Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tickled Pink, Intellectual Property, and Comments From the Beadosphere

A little while ago, I posted about a spiraling technique I read about in Bead & Button, attributed there to Aleta Ford Baker. 

I don't know how she found the post (I won't speculate about Googling oneself, I would never do such a thing, ahem, because if one has a common name like mine, Googling oneself is pointless, plus what kind of name is "Lynn Allen" for a band made up of guys none of whom are named Lynn or Allen, I ask you?) but she did. She left a comment and thanked me for crediting her for originating the technique.

A comment! An actual comment on the blog! I was excited because it means that someone other than family & friends was reading it. It was a lovely comment, too. By an actual published beader/author!  I was so, as my surfer friends say, stoked.  Tickled pink, as it were.   My friend Ilyse also commented, which was very much appreciated.

Aleta's thanks, though, brought up another issue, one I've encountered before in the world of art quilting. That's attribution of techniques and copyrights. It has been, in the past, a major issue among quilters. Once an entire series of quilts by a famous author was ripped off by (cheap) manufacturers in China, and the civil prosecution of the offenders took years. I don't know if the author ever did get any compensation, but she was able to force them to stop the manufacture of rip-off quilts.

Similarly, many people who teach quilting at the local quilt-store level have a tendency to just copy pages out of published books and distribute them to students, with no regard for copyright laws. They tend not to see anything wrong with this. The internet has just made this phenomenon worse, as people seem to believe that anything on the web is fair game.

As someone who has great respect for intellectual property rights, I will always give credit where I know an attribution. If I don't know an attribution, I will at least provide a source where I got whatever technique or pattern I'm discussing. And rather than use someone else's published work for my own profit, I will create my own patterns independently. That's what I used to do when I taught quilting, only to see my own handouts copied by others. So I know what that feels like, too.

All this is in service of begging shamelessly for comments.  Let me know you're out there, beaders, readers, friends!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't kept up with your blog lately and had just gone back to read about your vacation adventures (wonderful!) then I find this! Ha - you figured right - I was googling myself. Counting how many peoples out there were doing my spiral. and I get so thrilled seeing every one of them! but I've given up asking some people to please give me credit, it is such a defensive position to be in, and that was never my intention. Your perspective on intellectual property rights is a breath of fresh air and my heart thanks you again. As an ex-Californian/Oregonian, I do miss the coastline and the beaches, not many here in Santa Fe New Mexico, don't travel much so I thoroughly enjoyed your vacation - looking forward to more about your organization skills, too!