Friday, August 12, 2011

Warning, Rant Ahead

Ah, Friday...sometimes I wish that you actually meant the week was over, but it's just an illusion for me of course. Non stop is the life of the stay at home mom. No, I'm not really complaining. I do in fact love my life...most days, I just wish the weekend was more like it was when I was a kid, but I digress.

Yesterday, I did much cleaning, but the kind you can't see all that well. You know, bathrooms, dusting blinds and the like. Then I finished up the barefoot sandals and with no preplanned project to attend to, I stopped tatting for the day. I did put up a giveaway for a pair of tatted bobby pins on my facebook page that won't end until this afternoon if you wanted to participate.

Then I decided to go looking at tatting around Art Fire and Etsy. I used to do this all the time, especially around the time I had that awful copycat that put up several pieces using my designs, copied my descriptions, shop policies and photograph style...it was unpleasant. Since then, I only nose around every once in a while. This time I ran across another copy of my work. Now, I know you initially wonder if it's one of the pieces I used a vintage or antique pattern for, but those are fair game for anyone nor was it one where I provided a pattern online. No, this was my lace maille necklace design. Sure, the motif is simple, but they added crystals in the same places, strung them with jump rings into the same configuration. This, my friends is blatant copying. Luckily a short convo to the seller resulted in a quick removal of the piece and an apology. The apology contained one sentence though, that gave me pause and I wanted to talk about that here.

"I didn't realize it was your design, as I have seen others on Etsy just like it". This was followed by, "There are just so many things on etsy that look alike."

As to the first comment, No, there aren't...I looked. That design is only used by me and there is nothing remotely like it there that wasn't made by me. It is however the spirit of the comments that is the most disconcerting. Basically they admit they copied the design from a photo, whether they knew it was mine or not is irrelevant, they knew it wasn't theirs, that belonged to someone else and that didn't seem to matter to them. They then took the great amount of time that it takes to make that piece and didn't think at any point during its construction that they were doing anything wrong. Now, I'm all for copying other peoples work in an effort to learn and grow and become a better tatter and designer, but not to sell.

Their second comment seems so much like saying,' hey, look I'm not the only one'. Don't make excuses, you messed up, you were caught, learn from it and move on. I had to learn nearly the same lesson at one point, so I don't harbor any ill will here. I did send a reply with a friendly reminder about the dangers of copyright infringement, not as a threat, but I really am trying to be helpful. I guess I just feel it's best for me to share these sort of things so that more people can avoid ever being in the situation in the first place. There are much meaner people than me regarding design protection and if you copy them...well, you won't get off so easily.

Well, that was a longer rant than I had intended and I know that I've sang this same song on a few other occasions so thank you for your patience. I don't have any tatting projects queued up right now, so I might find some time to play over the weekend and just see what I can birth. I also have our end of the summer/birthday get together this weekend which should keep me busy what with the preparing and then the cleaning up after, so I might not get anything interesting done at all. So I'll just see you on the other side then.

2 comments:

Crazy Mom Tats! said...

Rant on. I'm with you on this one.

How are all the kitties?

Sherry said...

I'm just glad there was a little angel around giving you the nudge to check on things once again. Tsk Tsk, you'd think people just wouldn't do it... OK. I'd better stop or I'll be ranting, too!!! ~Tatikan/Sher