Download Files From Etsy For Free? Please Don’t


This will be a short article, but if you’ve ever wondered how to download Etsy files for free, it’s for you. And yes, you might feel scolded.

Please don’t try to download files on Etsy if you haven’t paid for them.

Speaking as someone who does have a digital download shop on Etsy, and speaking for all the people who make their living selling digital products, looking for Etsy free download hacks is basically stealing from us, and we’re tired of it.

I can’t blame people for trying to save money, but I can blame them for stealing from businesses, even if they don’t think that’s what they’re doing.

Because when you try to download Etsy files for free, you’re stealing. The person who designed that file had to spend time to create it, list it, and market it, and they probably make their living from it Or at least part of their living, since there’s not a ton of money in this kind of thing.

download etsy files for free

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What kinds of digital theft are there?

The amount of digital theft that goes on online is enormous, and part of that is people stealing other people’s designs and selling them as their own.

That’s the most obvious form of file theft, but it’s not the only one.

Another type of digital theft is someone who tries to screenshot things to download Etsy images for free instead of paying the (usually really low) price that the shop owner is charging for it.

And yet another kind of digital theft is when you buy a file then share it with all of your friends.

That happens a lot in online groups where people share files that they’ve bought with other group members, and when you send files to your friends who haven’t bought them.

Every time you share a file with someone who didn’t buy it from the designer, that’s money that’s being stolen from the person who created the file.

This really does add up, and it makes a difference to a lot of people who are trying to make a living from their creativity.

Digital theft is one of the main reasons why people stop selling digital files at all, because they get to the point where they just say that it’s not worth fighting it and they quit.

As Laura, owner Pink Mouse Planner ShopOpens in a new tab., says “It’s disheartening to spend so many hours to create a high-quality product, only to have it stolen. I’ve heard people say that it isn’t hurting anyone, which isn’t true. Most of the digital creators that I know are working to support themselves and their families. We all deserve to be paid for our work.”

How to support digital sellers.

If you want to support a digital seller, please don’t steal files or give them away to people, obviously.

If you know someone who would like the same product that you bought, give them the name of the shop where you bought it. They can purchase it directly and that helps the original designer instead of ripping them off.

Printing a digital file for yourself, then printing it for someone who says they like it is also shady, in my opinion.

If you really want to support that business who designed the file, give your friends the name of the shop where you bought the file and let them print it themselves.

Most digital files aren’t that expensive, and it’s always appreciated when you refer our businesses to other people.

For the Artisan Shopping Directory digital sellers, click here.

Personal vs. Commercial use.

There are also some restrictions around how you can use most digital files, which is usually spelled out in the license that comes with the file.

The important thing to remember is that a license is a legal agreement that gives you permission to use the digital files in the way that the copyright owner says you can use it. The copyright owner is the person who made the file, and even though you buy the file to download, the designer still owns the copyright.

Using a file that doesn’t have a commercial license, or using a commercial license the wrong way, can actually end up getting you sued for copyright infringement.

I know a photographer who successfully sued people for using images of his artwork that they took off of his website, so it does happen.

Personal use licenses.

A personal use license gives you permission to use the file for yourself as long as you’re not selling it.

Most designers don’t consider “giving the file for free to everyone you know” part of the personal license, though.

Personal use is for the person who bought it, and even though we know that people will occasionally share the files, it’s not usually part of what you have legal permission to do.

Commercial licenses.

A commercial license gives you permission to use the file for projects that you sell, but each license is going to limit you to what that means.

Some commercial licenses let you print things that are physical products using the file, but they don’t let you sell the digital file on its own.

Some commercial licenses also limit you to how many items you can sell using the file, and after that you have to buy a new license.

Every license will have different terms of use that are set up by the designer.

Make sure that you check the terms of whatever license comes with the file that you’re buying, because it’s a legal thing that can get you sued if you misuse the files.

Please don’t try to steal free digital downloads if they’re something that’s being sold by the creator. If you’ve read this far I appreciate it, because you’re probably someone who will take this information to heart.

The next time someone offers to give you a free digital file that they bought somewhere, please ask where they got it instead so that you can buy your own copy. The designer will thank you!


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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