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Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due…Do The Right Thing

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And, here we go… Today, I learned from a friend that she was ripped off by a fiber artist. She ordered a pair of dragonscale fingerless gloves and matching beanie that was advertised as ready to ship. The seller said she’d have to make them. So, my friend said she needed them for Christmas and to just refund the money paid. The seller said she would refund her in a few days, but nearly two weeks later she still hadn’t refunded the money.

My friend messaged me today to tell me what had occurred. Of course, I wanted to know who the seller was. There wasn’t much I could do about my friends dilemma, but I wanted to see what this gal was up to.

Where things get interesting

Here’s where things get, well, interesting. The fiber artist has a facebook group. It’s a public group, so I could see it without being a member. In looking, I see that the gal crochets quite well. But, then I see all these photos of OTHER DESIGNERS photos, with absolutely NO credit given to the designers. But, the gal posted that she’s “taking orders.” That, my friends, is referred to as plagiarism. I found the pattern designers links and posted comments to the fiber artist’s posts.

Trademarked items

In addition to all of this, the fiber artist has also made and sold trademarked, licensed items, such as Paw Patrol dolls. I know many of us do it, but it can bring about legal action by corporations. In this case, Nickelodeon. It’s just best not to do it.

Thoughts and Tips

So, here I am, taking a few moments to share my thoughts and tips.

  1. Okay, you’re designer and you spent hours upon hours writing, calculating, crocheting, creating the pattern, and taking great photos of the finished product. Then, someone steals your photos and claims them as your own, would you be upset? Yeah, so would I. It’s bad enough that we have to compete with the likes of China stealing photos and sending subpar products to unsuspecting customers. If you’re going to crochet items using a designers pattern, DO NOT post photos from a pattern without giving proper credit to the designer.
  2. If you are a pattern designer, make sure to watermark ALL of your photos. I don’t mean down in the corner in teeny tiny print. That will NOT protect your images. Place a partially tranparent watermark over the finished item area, just enough that it can’t be easily edited out but transparent enough that pattern buyers can see the finished item image.
  3. And, lastly, DO THE RIGHT THING! If you don’t have time to create your own item using a designer’s pattern, only sell items you have your own photos of. It’s really a no-brainer.

UPDATE 1/14/20

Since I published this blog article last night, I found that the fiber artist removed my comments and blocked me from posting. Her group is set to public, so I can see the content. The pattern designer’s have reached out to her asking her to remove their intellectual property and have gotten no response. This behavior is a bruise to the fiber arts industry. Therefore, I am calling out Cheri’s Cozy Creations in hope that she’ll do the right thing. Do one of two things:
1. Give the designers the credit rather than cutting our their watermarks.
2. Remove the posts altogether.

A good source regarding pattern piracy/copyright infringement

A great facebook group to learn more about pattern piracy and copyright infringement is Crafters Against Pattern Piracy and Copyright Infringement.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS! LET’S MAKE 2020 THE YEAR OF THE CROCHET HOOK!

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