Copyright is a big deal. It’s one we don’t address often enough. We know the difference between right and wrong. We know what we should and shouldn’t do. But sometimes we think, “Oh, I’m just sharing this stitch guide/beadwork pattern with my friend. It doesn’t hurt anyone.”
It does have an impact. Even sharing just one pattern/guide has an impact. It hurts the person who wrote the guide and ultimately it affects how products are priced in the market.
I do what I do because I love it yes, but also because it provides for me, my family and my four-legged creatures. It’s my job, my livelihood, something I am good at.
Most of what I do is no secret. It’s simply pretty threads on a pretty canvas in a pretty combination.
But then, there is what I sell; the documentation of those pretties. Hours and days go into documenting what I do and how I do it, so that you can follow along. Let’s not even get into the cost of the state of the art computers and the monthly licensing fees for the software that allow me to make the document that you will follow. There are the photographers who get paid to photograph the pieces when I don’t and the web programers who created the website where all this pretty stuff is sold. There are expenses and overhead.
See where I am going. There’s lots of behind the scenes stuff that boils down to a very small profit margin only when we sell multiples of a stitch guide.
There are many other designers and authors like me both in needlepoint and beadwork. We all work quite hard hopefully bringing joy to your corner of the world.
The documents that we create, print and sell are copyrighted. Which simply means that you can’t copy it and resell it. You also can’t run a class or stitching party with only one guide purchased for the group.
What?! You are aghast! People would do that?!!! Yes, there are people who will do that. It is sad. They are out there, making copies of various stitch guides and selling them over and over on ebay. We see it all the time. We have friends that look out for us and we see it. It’s not hard to see how many times one item has been sold by the same seller. There are people who will order a stitch guide and then their friends order the same canvas but no guide or threads. They are stitching together and sharing a guide. Do they even realize that it is unfair to the designers that wrote the guide?
There’s not really much we as designers can do about all of this except request that you honor the system and don’t share guides and patterns. With your help we can continue to do what we do.