It's a pretty simple symbol. Most of us know what it means.
The legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work.
But not everyone... including one particular woman ~ sorry, I refuse to call her a "lady" ~ who is a Seller on eBay. This "person" has decided that it's just fine, right and dandy to provide "free patterns" with some of her quilting auctions. These "freebies" include quilt patterns and stitchery patterns.
While some of the patterns are mine, her generosity includes the "works" of at least eight other people/companies. The problem is that it appears as though many of her "free patterns" are photocopied from actual patterns, books and magazines, which means they are done in clear violation of the copyrights of the authors.
Remember that soapbox I clambered onto last week? Stand back, I'm jumping back on...
I am not going to identify this person and, yes, I have filed a couple of reports with eBay for those listings ~ past and present ~ where I can identify what is clearly a photocopy of one of my patterns. And, yes, I have contacted the other pattern people I've seen to alert them to the "potential abuse". (First clue to the abuse ~ the Seller couldn't afford to be giving away so many copies of the patterns if they were legitimate.) I will tell you that the gentleman I spoke with at eBay was very kind, very helpful, and I think there is a chance that "something" will be done about it. (And if eBay doesn't take any action to stop this person, I will be sure to identify the Seller here.)
Before I continue, let me emphasize that I am certain that this kind of person/Seller is in the minority. This Seller is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the many wonderful, ethical Sellers on eBay. And eBay does what they can when they find out about copyright violations ~ but they can't do anything unless they hear about it.
What probably bothers me most is that I've always had a fairly relaxed policy about making copies of the patterns for your own personal use or even to share with a friend. I still believe in that ~ though there are a few folks who disagree with me on that. But this is clearly a violation and this Seller has to know that. I'm sure she thinks she is circumventing the copyright laws by not actually selling the patterns, but she's wrong. And so you know, this Seller has been with eBay for many years and has a 100% positive feedback rating.
Here's the reason I decided to post about this ~ if any of you should ever buy/receive one of my patterns that you think might be an "illegal copy", please let me know! From eBay, from a quilt shop, from anywhere... I want to know about it. And I can say with 100% certainty that every other quilt pattern publisher/designer also wants to know about it! The only way we can stop the handful of people who abuse the situation is to know about it.
(On a sidenote, there are probably a few of my patterns that might look like illegal second-generation photocopies but aren't. Sometimes the copier gets a little smudgy and the copies aren't perfect. And there are a couple of covers that I ran out of and have had to photocopy... if I'd known they were going to keep selling like they do, I would have reprinted but I keep thinking "this is the last of it... that's a really old pattern!" So if you have a Flies in the Barn, Sweet Emma, or Luci in the Sky cover that looks like a photocopy... sorry about that.)
And thank you to the very nice lady who alerted me to the problem.
Okay... I'm done venting. I have to go calm Rosie down... she's snorting and growling... she really wants to hunt this Seller down. It's bad enough this person had to annoy me... she's gone and ticked off Rosie!
Oy vey... there's going to be #(*&$ to pay for that! :)
I'll end this on a happy note... this is Jackson Maitre.
A little over a year ago... he's much bigger now.
Okay... I feel much better now. :)
P.S. Two things I'm adding on Tuesday morning... this whole thing with the Seller is more annoying than anything more than that. I promise that I'm not losing any sleep over it. The sad reality is that I know that copying of patterns happens... there are always those who look to get something for nothing.
Thing number two ~ Jack is my friend Sue's little guy. He is over 1-year old now and he's weighing in at 80 pounds... that is, when he'll get on a scale. He pancakes himself on the floor of the vet's office when he sees the scale... bad news for you, Jack, it doesn't work. Been there, done that. He's funny, rambunctious, and a total hoot. Sue keeps asking me if I think he's going to grow out of some his crazier behavior and I just tell her... "Rosie was almost nine when she ate a watch..."