I WIsh I Had The Energy To Get Angry...
I know that will come in the morning. By then the urge to just curl up in a ball in my office and have a good cry will have passed, and I will be ready to deal with the reality that I create things that are easy to steal.
Right now, all I can do is blog. After a day spent doing what I hate the most, trying to sort out invoices and run my business properly, I get e-mails from fellow designers who have found 3 huge sites trading thousands of cross stitch patterns, including many of mine. I am starting to realize that while most stitchers are indeed honest people,a few bad apples have the potential and technology to totally decimate this industry. Sadly as well, when Linn Skinner and her friends first raised this issue in 2001, the industry turned a blind eye and key players in the industry have continued to do so. Now, just a scant 5 years later, I am slowly coming to the realization that it may be just too late to close that barn door. Companies like Leisure Arts, Disney and other giants in the industry failed to pay attention to warnings and prosecute copyright infringers because they didn’t want to look like the “bad guys”. But tonight, I can stare at page after page after page of copyrighted material, with my carefully crafted copyright statements that were just ignored as they were scanned in.
I know the hoops that I am going to have to go through to get these removed. I know the faxes that I will have to send long distance to some copyright agent to prove that this is indeed my own stuff. I know that the true identities of those who are doing this will never be revealed, even though I never bother to hide who I am... and I know that copies of those files have already been “shared” so many times that I cannot possibly blot them all out.
Yet all someone who wants to steal from me needs to do is go surfing, or scan an image and set up a site in a few minutes to share something with the world that they had no hand, so sweat, no effort in creating.
I wish I could get angry. Maybe by tomorrow I will be able to. Right now, all I can do is weep.