Doing the Right Thing

Caution:  RANT AHEAD

This is a subject I don’t really like to talk about but sometimes it has to be done.  I acknowledge that I can not make people do the right thing any more than I alone can solve peace conflicts around the globe.  And seriously, I have more important fish to fry right now than spend time and energy on this but I’m going to stick my neck out to address this.

How many of us would walk into Books-a-Million and say “I just want to borrow your book long enough to make copies for me and all my friends.  I’m not going to buy it but I know you won’t mind because I’m not going to sell the copies”?  or…take a waitresses tips off the table and say “I know you won’t mind…I’m just going to share this with my friends”?  Please don’t tell me if you think either of those scenario’s would be ok…..because they’re not….both are stealing.

Asking someone to share copyrighted files/patterns/articles/music/etc. is also stealing.   The person sharing the files and the person receiving the files are both stealing.   It doesn’t matter that the designer/author gives the matter away.  It is still stealing.

Copyright means “the right to copy”.  Unless someone is the creator they do not possess the right to copy.  It doesn’t matter what each person thinks about it.  The law isn’t about what we think.  And we all have to answer morally one day for the things we do.

There’s a common misconception that each work must have the © on it.  Not true.  The work only has to be placed in fixed media to be copyrighted.  Just because something is “free” does not mean it is not copyrighted. Charging a fee is not a requirement for an item to be copyrighted.

In case you’re wondering what started this rant….I received pending comments regarding Garden Party from a new subscriber.  I’ve been busy getting ready for my upcoming surgery and have had less time than usual to work online so I haven’t gotten around to approving recent comments.  I won’t name this person but if they’re reading this… know who you are.

The first comment was  a nice one saying how glad they were to find the BOM.  Later, a comment came in saying they knew what Quilting Tizzy (me) had said about blocks taken down being no longer available….but they wanted to know if anyone had saved January & February blocks and would be willing to share them because they had missed those blocks.

This person tried to post this comment on my own blog.  How smart was that?  No, you won’t see their comments on my blog because I’m not going to approve any of their comments….especially after this person got an attitude in a subsequent comment attempt.  What????  They’re ticked off because I didn’t approve their comment requesting that other people break my rules regarding Garden Party????  Give me a break.

I am happy to share my designs with you all.  It gives me pleasure to know you enjoy them.  This is a labor of love for me but when it ceases to be fun….I will find another way to express myself.

I will not be made to feel guilty because of the time limits I have placed on the files.  They are more generous than most BOM designers.  If those limits make any of you unhappy, then you are free to find another design to save or work on.  It is not my problem that my time frame does not suit everyone else.

Please don’t call me to task about this or leave unpleasant comments.  I’d like for each of us to think before we act.  Ask ourselves if we would want someone to do it to us.

Rant over.

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  1. I am a receipant of your BOM’s and I want to thank you so much for sharing your talent with me. You are perfectly right and have every right to make your own rules about what people can and can’t do with your designs. Don’t let people get to you with a negative attitude. I have always believed that if you give something to someone God blesses you twice over, but if you TAKE something from someone God with take twice as much back from you somehow. Again I do appreciate your offering your designs. I am playing by your rules. Pat

  2. Sylvie-Anne

     /  April 25, 2011

    Hummm…I am a french person and my english is bad..sorry..but .I read all you write, I made your beautiful BOM and I décided after your comment to take moment to say to good person you are..and I am totaly in accord with your position….

    Sylvie-Anne du Québec

  3. Val

     /  April 25, 2011

    Hi QuiltingTizzy, I am glad to say that I was lucky enough to find you BOM in time to get the 1st month and each consequtive month so far, it is coming along nicely. I’m sorry to hear someone is not happy, but hey them’s the breaks and there will always be unhappy people out there.
    Don’t worry be happy. As soon as I see your next block pop up I download it even if I’m not ready for it. DONT WANT TO MISS OUT!!! Thanks again.

  4. Lisa

     /  April 25, 2011

    AMEN! You go girl. I love to find a web site or a Blog that shares BOM’s, and the pictures that quilters share. I agree with you whole heartedly on offering patterns for a limeted time. If anyone is interested, they can keep up with it.
    I want to thank you for sharing your talent, and for now, you need to relax and prepare for your surgery. Don’t let this bother you, because it takes guts to complain about a free gift.
    Lisa in Alabama

  5. Cheryl

     /  April 25, 2011

    Way to go! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said in your comments. Keep up the good work.

  6. Hello Sheryl,

    Good on your for sticking to your principals.Thanks for sharing your BOM.
    Happy days.

  7. piedad

     /  April 26, 2011

    estoy de acuerdo contigo, es tu creacion y tu decides como compartirla o no, gracias por este jardin que estas compartiendo generosamente
    besazos piedad

  8. Linda Bragg

     /  April 26, 2011

    I fully agree w/you. I have had original designs I was teaching a class on and this person was repeat student., it took awhile before someone warned about it her. I was cool to her when we ran into each other and she never took another class. Also there is very popular quilt book series that was and still is from a concept that I developed and taught classes around. This person took a couple of them, even though they got my little speech about my stuff being mine. She went on and published books on this. Publisher was not very co-operative and I would have to jump through many hoops for them. Some of The quilt stores in the area refused to sell the books. This really devastated me. I quit for a few years quilting. I have just started quilting again (at least buying fabric lol) but am on my way to some great quilts.

    • Linda Bragg

       /  April 26, 2011

      Sorry some the grammar is not too hot I just posted, but subject was so near to my heart I could not type fast enough. 🙂

  9. Dear Sheryl,
    Your totally right. I also am not amused of the people who thinks everything is allowed. They don’t realise how much work is done before you made it and put it on your blog for free for a while. Just think as Karl Lagerfeld a famous fashion designer in Paris once said. If they steal my design , they like my designs even more but can not truly enjoy it and there are always people who new who is really the designer.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful design with us
    Gerda…………… from the Netherlands

  10. alicia

     /  April 26, 2011

    Tiene todo el derecho de hacer con sus creaciones lo que desee y los que deseamos seguirle debemos acatar sus reglas. Gracias por compartir este hermoso jardin. Un abrazo

  11. Sharyn Baldwin

     /  April 26, 2011

    Unfortunately these ignornt people are normally too stupid to realize the truth, and will continue to annoy everyone regardless.

    I’m sure everyone will agree with me when I say that we do appreciate your beautiful blocks, and we are not concerned over your decision to not leave them available indefinitely. They’re your blocks and it is your decision alone.
    I’m sure others do the same as me, and download the blocks as they become available.

    Please do not let this stupid person take your joy away, we all love your work.

  12. Janet Parde

     /  April 26, 2011

    Rant on, Sheryl! I love this BOM and others that you have shared over the years and if I miss a month, well, my stupid, not someone else’s!

  13. VickiT

     /  April 26, 2011

    I am in total agreement with your rant and would stand behind you if anyone didn’t like what you said OR tried to contact me via my contact asking for anything, including yours like this. I have been doing machine embroidery since getting my first machine again in years and since 2003 when I bought that machine this is the exact thing I have seen daily. The machine embroidery world has had people not only sharing their designs but actually taking the free designs they’ve spent hours digitizing and putting groupings of those they’ve collected together and selling them on popular selling sites. Others have thousands of those designs on groups created just for the sole purpose of sharing the designs. SO infuriating for the digitizers having to spend hours each week going after those type of people vs. creating designs which they love to do and in some cases, their only means of income.

    I know years ago I went to the library to copy parts of a cookbook and the librarian there said she could only copy a certain percentage of any one book before she is considered to be in violation of copyright laws. Back then the librarian had to do all copying of any books. I’m not sure if that’s still the case as I rarely go to the library any longer but she was my first intro into copyright laws. I HOPE you and others don’t find these things are being shared more because I know from my digitizing friends how frustrating it can be. People just do not understand copyright laws and do not realize just because something was given free that they still cannot share it or even teach a class and make copies for everyone in that class without permission of the author.

  14. Judy Morin

     /  April 26, 2011

    You go Girl!

  15. Maria

     /  April 26, 2011

    I am so sorry that someone has done that to you again. This is a blog- which means something you choose to share with us. The fact that you are willing to put these beautiful patterns out there for us for FREE is amazing. This is not an entitlement but a gift from you to us. We should all respect that and just feel gratitude not have expectations on you. Please try to relax and prepare for your surgery. We support and appreciate you.

  16. Maureen

     /  April 26, 2011

    Sheryl, thank you so much for your post. I am a strong supporter of copyright & you have every right to say what you did. You go girl! I am hoping this doesn’t deter you from providing us with the blocks to follow…it is such a wonderful design & I for one am very excited about it.
    Thoughts & good wishes for your upcoming surgery.

  17. Jackie

     /  April 26, 2011

    You go girl, a gift of a BOM is yours to give with expectations to be respected. Thank you for taking the time to share your gift.

  18. About the copyright and correct me if I”m wrong, but after what ever is copyrighted is 75 years old and they have not renewed the copyright then it is not in force any more.
    I was doing note cards from very old magazines, this is what I found out . You have to contact the person or company to see if they have renewed the copyright if not then it is yours to copy or use as you wish. There was one company who would let me use just for my own personal use but not to sell.

  19. Bettie Farish

     /  April 26, 2011

    I totally agree with you, Sheryl. If I miss a month, it’s my fault. So far I haven’t missed any. I lost a lot of patterns last year because of a computer crash. That’s life. I should have saved them some other way.
    I write music so I understand where you’re coming from.

  20. Kim

     /  April 26, 2011

    Thank you Sheryl! As co-owner of a large quilt group on Yahoo, we’re constantly having to correct people who think they can pass patterns around like candy. I just wanted you to know there are others out there trying to protect your rights as a designer. We appreciate all you do!

  21. CONGRATS!!! I don’t do posts, but when I finished this one I have to agree with you. Your rules are YOUR RULES and we agreed to them when we signed up for this block of the mounth. You have the right to pull the blocks and I am glad you are sticking to your guns. Hope your sergery goes well and a speedy recovery. God bless.

  22. Isabel

     /  April 26, 2011

    Concordo Sheryl. Obrigada por partilhar.

  23. Amen, Sheryl. Although I do not design or post designs, I fully understand and agree with you. Please don’t think all quilters are like that one. We appreciate and love your patterns! Keep up the good work, please.

  24. Kim Tyson

     /  April 26, 2011

    CUDOS TO YOU!!! People just don’t get it. I recently did a small store for a local guild meeting and release to them a new pattern I had done and NEVER sold before. My thanks was to have several of these ladies come to my store the next day with copies to purchase fabic. I couldn’t believe it, less than 24 hours. Some of us feed our families with what we make writing patterns and if we choose to share it is one thing but for others to share it, is STEALING. I appreciate that you did bring up this subject. I guess people need to be reminded, constantly. Thank you!

  25. nana

     /  April 26, 2011

    Sorry you are having trouble. People should abide by your rules… Happy Quilting to you

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