Friday, July 09, 2004

Celebrating 15 Years... and Mourning Theft...

I came back to Mom’s today after 2 marvelous days away with my husband, taking a small break from being a designer and small home based business person to discover that the Legends of the Dragons pattern had been posted to a Yahoo group illegally. What saddened me the most was the horrible backlash against those who spoke out to post about this type of illegal activity.

The scanning and sharing of patterns illegally over the past two years has been one of the most controversial and damaging things that this industry has faced. Too many pattern sharers promote the idea that designers are multimillionaires that are
too busy or too wealthy to care that their patterns are being "enjoyed" by others harmlessly in yahoo groups.

Legends of the Dragons was the first collaboration that Teresa Wentzler, Karen Weaver and I created to try to add some excitement to the industry and to work together since we all admired each other's work. Over 400 collective hours went into the design, production, stitching, framing, proofreading and creation of that piece between the 3 of us. We paid for the entire press run of that pattern up front, with our own money. Unfortunately, that pattern has been especially sought after among illegal groups, including those who use Russian or chinese sites to trade patterns. When fans ask us if we will do another collaboration, we smile and say not yet... but all 3 of us have decided not to bother risking our work being stolen from us yet again.

There will always be a campaign to portray designers as wealthy enough to afford such theft by those who are sharing patterns illegally. This is no less a theft that someone who creates “fake” copies for sale at a flea market or on E-bay. There are no shades of grey to make one worse than the other.

I wish I could have spent less of my day defending what is rightfully mine.

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