Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here We Go Again, and Where To Draw The Line?



There is a member on the Stashbuster list...Tara Lynn Darr who lives in Joliet IL and operates "Sew Unique Creations".

She has directly copied my bricks and stepping stones pattern from my website and is SELLING it on hers. This was just brought to my attention today. Hers is the brown one...mine is the blue. You've all seen it before...many of you have made it!

She has it packaged as NEW THIS SPRING, and mine has been on my website for 2 years....I first presented it to the stashbusters group before I showed it anywhere else. The pattern is so well known and referred to on stashbusters that she could not be unaware of it?

What is even more remarkable is her copyright on her page:
"Copyright 1999, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05 & 2006. All rights reserved. All images, patterns & designs herein are protected by the United States of America copyright laws. Please do not right click and save our images or wording, all of our designs which include but is not limited to our printed patterns, books and hand drawn patterns and drawings are protected under the law. Please do not save anything to your hard drive, print, scan, photograph or reproduce in anyway the images or wording seen on this website, this is stealing. To learn more about copyright laws, please visit http://www.copyright.gov/"

STEALING?!?? Just WHO is STEALING?!? I know that traditional patterns all have the same elements and units. You can't copyright a 4 patch or a 9 patch or an ohio star. But I think this goes a bit beyond that.

This one leaves bewildered. I have always given everything I have to this group for free....and this one blindsided me. Maybe I should be flattered? I am just frustrated and needed your ears. I'm telling myself to calm down after the close call with the quilting book that had my star struck quilt on the front cover. There is another website that has put up their own directions for THAT pattern as well...at least they aren't charging for it. :c( It's coming from all corners!

It makes me afraid to put anything "new" on my website for fear of where it might end up. I'm not in this for the money...I never have been.

BTW..you can contact Tara Lynn via email if you wish sewunique7@aol.com

Bonnie in SC

24 comments:

Leah S said...

I'm really sorry about that! I don't always ask for permission to make something (I don't sell patterns, etc) but I always try to give credit where it's due.

If you go through my blog's archives, you'll probably see your "Leaders and Enders" page linked a lot - I love your stash busting ideas and methods and would be heartbrokened if they disappeared.

Are you able to tell if they use the EXACT same size/measurements as yours? I think if this gal gets swamped with emails of protest, she will probably pull it off her page and dare we hope for an apology?!

JudyL said...

Bonnie, I'm so sorry! I've always appreciated your generosity (time and talents). Isn't it amazing that someone who steals your pattern goes into such detail about copyright violations?

I still feel that what goes around comes around but I know that doesn't make you feel any better right now.

Judy L.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Bonnie, I think anyone who looked at those 2 quilts together can tell that they are the EXACT same pattern, even if the fabrics are different. I bet you are steaming - you are so generous and kind-hearted that you must have just about fell over to see YOUR free pattern being SOLD by someone else! I really love your free scrappy patterns and all the effort you go through to photograph such clear step-by-step directions, and your scrap busting/organizing tips are great. There are many, many quilters out there who love you and give you the credit where the credit is due.

Cheers!

Evelyn

quiltpixie said...

it is very frustrating when someone tries to "use you". Its a reflection of their desperation and lack of good graces -- its not about you. Not that that is very consoling.... I hope that you're able to be comforted by the knowledge that many many people hold you in high esteem.

dot said...

Bonnie, I just don't know what to say. I have followed a few of your free patterns from your site, in fact am working on one now, giving all credit to you. Just rewards will ocme her way, they always do. Keep your chin up and move forward.

Patti said...

I wondered about that when I saw her pattern. Here's another one that is almost like yours - check out "Cobblestones" and "Marmalade". www.acornhillquilts.com. I know "Marmalade" has been on her site for several years - I have no idea if it was before yours was posted or not. I think I discovered your site after I discovered hers.

Obviously what you post on your site is yours and therefore the copyright belongs to you, but I know you need to have registered that copyright in order to have any grounds in a lawsuit. If I were you I still think I'd contact her and ask her to withdraw her pattern or be prepared to for you to take legal action.

Your generousity has always been overwhelming to all of us. I hope this rotten egg doesn't spoil the entire basket for you.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Nothing short of outrageous. It will be interesting to see what Tara does next -- perhaps she'll have the grace to withdraw her pattern and apologize. So sorry that this has happened to you, Bon.

tami said...

I am so sorry as well. A friend and I are always saying to each other "I just don't get people" and this is a classic example. How can someone not feel embarassed and ashamed when they KNOW that they are claiming something as theirs that is not? I guess in this climate where everyone is out for the money it leaves people like you who do it for the love of sharing the art feeling betrayed and used. I want you to know that even though I have not yet used any of your patterns I greatly appreciate them and have really enjoyed reading all your stashbusting tips and tricks. Thank you so much for your contributions to the quitling world.

Gail said...

Bonnie, contact a lawyer, that's the only way you are going to get any satisfaction. Maybe a letter on appropriate letter head will have her withdraw/discontinue that pattern from sale. Some of the other patterns there look awfully familiar as well.

Hanne said...

I am so sorry you have to experience this again.
You have always been so generous to other quilters.

Tonya R said...

So not cool. Glad you're sewing instead of fretting.

EileenKNY said...

Bonnie,
I just went to her site and clicked on the pattern. It says "Page not found", but the photo is still there on the "new" page.
Some people have little or no class, and I'm sorry your generosity has been abused this way.

sophie said...

I wonder how many people participate in lists and groups to find good design ideas to re-package and sell? At the very list, she should be banned from Stashbusters. I hope you can take some comfort in the knowledge that she probably steals the designs of others because she lacks the confidence (or ability) to create her own. We know that you will continue to create wonderful new quilt designs and new patterns ... and that those idea will come completely from within.

As far as copyright goes, do you know if she's stolen more than your design? If her directions are based on yours, her theft is likely actionable.

Mama Koch said...

I'm making this particular pattern:

http://oklacookiemaker.blogspot.com/2006/08/finally-some-sewing.html

BUT....it's my BONNIE pattern.

I'm sorry that people do this to you. Maybe people will realize where it really does come from.

Mama Koch said...

Not to add fuel to the fire, but look under Free Quilt Block Sites link on her site.

http://www.sewuniquecreations.com/free_quilt_block_patterns.htm

Yep..she copies your free patterns --packages and sells them.

I'm so sorry.

Su Bee said...

Hard to imagine a quilter behaving like that. There's an awful lot of us who know your patterns too well to fall for that, and we all talk a lot. Bad word of mouth is as effective as good word of mouth.
(BTW - your name is on the label of my quilt!)

Sally said...

Bonnie,
I'm so sorry to see that someone has stolen your pattern. Amazing, that in the day of the internet, someone would be so foolish to think they wouldn't get 'caught'. Geez!!! Seems like she's pulled it off her website though, even though the pattern picture is still there...
I must say, I tell everyone I can about your site. You've totally opened up a new way of making an additional quilt with leaders and enders. I think I have enough I spy patches for a quilt top...I just keep sewing them together. LOL!
I am in a brand new little quilt guild in my tiny town. I've told the group about your site, and a couple of them told me tonight how brilliant the leaders and enders idea is. So, you are reaching out to alot of us in cyberspace.
Thanks for all you do!!!

Sally said...

Bonnie,
BTW...I noticed she now has a link to your site. Interesting...

Vicky said...

Gosh, I'm sorry this happened to you, but it seems to be a growing thing these days. You caught this one, but how many more are there?

Bonnie, I hope this hasn't made you rethink sharing with all of us. I so enjoy your creativity and have shared your site link with a lot of quilty online friends. We think you're fantastic!

((Hugs))

Judy said...

I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand how almost anyone can sell patterns anymore becuase to me it's all been around so long and like you said. How can you copyright a 9 patch? But your pattern has the trademark look of the black and white 4 patches and well...she pretty much copied it right out from the web site. If you notice she took down the picture, but Tobacco Road is still there and it's the SAME quilt! Now she also has the pattern called Barn Yard Gathering Quilt and it's just IDENTICAL to your second Leader & Enders red&creme 9 patches with the chrome yellow squares that alternates. Just Identical without the borders!

The Flying Goose?? It's just flying Geese for heavens sake!! Heck she even made my 9 patches with bars between that I made!!

Get a lawyer to write you a few letters. Cease and desist would do it because I can't see how any of her patterns are really HER patterns, especially with that strong language. But then again the same thing goes for the lady Patti mentioned...the Marmalade quilt is totally yours..right down to the B&W 4 patches.

Did you register the copyright? I always heard that just saying copyright didn't get you an actual copyright. Did she mention if she copyrighted hers?

Judy said...

If you look at her old pattern page she's "copyrighted" the goose and gander block, Jacobs ladder and a bunch others that I thought had been around for ages? Hummmm maybe I should start a pattern business?

No this just is way too weird.

Leah S said...

I just noticed that she has a blog:
http://sewuniquecreations.blogspot.com/

It'll be interesting to see if she tries to post her side of the story on it.

And is anybody seeing the irony of her "sewUNIQUEcreations"? Yeah, really unique and new on the block!

Jeri said...

you know, she still has this pattern for sale. scroll down, she calls it Tobacco Road.

also checked her blog. she's apparently submitted some work to a magazine and they accepted three pieces - wonder whose they really are?

Bonnie, I am sorry for what this creep is doing to you. Please know that the quilting world is in your corner.

Jeanne said...

Hey Bonnie:

Too bad everyone can't "Play well with others" Hopefully she realizes she has done something wrong and rectifies the situation soon. Thanks for sharing and being so creative, makes me strive for more in my own work. Hopefully everything works out for the best for you. And you know the old saying "What goes around, comes around" Hope that holds true here.