Monday, March 14, 2011

MTC users UNITE!!

 
It is often said that it takes a hardship to learn who your friends are. This past weekend, Andy and Ann found out that they are surrounded by more friends than they ever imagined. At least 486 749* of us.

Provo Craft filed a lawsuit against Make-the-Cut last April. It was with every good intention that Andy had written in a feature for MTC/Cricut-users to backup their cartridges but I supposed it was too good of an opportunity for Provo Craft to not take advantage of and so, a lawsuit was filed. I read every page of the lawsuit and even though I am not an attorney and wasn't able to fully comprehend the claims of the case, it was apparent that the program was being painted as an evil and sinister thief.

Make-the-Cut is a program that was written by a loving husband for his Cricut-obsessed wife. We were lucky that Andy decided to share his work with the rest of us, fans of the Cricut machine. Before MTC, some of us Cricut-owners were also users of Provo Craft's Cricut Design Studio (CDS) program. Despite repeated requests, Provo Craft has not made any improvements to CDS. We have bought the software and we were willing to pay for upgrade and yet the updates released by Provo Craft were only for adding images of new cartridges and not for adding enhancements like new tools or features. Disappointed with the lack of progress, we were more than excited to turn to MTC when it was released in Dec '09.


Since its initial release, the program has been updated and upgraded multiple times, each time adding even more new features than the last. Andy set up a forum for the MTC users to hang out, a place where we can discuss how we can expand our creativity, and what we need for Andy to do, so that we can better use our Cricut.

Andy listened and Andy worked hard to give us what we wanted. We celebrated with every update. We cheered with every new feature. And then Andy decided that the forum wasn't good enough for us and so he started the weekly webinars where we could actually get together and talk about our passion for using Make-the-Cut with the Cricut.


More and more people started joining the MTC family and even more decided to buy the Cricut machines because MTC allowed them to expand their creativity beyond cartridges. Many have posted on the MTC forum that they bought the Cricut only because they were able to use MTC with it. Did using MTC stop them from buying more Cricut consumables like mats and blades? Of course not! We all need more mats and blades because we were able to cut with the Cricut even more. Did using MTC stop us from buying cartridges? Like many of the MTC users, I continued to buy Cricut cartridges despite having the program. I was having the time of my life creating with Lettering Delights SVGs, and Cricut cartridges and Make-the-Cut with my Cricut machine. It was possible for me to do that only because of Andy's Make-the-Cut, a program that was written by a user for the users.

I guess no one was really surprised that almost a year after that filing, MTC has settled the case with Provo Craft. Who really can afford to fight with the big guns? A husband-and-wife team going against a company with the deep pockets is like David fighting against Goliath except that this David does not have the luxury of a stone or a sling. The word out on the streets today is that with the settlement, not only does Andy have to remove the backup feature of the program (which he already did last March), but that all future updates of MTC will not be compatible with the Cricut machines. In the process of punishing Andy, Provo Craft is also effectively punishing anyone who uses MTC with the Cricut.

While I understand why Provo Craft filed the suit, I am unable to comprehend why they refused to listen to us, their customers, and try to improve on the Cricut Design Studio. I wished that they would have spent the time working and improving on their CDS program instead of introducing new products all the time. If they have a superior program (CDS doesn't even have a tool as basic as the Shadow Layer!), Cricut users would not even have the need for any 3rd party software.

And so here we are today, the case has settled and us, the Cricut-obsessed fans are left feeling betrayed, and punished for loving the machine. Everyone is waiting for Andy's official statement, which at the time of this post he has yet to release. Until he does, no one really knows what is going to happen to the current MTC users who cut with the Cricut. We know that future updates of the program will likely be incompatible with the Cricut but will we still be allowed to use the current v.3.2.1 (which works with the Cricut) for as long as we want if we never update the program again, or will there be some sort of a forced update? The one thing that I do know, is that since MTC is compatible with other cutters like the e-craft, Gazelle, Craft Robo, Silhouette, and the Cougar, many MTC users are ditching their Cricuts and buying a different brand cutter that works with the program. Imagine that! We would rather stick with a good software that allows us creative freedom than to be tied to a cheap machine that can't even cut circles right! That's quite a testament for a program that is just over a year old. Andy and his wife, Ann, should be so proud. 

For those of you wondering, I am currently using a Cricut Expression with MTC v.3.2.1 and I will continue to use the unit that I have until I am no longer able to. While I am waiting to hear Andy's official statement, I am also looking to add a second electronic cutter to work with the program. This Friday, I will be posting about the other cutters that work with Make-the-Cut.  If you use Make-the-Cut with an electronic cutter that is NOT a Cricut, please email through my contact form above. I would love to feature your work made with Make-the-Cut. Please send a photo of your project along with the brand of cutter that you used to create it with. In the meantime, if you have a Facebook account, you might want to add your voice here:



* count updated mar 14, 11am pst.

38 comments :

  1. Very well said Jin. I'm very upset with Provo Craft and did continue to buy cartridges even after getting MTC, but never again! I'm also looking at all the other machines out there so I look forward to your post.

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  2. Very well put Jin. I bought my cricut and MTC 13 months ago. Since then I have also purchased 45+ cartridges. It never stopped me from throwing my money at PC. I can honestly say that will come to a stop right now. I not only own MTC, but also a gypsy and SCAL. I like to be well rounded in using what I have. And I will not letter anyone put a restriction on me or anything that I have purchased. I am looking forward to your posts about other cutters :)

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  3. Me too Jin, I have the Cricut Expression, SCAL 1&2 , MTC (which is far superior to SCAL or DS) and CDS. I love the versatility of MTC and have only recently discovered and purchased it so am devastated about this news. I also buy carts but in all honesty, many are just a bit too cute for my liking and I am considering selling them. I am interested in machines that will give me the size scope of the expression eg using 12" mats. I was interested in the Craft Robo but it is limited to A4. I look forward to finding out more from you. Thank you for this post.

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  4. Beautifully said, look forward to your information regarding other cutters, I too would rather stick to my software than a dodgy machine from a company with such a bad attitude...I too like many others only bought the cricut BECAUSE of SCAL and MTC, as I thoroughly love & adore MTC now...not a chance in hell that I will give that up EVER!!!

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  5. my gosh! this is what I hate about big companies. To be honest, I've known about cricut years ago... but because of the prices of the cartridges I didn't buy it. I was going to buy my very own Cricut last year after reading your blog and saw your works. But I was dumb enough not to check out my cart, so I lost the very huge deal in Amazon. But now, after reading this, boy am I glad I didn't purchase cricut. I'll just wait for your future posts and see what cutting machine to buy. For now, bad Provocraft! Bad Bad Bad!!! Just goes to show that all they think about is earning, and not really customer satisfaction coz clearly there is NO ONE satisfied right now!

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  6. Very well said! I bought a Cricut with the intention of using 3rd party software. The cartridges are much to expensive and really not my style, so I wouldn't have bought it without SCAL or MTC (I ended up going with MTC and love it). I really want a Cougar now...a machine that can do so much more like cutting fabric, felt, engraving, embossing, and so much more with more accuracy than the Cricut could ever hope to achieve with the direction they're going now. I can't wait to see your post on other machines and which one you decide to get.

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  7. Well said - Provocraft have lost another customer

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  8. Thanks for posting this Jin. Had no idea that things had come to a head. I'm out for Provo Craft. I've got about 50 carts, but not antoher one. I look forward to your article on other cutters. I'd be particularly interested in which machine works best and easiest for print and cut.

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  9. Nice and reasoned - I think you said what so many people feel! Its just such a shame that PC have made such an ill thought out business move. It will be interesting to see if they produce a statement.

    I decided against PC when I bought a new cutter, mainly because I have heard so many bad things about them as a company (I must admit that I was initially swayed by its popularity!). I feel so bad for people who want to use MTC with the bug!

    Never mind, guess they will learn the hard way! Meanwhile, thats a whole avenue of income they have cut off!

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  10. Jin, Well said. I bought my E a few years ago, but after the initial thrill of a new toy, it sat in a closet for many months, until I heard about MTC. I looked into the program and dug my E out of the closet, and it NEVER went back in there. I purchased MORE carts after I got MTC than I did before I had MTC. I have already purchased another cutter, (Cougar)where the developers of that machine worked WITH Andy to make sure their machine would cut from MTC, and have given my E to my sister, who is just getting into papercrafting. I'm sure once she gets hooked, she is going to want another machine. But for now she has an E and MTC and can do everything she needs to do for now.

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  11. I use SCAL, and our turn is next. I am infuriated by what I have been reading. I have Design Studio and quite frankly it stinks! Especially once you are used to SCAL, it's hard to go back.
    ProvoCraft doesn't listen to their customers or they would have fixed DS already and started releasing their own SVGs. As far as I am concerned I intend to get the most out of my Cricut but when time comes for a replacement, I will be looking elsewhere. I am looking forward to learning more about the other options... :-)

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  12. There is another side to this also.

    Going green.

    Every cartridge you buy is another one that will eventually head to a landfill somewhere/sometime. The software, which can be updated and not tossed, is far far more green than the carts.

    I bought my E at Christmas 2010, because I had read about the compatible software out there (SCAL & MTC). Too bad for PC, I purchased it and will buy a different machine to use it with.

    PC would have be FAR further ahead to sue for royalties from the software, than to prohibit it. Their R&D had already been done for them.

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  13. Well said Jin.... What a sad day for MTC and I am sure SCAL next... just doesn't seem right that the manufacturers of a machine I bought can tell me what I can use with it or make with it - just think if I could not use different software products on my computer, or could not choose to buy cheaper replacement inks for my printer... very sad day for crafters indeed. My thoughts go out to Andy and Ann - Love my MTC...

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  14. Beautifully written, Jin. This is really not fair and PC is being very greedy.

    I, too, bought my Cricut to use with MTC. I have also bought many of the cartridges and various supplies to go with it, supporting Provocraft. I am very disappointed that they are being so greedy. I also own a Klic-n-Kut (which I actually had first), and hope that Andy will make MTC usable with it. I am no longer buying ANY PC product, including Cuttlebug.

    Thanks for keeping us updated. I'll be praying for Andy and Ann

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  15. ProvoCraft got caught with their pants down. They are way behind on product development. CDS is practically useless. They should have been developing SVG files to download instantly. AND, they should have been encouraging 3rd party software realizing that enthusiastic crafters buy more machines, mats, blades and carts. I will NOT be buying the E that I've been shopping for but will wait to hear what you find out about other cutters, Jin.

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  16. If they had their act together, they would have hired Andy to develop software for them!

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  17. Thanks Jin!

    I too continued to buy carts eventhough I have MTC. I'm so upset. We spent hundreds of dollars to buy a Cricut and we are limited to what we can do with it. We should be able to do whatever we want with our machines once we buy it. I don't want to losee MTC but I cannot afford to buy another cutter right now.

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  18. How short sighted! I JUST bought my cricut because of this blog. I have used Lettering Delights for years and was thrilled to see I could use them in a whole new manner. While I wasn't planning on buying cartridges(too much clutter) I have bought mats, blades, spatulas, markers, etc. And would continue to do so.
    I have been using the day lights out of my machine showing others how awesome the cricut/letteringdelights/mtc is. I am doing 32 center pieces for the Boy Scout this Sunday. I will tell me how to make them using MTC and some other die cutter, not Cricut. Ha Ha PC, jokes is on you!

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  19. This just makes me sick! It's too bad they couldn't have fought the lawsuit, but that's what these big companies count on. And I echo what everyone else has stated - the use of MTC has in no way reduced the money I have spent on PC machines, cartridges, and consumables - how arrogant and short-sighted PC is!

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  20. Way to go Jin!! Well thoughtout and stated. Provo should have listened to their customers a long time ago. Individuals do not want to be limited in their creativity, especially when they are paying for it. MTC opened doors that Provo did not or could not envision. They have a very shortsighted, tunnel vision of what paper crafters want to do. And are attempting to limit thier visions by controlling how they use products that they own and paid for.

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  21. I really hate this for Andy . . . the only reason I have *kept* my cricut is because of MTC. I tried the trial version of -ds- and found it much too confusing . . . I actually lost interest in the cricut till MTC came along. So . . . what about filing complaints on -pc- for not holding up their end of the bargain ... the lies about updating/upgrading something we have purchased? I've already 'unliked' official cricut pages on FB and will no longer buy anything -pc- made. Boo on them ... they should've gotten together with Andy and made something really fantastic for us, their customers ... the ones who keep them in business!

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  22. Shame on you Provocraft...How GREEDY can you be.
    Thank you for sharing all this information with us even though sad....Please keep us posted. I use MTC ten times more than CDS.

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  23. Jin thanks for making this post. I look forward to seeing your postings of other type cutters.

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  24. Jin you have a gift with words. You are thoughtful and explain your position well. I can then say, I do agree with some points you make but also can see PC point of view. I am not about to boycott a company for protecting itself, even if I do believe that Andy has done a much better job.
    I love my Cricut, Gypsy, and soon an Imagine. I love being crafty and sharing that craft with people around me. I have my collection of cartridges being stored at my children's school so that the teachers can use them with the DONATED BY PC Cricut Expression. Getting political and righteous is not productive. Copyright is protected and sometimes you can get around it and sometimes you can't.
    I also have MTC and I do agree that Andy has made a much better performing program, so when the time comes that my Cricut no longer works with his program....I will go on ebay and find one that does.
    And I'm sure that if I took your work and placed it on my blog, changed the coloring in photoshop, then called it my own....somewhere down the road I would be getting a stop and assist from you about how that is your work. Kinda the same thing
    The only person I really care about winning is ME and my crafts, and here in this country I'm free to choose, THANK GOD.
    I will continue to follow your blog,I really enjoy your work. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. And Andy also.

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  25. Thank you, Anonymous. I understand why PC sued but they could have just sued for the backup feature to be removed (which Andy already did 2 weeks after the feature was released). They could have sued for royalties and let us continue playing but no they did not do that either. Instead, they used that feature as an excuse to stop MTC entirely. Btw, I would love to check out your blog but you chose to be anonymous. Why? If you believe in what you say, there is no need to hide. Your analogy does not work. If you use my work and you credit me for the idea, there is no reason for me to send you a cease and desist letter. The Cricut name is all over the MTC board and they have been credited EVERY TIME their machine is mentioned. Despite our differences, we are all crafters and we still have the same interest(s). Some people like the simplicity of using cartridges without the need for a computer and I respect that. I am disappointed with the company and not with their customers.

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  26. Jin, there has been rumors for some time that Lettering Delights is actually owned by Provocraft? Do you have the knowledge to either confirm or deny this? A while back a graphic set was quickly pulled from Lettering Delights after it became widely discussed in cyberland that the images looked exactly like those on a newly release Cricut cartridge. I for one would like to know so that I can be sure who my monies are going to. Thank you!

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  27. Jin - first the post was incredible! Second, your response to Anonymous was perfect. As the creator of the Facebook page "Boycott Provo Craft" I want to say that I have two Expressions, carts, mats, tools, Design Studio, Cuttlebug, and so on. I love the machines and the carts (cannot say the same for DS) but I cannot continue to do business with a company like this. Did they have some valid points, absolutely, did Andy take care of those points right away? absolutely! A company needs to listen to their customers -- the ones that are putting money in their Bank (of America). My money will no longer go to a company with these business standards.

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  28. Amen to the last statement Jin

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  29. Thanks for posting Jin,

    I for one will be buying another cutter as soon as I can. I started with DS, but it is so hard to use and has not been updated to make it more user friendly. When MTC came along it helped me design my own files and use my Cricut much more. PC didn't think this out very well because MTC helped their sales go up. I still bought carts and used them when I was feeling lazy, but I haven't bout a cart in months and never will again - no more mats, blades, or pens either!

    Look forward to your post about the other cutters in the market.

    Carmen L

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  30. Thank Jin for your post. It echoes what alot of us are feeling. I don't know if what so very many of us feel about the settlement will make any difference to a big company like ProvoCraft but it feels better to let some of the bad feelings out

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  31. Jin - I just wanted to say thank you for all your tutorials, I think I'm like some of the other posters on your blog, I had the crapcutters but never used them until I came across your tutorials and MTC. Only then did I truly love using my E for card making, crafts, and scrapbooking. I am joining the boycott but I will continue to use what I have until they become useless tools because I can't afford a new gadget at this moment.

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  32. I have SCAL, but I am totally with you and ANTI-PROVO CRAFT!!! I will be looking for another machine, but will have to use the Cricut until it dies or my supplies urn out.....I will not longer buy any supplies. Would love for everyone to sent PC politically correct letters of discontent. I will look forward to seeing the different machines discussed on your blog while there is no one trying to advertise or persuade you. This is a grand time for these companies to woe us with their machines and offer us a price we wouldn't want to pass up. Thanks for all your post.

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  33. Jin, I was the first anonymous...just because I'm not a blogger and couldn't figure out how to post a comment any other way. You are absolutely right in your response to the second anonymous, PC should only have gone after the back-up feature. I'm betting they are regretting that shortsightedness now.

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  34. Very well said!
    I bought my Expression mid last year because of the MTC software. I loved the freedom the software gave me that the cartridges and DS were not able to. That doesn't mean that I haven't spent money for PC products though! I'm extremely disappointed that this is the path that PC decided to go down. I'll use my cricut as long as I can and the MTC software allows, but I'm already keeping my eyes open for a replacement.

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  35. Oh, my goodness! I literally was getting ready to order a Cricut this week to use with the MTC as I have a large number of LD products and wished to use them in conjunction with MTC. I will not be purchasing one now sadly. Too bad as my husband is a Naval officer getting ready to deploy for an extended period of time and I was getting in part to do projects with our daughter to help distract her from the pain of him being gone again.

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  36. I don't want to be Anti-Provocraft, I just want to be PRO FREEDOM. Provocraft has decided to limit our freedom. Therefore I am no longer compatible with Provocraft. And to think I was going to buy another Expression! BTW, my local Craig's list has an unusually large number of Cricut machines for sale!! Good idea, PC!!

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  37. Jin, Great post. You are extremely talented and intelligent and you articulate well what a lot of us are feeling about Provocraft and MTC. Well said--I agree with everything you've written on the subject. I only purchased my Cricut last year and then discovered your website and MTC. You and MTC have really expanded my creativity and given me options I DESERVE to have with my purchased products. I buy cartridges because I like the designs, but I do not appreciate the steep prices and limitations imposed on the Cricut products based on PC's blatant consumerism. I've since purchased the Silhoutte and LD designs and am enjoying my hobby--and my FREEDOM even more than ever! Thank you for your frank and honest opinions. I will continue to follow you and invest in MTC. Sheryl in Florida.

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