Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Need To Vent!

It’s so sad to think there are people out there who do not have the visual capacity to come up with their own ideas. And it breaks my heart to know there are people who do not have the mental ability it takes to even think of their own words. I truly feel sorry for these people. It’s not easy knowing a person like this, as you often become their “crutch”. So, if you happen upon designs that may look very familiar to your own, or even if you run across wording almost exact to your very own wording, whether it be on a website or other selling site, please take pity on that person and realize she is in need of a crutch!
I have been a crutch for someone for almost two years, so I was not at all surprised when a customer brought this to my attention. Here is the wording on MY pattern page:
All patterns are designed and created by me, Olde Annie Primitives, and have been copyrighted. Please respect my designs and do not copy my work or photos. Please do not trade, share through email or sell my patterns. Mass producing or selling product or pattern through wholesale means is prohibited. Product may be made for fun or small profit. When selling on line, credit should be given to Olde Annie Primitives.
All patterns are sold as a PDF downloadable file. Once payment is received, I will send you an email with your pattern attached. Pattern(s) will be emailed to you within 24 hours of payment, but most often a lot sooner! These emails may sometimes go to spam/junk mail, so make sure to keep your eye out for your email with attached pattern! Thanks so much and HAPPY SEWING!”
And this is the wording on HER pattern page:
“All e-patterns were designed by *************** and have been copyrighted. Please respect my designs and do not copy my work or photos. Please do not trade, share through email or sell my patterns. Mass producing or selling product or pattern through wholesale means is prohibited. Product may be made for fun or small profit. When selling on line, credit should be given to ***************. All patterns are sold as a PDF downloadable file. Once payment is received, I will send you an email with your pattern attached. Pattern(s) will be emailed to you within 24 hours of payment, usually within a few hours. Some e-mail carriers consider this JUNK/SPAM so please check your junk folder if you have not received your pattern file within 24 hours.
Thanks so much for looking, and happy crafting!!”
Some of you may think “It’s only words”. If it were only words, or if this were the only incident, it would not bother me in the least. I honestly don't mind people using or copying my wording. But unfortunately it hasn’t just been words…it’s idea after idea, and it’s been going on for TWO years now to the point I feel like I'm being stalked! This discovery, along with the discovery of yet another of my tucks being copied, was just the straw that broke my silence. I’ll just leave it at that!
And then there are those who take it upon themselves to take another person’s photo, place it on their own selling site and sell the finished product from the original designer’s photo. I have had two friends recently who have had this happen to them; in one incident, the stealer had actually left the original shop’s name on the photos! Why do people do this? Do they not realize how easy it is to be discovered? I honestly don’t know the legality issues involved here, but the bottom line is IT’S JUST NOT RIGHT! In both cases, the people who had their photos stolen didn’t discover it themselves, but had it reported to them by either one of their customers or a fellow crafter. One of the stealers was actually using photos from about four different people! Customers are the best discoverers of copy cats! I know MINE are! The latest was brought to my attention by one of my customers, as I try to avoid this gal's sites like the plague. I just don't need the stress it gave me.
With that said, please be aware of people out there who may be using YOUR photos. Search Facebook, search the web, search the "not as familiar" selling sites other than Etsy and Ebay. You never know what you may run across! I think the photo problem can be taken care of much easier than the problem of those who steal your design or use you as a crutch. Still, whether it’s the photo stealer, the design stealer or the person unable to think on their own, I just don’t understand how these people sleep at night! Thanks for letting me vent! ~~Annie


  1. Your story left me feeling frustrated. I haven't started
    selling on the internet yet or
    through my blog, and this
    totally discourages me from
    even attempting it. I don't know
    how you ladies get through some-
    thing like this. It's just not
    right. If you have filed a copy
    right then you are protected. The
    person(s) have to remove whatever
    it is immediately and I think they have to pay you for whatever monies they made on the design. I
    think text and format are automatically copyrighted (like Blog content, phrasing, the patterns, etc.)and are protected in the same way. I have a blogging friend that has gone through the same thing with her ex-friend. It's devastating, I know she was so overwrought for a few days.
    I'm sorry you are going through this. I wish I could help more.

  2. I totally agree with you! I use mostly other artists patterns for my work but ALWAYS, ALWAYS give credit and thank the so many wonderful artists, like yourself, who are so kind to share their talents with others! I get so angry with people who do things like that... they are selfish and pathetic! So many artists work so hard on their patterns and it's so wrong for someone to think they can just take the picture or wording or even the pattern itself and claim it as their own!

  3. I don't know how anyone could have the nerve to do this! I just saw where "A Simpler Time" just closed her blog because of this...She posted about someone selling her template on ebay! A customer asked her if she was now selling them and I did see it on ebay, for she posted the link. So sad!


  4. Annie, you know I feel your pain. We've talked about this subject at length before. Retrieving a photo from another's site and taking orders for the item only in a different fabric, etc. and everything else you mentioned is flat out "shoplifting" and isn't right!!!!
    I so wish there were a way to protect everyone and stop all this disrespectful crap towards one another. Life is to short to have to deal with all this. I wish I could offer an answer to it all.
    I'm here if you need to talk though.

  5. So sorry to hear about what you are going through. Today...I saw that a blog I follow closed down and it was because she found out that someone was stealing her work and selling it on eBay.
    Shame on those that do this kind of thing.

  6. Annie,

    So sorry that someone is doing this to you. Unfortunately it happens to people who are very creative and successful.

    The "borrowing" of the picture is out right copyright infringement, so have your friend report the violator to the selling website with the documentation needed. As for your words, they are protected by copyright too, as part of your pattern, but that is a much murkier area. You probably wouldn't be able to get the verbage removed, as you have stated they are just words and by themselves are not copyrightable.

    I would do just as you are doing now, stay away from your stalkers selling venues, and be wary of things on the internet.

    Have a great day.


  7. Know you are not alone. I am dealing with this also, although the other business is not using my photos, it is trying to deceive customers into believing its product is my product. I have a local copyright attorney and will be calling this week. You however need to make the venues where this person is selling and using your photos aware that you own the copyrights to the photos. They should take them down. If it is the person's own website, a cease and desist letter may be enough to take your items down. If not, you may have to talk to a lawyer and have him send a letter. Also, you can federally copyright your items on line. It costs 35.00 a copyright, but you can do them in bunches, say seasonally to cut the cost. You have an intellectual copyright as soon as you create an item. However you need a federal copyright or trademark to really protect your creation.
    Hope this helps...

  8. Annie,
    My heart goes out to you. I have been watching and hearing of an awful lot of people go through this same thing lately. Wish there was a better way of protecting ourselves.

    I have just started publishing my patterns, so luckily I have not had any problems yet, but I am sure it is just a matter of time. I have tried to be careful about what I post on my blog, pics, etc. I am almost to the point of just considering doing OOAK and not worrying about patterns. There is so much work involved in creating a pattern, for someone to steal your ideas and work is just heart breaking. It is so sad that some people have to stoop to this level. How do they sleep at night??

    Warm Wishes,

  9. Sorry to hear your going through this. It's so frustrating!!!! I actually had pieces stolen from a consignment store and then she put them on her table at a craft show I just happened to be visiting. What a shock to see my items on her table!!!! My husband and I confronted her and she said she bought them in another county and my husband wanted to see her receipt. Of course she didn't have one and she would not give them back to me. He made her take them off her table, but I'm sure she put them back on once we left. She soon quit doing craft shows after that!!!

    If you want to vent more...


  10. I hear all those words...doesn't break my heart...Mostly ticks me off. Can't change 'thieves'...people 'steal' all sorts of things and then try to take credit for a 'good job'. I just recently talked about this subject. Fortunate for me, I don't do patterns or a huge number of items, but even the 'theft' of one thing is not right. Hopefully, you will see the person you speak of will soon go out of business...She can't survive on 'stolen creativity'. Also, you may notice she is butt-less...Meaning, all her wrong-doing came back to bite her in the butt!LOL I'm pulling for you all to be 'theft free'...

  11. That's just so wrong and I don't know how you've put up with it for as long as you have. How do people sleep at night knowing they are stealing? I just don't understand it at all. It is extremely frustrating and consuming... consuming our time, our energy, and for awhile it even takes the joy out of creating. I hope there is something you can do to stop her soon. Sorry you are dealing with this issue!


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