Back in November of 2011, I made this quilt and shared the pattern for it here on my blog.
I did this tutorial as part of an Accuquilt GoBaby giveaway. It was also a spin on a variation of another tutorial I had done for the R2T block , one of my favorite blocks due to its versatility.
This quilt was fun to make and fun to share. It also got picked up by Jacquie from the MQG as an example of color for the MQG's 100 days of Modern Quilting and pinned quite a bit, so this little sucker has gotten some press time.
Fast forward to last week and my daily browsing of Pinterest. And I stumble on this:
|This isn't the actual pin. The one I saw had the thief's blog address on it.|
And I think "Aw! How exciting! Someone made this quilt from my pattern! So I looked up her blog (which I will NOT mention here)
And yes!! She used my pattern! And she gave me credit! Oh man, this is killer." (insert big, goofy grin here)
|This is a screen shot of her blog.|
And she shows more pictures of it. It's really pretty. Love, love the colors she used.
And then at the bottom of her post, she directs readers to her Etsy shop, where the pattern for "her" version of my quilt is for sale.
(insert WTF?! face here)
Is this real life?
So, I hop on over to her Etsy shop and sure as sh*t, she's selling this pattern for $6.50 a pop.
Like, 80 times.
That's about $500 she's made off of "her" pattern.
And people seem to be viewing this pattern quite a bit.
So, I sent this woman an email and told her with as much grace as I could manufacture that she needed to remove the pattern because even though it was a free tutorial, it's still my property.
And I even went so far as to say - hey, you like his pattern, redo it! Make it your own. Make it bigger, more blocks, different measurements. Have at it.
Well, she didn't agree with me. She instead proceeded to tell me that even though the quilt was inspired by mine, other factors influenced her design, such as her world travels and university studies. (Annoying ASB) She also argued that she did, in fact, redo the pattern by using different fabric and having her points match instead of the way mine overlapped significantly.
Hmmmmm. Had to marinate on that one a bit.
No - mama don't think so.
Let me use a hypothetical to argue why this gal is infringing on my copyrighted pattern.
Let's say I send this tart a copy of my book on the house. And she makes every single project in it, only changing fabrics and maybe only tweaking a small element to each one - maybe adding a quarter inch here and there or adding a border.
And let's say this tart then decides to release a new line of patterns, patterns that she "designed" using my patterns as "inspiration".
Is this legal?
What would happen if I took Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl quilt pattern, made it in my choice of colors and added a border and then turned around and sold that "reworked" pattern under my own brand? (or Etsy shop)
You think Denyse might get a little hacked off if I did that?
Uh, hellz yeah she would.
But here's what I'm struggling with....I wrote a book, I'm probably gonna write another one and I'm currently writing patterns. This is gonna happen - people are gonna pick up elements of my stuff. It's part of the business. We all do it.
Do I go after every person who I think is stealing from me? Or worse yet, someone charging people for a pattern that they can get for free? Do I spend the time and energy in takes to make sure nobody gets away with this kind of crap? Even if it's on a small scale like this? And in this case, am I even right? Is she stealing?
I'm stuck here in gridlock as to how to deal with this situation.
Do I go after this nitwit-skank-blowhole? (Dear Baby Jesus, forgive me for that outburst)
Do I let it go and just chalk it up to feeling sorry for someone who has to plagiarize free patterns from blogs for income?
Do I get Etsy involved?
I'd like to know what you guys think. And be honest. I like honest.