it is with a heavy heart that I find myself, once again, in the position to have to write about something I would rather have never discovered because it never happened. but it did happen, and I did find out about it, so what should I do, now that I find myself with something extremely bothering in my hands?
should I keep it for myself and let it go, pretending it never happened? or should I tell everyone and let the world decide what to do with a stitcher that has been stealing other people’s work?
yep, that’s what I’m talking about, and although it (sadly) happens every day, it doesn’t happen every day that said stitcher has crossed paths with me.
what would you do if you found out that one of your needlework acquaintances has been uploading and downloading the charts for the WIPs you see online in vlogs and IG/FB posts?
and how would you prove it without giving away how designers catch these people in the first place, that’s the tricky part.
the easy thing to do is to block said person from social media, remove all that links you two – but what about other people? those who don’t have needlework designers as friends tipping them off regarding this and that in their life? should they still follow this person, listen to the vlogs and talks and believe all the rubbish about being an honest stitcher?
and what about designers? should they still sell to this person without a clue their work will end up uploaded on a server hundreds of miles away from here, losing them income and dignity?
and again, how do you prove to people that this stitcher has obtained the charts of several WIPs illegally without giving away how they managed to catch the thievery?
you can’t really teach these guys new tricks now, can you? it would be counterproductive to say the least.
yet it would be very unfair to ask people to just believe my word when I say that I crossed paths with someone very nasty in the past months and that never in my life I want to see this person near me, ever again.
I don’t want nothing of the sort in my circles, on my YouTube subscriptions, in my Instagram feed, I don’t want to see anything like this near the alphabet club and my stitch enigmae ever again.
I really don’t know what to say about and to people who steal from others, apart from the fact that I despise their actions and will keep them as far away from me as I can possibly can. I would expect the same from anyone else who’s a needlework fan and enthusiast.
so, what can I really do? what can all honest stitchers really do about this situation that, no matter how you look at it, is affecting this business so heavily?
who else do we need to see shut down before we actually do something about it apart from honestly purchasing what we stitch?
and then it came to me. a very small, tiny thought. nothing compared to the masses of figures the illegal downloads get every day, but it is a start, and the very least I could think of. it’s something a designer asked me some months ago, when I was working on SODA’s Alice. Jung Sunny asked me to post my WIP updates on Facebook with the original chart next to it.
at first I thought but I don’t stitch with the original next to me, my cat sleeps and walks on my working copies all the time, if I used the original I would have it all bent and crushed in less than an hour! I keep it safe in my WIP basket or in a project bag and I’m a tad too lazy to take it out for shots all the time. but with time that thought stayed with me, ringing in my ear, because to be perfectly honest she had a very good point.
if I’m not too lazy to take blurry WIP updates in the dark or at a weird angle, if I can get up and take a decent shot under good daylight, if I can add watermarks and make a montage of my stitching so that people don’t use it to stitch stuff they didn’t pay for, if I can make time to do all this I can bother to take out the original from the basket, can’t I?
and I can do my best to turn this into a trend too, with a handy hashtag that people can use to raise awareness of their approach to needlework and ethics and everything. don’t ask a philosophy student to separate her interests and beliefs as if they were compartments sealed hermetically. it won’t work.
so long story short, here it is:
it’s the name of the Facebook Group I founded about a year ago, again, to raise awareness of these issues and hopefully make people understand this is a big BIG issue and everyone’s involved no matter if you came across someone like this or not.
if you like to stitch, knit, crochet, etc. you NEED to support the designer that worked on that pattern so that you could enjoy it (for a very reasonable price I might add). if you don’t give them the money they deserve for that work they won’t keep doing it. it’s painstakingly simple. in Italian we say it’s so obvious it’s lapalissiano.
so there you go, next time you post a WIP update take out the original copy as well, and if you use social media add the hashtag #realstitchersdontsteal
do it as frequently as you like, there’s no rule or restriction, as long as we start showing we do care about the future of this business very very much.
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but what about digital files you bought legally? take my current WIP for instance, the HP Sampler I bought from Cloudsfactory almost a year ago as a PDF, I don’t have anything physical but my working copies for that one.. well, technically it’s not true. I do have a very interesting bit of info: the date and order number.
I have piles of emails confirming my purchases from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and many other designers that sell their patterns as PDF.
if posting our updates next to evidence of our purchase turned out to be a habit, a designer might be able to tell if you’re a reliable stitcher who will keep what she bought for herself or not. and we might be able to discern if those we’re getting to know are honest stitchers or people pretending to be. or course, I can see the limits and faults in this plan (give me a lock and I’ll show you a way to pick it) but take it for what it is more than anything else: a form of protest against this sort of people and their actions.
you see, if stitchers all over the world STOPPED uploading their charts illegally this madness would cease to exist. but don’t even get me started on this, or I’ll risk catching fire again.
I took these shots before receiving notification from PayPal that PayPal unique transaction IDs (not our email addresses, of course) shouldn’t be shared with any other than the seller – I don’t reckon it would get needleworkers into any trouble, yet better be safe and add only informations that are 100% safe for us and 100% traceable for designers anyways: the date of your purchase and the order number.
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have many happy xxx
and remember to take my warning very carefully: I do not condone or oversee these things, so if this is what you’re into, please, the door’s right there.