Tuesday, October 19, 2010

With Regard to Copyright

I've read a lot of brouhaha about this blog: http://needleworkcopyright.blogspot.com/

What I don't understand is, why?

No one is asking anyone to police the internet for us. We're asking that if you see an infringment in your travels, drop an email and tell us about it. You don't have to give your name, an anonymous email is fine. If you don't want to use your current email address, create a free account on gmail or yahoo to do it. That's fine too. We can't be everywhere all at once and see every site that this happens on. Point us in the right direction, or tell us about a site we didn't previously know about. That's literally all we're asking.

Please point out to me how it is a bad thing for needlework designers to want to protect their hard work? We put a lot of time, effort and money into designing, model stitching and producing a chart, so of course we're upset when we see people stealing what we've worked so hard to create.

If you were in a needlework shop and you saw someone stick a chart into their bag while they thought no one was looking, you'd tell the shop owner wouldn't you? How is this ANY different? Theft is theft. Period.

I've seen some things posted that made my brain hurt trying to work out how they'll help the problem. A centralized distributor? Sure it would make charts more widely available and from that standpoint it would be a great thing. But to stop copyright infringement it won't do a bit of good. Why? Because people will still take their freshly printed chart home, scan it into their computer and upload it, just like they do now. Going to encrypted electronic files? Again, what will change? Nothing. People might not be able to upload the pdf or pattern file directly, but there's nothing to stop them from printing it, blacking out anything they don't want anyone else to see, scanning it back in and uploading it anyway. Not to mention that selling only electronic files only is a sure way to put needlework shops out of business, and that is not something I'd want to see happen.

The best way I can think of to combat infringement is that all designers start selling print only charts, and that all charts are printed on copyproof paper. Yes it exists. It's watermarked and when scanned or photocopied the watermark shows up black, clear as day. This nullifies the ability to scan and upload any printed chart as the chart itself would become unreadable. Period. It also nullifies the ability to make a working copy, which would anger a lot of stitchers. Of course there are still work arounds, someone patient enough will re-chart the whole thing and upload that - happens all the time - but at least it would slow it down a bit. Infringing in this manner is a lot more time consuming. The downside of copyproof paper is that it would dramatically increase the cost of the printed chart. Some investigation into this technology shows it to be about 10 times the cost of plain paper. So is it really a feasible option. Probably not.

Other suggestions? I'd love to hear them.

1 comment:

  1. I totally support the new site about copyrights. I don't know why a few "bad apples" have to spoil it for so many others. It's bad enough to see favorite designers quitting, and local shops closing every year. I sometimes feel bad I can't buy MORE of the designer's work as I know how much work it all is. I do occasionally have to make a working copy so I can hilite and now and then I have had to enlarge a chart to be able to read it, but that has only ever been for my own personal use. I do post the designers name etc whenever I post progress on a project but I will check into the compression of photos. I did notify one designer when I saw a border from one of her charts on another chart being sold via PDF files on a blog. It turned out the border was published in some book of motifs for designing use, so all was well but I made the effort. I think it's very sad that someone would be too cheap to spend less than $10 for most charts. Wait for a sale, offer a trade with another stitcher, buy it used, there are many options. Some of the ONS's allow you to shop through Hoffman's distributor website and get 20% off your purchases so it's a pretty good deal.