Thursday, March 23, 2006

Productive Anger Is Better Than A Pity Party!

Nothing makes you more productive that a good mad. I had my Pity Party last night when I wrote my blog and cried all over the keyboard. The girls and Nick all gave me big hugs when I calmed down enough to just look blotchy. Talk about a great teaching example for the girls. They see first hand how supposedly innocent sharing or downloading really hurts the person who created the magic in the first place and will therefore speak up among their friends. They know to spend an iTunes card and buy the downloads rather than steal them.
Ironically, discovering these sites came just after booking our flights for the trade show in Charlotte this summer and writing up the entry for the show guide which announced the release of my most complex design ever this summer. It is called “Santa’s Dragon” and the thought that there will be people just waiting to share that illegally as soon as they get their hands on a copy was almost more than I could bear. One poster on the Multiply site last night was raving about getting a copy of Stargazer a full 20 days before her shop in Europe would have it and now she could stitch it for free!! I was ready to just turn my site black and walk away. Why bother designing a product that is so easy to steal? Why invest the time, effort and money to create a quality product when there are people out there who have so little respect for what you do that they have to yell at you when you defend the rights of your own work and continue to steal?

This morning, however, I had a chance to move from sorrow to anger. I also felt the support from stitchers as they e-mailed their support having read my blog last night. So, instead, I set up my own page on at with a blog and a copy of the Copyrights & Copywrongs poster that I designed for the INRG (since I am the copyright holder) so that hopefully some of the stitchers who don’t realize that what they are doing is wrong can learn what they may or may not legally do. I also wrote a blog entry there and will keep that up as a portal/presence on Multiply.

I was able to write Cease & Desist letters to all of the sites that had my images on them, except for a Japanese one, as well as report those users for Terms Of Service violations. I wrote my local Member of Parliament to see how I can get involved furthering copyright issues in Canada, contacted the people who put together the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival in Toronto to see if we can’t bring this before the media a bit during one of the shows this year, came up with some game plans that fellow designers and I could use to make the companies such as Yahoo and Multiply more aware of the abuse going on, complained to a few of the advertisers that had ads which Google placed on those sites to let them know how their ad dollars were being associated with, talked to our local ISP about ways to dig for identity information and find out about joining one of the groups that works with Interpol and the RCMP here in Canada.

All in all, it was a productive day in terms of trying to defend my artwork and copyrights. It didn’t let me get to the end of THE BOX, nor do any designing, but at least it has made me shelve the idea of becoming a goat herder on a tropical island. Last night that held a lot of appeal. At least if times are tough you can eat a goat. Leaflets aren’t tasty, even with ketchup!

No comments: