle 5tc
  • Frodo’s painting price 100 tc
  • Those total 125tc. Arwen adds for her work and rounds up to 200tc for the entire card 

All pricing is in Touchits (tc).

Users buy Touchits with in-app purchase, like many games.

You set prices for your work, with optional different price if reused (eg: someone makes a card template with your picture).

If someone remixes your work, you get paid from it being used in the remix. If someone copies and pastes your picture to use in a new message, you get paid again!

You can restrict visibility or reuse of your work. Most commonly, if you make card templates from your own art, you can stop someone reusing the art outside that card.

Artist details travel with the message. If you sell prints, canvases or jewellery, you can link back to your site. Each message people send, effectively becomes an ad for you, the artist. This is better than NFTs which don't provide link protection.

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