03 October 2007

we interrupt our regularly scheduled softie session for a public service announcement

You know, I wasn't going to post on here today because I really have nothing to show but mounds of softies that are in various stages of construction. I have eighteen critters that I'm in the process of stuffing, four woodchucks that I am detailing, two mini-manti that I just might have finished tomorrow, three garden partiers that are this close to completion (I just have to attach the legs), and a frigging partridge in a pear tree. So being that I have no finished pieces to share today (and no finished socks) and that I am a little sad because someone in my family is going through a heart-breaking ordeal (and I can do nothing to make it better for them), I figured I would miss a day or two of blogging and get back to you lovely folks when I had something exciting (or at least amusing) to show you.

Well, here I am, because there is something that I need to get off my chest. Now please bear in mind that this is clearly not directed at everyone, just the select few who engage in the following behavior. Consider this a public service announcement: DO NOT COPY OTHER PEOPLE'S DESIGNS AND PASS THEM OFF AS YOUR OWN. IT IS BAD AND WRONG TO PROFIT OFF OF SOMEONE ELSE'S DESIGNS. Besides the fact that it is copyright infringement, you are seriously doing yourself and your fellow crafters a huge disservice when you take someone else's design and sell it as your own invention. It is also all sorts of messed up to be dishonest, but if you can live with yourself like that, then who am I to judge. I prefer to be honest; I prefer to be original. I prefer to do my own thing, even if it doesn't sell or get written up in tastemaker blogs or magazines. Normally, when I see someone blatantly rip off another person's designs, I get a little peeved. It bothers me, but being as there is nothing I can do about it, I let it go. Besides, sometimes it's not so black and white. Sometimes, two artists are exploring the same theme in their individual ways. Sometimes, two people just happen to think of the same thing at the same time, which is especially more likely to happen when their tastes are so similar to begin with. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with having a technique or stylistic element in common - it happens. But what I saw today just sent me through the roof because the person in question copied almost every single thing about this other person's work, down to the very fabric they used. I just couldn't believe it. I have seen this person around, and I have seen them copying stuff. No problem, if they are just using these designs to learn about sewing, design, or construction. But they are not. They are selling their work and passing off this other person's designs as their own.

How do we ensure that this doesn't happen to you or to me? The thing about the crafting community, and the community on Flickr, is that there is a certain sense of trust. You trust that what you put out there is not going to be misappropriated. We expect that everyone will treat us the way that we treat them. We expect that everyone will play by the same rules or at the very least, play nice. Not so, sadly. This is why although I would love to publish a pattern, I am at the same time reluctant to do so. This is a crappy way to behave towards your fellow crafters. This is a crappy way to behave towards anybody. As I said earlier, if someone can live with their dishonesty, great for them, but I just can't abide that. Enough said.

I know that there are a lot of wonderful crafters out there who are honest, decent people doing what they love and sharing, who are not guilty of what I am pissing about on here. Obviously, this is not about you, and I hope that this outcry here does not alienate me from you guys. I just couldn't not say anything about this anymore. Anyway, let's continue to build this community together.

I'm going to have a cookie now, and I am going to shut the ______ up and relax. The cookies pictured above are Florentines from The Danish Bakery, and I picked up a few at the Farmer's Market yesterday. They are sooooooo goooooood. I'm going to curl up with a cookie, get my knit on, and watch some mind-numbing TV. ANTM is on tonight, and I just can't wait to learn this week's Tyraisms.

By the way, I am NOT mentioning names so please don't email me about this. I will not return any emails on this subject. I am not ranting about this for the sake of being catty or gossipy or evil. I am not trying to "out" anyone or start a poo-storm. I am just upset that the spaces we trust and the people we share so openly with are maybe not as trustworthy or special as we once thought. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am disgusted right now.