Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fine Line

It's been a long time since I've posted, I know, and this is not how I planned my next post to be, but here it is anyway. I hope you don't mind. I promise the next will have pictures and I even have a couple of tutorials planned, so please bear with me...

Today's post is about a recurring topic among designers and crafters and all of us who publish our work on the web, only to have it copied , stolen and/ or passed off as their own.

I belong to different craft groups on Facebook, as many of you know, and every once in awhile this comes up, because most of us publish our work on blogs, Facebook, Flickr etc.....
The groups I belong to have an average of 2000 members and so, as in any small town ( we can look at it like this), there is bound to be at least one person, lurking behind the scenes, waiting to take advantage of  many trustworthy people who want to share their craft with other crafters who truly appreciate the hard work and great ingenuity it takes to design or make something. In the past month, this has happened twice, in two different groups. In the first,  a troll copied photos from a very talented woman's blog and posted them on their blog, passing them off as their own. In the second, a troll downloaded photos, removed the trademark and logo from the photos, and posted them to their page, again passing them off as their own. In both cases these trolls were notified that what they were doing  is unethical and illegal, and the reply, was more or less, "I didn't do anything wrong, these were found on the web".

Slightly different, but related

A friend of mine, who is a talented crocheter asked me about selling her things and that she'd taken inspiration from things she'd seen on the web. Is it okay to sell them, or would she be copying?

My opinion:

First of all, the trolls in question have violated laws and rules established and published in these groups. Besides being illegal and unethical, I can only feel sorry for these "people" who may know the technical part of crafting, but obviously don't have a creative bone in their body, and therefore have to steal and copy other people's creativity. This is something that really infuriates me, because in my book, RESPECT is the number one RULE IN LIFE. That includes respect for others' ideas and work as well.

We all get inspiration from the things around us, including the web. As far as answering my friend's
question goes, you should ask yourself this,"  Did I copy? Am I trying to make the same object, without permission?" or did you see something you like, maybe use the same stitch or shape or color, or make something similar, but in a different way?  If the answer is yes to the first part, in my opinion, you are doing someone wrong. If you are a truly creative person, you should give the respect you want to receive for your work, by respecting others'.

The moral here: RESPECT , HONESTY, ETHICS. Terribly obvious to some, oblivious to others :(

On a final note, I am a believer in karma and am sure that the culprits will get what's coming to them sooner or later....

Sorry for the rant, but I had to get it out. You're welcome to leave your opinions, I'd love to hear them!

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