PDA

View Full Version : Is this petty?


SabrinaJL
12-19-2006, 02:37 PM
Ok, so I posted a few pics of a scarf here and at crafster. Someone said they were going to copy it and sell it. I checked on Ebay and sure enough, they are. I didn't post a pattern or anything, but they basically got it the same except they used less stripes on it.

Now, I'm not upset that people like my scarf. That's cool. I'm glad. But I'd much rather see it donated to charity or something instead of being sold. I can't even tell you why her trying to sell it annoys me, it just does. Am I a small, terrible person?

candicane
12-19-2006, 02:59 PM
I am just guessing here, but since you did not post a copyrighted pattern, she has done nothing legally wrong.

You cannot copyright an idea.


candice

feminine_earth
12-19-2006, 03:03 PM
You're definitely not a small, terrible person. I'd feel the same way too...not really angry, but kinda, well, I dunno...confused? Jealous that they're selling a scarf that if anyone shoulda been selling, it shoulda been me? I think what they're doing is not only rude, it's tactless. You have every right to feel the way you do. ::big hugs::

ETA: And just because it's not legally wrong, doesn't mean it's not morally wrong.

nadja la claire
12-19-2006, 03:10 PM
I don't think it's petty, I got annoyed just reading about it. :!!!: :grrr: It sounds like it was your pattern. If so she should have at least asked for the pattern and if it was ok to do what shes doing. Am I right or wrong in assuming that she is profitting off of your pattern?

Nadja xxx

janelanespaintbrush
12-19-2006, 03:12 PM
That's a bummer. I don't know the ins and outs of copyright law, but I do know that you do not have to have something officially filed or even labeled with a copyright mark to be protected, at least when it comes to stuff like artwork. I don't know how it would work your particular situation, but I imagine that how unique the scarf is would probably be key. Regardless, what she did was just uncool. Have you contacted her about it?

dustinac
12-19-2006, 03:48 PM
You're definitely not a small, terrible person. I'd feel the same way too...not really angry, but kinda, well, I dunno...confused? Jealous that they're selling a scarf that if anyone shoulda been selling, it shoulda been me? I think what they're doing is not only rude, it's tactless. You have every right to feel the way you do. ::big hugs::

ETA: And just because it's not legally wrong, doesn't mean it's not morally wrong.


I agree with femine_earth...

on a lighter note I thought this said Is this pretty? I kept thinking but I see no picture of the scarf what am I missing :rofl: :doh:

DonnaS
12-19-2006, 04:18 PM
Did you post a pattern that she copied ? or did you post a picture of a striped scarf and she made a similar one?

Sorry, but you can't copyright inspiration. Things are created all the time from inspiration... unless they are using someone's personal pattern and selling without their permission then there's really nothing they are doing that is wrong. A simple striped scarf is not something that could be copyrighted.. I guarantee yours wasn't the first :) I know, coz I sold a TON of them last year at christmas lol Now if she's stolen your pattern and giving it away or calling it her own that's something different... a written pattern, not an idea for a striped scarf.

I understand why this might bug you, it probably would me too especially if she had the cheek to admit she was going to take the idea and sell it on ebay. That was just rude... but she's really done nothing wrong to be honest. Rude yes, illegal no.

SabrinaJL
12-19-2006, 04:42 PM
on a lighter note I thought this said Is this pretty? I kept thinking but I see no picture of the scarf what am I missing :rofl: :doh:

:roflhard: Sorry about that.

I didn't think she was doing anything illegal (since I didn't post an actual pattern), just annoying. And it wasn't a plain striped scarf, it was a double knit skull scarf (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/files/skullscarf.jpg). LOL, I'd pretty much be an idiot if I thought I was the very first person to make a plain striped scarf.

Renoah
12-19-2006, 06:17 PM
I'm not a copyright expert, but it sounds to me a lot like she's making unauthorized reproductions of your artwork and selling them. That's a big no-no, and by the laws I know of quite illegal. You'd certainly be justified in asking her to stop, and if she doesn't, in asking eBay to take her items down.

But the Girl from Auntie (http://girlfromauntie.com/copyright/index.php/21/) probably knows better. ;)

*KnitPixie*
12-19-2006, 06:27 PM
I would be upset as well However, I agree its not legally wrong but it is morally wrong. However if she did not copyright it already then you could always copyright it first and she wouldnt be able to sell them anymore. Copyright your version. You have proof that you made it up you have a finished product that was posted long before she started selling hers right :eyebrow:
Also I dont see anything like it on ebay do you have a link :??

five_six
12-19-2006, 07:17 PM
hmmm.... interesting topic, don't mean to be argumentative, but i don't think it's really morally wrong, annoying, maybe. It is the same thing as going to the shops, park, anywhere, everyday, and going, ooohhh, i like what she's got on, might duplicate that; oohhh, that's a cool hat, bet i could make it (which i do everyday, not sure about you guys). Having said that, i don't then sell those items on ebay. I make them caues i really like them, and want to have them. If it were me, i'd just make some more of my own scarves and corner her out of the market on ebay :twisted:

SabrinaJL
12-19-2006, 07:25 PM
Ebay one. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Hand-Knit-Reversible-Skull-Scarf-Punk-Goth-LOOK_W0QQitemZ300061973244QQihZ020QQcategoryZ3007Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

I guess what really bothers me is the whole "look-what-I-did-how-awesome-am-I" vibe she's got going on, when she basically swiped my design (which she flat out said over on Crafster that she was going to do). Some credit would be nice considering I put a lot of effort into coming up with something cool and unique for my daughter. I mean, how many double-knit, striped, black & white skull scarves do you see running around out there?

Boogs
12-19-2006, 07:38 PM
Yeah but it's one thing to copy an item that you like and completely another to do so in order to make several copies to sell.

Take a look here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6192943.stm) for an example, (two big names, I know but still the same basic problem).

I can't believe the mare had the cheek to join craftster to make just the one post telling you what she was going to do!

I see that she's asking $60 a scarf. I don't know if she's sold any though as she only has 3 feedbacks from buyers and I didn't check the item numbers on the feedback page.

So, yes, that would bother me too. :!!!:

ETA: Sabrina, your design is so much better - her stripes are too big. ;)

Edited again cos I only saw $20 not $60 a scarf!!!!! :thud:

janelanespaintbrush
12-19-2006, 08:14 PM
:grrr: The nerve! Well, I'm sure this sort of thing has happened on ebay before, so you may want to visit their discussion boards to see what, if any, options you have for getting the listing pulled. I know it sounds like a long shot, but you never know.

P.S. If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest printing out a couple copies of the crafter thread for proof that the scarf was your original design.

ecb
12-19-2006, 09:03 PM
personally i would LOVE to learn how to do that
the skull is cool
but the reversible thing is WAY Cool
I am sorry your idea was stollen
I hope my idea has never been stollen
but I know there is a chance, since i shared it on here
and even sold some of my Goddesses

ecb

aineepooh1
12-19-2006, 09:13 PM
I think it was definitely kinda sneaky~~ maybe not illegal but sneaky nontheless~~ :oops: :pout:

feministmama
12-19-2006, 09:23 PM
A starting bid of $20???? A buy it now price of $60???? That sounds so sleazy to me. I don't know if it's legal (you *did* post pictures) but its just plain rude to me. And you said she worte on the boards that she was going to copy it??? What the....... :!!!:

madametj
12-19-2006, 11:10 PM
did any one else notice that she said she won an award for it. the nerve! she said she's already got orders for more in pink... :yadda:

~sigh~ is it wrong to dislike some1 u've never met....

mrs desert rain
12-19-2006, 11:24 PM
i think i find this situation more insulting than i do annoying. :grrr:

radioarno
12-20-2006, 12:41 AM
I love this conversation. Doesn't this happen all the time, to everyone? Aren't we all getting ripped off, not getting credit for our labor, etc., etc. Like most others on this thread, I have no idea if this is illegal or immoral, but I know that if it were I who designed that scarf for my daughter, I'd be upset about what that other person is doing, even of it were legal.

Arno

misstialouise
12-20-2006, 01:45 AM
I'm >< close to posting her a question.

I think she has a hide, personally..

GRRR I've had stuff ripped off before. And although there are no laws to protect ideas, it still sucks when you've gone to so much hard work to work on something and then someone else rips that off and makes money off of it.

HamburgKnitter
12-20-2006, 06:02 AM
What she's doing is definitely wrong, both legally and morally if you ask me. Have you contacted her about it?

How about we all get together and start sending her questions through Ebay like "hey, that looks JUST like the scarf that I know for a fact was designed by somebody else. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"

misstialouise
12-20-2006, 06:06 AM
What she's doing is definitely wrong, both legally and morally if you ask me. Have you contacted her about it?

How about we all get together and start sending her questions through Ebay like "hey, that looks JUST like the scarf that I know for a fact was designed by somebody else. Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"

I'm all for this... ;) hehehehhehee

HamburgKnitter
12-20-2006, 08:54 AM
Here's a good question for her:

"Doesn't it feel kind of empty getting an award for a scarf that somebody else designed?" :teehee:

mulene
12-20-2006, 08:59 AM
You cannot copyright an idea.

To some degree you can actually copyright an idea - it is called Intellectual Property and it is this right in copyright that is used by songwriters, artists and various other "ideas" people. I work to protect the rights of songwriters as a Copyright & Royalties Manager for a publishing company here in the UK.

I think the person doing this has an absolute damn cheek - you showcased your work, for all she knew you could be going to publish and sell your pattern later on. Certainly Stitch Diva Studios do that exact thing - they post pics of patterns coming up, then sell the pattern later when they have completed testing.

I would personally contact ebay, and point them to your original post where you posted the FO and her post where she states she is going to effectively steal your idea and make money from it. Your posting it originally, shows clearly you own the rights to that pattern / design and that she has in fact breached your copyright. Ebay should remove the auction after it is reported. Clearly the more people who report it the better but the original report should come from you.

You are not petty to be peeved about this, frankly I would be spitting bricks if someone were to do that to me.

As an aside, and another little story relating to copyright - I represent the music for a children's cartoon character. The character is owned by someone and it was an original idea created by someone.

A woman in the North of England has been making and selling reproductions of the the characters in the show which she has knitted. Nothing wrong with knitting a character from the show when you make the pattern up yourself but there is something VASTLY wrong when you sell them and make money out of them. She is in the process of being sued because she refuses to take the auctions down. She makes around 40 a pop on them ($80). She does not have a license to make merchandise related to the show, and the shows producers and creators want the ensure that this specific character is made in a soft toy that is as close to the original as possible. There have been production problems with at least 40 prototypes of the main character made - they can not get the shape of his head correct. Her knitted ones are also incorrect in shape. They do not wish their copyrighted product to be associated with this 'false' representation of their intellectual property.

janelanespaintbrush
12-20-2006, 09:36 AM
I did a little research, and unfortunately, fashion design does not enjoy the same level of IP protection as other artwork in the US. Still, I think it may be possible to get the listing pulled. There is some info here (http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/vero-rights-owner.html), but I'd check out the ebay discussion boards before taking any action to see what others have done in similar situations.

I tell you, I really had to restrain myself from using the "ask seller a question" feature on ebay to send our friend a link to this thread last night. Fortunately, reason prevailed, and I decided that it was probably not my place to broach the issue, and to do so in such a confrontational way -- especially since I haven't read her craftster post and I don't know how underhanded her intentions were -- remote as the possibility may be, it's conceivable that she has an innocent heart, but is just too dense to realize that what she's doing is wrong. I do think that she needs to be aware that there is a problem, but Sabrina should be the one to decide how to handle it. It could very well be the case that all it would take to get her to back off is a friendly email requesting her to do so.

madametj
12-20-2006, 04:45 PM
i searched for the topic on crafster (thanx for using the same name Sabrina :teehee: ) but i didnt see any1 saying that they were going to sell it :?? . maybe i missed it, or maybe she's deleted it by now, seeing as its pretty stupid to just tell some1 "Hey, i'm gonna take ur idea and make some money! :happydance: "

she mentioned the name "SabrinaJL" on ebay, but didnt really give any credit. it was kinda like 'yeah....thats where i got the chart from' how about 'THAT'S WHO I GOT THE WHOLE IDEA FROM'

oh yeah, and she even admitted that the award wasnt for having in original design, but just for "anything that you knitted with skulls on it"

:-x doesnt this woman have no conscience?

(haha, she still has 0 bids :thumbsup: )

janelanespaintbrush
12-20-2006, 04:54 PM
i searched for the topic on crafster (thanx for using the same name Sabrina :teehee: ) but i didnt see any1 saying that they were going to sell it :?? . maybe i missed it, or maybe she's deleted it by now, seeing as its pretty stupid to just tell some1 "Hey, i'm gonna take ur idea and make some money! :happydance: "

she mentioned the name "SabrinaJL" on ebay, but didnt really give any credit. it was kinda like 'yeah....thats where i got the chart from' how about 'THAT'S WHO I GOT THE WHOLE IDEA FROM'

oh yeah, and she even admitted that the award wasnt for having in original design, but just for "anything that you knitted with skulls on it"

:-x doesnt this woman have no conscience?

(haha, she still has 0 bids :thumbsup: )

Hey, someone must've tipped her off because there wasn't any reference to Sabrina when I looked at the listing last night. She's still over the line, though. I hope someone got a copy of her statement of evil intention on craftster before she (apparently) deleted it. Is it wrong for us to take delight in the fact that she hasn't gotten any bids yet?

Limey
12-20-2006, 05:23 PM
No, I don't think you're being petty - what you're feeling probably is that somebody else has had the sheer brass neck not only to pinch your idea but to make some money out of it.

OK - well, you'll know better next time.

For now though, the best revenge is good living - maybe that means cooling off, getting your brain in gear and make a BETTER SCARF - you've done it once, so you CAN do it again.

I know it's easy to sit here and spout but I'd be damned if that one scarf was the be all and end all. Get cracking and use that energy - that first scarf was just a dummy run - you haven't started the real stuff yet.

All Best Wishes

Limey

Boogs
12-20-2006, 05:26 PM
I hope someone got a copy of her statement of evil intention on craftster before she (apparently) deleted it.

:wall: Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!!!! :wall:

Why, oh why did I set my browser to delete all history when it's closed?!!

I hope Sabrina got a copy...

Is it wrong for us to take delight in the fact that she hasn't gotten any bids yet?

Damn right!!!! :poke: :woot:

stitchwitch
12-20-2006, 05:46 PM
I'd pay $60 for it, get her address to send a cashier's check to her and send her a flaming bag of dog poo instead. :roflhard:

janelanespaintbrush
12-20-2006, 05:49 PM
I'd pay $60 for it, get her address to send a cashier's check to her and send her a flaming bag of dog poo instead. :roflhard:

Oh come now! Logistically speaking, I don't think most delivery services will transport uh... biological material... plus, how are you going to keep it lit? :teehee:

stitchwitch
12-20-2006, 05:52 PM
OK, sans the flaming part then. Yes, you can send poo via delivery, don't ask me how I know. :roflhard:

madametj
12-20-2006, 06:00 PM
i searched for the topic on crafster (thanx for using the same name Sabrina :teehee: ) but i didnt see any1 saying that they were going to sell it :?? . maybe i missed it, or maybe she's deleted it by now, seeing as its pretty stupid to just tell some1 "Hey, i'm gonna take ur idea and make some money! :happydance: "

she mentioned the name "SabrinaJL" on ebay, but didnt really give any credit. it was kinda like 'yeah....thats where i got the chart from' how about 'THAT'S WHO I GOT THE WHOLE IDEA FROM'

oh yeah, and she even admitted that the award wasnt for having in original design, but just for "anything that you knitted with skulls on it"

:-x doesnt this woman have no conscience?

(haha, she still has 0 bids :thumbsup: )

Hey, someone must've tipped her off because there wasn't any reference to Sabrina when I looked at the listing last night. She's still over the line, though. I hope someone got a copy of her statement of evil intention on craftster before she (apparently) deleted it. Is it wrong for us to take delight in the fact that she hasn't gotten any bids yet?

OR maybe, just maybe she's even seen this thread. i noticed that SabrinaJL posted a link to KH on crafster, so there's a chance that she may have browsed the forum and found this thread. though, well yeah, thats kinda doubtable :doh:

all i know, is that if i were her and saw this thread, i'd b feeling pretty guilty about now (assuming that i had a conscience to begin w/). i'd probably even begin to question the legallity of my auction on ebay.

"is it wrong 4 us to take delgith in the fact that she hasnt gotten any bids yet?" honestly, i just hope that the auction ends with her getting absolutely no bids at all. she doesnt deserve a cent. if anything, she deserves to be sued.

brendajos
12-20-2006, 06:05 PM
Ebay one. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Hand-Knit-Reversible-Skull-Scarf-Punk-Goth-LOOK_W0QQitemZ300061973244QQihZ020QQcategoryZ3007Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

I guess what really bothers me is the whole "look-what-I-did-how-awesome-am-I" vibe she's got going on, when she basically swiped my design (which she flat out said over on Crafster that she was going to do). Some credit would be nice considering I put a lot of effort into coming up with something cool and unique for my daughter. I mean, how many double-knit, striped, black & white skull scarves do you see running around out there?

I haven't read this whole thread yet but i did just look at the ebay auction and saw this...

I got the graph for the skull on Craftster site, from a listing by SabrinaJL. The award I won was for the knitting that I did on this scarf. It was based on anything that you knitted with skulls on it, and was not based on original design.


looks like she got wind?

brendajos
12-20-2006, 06:08 PM
i searched for the topic on crafster (thanx for using the same name Sabrina :teehee: ) but i didnt see any1 saying that they were going to sell it :?? . maybe i missed it, or maybe she's deleted it by now, seeing as its pretty stupid to just tell some1 "Hey, i'm gonna take ur idea and make some money! :happydance: "

she mentioned the name "SabrinaJL" on ebay, but didnt really give any credit. it was kinda like 'yeah....thats where i got the chart from' how about 'THAT'S WHO I GOT THE WHOLE IDEA FROM'

oh yeah, and she even admitted that the award wasnt for having in original design, but just for "anything that you knitted with skulls on it"

:-x doesnt this woman have no conscience?

(haha, she still has 0 bids :thumbsup: )

Hey, someone must've tipped her off because there wasn't any reference to Sabrina when I looked at the listing last night. She's still over the line, though. I hope someone got a copy of her statement of evil intention on craftster before she (apparently) deleted it. Is it wrong for us to take delight in the fact that she hasn't gotten any bids yet?

OR maybe, just maybe she's even seen this thread. i noticed that SabrinaJL posted a link to KH on crafster, so there's a chance that she may have browsed the forum and found this thread. though, well yeah, thats kinda doubtable :doh:

all i know, is that if i were her and saw this thread, i'd b feeling pretty guilty about now (assuming that i had a conscience to begin w/). i'd probably even begin to question the legallity of my auction on ebay.

"is it wrong 4 us to take delgith in the fact that she hasnt gotten any bids yet?" honestly, i just hope that the auction ends with her getting absolutely no bids at all. she doesnt deserve a cent. if anything, she deserves to be sued.

okay so yeah...lol....now i see that someone has seen it...lol nevvvvvvvvver mind....

Boogs
12-20-2006, 06:22 PM
...looks like she got wind?

I hope she feels thoroughly ashamed of herself and pulls the auction - it's the least she can do.

Of course, it certainly wouldn't hurt for her to send Sabrina an apology, making some mention of coming up with her own original ideas in future but I wouldn't hold my breath!

Amykins
12-20-2006, 08:19 PM
It's really too bad that people cannot share their ideas without another person looking to make a quick buck. Just remember, you're the talented one...not her!

Calamintha
12-20-2006, 09:31 PM
According to the site I have listed below on copyright law and design what they have done is a violation of copyright law. I don't know whether you want to go to this extent but you could see a lawyer who could send them a "cease and desist" order. I don't know how expensive it would be.

http://www.geocities.com/jbtocker/copyright/copyrfaq7.html

SabrinaJL
12-21-2006, 03:18 PM
Well, from what I've seen in my search of knitting pattern copyrights, I'd probably be able to get Ebay to take it down. But honestly, I'm not interested in making that big a fuss over it. All I really want is credit for my design and I e-mailed her and told her as much.

Thanks for being so supportive everybody. :hug:

Compulsive
12-21-2006, 03:36 PM
Well, from what I've seen in my search of knitting pattern copyrights, I'd probably be able to get Ebay to take it down. But honestly, I'm not interested in making that big a fuss over it. All I really want is credit for my design and I e-mailed her and told her as much.

Thanks for being so supportive everybody. :hug:

I've followed this thread since the beginning, and I :cheering: applaud you for taking the high road in such a touchy situation. Hopefully the design sniper will take the high road as well by giving full credit, and ending her Ebay auction early.

madametj
12-21-2006, 03:39 PM
Well, from what I've seen in my search of knitting pattern copyrights, I'd probably be able to get Ebay to take it down. But honestly, I'm not interested in making that big a fuss over it. All I really want is credit for my design and I e-mailed her and told her as much.

Thanks for being so supportive everybody. :hug:

I've followed this thread since the beginning, and I :cheering: applaud you for taking the high road in such a touchy situation. Hopefully the design sniper will take the high road as well by giving full credit, and ending her Ebay auction early.

last i checked, she still had 0 bids, and was apparently getting kinda desperate since she lower her "buy it now" price by like 20 bucks.

Andrea
12-21-2006, 05:40 PM
:hug: You've gotten a lot of support here, Sabrina. I love seeing that! :hug:

It is a low blow...and my guess is she's probably a member/guest here if she added your name to it. :shrug:

That's sad. :pout:

*KnitPixie*
12-21-2006, 07:45 PM
Alright Guys and gals Im sorry but I couldnt help myself :roll: I sent her a message asking her if that was an original design just to see what she would say :teehee: She emailed me back and said she has now given you credit in her ad which she should have done in the first place that and ask you if you would mind lol geesh people I swear :hug: Sabrina at least now you got the credit you deserve

Ravennwings
12-21-2006, 11:08 PM
So lemme ask a question. What do you guys count as "stealing an idea"? I mean, obviously what this chick is DEFINITELY stealing her idea, and wrong on every level. But where do ya draw the line???

misstialouise
12-22-2006, 12:48 AM
I guess it depends. If a design of one thing inspires you to make something else (ie: lace design in a scarf and you put it into a sweater), then an "Inspired By XYZ" is appropriate, as I don't beleive you can copyright a stitch.

But to take a chart of one thing, and make the SAME thing with the only difference being how thick the stripes are, is a rip off.

Another example is I'm knitting up the Mobius scarf that was shown by Cat Bhordi on Knitty Gritty, but I've increased the repeat in the lace pattern and made it a wrap rather than a scarf. I won't/can't take credit for the design, but I can take credit for the changes and the making thereof. Not that I'd try to sell it.. took too friggen long to make it.. LOL.. :D

SabrinaJL
12-22-2006, 01:28 AM
Ok, so she e-mailed me back a very sincere apology and did give me credit. Which is all I really wanted. So I accepted her apology and wished her luck with the auction. Thanks again all. :)

mulene
12-22-2006, 07:19 AM
I'm afraid I also did not restrain myself. I noticed she deleted her craftster post too and I believe it is because I said to her that I may not feel compelled to report the auction and point them to her post where she states she is going to take someone else's idea, make it and sell it on ebay, if she credits the original designer.

She replied that she got the chart from Craftster not the idea. I sent her another reply saying that it so closely resembles the original, with the one exception of the size of the stripes that it was unfair to claim it was not someone elses design / idea.

She altered her auction after my first message and credited Sabrina.

Sorry Sabrina I should have not sent that to her, but I was incensed! I'm glad you got it resolved with her though.

dustinac
12-22-2006, 09:33 AM
:cheering: I'm glad she gives you the credit now thats great!! :happydance:

Pixywhispers
12-22-2006, 11:27 AM
So lemme ask a question. What do you guys count as "stealing an idea"? I mean, obviously what this chick is DEFINITELY stealing her idea, and wrong on every level. But where do ya draw the line???

Very often if I see an idea here on KH I will say "I'm copying you." Thats ok if its something I'm making for a friend or myself BUT NOT to make money off of. BUT I think if there was something I wanted to make and sell I would email or PM that person and ask, "I love the scarf you made, I need to make some bizarre money, I was wondering if I could borrow this idea."

If someone asked me I would be more inclined and take the whole thing much better then someone announcing "I'm gona sell this on ebay."

Just my .02

janelanespaintbrush
12-22-2006, 12:15 PM
So lemme ask a question. What do you guys count as "stealing an idea"? I mean, obviously what this chick is DEFINITELY stealing her idea, and wrong on every level. But where do ya draw the line???

From what I have been able gather, fashion design is a little different from other types of artwork (at least in the US) because clothing is considered to be a useful article. If I create an original drawing, I would automatically be protected by copyright law -- there's no need to file for copyright or to put a copyright notice on my work. (People do that so they have proof that they came up with the design first, and to make it clear to others that the work should not be copied.) Although it's not possible to copyright a clothing design, it is possible to trademark certain design elements. Fashion designers are pushing for stricter legislation, but that hasn't happened yet.

Obviously, there is a lot of gray area here. In Sabrina's case, I believe that her original skull design should be covered by copyright protection, even if the scarf itself is not. But I'm not an attorney. And even they probably wouldn't agree on the subject. Thankfully, the problem has been resolved.

Ravennwings
12-23-2006, 11:20 AM
I mean, I guess what I'm asking is, for example, those kitty-ears hats. I see different variations EVERYWHERE. Not just by that chick who wrote Stitchin Bitches, either. I see em by several companies, in several stores. No one designer. So, would it be wrong of me to make my own and sell thim, IF I'm NOT copying someone's pattern, just kinda wingin' it and making it on my own, no real pattern or anything?

janelanespaintbrush
12-23-2006, 12:38 PM
I mean, I guess what I'm asking is, for example, those kitty-ears hats. I see different variations EVERYWHERE. Not just by that chick who wrote Stitchin Bitches, either. I see em by several companies, in several stores. No one designer. So, would it be wrong of me to make my own and sell thim, IF I'm NOT copying someone's pattern, just kinda wingin' it and making it on my own, no real pattern or anything?

You might want to take a look at this article (http://www.copyright.gov/docs/regstat072706.html), though I'm not sure that it can satisfactorily answer your question. Might give you a better understanding of the law, though.

mulene
12-23-2006, 01:16 PM
http://www.geocities.com/jbtocker/copyright/

This is a good faq for knitters on copyright.

Specifically, as in this instance, the problem lies in what is called "derivative works" (see the Copyright faq linked and the section of appedix written by Carolyn D'Agostino)

Derivative works (which this one VERY clearly is) have to differ from the original significantly. Not just by altering the width of the stripes (as the person here has done).

I'll quote the relevant section from the FAQ's appendix:

Derivative Works:
kay, so I have made a purple dinosaur with yellow spots, which resembles a brontosaurus. My friend decides that knitted dinosaurs are a great idea, and she goes ahead and knits and fulls a dinosaur, based on my dinosaur, but hers is a different color and size. Has she infringed upon my copyright in the expressed work? Her dinosaur, if it was based on mine and did not occur independently from mine, would be regarded as a "derivative" work. A copyright owner does not have protection in a derivative work if it contains a "substantial, not merely trivial, originality." (See, Latman, The Copyright Law, p.25). As with most everything in the law, this is a question of fact and degree. How much has she deviated from my dinosaur? You can see that derivative works are a fertile source of litigation.

The variation must be significant. Reproducing the work in another medium (My friend paints an exact likeness of my knitted, fulled dinosaur and plans to sell them as greeting cards, she crochets hers rather than knits an identical replica, etc., she makes a more technically proficient dinosaur than mine) will generally not be enough to get her independent protection.

If, however, the differences in her dinosaur are significant --perceptible to the casual observer, as one court put it-- then she would obtain protection, for her variation only.

This may also apply to designs from other sources. I take a design from Barbara Walker for a knitted castle. I place it within a larger overall design -- a baby blanket with a number of different squares arranged in a particular manner. Barbara may still have copyright protection for her castle, but my variation is also protected, to the extent that it departs from the original. I can't prevent others from making their own variations on the original castle in the book.

Therefore a hat with kitty ears on it (and yes I do have one of these made in fleece material with a matching "dead cat" scarf which I bought from a designer on the web) must differ significantly from the one published in Debbie Stoller's book "Stitch n Bitch." For instance if the one in Stitch N Bitch is a plain knit hat with kitty ears added, if you were to make a hat with cables and twists in it, with long ear covers which also had kitty ears attached, then your hat would be significantly different from the original to not warrent a copyright breach. However make the exact same hat, make the kitty ears a half an inch bigger and claim it as your own and you are walking the line of copyright breach.

Copyright protection is a tricky mire of sticky toffee with mines stuck in random places ready to go off should you step on them. You need to be careful with what you sell on and try to pass off as your very own design.

I have a beautiful wrap from the 1940's which was clearly made in a "reuse and make do" way by a clever lady during the war. The wrap is absolutely beautifully made from an old blanket, cut with shaping and embroidered with handy pockets.

I had decided that I was going to take that wrap and transfer the design into a knitted garment and the idea I had was to publish it for free on my blog. After much much research, I've abandoned the idea because I have found a pattern for something almost identical, and done in the plain stitch that I wanted to use. I felt I couldn't take the idea and run with it because someone had already done it. Sure I could make the wrap and add my own embroidery design and in that instance, all I could sell as my own is the embroidery pattern. I would have to point people to the original pattern and then have them buy my embroidery pattern. To me, I didn't feel it was worth it, and it wasn't fair of me to attempt to pass something off as my own when clearly it wasn't.

I work in copyright protection, I like to be careful with other people's work - they put a lot of thought and work into creating some gorgeous pieces of art and it isn't right to steal it and claim it as ones own when it clearly is not. I admire people who can come up with something original or even a fantastic derivative of a pattern.

I don't admire people who alter the width of stripes on a scarf, claim an award for it and try to pass it off as their own. It rises an unpleasant taste in my mouth, and I will always try to help people protect their rights in instances like this. They are entitled to credit where credit is due, the person involved here should thank her lucky stars that that is ALL that the original designer (SabrinaJL) wanted.

five_six
12-23-2006, 01:28 PM
Mulene - most eloquently said. Hear hear!!

Sara
12-23-2006, 01:38 PM
On the other hand, I had a hat with ears on it when I was little. (33 years ago) :wall:

Debbie Stoller didn't invent the idea, either.

mulene
12-23-2006, 01:46 PM
On the other hand, I had a hat with ears on it when I was little. (33 years ago) :wall:

Debbie Stoller didn't invent the idea, either.

No you are right she did not invent the idea. There are hats in Stitch N Bitch that I wore in the 70s when I was a kid too - big furry skull caps with string and pom poms on the bottom. However, in the US from what I understand, the term of copyright is only 28 years; after that time unless the copyright is renewed it becomes public domain. However, as it gets re-jigged for the modern day the "new" pattern becomes copyrighted in its own right.

Also I should like to point out the patterns in the Stitch n Bitch book are credited with various authors - the authors of the patterns in the SnB books are not all the work of Debbie Stoller - she just put the book together with the patterns; she had invited people to submit for the book :)

You know I often wonder how many versions of a sweater one can really make in the end. Does the basic knit sweater with a round neck have copyright? As I said it is a mire of sticky toffee with mines planted in here and there for you to navigate through.

If you are going to go into it in all seriousness and sell your patterns or your knitted results, then you need to look into the copyright aspect in depth. However, in the instance this thread is about, the breach was utterly clear and the derivative was not significantly different from Sabrinas to warrent the claim that it was an "own design"

rebecca
12-23-2006, 03:10 PM
I've not been around in a while, but I had to jump in on this one when I saw it! This is a very grey area, I think. I will tell you what one of my knitting idols, Ms Annie Modesitt said to me when I emailed her about using slip stitch edging on A Touch of Whimsy scarf (http://whimsicalknittingdesigns.blogspot.com/2006/10/touch-of-whimsy-scarf-pattern.html) pattern that I came up with. I used and loved the sl st edging that she used in Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style, but also saw it used in one of her free designs online, but I still emailed her to ask her if she minded if I used it in this design and she said, "Of course not, I don't own the stitches." And I've credited her as the designer from whom I found this st. edging, which I think is only fair.
I've also knocked off a popular floral washcloth that was in a knitting book that came out in the last year (I'm sorry, I can't think of the name at the moment) and to this day I've not seen the pattern from that washcloth, mine are the Flower Power Washcloths (3 designs) (http://whimsicalknittingdesigns.blogspot.com/2006/10/flower-power-washcloth-patterns.html) and the Flower Power hand towel/placemats (3 designs) (http://whimsicalknittingdesigns.blogspot.com/2006/10/flower-power-hand-towelplacemat.html)....now, to my knowledge I've not done anything that the original designer did as far as the design goes other than creating a flower. I think that we find in knitting the same thing that we find in fashion....people/designers, whatever that 'knock-off' the originals (if there are such things as originals anymore because all sorts of design and knitting have been done and redone over the years), but design is, (well, in my case, anyway) similar to the one that I saw and considered the original...I always thought this my take on a washcloth that I saw and liked and couldn't get my hands on the book so I did it my way and shared it with others on my blog.
Now, my question....do ya'll think that I have done anything wrong in doing this? I would be mortified if others thought this of me because this was never my intention.

My apologies, I didn't mean to hi-jack the thread...I certainly think this girl did wrong in stealing your chart and doing what she did...now that is just BAD and very, very WRONG!

mulene
12-23-2006, 04:33 PM
Rebecca,

First I think what you did was right with the Annie Modesitt email I vaguely remember you doing that at the time and I thought that it was a good and proper gesture.

It IS such a grey area, and as such I don't know about the washcloth. I mean look at it this way; I LOVE the knit flowers that Nicky Epstein has come out with - BUT before the book came out, I saw a set of flowers knitted with patterns given away free online. Now, which of the two were original do you think? Nicky Epsteins or the one available free online?

I have always admired your designs and how you present them. You have always made clear where your inspiration comes from and IMHO I certainly don't think that what you do is wrong at all.

The main point in this case was that there was no attempt whatsoever to give the original creator (Sabrina) any credit whatsoever, and to add insult to injury the person was attempting to make money from someone else's design!

Show me where you, Rebecca, have tried to make money by passing off a pattern you created by working shaping and style yourself, as yours when in reality it was totally created by someone else? I think the response to that will be "well I was inspired by... but I haven't ever directly copied something, changed something very minor (say the width of a stripe) and claimed it as my own (see Annie Modesitt and Touch of Whimsy scarf as an example!)"

I've never seen you do that Rebecca and I don't think I ever will, since in all my dealings with you, you have very clearly understood and gone through the creative process yourself to create some fantastic things; an ability in you that I am envious of!

candy
12-23-2006, 05:51 PM
I have asked people on this site for their pattern if I like what they have made. But I am only making it for myself not selling it. I would take it as a compliment that your scarf was sooooo beautiful that she copied it. I myself am not creative at all so I rely on other patterns. I don;t think she did it in a melicoious way. :hug:

rebecca
12-23-2006, 06:20 PM
Mulene, Girl, you are too sweet :muah:
As is everyone around here...I miss you guys!!!!! Back in full swing in early '07, as usual, you won't be able to shut me up :roflhard: :rofl: :roflhard: :muah: :muah:

mulene
12-23-2006, 06:31 PM
Back in full swing in early '07, as usual, you won't be able to shut me up :roflhard: :rofl: :roflhard: :muah: :muah:

Very much looking forward to it!! :hug: