Somebody happened to get a card from Operation Write Home and they recognised the photo and knew the photographer, and they mentioned it to Sandy. They weren't mad it was one of those co-incidences (what are the odds?!) but it got Sandy into a flap about copyright. She decided that cardmakers are not allowed to use any recognisable source material for their cards. No photographs unless you took them yourself, and even then they're discouraged. No recycled images from books, cards, magazines, or any other printed material you may find, pick up, or get in the mail. And she didn't mention it but this is even more important so far as I'm concerned - NO RANDOMLY DOWNLOADED IMAGES FROM THE INTERNET.
If you put something onto a card you have to have made it yourself, photographed it yourself, drawn or painted it yourself... been specifically granted the copyright by the person who did, or made it using materials that were specifically sold for crafting purposes.
This has upset a lot of cardmakers who like to make recycled cards... It upset me too. If you glance back over my posted cards you'll see a lot of them use images that are recycled from those cute little gift books that turn up in the thrift store looking brand new five years after somebody gave them to you. Nobody ever really wants to buy them - if you're going to give someone one of those gifts you'll want it to be new - so I'd snap them up, cut them up, and make them into cards. They were great because they were almost always the right size for the cards and they have lots of sweet sentiments on them, and you got a lot more bang for your buck than buying specific crafting stuff. I've got a box of cut-up gift books that I won't be able to use now. I also pulled photos from tourist/travel brochures, junk mail, and christmas catalogs if the paper was thick enough to withstand gluing without disintegrating. Most of my christmas cards are made by recycling old ones because they're too nice to throw away, and they're free. I'd only made a few so far but I was gearing up to pull out last years' christmas box and start recycling cards... and now they're all useless.:(
So what CAN you use aside from stamps (which not everyone has skill with, and which can be very expensive to purchase...) I use stamps sometimes. But I'm lousy at colouring and I don't have the money for the ubiquitous copics, so I'm reverting back to my old standby for adding instant colour to cards - stickers. And I'll probably be using my punches more... I've got yards of patterned paper to play with. I got a stack of photo stickers from Ross yesterday. And I'm not going to force myself to make christmas cards that I don't want to make... I'm using my new photo stickers to make birthday cards instead. I almost never make them because I'm rushing from holiday to holiday trying to meet the mailing deadlines. Valentines Day is coming up next... and of course there are my punches and my Cricut. I just have to get motivated enough to remember to pull them out and use them.