Tag Archives: copyright


I’ve said that I’m anti-copyright, let me explain further why.

I see copyright as an invisible barrier between myself and the viewer of my art and writing. I think art and writing need fewer barriers. I like to think that my writing and art have a relationship with the viewer and when you start a relationship off with a bunch of legal disclaimers, it’s off to the wrong start.

That being said I don’t want people to use my art for just any purpose, I want to have control over who uses it, after all I wouldn’t want to see a a group I dislike using my work. But I really want to see you be able to share if you like something. All I ask is a link back. It's why the blog and my art is licensed under Creative Commons, link is to the left of the screen to provide more information. This allows people to share my work as long as they are not for profit and they provide attribution.

Copyright is designed to protect big companies (the man) and intellectuals from the average person using their stuff. Sadly, it doesn’t do as good a job protecting the average person from big companies snagging their stuff, after all check out the blog You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice. It's a whole site about bigger companies lifting the designs of smaller designers and artists. In some cases the design is a line for line lift, in others it's changed just enough to avoid legal issues*.

I used to be ALL ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT. Remember the woman who bought my journals, only to swipe my design so she could teach it? Or my penslips and the myriad of crafters who thought it would be OK if they made them and sold them? (I now encourage people to take my design and make and sell them, open source crafting.) Or the term I should have trademarked, Jotters?

My initial reaction was that I was pissed off that people would have the gall to take someone else’s design and remake it, stitch for stitch and then sell it, thinking it wouldn’t be noticed. Then I realized, this is the price of doing business, online and offline. (Please note, I’m not saying this is right. It’s still very very wrong.) Crafters and artists have been fighting this fight since, well, probably the dawn of time. I’ve read about people going to craft fairs and snapping pictures of items and then grilling the crafter about how the item was made.

The whole thing is just rude.

I feel like copyright is for “the man” with deep pockets. It doesn’t cost a lot to copyright your work, but as I said previously if I registered for copyright on everything I produce or posted online, I’d soon be broke. Really, what would I have? Other than a bunch of art with a barrier between it and the viewer? Money shouldn’t preclude protection from being ripped off.

I know now that when I post something that I’ve made online that I stand about a 50% chance of having it ripped off by a crafter somewhere.

It’s why I’ve taken the tack of throwing on here all my process shots. If I make something, well, screw the people who want to steal the design and then sell it. No, I’d rather see my readers make it themselves. If you aren’t going to buy an original from me, well make your own.

A friend pointed out to me that the best protection to being ripped off is to be so uniquely you that when you are ripped off it is blatantly apparent.

I am also not a proponent of the idea that everything on the internet is free. There should be respect.

*This is a whole other issue, when designers/artists/authors who understand copyright enough to manipulate what they use just enough that they aren't infringing on the other person's copyright and they can then avoid legal consequences. They can then hide behind the phrase, "ideas can't be copywritten."

Pics and Copyright

I think about copyright a lot. Usually in terms of copy “wrong.” You know when someone does the wrong thing with someone’s images, design or workshop materials.

Quite a few years back I was at a craft fair and I had already bought a ton of stuff when I got to a booth with the most amazing lamps. The seller was chatting up some people while my friend and I looked at the lamps. They had her photography on the shades. Each shade was one of a kind and totally unique. They were amazing. When she finally turned her attention to my friend and I, she made a face, and said in her most condescending voice, “Can I help you.” Now she judged me on my appearance, I had hot pink hair at the time and was dressed, well, not particularly well, but I’d saved my pennies before that trip and could have afforded one of her lamps had I wanted one.

Her attitude toward me was not nice, but before I could realize she was being a jerk I exclaimed that I felt the lamps were really cool, very interesting to look at and I bet they cast the best shadows. She melted a bit, but then I said “How’d ya do it? Won’t that plastic melt?” Which I really meant as “it’s really super cool” not as a “tell me your secrets so I can rip you off.”

She took it the wrong way and she went even colder, but explained it was mylar and wouldn’t melt.(We could debate that, but his isn’t about that.)

I made a mistake and she’d pre-judged me anyway the whole thing went pear shaped from there. I walked out feeling awful. I have a thing about people stealing other people’s craft designs, and don’t do it. While I was young back then (it was over 14 years ago that this occurred) I still had a firm policy of never ripping people off.

What brought this up in my head was this article over on CreateMIxedMedia by Rice. It got me thinking. I rarely use photos in my art journals but the other day was looking for texture inspiration and realized I should be shooting more photos. So I started to throw my point and shoot camera in my bag and started to snap more pics. Here are a few:


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