12 October, 2007

Time Out

Time out, for a week. The Goodneedles are headed north, in search of adventure and cooler temperatures, although fall has arrived here... suddenly and with a vengeance. Armed with a list of quilt shops and a camera, rest assured I'll return with a full report of our Michigan vacation.

In the meantime... I am not the only one who has addressed this particular situation and I don't usually mount a soap box in this forum, but I've thought quite a bit about a post from Bonnie of Quiltville earlier this week and nothing lights a fire under me like this does!

Bonnie has a great blog and is an incredible long arm quilter with a fantastic website full of beautiful quilt photos and free quilt patterns for us to use, straight from her generous heart. Apparently someone has helped themselves to Bonnie's patterns, tweaked them, and is selling them for personal profit; this isn't the first time this has happened to Bonnie. While there may be no legal recourse because of the slight 'amendments', this becomes a matter of ethics. Bonnie's site is copyrighted. Intellectual property is a tough one to protect, but not impossible. The one-click ease that allows us immediate access to Bonnie's patterns for our own personal use is not discriminating, anyone can use the Internet as a vehicle regardless of their intentions. Would the same person who seeks profit from a pattern freely given steal a wrapped gift placed beneath a Christmas tree and sell it on the street? Probably not. Would the same person who seeks profit from a pattern freely given encourage their own child to plagiarize for a good grade on a term paper and pass this work off as their own without citing sources and giving credit? Probably not. Sadly, I think this is a matter of interpretation; not blatant ignorance of right vs. wrong. Just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's public domain, this holds true for any copyrighted, protected source. Yes, this type of theft will happen again and again, because it's fast, easy and accessible. But those of use with eyes and keyboards are here, too! Every one of us who has used one of Bonnie's patterns, or even visited her website or blog, has an obligation to be on the lookout for this type of crime. If you see a pattern or design being sold by someone who may not have the rights to it, I encourage you not to purchase it. Ask the designer where it came from. Report the theft. We can do this, we need to do this; stand up for honesty and integrity. When someone uses an underhanded, dishonest tactic for their own personal gain I can not, will not , stand idly by. These so-called designers of 'original' patterns need to be called out and held accountable for their actions! Maybe it's my age, maybe it's politics, maybe it's this-- my 275th post-- that has given me the courage to stand up and speak out here in this place. Join me; stand up for truth, stand up with righteous anger, stand up for what's right, stand up... for all the Bonnies out there!
...thank you.. I'm stepping down now, I have packing to do...
Life is Good!

16 comments:

paula, the quilter said...

I so wholeheartedly agree! I have spent the last 6 weeks chasing down permission to use a title of a song. It turns out I don't need permission to use the title, just lines from the lyrics. But it was worth it, because now I know that the copyright infringement lawyers won't come and grab my quilt down at a show. (Would that happen, I wonder?) Have a good time!

Laurie Ann said...

Have fun on your trip! I've yet to see a quilt shop here, although I know they are out there. I may have to do an internet search. I just thought for sure I would drive by some just on our travels. I did find a fun new german shepherd stuffed animal to purchase and add to my collection. And maybe to sleep with while I am here. :)

Libby said...

Have a great trip.

gwen said...

I have read Bonnie´s post too and found the copy pattern a shame for the for-profit copier. I bet she doesn´t sleep soundly! Bonnie´s pages are so great and full of ideas, it is really dishonest to use any of it for profit.
I wish you a great journey and don´t forget to show us what you accidentally found in the quilt shops along the trip! Take care.

Nan said...

I agree about people taking advantage of another's talents. It's very sad. You know whoever it is will eventually pay a price for her dishonesty.
Have a wonderful time on your trip!!

Julie aka "Quilt Diva" said...

Well said... thank you!! Enjoy your trip north (& soak up the aura of the blue waters for me...)

mamaspark said...

Where in Mi?? Anywhere close to Canton??? We might be able to meet for lunch or something.

I agree with what you and Bonnie had to say and it certainly is our responsibility to pay attention to the patterns we buy.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Have a great trip. It is cold up this way.

Shelina said...

You're right - the internet does make it easy to take ideas from other people and copy them. I admit to copying photos for maybe making a quilt - but I certainly wouldn't profit from it.

It is maddening that someone would just take a pattern and tweak it for personal gain. That doesn't sound like ignorance to me - it sounds like outright stealing. And I wouldn't assume that that person wouldn't steal a Christmas present or a grade.

I hope you have a wonderful vacation.

Beemoosie said...

Oh have fun, fun, fun!!!

teodo said...

Have a good trip, I wait your pics.
ciao ciao

keslyn said...

Congratulations on your 275 post, and I understand personally where you are coming from with this post.
Have a good trip look forward to hearing all about it

Carole said...

You have yourself a wonderful trip! Don't forget to report in on all the quilt shops you hopped! lol As for Bonnie, unfortunately, it's not only in the quilting world. It's out there in universities also. The amount of plagierising if phenomenal at the moment, so I'm not surprised! It's really too bad because she is very generous! Have a safe trip!

meggie said...

Outrageously cowardly theft!
I loathe theft or stealth in any guise.

Jim V said...

I ran into a similar situation with a different non-quilting industry. When I approached a trademark attorney about it, he said, "You either need to offer it for a price, or offer it for free to whoever comes knocking. Once it's out there, it's out there." In other words, if you don't want someone else to swipe it, don't offer it for free.

The idea he gave me was to post low quality or partially incomplete patters, and offer to mail them to people for one dollar. This means you'll have the address of anyone you ever sent it to, and it's still basically free. The other advantage is that no one could ever claim that you intended for it to become a part of the "public domain", and hence non-trademarkeable. You were charging a price for it all along.

Is trademarkeable a word??

Anyway, you get the idea.

atet said...

Hope you have/had a great trip! Enjoy Michigan!