12 October 2017

The Tutorial

This is the story of how a bad thing happened, and a good thing happened because of it. But a big part of the story is how you can keep that bad thing from happening in the first place. It takes two of us to tell the story, so we agreed to write it together and post it on both of our blogs.


Melanie: I’m Melanie McNeil and I write the blog Catbird Quilt Studio. I design my own quilts, mostly medallion quilts. And I help teach other people to design, too. Part of that is showing and describing my process as I work, and part is figuring out how to do things, and then creating tutorials. I enjoy the geometry of quilts, including the math. If someone knows how to do the math, they don’t need other people’s patterns, and they are more powerful because of it.


Lorna: I’m Lorna McMahon and I blog at Sew Fresh Quilts. I design and make quilts and, after testing, offer the patterns for sale. I offer basic quilt making information as well as a variety of free quilt alongs. And host the Let’s Bee Social Wednesday linky party as a way for other quilt bloggers to meet up each week, to connect and to share what they are working on.


Melanie: So the bad thing that happened -- the story starts well before that. It starts in early 2014. I wanted to use a square-in-a-square block in a quilt, the kind of block that is called an “economy block.” I didn’t know how to do the math of creating them, and I wondered if someone else had a tutorial out there that would show me. I looked at lots of quilters’ blogs. Several had tutorials on how to make a specific size of block. Some were by paper piecing and some were by cutting patches for their own size of block. None of them were generic with the math included. So I wrote one.


It explains the math (which is actually very cool) and also gave a cheat sheet for people who want to make one of several sizes of blocks without doing the math. Almost since I posted the tutorial, it’s been my most-viewed piece.


Lorna: I took on a project where a quilt fabric company sent me fabric to make a quilt. I really should know by now that this is not what I want to do. Yet, it is hard to resist the idea of being sent fabric to use. It's just that you must then use only the fabric they have sent. I have long struggled with using prints. And this project was all prints with no solids or "reads like a solid" in the mix to break things up.

I had committed to making something and knew these prints would not be suitable for my usual style. They would not work for me to design my typically pieced block. So I started looking for an easy way to just get something made and chose a traditional block.

I looked up a tutorial to make those blocks. Made those blocks. Put it together. And my quilt was finished. But I was not proud of the quilt and dreaded posting about it. I wanted to offer something more and decided to add a tutorial to the post. But I was lazy and feeling low about the whole experience.


I found Melanie’s Economy Block tutorial online and then - I stole that tutorial. Now an explanation - not that I am attempting to excuse what I did, but rather to attempt to describe the reasons behind the why I did what I did. No, I did not simply copy and paste the tutorial. I took my own photos. Made my own charts. Omitted the math formula because I wanted the tutorial to be simpler. And did not really change much concerning the written instructions. There really isn't much you can do to change how you say, "Place fabric A on fabric B and sew a seam". But even if I had found a completely unique way of writing it.... It was still wrong. It was still stealing. If nothing else, at the very least, I would have stolen the style of how that tutorial was written. At the time, I must have felt that these changes would make it “less wrong”.

And I published it without another thought. That is until I received an email requesting that I remove that tutorial.


Melanie: Um. It wasn’t really a request. Recently I wanted to post about a new cool thing I found out about economy blocks, a math thing. And I googled the term just to see if there was anything new out there. The third item on the list was Lorna’s tutorial. My tutorial. I knew it was mine because I knew there was nothing else out there like it at the time I wrote it.


I was mad. And I sent her an email and commented on the post and put up a blog post of my own, asking my readers to demand she remove it. I didn’t mince words. ugh. Embarrassing. I do not always react well when I am mad, and this was a prime example of it.


Lorna: I emailed back a reply right away. I apologized and complied immediately. I did not go to the links provided in the email which would have enabled me to compare the tutorials. Even if they would not have been considered by some to be without question the same, I knew what I had done was wrong. And I was able to freely admit that. But that was not enough.

Melanie had written a post about it on her blog prior to me reading her email. But I did not get a chance to read her blog post. When I sent my apology, she edited her post. But there were comments on her blog, naming me and the tutorial I had posted. And that bothered me. Why? Why did that bother me? Selfishness again. I wanted the whole thing to simply go away.

I had apologized and deleted the tutorial. Shouldn't this have been handled just between the two of us? No. She had every right to post about it on her blog. She did nothing wrong. And I deserved to be "named and shamed".


Melanie: I’m gonna break in here and say “yes,” I should have first just emailed Lorna. Even if that in particular had been ugly because of my ugly mad, it would have been better to do that in private. And I’m incredibly sorry that I made it public before first contacting her. It really wasn’t fair in any way.


Lorna again: At the time, did I not know what I was doing was wrong? I had never done this in school. I knew that it was wrong to take someone else's work, change it around a little, use a few different words. Why did I do it? That is something that I have been questioning of myself ever since.

I thought about my children. How would I feel if they did something like this in school now? How would I react? What would I do to make it clear they understood that this was wrong? Well, I would talk to them and hope that they learned their lesson of course, but I wouldn't punish them severely. Lesson learned. And I felt I deserved that understanding too.

Then I read a piece in our newspaper about a police officer that told an inappropriate joke. He offended those in his presence and was reported. Now he is being put through a "process". In his interview, initially I felt for him. You do one thing wrong and you are judged for that one thing, no matter how many good or positive things you did before. This is the one you are now known for. You have lost people's trust and respect. And you cannot take it back. You cannot undo it. You cannot make it right. Then he said something about how if he was disciplining his children, if they were in his situation, he would "leave the sledge hammer in the garage".

And it dawned on me....

I am not a child. I am a grown woman. I know better. I deserve the punishment. Because what I did was wrong. I was not afraid to admit it to the one person that I had hurt directly. I wholeheartedly apologized. I did not try to diminish what I had done. I did not try to deny it. But what I was now afraid to do was to admit it to everyone else. Afraid to lose followers. Afraid to lose sales. Afraid to lose face.

I would never have taken a person's pattern and copied it in this way. I would not like, and have not liked, the experience of having someone copy one of my patterns in this way. It's happened to me with blog posts. It's happened to me when my Elephant Parade had been printed by someone else in a quilt magazine. Why did I not think of this when I took the tutorial? Why did I not simply state "This is where I found a great tutorial for making this block" and provide a link? Selfishness. And a big ego.

It took me a while to go through a range of emotions that started with selfishness, shame and fear of this coming out to everyone else. "Everyone else" includes you, if you are reading this. I wronged you too. I took someone's work and told you it was mine. I lied to you. And I am apologizing to you now, too.

I am over the fear of losing friends. Losing followers. Losing sales. Losing respect. If all those things happen, they happen. I will go on from here as a better person. I have learned a great lesson. And I could not go on without writing this post.

Melanie: It was a bad thing that happened. She did the wrong thing, and I reacted both wrongly and out of proportion. Bad happened.

But then something amazing and good happened. Lorna and I started to email, and we found that we actually like each other. And we both love to write and analyze what we do and why and how we do it. And I think we both understand how such a thing can happen, even as an exception to our normal behavior.

We both wanted to write this post together, because the main subject of using someone else’s work as your own is important to both of us. As we emailed, we discussed -- how many? -- lots of situations of our own or that we’d seen where whether and how to give credit isn’t always clear. I know I fail at it on the edges, even though I try to do the right thing. So I know for people who aren’t thinking about it, it’s easy to do someone wrong.

Lorna: It was a bad thing that happened. Bottom line is - I did do the wrong thing. It was helpful for me to do more than simply apologize for what I had done. Through our email thread it became apparent to me that I also owed Melanie an explanation. Not excuses, but a real analyzation of what had caused me to do what I had done and to override what I knew was wrong.

And that is where the healing began. I was introduced to the kind and generous person that Melanie is. Through our shared emails, and as I explored her blog, I could see that she deserved the respect I had not provided her with. And I am so grateful that she was willing to make this turn into something good. At the very least, we have become friends. But we also have a desire to help others avoid the pain and hurt that was caused.

Melanie and Lorna: In a way, the first part of this post is selfish on both of our parts, confessing our sins, so to speak. If you’ve gotten this far, we’d like to  wrap up this post with a positive ending and give you some helpful information.


What are some ways to respect ownership of other people’s work? They include both giving credit appropriately and not using someone else’s work without permission.


  • Instead of writing a new post to explain something, if you have already found a well written tutorial, simply provide a link to that tutorial. And you may even want to go the extra mile - contact the author and let them know how much you enjoyed their post and tell them you would like to provide a link to it.


  • Have you seen a quilt that you liked while searching online? Don’t share that photo on your blog without first asking the person who has posted it online. If they are willing to allow you to share the photo on your blog, always provide a link to the maker.


  • Even if a quilt is antique and the maker is long gone, photos of the quilt may be copyright-protected and not in the public domain. Someone owns the quilt, and someone owns the photo. Museums often provide photos freely, but some do not. Check their policy before sharing photos.


  • Some quilt shows and exhibitions invite you to photograph. Others request you don’t. Please honor that request. For those that allow it, take a picture of both the quilt and the maker’s name card so you can give credit correctly. If you want to share the photos, get permission from the maker first.

  • Sometimes our inspirations are diffused -- we like a set of colors or the idea of something, or several things. But sometimes our inspirations are specific and unique. Again, check with the source if possible, and regardless, give credit for it.


  • Copying a pattern someone else bought is stealing from the pattern designer. If you like the pattern enough to make it, and to pay for the fabrics that go into it, do the right thing and pay for the pattern, too.


  • Just as copying a pattern someone else bought is stealing from the pattern designer, if you see an example of a quilt that you like, and you don’t need the pattern to reproduce it because you can figure out the math on your own, you should still credit the pattern designer when you share about your quilt on your blog or enter it in a show.


  • And if something is free to you, it doesn’t mean it is free for you to share. Online sources, in particular, provide freebies to draw you to their site. If your friend or your blog reader wants to use the free pattern you used, give them a link to the site where you got it.


  • Don’t pass off someone else’s work as your own. Taking credit for something someone else did, even by omission, is wrong.


  • If someone else quilts for you, and you label your quilts, include the quilter’s name on the label, too. It shows respect for the quilter’s expertise.


Laws are different in different countries, so we can’t give you specific laws to go by. Instead, we’d like you to consider what is fair to the originator of creative work, whether it is words, photos or drawings, quilts, patterns, or tutorials. They have put time and effort and expertise into their creation. Regardless of their intention to make money off of it or not, they deserve acknowledgement and respect for their work. (Always consult legal experts in your own country if you have concerns about this!)


Here are a few links if you want more information and perspectives on this difficult issue.


How Copyright Affects the Quilter by Kathleen Bissett. Discusses Canadian law but also general principles.


Can You Copyright A Sewing Pattern? by Abby Glassenberg at While She Naps. Primarily discusses US law.


A Word About Ethics: Photographing Quilt Shows and Judging by Anna Hergert at Anna Hergert, Art & Design. On taking photos at quilt shows.


Why Stealing Patterns is Like Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg by Sam Hunter at Hunter’s Design Studio. In particular about using patterns you haven’t paid for, but also the broader topic.


Giving Credit and Avoiding Copyright Violations by Melanie McNeil at Catbird Quilt Studio. A general discussion on playing fair, with links to other sources.

Did you Plagiarize that Quilt? by Joanne Cleaver at Chicago Tribune. A story of taking a quilt design you have found on Pinterest and making your own instructions. Is this wrong?


36 comments:

Nancy J said...

Truly words from your hearts. Humbling, and searching, the outcome for you to be friends is what we would all like to happen if we were in the same situation.

Jenny said...

Thank you both for your honest words as you tried to put this right.

Gretchen Weaver said...

Thank you both for your honesty. As someone who over reacts when upset, I can understand Melanie's reaction. I can also understand the challenge in doing the math for the tutorial. Thank you for reminding us that we are not children and we need to do the right thing in this world of gray lines.

Little Quiltsong said...

So happy for the outcome, and for your honesty, that took a lot of courage. My heart hurt for you Lorna - and for Melanie, but love how it all turned out - a new, and treasured friendship. Life is full of learning curves, big or small - we often become stronger through them. Know that no friendship between us has diminished, no trust lost :)!

Laura Links said...

What a great post. Thank you both for sharing how two adults worked out such a difficult situation! And I really appreciate the list of recommendations at the end of your post. I don't blog but I do post photos on Instagram and I agree that it's important to give credit ...
Again, THANK YOU BOTH!

Kerry said...

I'm so pleased about the happy ending. And since I've read Melanie's tutorial (for some reason I never saw your version, Lorna, so blissfully unaware) I shall follow Catbird Quilt Studio too. It is possibly a good thing that you have both made this post with links because I would never have known about the tutorial if you hadn't - better late than never. I will have the best of both worlds now.

In any case nobody is perfect and we all learn by mistakes but that means we have to make a mistake in the first place to learn by it.

Laura VanVleet said...

Very well said ladies. Kudos to both of you!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

nice that you both worked it out in the end. I've been caught in a situation too where I posted a photo of a block I was going to make that I found on pinterest - it had no link and no acknowledgement of any kind with it - I made the block by looking at the photo and posted about it I wrote no pattern and said that I found it with no links - I got flack almost immediately from the person that had drawn up the block and had a pattern - I later searched pinterest again to see if I could find anything that linked to the designer - there were more than 30 so so pins out there with no acknowledgement so one thing a person must do too is make sure you have a watermark on your photos!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

This post took a great deal of courage on both your parts, along with the courage to look past the hurt and find the good. Well done, ladies.

Unknown said...

We can all learn from this experiance. You both sound like amazing women and worked out a difficult situation admirably.

piecefulwendy said...

I've followed both of you for awhile, so when this situation came up, it bothered me on many levels. I am so delighted to see that you both have worked this out, that you have had the courage to post about it, and that you both are making our creative community stronger because of your willingness to share about this whole situation. That you have become friends makes me grin from ear to ear. Reading this post has made my morning. Thank you both!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Your blog makes my day every time I read it, Lorna.

You know what? Economy blocks and tutorials are all creations from the past, from maybe pioneers, or days of olden times when humans "sewed" skin together to make clothes and blankets, and maybe the first cave woman invented the first, very very firstest economy block because she wanted to show case the skunk skin for added dimension in the center.

So, it is really hard to lay claim to anything.
Many of us that have been sewing since we were 8 years old on a sewing machine that smashed fingers from lifting the bed to replace the bobbin (my mom's Singer 316g which I still use) have learned to make our own patterns. We see patterns online, or in shops, and we know we can make them with out buying the pattern..... and I have done that many times. I do not claim the pattern of my own, but if I wanted to share that knowledge with someone, I could.
It is kind of like putting up your own recipe for mashed potatoes, and apple pie.

Just my two cents.
In the end, we really own nothing. Sharing knowledge is great, but some people do not want to buy a freaking pattern of something they saw in a quilt museum in the city.
I love you Lorna

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Here is the quilting math from 2011
and I am sure more tutorials can be found in books at the library
https://piecemealquilts.com/2011/06/14/pmgc-quilts-skill-builder-series-part-9-%E2%80%93-diamond-in-square/

Lisa J. said...

Thanks for sharing this Lorna. I wasn't aware of Melanie's blog so would have been blissfully unaware. I know you to be a good , kind person who is willing to help others so much and share so much of yourself..It's good that you came clean. We all make mistakes but you took the steps necessary to rectify your mistake which is what a good human being should do and something that I don't think I've always done in my life. Thanks for introducing me to Melanie's blog. I think I can learn from her abilities with math and her willingness to share what she figures out.

Jan @Cocoa Quilts said...

I've followed you both for sometime and enjoy both your works. It is not always easy to admit our errors and then to publicize them. I think that the friendship that came out of the problem is perfect. It reminds us all that none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes. It is how you handle those issues that makes all the difference in the world.

Congratulations to both of you on handling the situation and becoming friends.

Quilter Kathy said...

You are both so brave and inspiring!
At times, this whole issue has made me want to give up blogging altogether, even though I don't make any money and do it only for "fun". It's just so confusing to me and I don't want to offend anyone or do anything wrong.
I don't always remember where I saw things or was inspired by something that pops up down my creative path in a similar or different way. That worries me... a lot... because I want to give credit where it is due.
And even though I'm a very smart person, the whole photography issue is way beyond my ability to understand.
Thank you for this thoughtful post and giving me a chance to think over these issues again!
If only our world leaders could be half as brave and thoughtful as you two!

JC in TX said...

I'm not a blogger, but a follower! I appreciate the honesty in which you both wrote this post. You've not lost this 'follower' Lorna, and Melanie has gained a new one. Thank you (both) for your resulting professionalism in handling this situation.

Tish Stemple said...

"To err is human, to forgive is divine."-Alexander Pope. We all make our fair share of mistakes. And I think we all have acted on pure emotion at one time or another when we feel we have been wronged. This is the most beautiful and brave story that you have shared with us. It is not easy to admit that a mistake has happened, no matter the reason, and true forgiveness can be something that is hard to give. I am so glad that both you and Melanie were able to let go of the hurtful thing, and listen to each other. Not every act is committed with bad intentions, so we should never be too quick to judge when our emotions run high. Thank you for sharing this...both sides. I think there are several great lessons we can all learn from this post. I am proud to call you my quilt bloggy friend.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Thank you for sharing. I am going to bring this up at my guild meeting as I think people copy all the time.I have a graphic design background and know about people ripping off art. I was unaware of the situation, but am proud of your courage and forthrightness. I am so careful on my blog. When I write my posts, they stay in draft for days so I can re-read and check.
Thank you for this post- to both of you.

BJ said...

This is so much better than reading informative but dry articles about the copyright issues! And, in a time when mad often just begets madder, this is a great example of problem resolution. I certainly won't be unfollowing you, Lorna, and now I have to go check out Melanie's blog! Thank you and congrats to both of you.

Hill Country Livin' said...

This was a pretty heavy post to wake up to today but I admire your mature way of handling an uncomfortable situation. :)
Still love you and your blog, Lorna!

Jane Holbrook said...

Dear dear Lorna and Melanie, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have been in counseling for a while to be able to admit to actions just like these. You both had good intentions, and yay! worked it out. You both shared the unflattering truth and lots of us will learn from you.

Being unique in the quilting world is rare, because how many ways can we put fabric pieces together. I admire and like you both for sharing your vulnerable, lovable personal selves.

Unknown said...

This is something I've struggled over, my thought is if you make something, like Melanie's chart, that is so simple most anyone can do it, how can it be copyrighted?
I've always thought that in order to have something copyrighted, it had to be something new and original?
For what it's worth, my first quilt was a economy block. In fact, my first 5 quilts were made with that block (and a few more since then). No one taught me how to quilt, I was just utilizing my scraps from sewing clothing during my college years. My templates were cardboard and that cardboard and my fabrics were all cut out with scissors, piece by piece (because that was how my grandmother made quilts). If I had a piece of yardage, I drew grids on the backside, and again, cut them out with scissors. Since I was using that block so much, I too made a cutting chart and I still have it, even tho I no longer cut fabric that way. Eventually I typed it out (on a typewriter) and tossed the hand written original.
I doubt neither Melanie or I were the first to make these charts.
But, I have never published the chart I made (or any charts, since I'd made them for many other blocks that I used frequently, stars for example).
I have not visited Melanie's webpage until today, when I went there to follow her, so I don't know what her chart looks like yet. But I suspect it's nearly identical to mine.
Even tho I've not 'published' my chart, (I tried blogging for a while, but it just doesn't interest me) why couldn't I call dibs, if Melanie made hers sometime after 1986?
Personally, I suspect many more people have made this chart (or for other blocks) other than Melanie and I. Quilt magazines offer cutting charts with most any pattern so to me, this is a non issue.
I am going to go check out Melanie's blog and charts, and I'm not going to accuse her of using something I thought of first, then I'm going to write a check to help feed starving children in Africa or wherever they are these days.

Unknown said...

PS. I just read Rosemary B's comment above. That's what I was trying to say, only she stated it a much more compact, elegant way.
I'm also in the process for setting up a new computer, I'm stumped why they gave me the name "Unknown" but my name is Cathy, I need to figure out how to change that.
Happy quilting all, may your seams always be straight :)

Linda Bourcet said...

Thank you so much for your well written and heartfelt explanation. We have all, if we are as honest as you, borrowed intellectual property (a well written phrase, a quote, a joke, an idea or image) without giving credit to the originator. Sometimes the idea for a quilt comes from such a multitude of sources (fabric, pattern, color choices, etc) that I couldn't even begin to unravel it. But I don't publish or teach quilting nor do I enter my quilts into any shows or receive money for them so I think I am safe. With so many quilting books, magazines and on-line sites, I am bombarded by beautiful images and ideas and it must be hard to credit everyone appropriately. We all make mistakes but it takes someone special to acknowledge the mistake, make amends and use the opportunity to learn from it and teach others. Thank you both for taking the time to address the specific problem and to help us all learn from it.

Christine said...

Thank you both for making the effort to resolve this.

DebbieM said...

The way you both handled this situation in the end was commendable. With that also raises a question, why would you share your patterns, tutorials, photos, etc., on Social Media if you didn't want to inspire someone with a less creative mind to broaden their horizons by copying and making one. If I don't want someone to "steal" my idea, then I wouldn't post it. If I post it for others to see and read and they make it, I'm flattered as I'm the one who shared it with the world. Copyright and Patents protect those that create, but it comes with a price that most people are not willing to pay. Pinterest is chocked full of ideas for the taking! I know people that do entire craft shows based on ideas they saw on this social site. Is everyone wrong in doing that? I've had people come into my craft booth, camera in hand, have me take down an item and take a picture of it so they can make one. Bold-yes!, but understandable as they didn't want to pay my price! Had a fella tell his wife he could make one of my lamps, which are very hard to make and only a skilled craftsman could pull it off, I told him to have at it! He came back and bought one the following year! Doesn't matter if you were wrong or right, Life's too short to sweat the small stuff and to me there are a lot more pressing things in this world than this. I love your blog, Lorna, your creativity inspires me! Friendship is what this world needs more of!

Sherri Sylvester said...

Thank you so much for this! Both of you! As a blogger I understand how important getting credit for your work is, since the traffic/readers from that post will bring in the $$. Can not imagine how hard it was to write this and I'm so glad you both are working together now. I unknowingly did a similar thing in my first year of blogging. It was an eye opening experience to work through and I learned fast that even a similar tutorial can be viewed as stealing. Blogging is a genre of its own and its content cannot be compared to written work already produced, figured it on your own or generationally handed down from others. It's a real job and needs protection! | ThreadRidingHood.com

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I teach lots of demo's at my little quilt guild. I get many of my ideas online. I'll print it out, but, at the very top, is the link to where I found the idea, and I always encourage the ladies to go to that site, and check it out (they only get a black and white copy with tiny pictures from me, so, if they want to see it in color, and with large pictures, they don't have a choice but to check out the original site). If I make something that I found on someone's site, I try to go back and let them know, after I've posted it on my blog. I also include links on my blog to their post that gave me the inspiration. I also won't give a friend copies of the patterns that I use. She'll copy anything she gets, and hand it out. Her hubby is a lawyer, so, she should know better.

Nancy B said...

I don't have a blog, no social media presence, I'm just a regular quilter sitting at home getting inspiration from others. This info is just as much for me as people who are "famous" in the field. I will do better at giving credit where credit is due. Thanks for your joint story and am glad something good has come from it.

Lara B. said...

Oh Lorna, I could never not love you.
It is so sad this happened, but I admire both you and Melanie for your courage in speaking about it publicly in a way where we can all learn from it. It is also heartwarming to see that, despite a rocky start, the two of you are becoming friends.
There isn't a one of us who doesn't regret things we've done or said. It's very difficult sometimes to get over them. I have episodes from my past that sometimes keep me awake at night. I hope that the way you and Melanie have worked on writing this post together goes a long way in helping you recover. Thank you for "putting yourselves out there". God bless you both!

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing. Adulting is hard and I'm sorry you felt the pressure to take someone else's tutorial. I enjoy seeing your quilts and frequently you amaze me with how prolific you are. Maybe part of healing is to take a step off the fast track and find what you truly love and what motivates you? Best wishes for a positive future. xoxo

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

I'm sure this was a hard post to write. But kudos to the both of you for how you handled it and for working together to share the story. We won't be remembered for our "mistakes" but how we deal with our mistakes.

antigone_marcelena Sdr. said...

I honestly can't think of a better development for what has happened to the two of you. I totally felt for Lorna as well as Melanie and really appreciated the way you have both handled the situation. Something really good came out of it and you, ladies, should be proud of it.

Deblco Lazear said...

Hi,
Thank you for the post. I am glad you are friends. I respect the talent and hard work it takes to create a pattern. I think it should be respected enough to not copy their work.

I agree with several other commenters that if you don't want it copied then don't post it. I also think somethings are unavoidable in copying such as certain wording in the instructions. My understanding is that copying is using the exact everything of someone else's She changed her write up and omitted some things the first person had in hers. So, to me, it isn't copying. It is using some words that are called "public domain" and creating the rest herself. Think of purse patterns. Can you really say all those purses that look alike except for one feature are original? Yet, there are tons of those patterns out for sale. As one commenter said, there really isn't much that is original. Someone has done it before somewhere at sometime.

So, to be sure you aren't copying, make sure your pattern is unique enough to be obviously not a copy. The wording again can be changed to some degree but saying, cut a triangle 3" is pubic language. How else can you say it?

As sad as it is to not get recognition and income when someone "steals" your pattern, at least it is rewarding to know other people love your creation and are inspired to make it.

Thanks for sharing.


Deblco Lazear said...

Additionally, copyright laws are sometimes hard to interrupt and I give most people the benefit of the doubt, they don't know they are violating it.

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