Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dee needs Anger Management?

It's been suggested that yours truly is in need of anger management, and that folks will pray that I see to it that I follow through.  Me?  Need anger management?  LOL, oh, come on!  Let's tell the whole story here!

I, the one proclaimed as the "crochet cheerleader" by other crochet fans, joined an online group earlier this week and as I reported here the other day, I was aghast at the amount of stealing that was openly going on.  Knowing that sharing copyrighted material is ILLEGAL, I posted, hastily, of my feeling in horror that not one member stood up to inform these 467 members that they were all taking part in a crime.  I wanted NO part in that and wanted my post to be my "record" of stating such and quickly unsubscribed from the group.  Here's what I wrote:

It is revolting to see the blatant disregard this group has for copyright laws!
Just as soon as I can figure out how to remove myself from this group, I'm out of here! I want no part in this!

Maybe the list owner can help get me out of here quicker; I don't want to be here with the $10,000 fines are handed out!

If you love crochet so much, you should support it, not steal from it!
Greatly disappointed,
~Dee

In that time, those that decided to stand their ground have taken the time to email me their thoughts.  They quoted the copyright law:

It is not against the law to share patterns what is against the law is to sell what you get. I have enclosed a copy of the law as it is written. Please don't hold it against those that have no money to buy what we all enjoy doing.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for non-profit research and educational or criticism purposes only, and is NOT an infringement of copyright. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

Of course I saw this as an opportunity to state my position:

Thank you for supporting my thoughts; the title and chapter you emailed me supports exactly what I am saying: The group is in violation.  No where on the group is there evidence that:
       A. the group is recognized as a non-profit organization;
  or  B.  that it's a group of teachers teaching for free or to a public school;
or   C.  that the work was being reviewed by critics. 

In addition, no where is it stated that any of the patterns shared have permission from the copyright owners (title 17, chapter 1, 106).

A red flag was sent out today which is how I came across the group.  I stated my mind, whereas designers who find their works in copyright violation are taking notes and will pursue for damages.   I, for one, do not want my name added to their list of violators.

There is no reason to justify stealing; not even being financially challenged.  There are thousands of free patterns available: on yarn labels, as tear-sheets in stores, on the Internet, and for loan from local libraries.   Do the right thing and remove all the photos/links/postings that violate the law and I'll consider coming back.

Sincerely,
~Dee

They offered to pray for me that I seek anger management, and they said I should have known prior to joining that it was a site that freely exchanged copyrighted materials:

we will pray for u and ur temper   it says on the group before u sign up pattern sharing   and i do agree with u about copywrite laws that is y i unsubscribed also but i did not carry on like a mad woman  like u did    u should have just unsubscribed   u need to get help for ur temper 

and...

appretnly you can't read as it states on the front page on sharing patterns.

Yes, I did reply:

I apologize if it seems like my temper flared.  Usually I'm a very quiet person that happens to cheer loudly for the art of crochet.  I guess I just freaked a bit because crimes were being committed and not one entry made mention that members should follow the law and do the right thing.  It's like wanting a new car, going to a dealership and asking to take the car for a test drive and never returning it.  Theft is theft; it doesn't matter if the item cost a penny or a million dollars.

When I joined the site I had hoped it was a group that exchanged ideas and personal patterns members wrote ... not patterns that were copyrighted. There is nothing on the main page that indicates that the group freely shares copyrighted  patterns -- not patterns of their own. And no where is it stated that the copyright owners granted permission for their work to be freely passed around. Perhaps if it had stated that, I would have never considered joining.

In the meantime know that there is a hefty fine for each occurrence, and for each person that is a member (received the "goods") and that yahoo has a record of every entry/photo submitted to the group.  The "Copyright Police" are out there and they are cracking down.  Just look into what happened with Napster ...
Once again I'd like to apologize if it seemed my temper flared; I can only hope that it has opened a discussion in your group about doing the right thing.
Sincerely,
~Dee

So what is this group up to now?  Well, according to the "icewe" spy team (pronounced "I-See-You;" clever name I gave it, huh?) that is in place, it has members discussing if what they're doing is really wrong; do those "trolls" and "trouble makers" that have stood up for copyright laws have any merrit?  Apparently some saw the light and left the group.  (Bravo! You did the RIGHT thing!)  While some that have remained have resorted to calling myself, and others (who have spoken up) bad names while "banning" us from the group for good -- while  reporting to their members that stealing is OK if you have a heart condition.  Hooboy; this really can't be a "for real"  explaination offered for stealing, could it?  Yes, it is!  (Folks, if you're a member of that group and believe that line, I hope you have a good lawyer.  A really good lawyer, because that excuse won't fly any more than a fish will!)

So, my dear readers, as you can see, yes, I may have lost it for a moment, but I'm just the tip of the iceburg.  Do I need anger management?  I don't think so.  Not yet.  But, I'd like to mention that in the coming weeks you may notice your favorite designers yanking their free patterns off of the Internet; and you may see the names of individuals robbing the fiber arts hitting the police and FBI crime blotters ...

               ... I kid you not! 

Designer Josi Hannon is taking off her gloves and is coming out swinging ... read her
blog here (note strong language used)  and while you're at it, read this blog too on how the law is getting involved ...

Send me all the "hate" email you'd like, I'll still reply gently, letting you know that making copies of someone else's work and sharing it with the world is against the law.  Maybe sometimes I will lose my temper; I'm only human. 
 Of course I'll apologize if my temper flairs, but I will also hope that my replies will help you understand that breaking the law is not the route to take.  Please -- take the high road:  If you want to make copies of copyrighted material, do the right thing and get permission first!

I said this earlier, but I think it's worth repeating: 
"If we love crochet so much, we should support it -- not steal from it."

9 comments:

rodneyjolsen said...

I have no interest at all in crochet but I found your post fascinating.

I am always amazed at the justifications people will use to break the law and steal from others. Their suggestion that the patterns aren't being sold doesn't make sense. The fact is that if someone is getting the pattern free then they won't be paying for it, thus depriving the copyright holder of their rightful income.

Well done on sticking up for what you believe.

Rodney

www.rodneyolsen.blogspot.com

reesa997 said...

Dee I completely agree with you and all that you have said on this. If people continue violating the copyright laws designers will stop designing as they won't be able to make a living with it and then what will crochet lovers do when we want new patterns. I just wish I knew the name of the group so I can be sure to never join it. Keep on crocheting and having fun with it.
Teresa

rantsofraven said...

I think your group needs to be familiarized with fair use. If you want, you can borrow this primer:

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Generally, fair use only applies when you use small portions of a piece. You can use a few lines of a poem, a couple paragraphs of a novel and so forth. Generally speaking, fair use is used for commentary, criticism or education, not reuse, and whether or not you make money from something has no bearing. You can sell a newspaper with quotes from a story and it still be fair use.

The main aspect is that your use can not damage the "potential market or value" for the original work. Definitely, posting a full pattern damages both. Why buy such a work when you can download it for free?

It's just another myth about copyright law, that it's not infringing if it's free. If that were true, would suing file sharers work?

I rest my case...

Raven - http://www.plagiarismtoday.com

robinandersen9 said...

It must be a fairly dense group if they think they can get away with stealing copyright (copywritten?) patterns. WHy in the world would anybody do something stupid like that? I remember I had times when I was too broke to buy patterns (if you seen my stash now, you'd _never_ believe it) but you just don't go "stealing patterns". Make up your own, invest in a book of stitches or _something_ . Designers aren't going to want to create if they are getting ripped off and Idon't blame them _one_bit_

As for needing anger management, what a load of hooey! People will say anything to justify their bad behavior.

Robin

crochetr said...

Dee,
 I m confused? Is it stealing if it is on a web site and people send you the link then you download the pattern for your personal use? I et links all the time from people and I print out patterns from sites all the time. Is that stealing? Im really confused here. I dont want to do the wrong thing here. Help!

esmereldadogwood said...

Dee, you ROCK!

jovimom1967 said...

Way to go Dee!  You are so awesome!

I need the anger management too! - I couldnt sleep last night with all the talk about these sites!!

robinandersen9 said...

this may or may bit have something to do with the copyright discusiion....

But I'm back to the same question as before - I just purchased the crochet calendar & there are copyrights for patterns such as a giant granny square afghan. Come on, how can you copyright that? I was doing that a _long_ time before the internet showed up and now somebody owns the copyright to it? There are several other patterns in the calendar that fit the same description - I have done them on my own, without the calendar or any outside work, just "fooling around". I never published them, never even considered it simply because it was just "fooling around". Have I violated a copyright that as far as I know, didn't exist when I made the object? Could I sell, say, a giant granny square afghan, and be considered as breaking a copyright law? One that was made before the calendar came out? or would it just apply to afghans made after the calendar came out?

I see a _lot_ of patterns described as "new" which surprises me when I check my  older magazines and patterns. Of course, in a lot of older magazines, the pattern designer was not credited, so there is a possibility it's one and the same person.  But I doubt that is the truth in many cases.

I'm just curious about how this would play out....

Robin

shooser1 said...

OMG!  Dee has an evil twin!  I love it!  Remind me never to make you mad :o)!  Hugs, Sheila

PS - Go get 'em!