Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Controversial Topic - Copyright

I have read a few posts about copyright lately and the problems other crafters have been having with people using their patterns to make and sell softies. I wish these were small isolated problems, but it is obvious that it is not. You only have to look through Etsy and other sites to see people doing this quite often.
It can be terribly disheartening when you have put all that work (and it is a lot of work) into designing something and writing up a pattern and then you find people selling things made from the patter. This is made worse when I am trying to earn money selling my creations and someone is using my patterns and charging a lot less (I wonder if they doing much more than breaking even). I think some people are simply unaware that you can't use other peoples patterns without their permission, but others, especially bigger corporations just appear to not care.
I certainly don't want to discourage people using my things for inspiration and I am certainly not claiming that no one should make certain animals because I do. For example there are many brilliant hippos, giraffes and elephants around. There are all going to have certain characteristics the same, but we all use our own different pattern we made ourselves and have our own style which make them unique.
Ok that is all I have to say. Three little girls are waiting to make chocolate cake.

18 comments:

Bianca Jae Makes Stuff said...

I can only imagine how frustrating and insulting it is to have someone use your ideas and hard work and claim it as their own. I am not clever enough to have my own ideas and I suspect that they are not either!! I do hope you have reported it, it is worrying that so much of this happens. I always thought that home sewers and crafters had respect and concideration for the hard work of others, not so it seems.....xox

One Flew Over said...

The wonderful thing about the blogging community is that you get so much inspiration and get to see what other creatives are doing. Sometimes I see things that I really love and am inspired to try it too. If this is the case I would only EVER make it for personal use or to give as gifts to friends or family and if I EVER blogged about it then I would also credit where the inspiration came from.
It is a real shame that people see things and then on sell it as their own idea and then even profit from it! Not in the spirit of the crafting community!

Amy (badskirt) said...

Hi Kate. Do let me know if you'd like me to add you to my copyright list with a statement on your pattern use: http://badskirt.blogspot.com/2008/11/big-copyright-list.html

Mette aka mettuska said...

I think that´s an eternal problem. Sad but true =(

Stephanie said...

I'm aware of this happening with a couple of the blogs I read! Maddening. Now that I'm publishing my own patterns I'm even more aware of copyright! Not sure how this infringement can be corrected. Happy cake baking.

Annie said...

I hate this side of crafting, but good on your for putting it out there.

Jodie said...

ergghh. It definately is the dark side isn't it?
I do like to think it is just people who don't know that they shouldn't....but when it is big companies ! They do know and it is wrong!

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

I do so agree with all the comments out there. One good thing is when you see it and it gets reported the person doing the wrong thing gets heard about and looses all credibility. so much so that when they do have ideas of their own it is too late. They have already done themselves damage.
It is called karma

periwinkle said...

I think this is happening more and more and some of the copies like you say are coming from huge corporations so what chance does the little guys have. A friend of mine is having the same problem with someone on Etsy , all I can say is these people must have no morals. Hope you enjoyed your chocolate cake..

Miss Dot said...

it is a tricky one isn't it? I am starting to teach soon and also selling kits and I know I will face the same thing. I don't know what the solution is. For me the only thing I can do is stay on step ahead by contantly doing different things. For you I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about them selling cheaper, hopefully they will go broke before they steal too much market share?

Sandrine said...

Yes Kate it is a very frustrating issue, I beleive it does happens at all levels even big designers get copied all the time and often copies sell cheaper...as they are made abroad with cheap labour...A Sad reality, do not let that worry you too much as people can get your idea but not your creativity;)Also If you get copied must be because you are very talented...The only thing I am trying to do is working around it...and mostly not getting it affect you too much, hard I know...

Linda said...

hi Kate I can only imagine how you must be feeling but I would be very pissed off. I think you have been very calm about it. I did see a hippo recently and couldn't get over how much like yours it was

Lucy Bowler said...

Hi Kate, what a controversial topic indeed! I have thought a lot about it, not just in terms of pattern-making (which is very frustrating with all your hard work), but what about other things... the copyright of authors and illustrators whose children's books are being re-purposed and sold, or whose pages are being turned into gift cards or copied and used as prints. Or toy makers whose toys are being photographed and sold as prints (fisher price for one). This is widespread and you've just touched the tip of the iceberg. It also applies to vintage sewing and knitting patterns that are being used today and the products of which are sold. Copyright lasts a lot longer than people think and we need to be mindful of that. There's been a lot about copyright lately in terms of, say, a sculptor whose work appears in a public space. Someone takes a photo of it and sells it for profit, however this is an infringement of that sculptor's copyright. It was interesting to visit Amy's (Badskirt) big copyright list - I wonder also about vintage materials... There's so much to cover!!! As for your own issues, I hope you get that sorted out. Very disheartening.

sue said...

Hi Kate, it seems to be happening a lot doesnt it which is very sad. I dont think it will ever stop either which is very disheartening. All your hard work, but just remember there are true people out there who will buy your patterns too.

Jhoanna said...

Hi Kate, so sorry to read that you are dealing with this also. You would think that a statement that is large and bolded in a pattern that reads "All rights reserved. Copy right 2009. For PERSONAL USE only" would deter people from making toys from a pattern and then selling it.

Have you contacted the seller - 9 out of 10 times I have found that they co-operate and apologise (most claiming ignorance). But as you have seen from my recent experience, there is the 1 out of 10 that know they are breaching copyright but couldn't care less. If they are part of a team on etsy (such as DUST) you could contact them also as I found them more helpful in intervening that etsy itself (who has not responded to my complaint whatsoever).

I truly hope you are able to resolve this and will continue to share your gorgeous patterns.

Fiona said...

Hi Kate, I'm sorry to read you're dealing with this as well. It really shouldn't be controversial, should it? Not copying someone else's work is a fundamental concept taught in schools. Yet here we are! I really hope you are able to contact the seller & get it sorted out. I recently read (can't remember where) that it's important to address intellectual property issues as soon as you learn about them, because as time goes on the person doing the ripping-off becomes more convinced that the work is indeed theirs, so getting any kind of response from them becomes harder. There is one particular situation where I wish I had acted - what seemed 'harmless' copying of my work at the time has become something that makes me fume every time I see it! Good luck. x

Rach said...

Ignore my email - obviouly you have noticed this...

Well you know about me and copyright at the moment! But as someone who has also been a little copied here and there, I understand your frustration. As I said to you in the email, I let its slide. But you know what - next time it is really, really blatent, I will say something.

Rach
x

melissa said...

i'm so sorry that this has happened to you, kate. good on you for saying something!