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Copyrights and Thieves

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Copyrights and Thieves


© 2012 Tracy Joyner (Crochetville Username: tracy.joyner)


October 18, 2012


Posted on Crochetville with permission.


 
 
When I started my website and blog, I read that it would be insightful and a personal journey..that if you weren't growing on a personal level, you were doing something wrong.

I wasn't sure how a crochet themed website and blog would cause me to embark on a "personal" journey, but I welcomed it if that was the case.

I can now tell you, just 6 months later, that it is indeed the case.

Yes, I promise, this leads to Inspire Me Monday.

When I started the website, I had no idea about photo copyrights or why crochet project photos would / should be copyrighted. I could understand if your business was photography, that your photos would carry a copyright..but crochet projects that are freely shared online?

Yes, they are covered by copyright and I now understand why. You see, there are people out there in the world who slurp your photos off the web and then present them as their own work while charging innocent consumers for products that may not look anything like the photo presented..and that's just the beginning.

It's bad enough that people are selling their work, that may be sub-par, by using top shelf photos of someone elses' work. It's a lie. It's misrepresenting yourself and the product and it's stealing. It's just plain wrong.

An even greater injustice is being carried out online. Designers, both large and small, are struggling to protect themselves against these thieves everyday! Their work is being stolen and resold by others on the internet..both their photos and their designs!

So how am I Inspired by this?

Well, if you have visited www.crochethappy.com, you know that I like to use a lot of pictures to make the information eye appealing to my readers. I mentioned that I was ignorant of photo copyrights when I started...can you see where this is going?

Thankfully, I've had no serious issues regarding the photos..particularly the project photos for all the patterns I have listed. The copyright issue was brought to my attention in August of this year by the very helpful, and informed, folks at Crochetville.

I had no idea why others might get their knickers in a twist about it, but if it was an issue I was determined that I would not knowingly "infringe" on anybodys' rights. That's just not me.

So began the journey...

I meticulously requested permission from every single individual and designer to post their project/photo/design. Everyone has been very gracious to me and I have made a great many friends in this process. Only a couple wanted me to remove their work from the website...literally two out of hundreds. I still hadn't journeyed to the point that I understood what the problem was, but I removed their information immediately and without question.

Then...a couple of aspiring designers in a group I belong to became the targets of thieves as I described to you earlier. "What?" it was shocking!,..and it was right there in front of my eyes. The assault continued as I saw more of my online friends become the victims of this! My eyes were opening...

Then came the day/week that I began contacting the designers of patterns I had listed in the "Babies, Infants, Preemies" category of my website's pattern collection. There is an entire page of designers "for sale" work available here.

Thankfully..and I seriously mean "Thank you to them"..they did not blanketly object to having their work presented, but asked questions of me instead.

Answering those questions, and/or seeking the answers to them, opened my mind to the clear understanding of what they go through on a daily basis to protect their designs!

At their suggestion and with their assistance, I am now working with them to replace their photos with their logos or replacing their "For Sale" designs with their Free designs instead.

Here is where I get Inspired...
I'm angry that they have to go to such lengths to protect themselves from what is pure and simple thievery! It de-rails their creative energy from what could be spent designing beautiful and lovely items to share with the world.. but is instead forced to focus on protecting their designs from terrible people!

We ALL lose. Designers creative spirits are hampered by this causing them to repress instead of let loose their creativeness into the world. We, as their consumers, are offered less. And what they already have made public is being "hidden away", so to speak, in an effort to protect it, instead of being made available for all to see.

Yes, that makes me angry!

I'm also tech savy and learn very quickly what I don't already know. I can make it so the photos are impossible to slurp, copy or edit.

They will NOT steal from us and my website will, hopefully, become known as a safe place on the internet to display crochet designs because I will protect them!

So, I am Inspired this week and this Monday...(I feel like saying "I solemnly vow" at this part)
To learn how to protect every single submission to my website.

I will create a safe haven on the internet for crochet designers to share their work with the world.

Thank You Genuinely to all those who have allowed me to present their work. Please know that it is because of you, and your struggle to protect your work, that I begin this mission to create a safe place to present it.
 
 
---
Part Two:
 
My next article will cover steps we can take to protect our work and our dreams.
But first, I 'm not going to wait to share what is on my heart.

Since posting "Copyrights & Thieves" on Monday, I have received a lot of comments, and spoken with, crafters, crocheters and designers who are so concerned about theft that they do not publish, post, share or even start blogs of their own because of their worry that someone might steal their work.

I have to pose this question:
How much of our time and creative energy are we going to allow these thieves to rob us of?
I'm going to share something with you...
There was a very frightening time in my life when my family found ourselves in the middle of a very serious situation involving a very connected drug organization. I don't appologize for over using "very" in one sentence...it's called for. We very boldly continued to live in the middle of our neighborhood and provide information to 3 separate law enforcement teams while the drug organization brought in their "enforcers" and openly threatened us. We were essentially under self-imposed house arrest, eating nothing that did not come from a can that could not be tampered with, drinking only bottled water and nothing from the tap, staying away from windows and opening the door to no one. We were followed everywhere we went if we left the house. My husband kept watch every night on our roof with a rifle. I was given a sawed-off shotgun as protection. My children were instructed on where to hide and how to be quiet If Mommy gave the order..they could not play outside or visit friends houses.
After 4 1/2 months my husband was so frightened and paranoid that he could no longer determine reality from imagined threats.
We finally moved our family to a very remote location far away for a period of 2 years..self-imposed witness protection.

My question again...
How much are you willing to allow these "bad guys" to take from you?
How much time will you spend worrying about them. They certainly are not concerned for or about you. How much of your life will you change because of their potential threat?
Is it worth allowing this potential threat to change the course of your dreams?

My choice is to pursue your dreams relentlessly without pause for them (thieves). Don't allow "what could happen" to alter your life. When you do that, you are giving them more than they intend to take...you give them power they do not have and a part of your life they do not care about.

If they want it bad enough, they are going to take it...You don't have to make it easy for them but don't let them have more than they intended to take either. The course of your life should be guided by your dreams not your fears.

Much Love for You All...I hope you give thoughtful consideration to my thoughts, feelings and my words today.

TracyAnn

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