Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"I didn't know the site contains copyright violations"

We have put together a short summary to try to assist people in what to avoid on forums or web sites as we have received comments recently from people using Chinese sites saying they didn't know the charts are illegal copies. It is a non-exhaustive pointer guide. The countries specified are examples as obviously not all sites from these countries are violating copyrights but unfortunately the worst sites are found on their servers & takedown requests are often totally ignored.
Mainly it is common sense but sometimes it can be hard to tell which is why we recommend anyone in doubt to ask either a designer, a specialized forum or the Association.
This is a basis for educating and debate on the subject, as most of our posts are.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

If it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

Designers make their living by SELLING their designs. Some even have 2 jobs because they make such a small income from designing that it isn't enough to live on.

So you stumble across a forum where you find all kinds of charts, which appear to be free for "gold coins", or "diamonds", or "points" all of which you can earn just by posting to the site. Let's apply a little common sense here. 



Do you really think that designers who are struggling to make a living would give their designs away for free on a website not of their own making  just because you make a few posts saying "thank you"?  
Not only that, but they scanned it in, sometimes in really crappy quality too!! And they did that all for you so that you don't have to pay for the design because you were smart enough to stumble across this forum, but their regular customers, they have to pay because they were too stupid to find it.
Do you really think that designers get royalties or income from sites run by a team of unidentified users, with innocuous e-mails or Chinese site owners? That the actual REAL MONEY you have paid will go to the designers who have worked so hard on their products?

Are you really that stupid or were you dropped on your head as a child?

Sometimes we just have to shake our heads.
Here are a few things NOT to do when you've been caught uploading or downloading illegal charts.

1. After receiving a cease and desist notice, it's probably not a good idea to immediately run to the illegal website in question and log into your account.

2. Denying that you have an account on that site while replying to us from an email address that is registered on that site is like posting on your Facebook wall that you don't have a Facebook account.

3. While denying that the account in question is yours, it's probably a bad idea to log into the site and ask for help deleting that same account just seconds after claiming that you didn't even know the site exists.

4. Log into the site to change your username. While it's really entertaining seeing what new names you come up with, it's pretty pointless. We can still see you. Even you (username 1) formerly known as (username 2). We won't say your real name here Lynne, but here's a tip - waiting ten days after receiving your cease and desist letter, then changing your name and continuing  your illegal activity did not throw us off your trail, it just turned the possible charges from "copyright infringement" to "willful repeated copyright infringement" and increased the penalties by about tenfold.

5. Join designers' groups to show off your WIP pictures that you created with your illegal charts. While stealing from us pisses us off, stealing from us and then sucking up to us at the same time infuriates us. If you ever wanted to get publicly outed, named and shamed, this is probably the best way to do it.

6. Don't act all surprised and shocked when designers refuse to sell you stuff. If you've been caught, here's the reality – an alert has been sent to every designer in our organization. If you apologize and reform, then that may change down the road, but it isn't going to happen overnight.

And what’s the best one?

7. Claiming you were hacked is like the lamest excuse in the history of excuses. At what point were you hacked? 2 years ago when the account was created? Or each and every single time that it was logged into since it was created? Or just now when you logged in freaking out because you realized we could see what you've been up to? How many of the 400 hours you were logged into that illegal site were you and how many were the hacker? And really, who hates you so much that they would risk ten years in prison for hacking just to make you look bad by downloading cross stitch charts in your name? Seriously, someone hates you enough to hack your email account (because they'd have to register on one of those sites with it) and the worst thing they can think of to do is create an account on an illegal cross stitch forum? Not get your banking details? Or your credit card information? If you're claiming this, either you think we're incredibly stupid, or you're incredibly stupid. We'll give you a hint: it's the latter.

And for bonus points... trying to sound smarter than you really are is just silly, especially when it results in phrases like "false allocations". Please stop doing this; it simply serves to provide entertainment to our investigators.
Actually, no. Please continue doing this. It just confirms the pitiful level of your intelligence.

Here is what you should do if you receive a Cease and Desist notice.

1. Stop logging into the illegal websites and stop uploading and downloading charts. The entire world can see when you last used your account and when you are online.

2. Apologize, admit you screwed up and stop doing it.

3. Delete all the stuff you downloaded illegally. We know it's painful, all those hours of celebrating how clever you were to find all that stuff that all those suckers out there had to pay for but if you really want to reform and change your ways, that's the best thing you could do. And if you're already stitching it, buy the chart.

Receiving information that your internet or even personal acquaintances are uploading and downloading is frustrating, annoying & sometimes even downright sickening, but we know that what we’re doing for our designers will hopefully give them the strength to fight for their Intellectual Property and not simply give in to the thieves.

Monday, July 6, 2015

An interesting defintion of borrowing



How do you explain to your children not to take something that is not theirs? It appears not to be part of some peoples education.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Understand the consequences



How can we make someone who violates copyright that their actions are not without consequence?

Does it give you pleasure to know you have made a world famous designer cry today? 

That you have taken her artistic abilities & reduced them to nothing by stealing her images and designs, to give them out for free to anyone who wants it, so that the design is no longer marketable? That the design she has spent hours, weeks or even months to design is being distributed by people who have no respect for her talent, whilst congratulating themselves on their “skill” in reproducing that design?

Thousands of hours are spent trying to protect our designers Intellectual Property. Only THEY have the right to decide how that design should be distributed. Not you – someone who has probably downloaded software illegally to copy the designs, not you – someone who thinks nothing of the work, time, money & effort that has gone into the production of a design, not you – who considers herself talented because she has COPIED someone elses artwork.

Is this how you bring up your children, that taking something that does not belong you is fun? To have them in the playground saying “granny* is a thief” (*Mummy, Daddy, Granny, Grandpa).
Do you teach them to go into shops and take things off the shelf, put them in their pockets and walk away without paying? And justify your behaviour because the person in the aisle next to you did so?

When a designer and their assistants have to spend hours policing websites, that designer cannot concentrate on her creativity. Honest fans are insulted and upset to know their favourite designer is treated in such a disrespectful manner. An honest stitcher who has bought a chart or kit legally can hold her head high and stitch that design with pleasure & pride.

Designers have to spend many hours reporting violations on websites who make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have illegal copies of their work removed.

Does it give you pleasure to know you are contributing to the destruction of the needlework industry? Designers are forced out of designing as they can no longer pay their bills. They have to get a “real job”. The world is losing these talented peoples contribution to the needlework industry. Magazines, publishers, shops are closing.

Help us stop the thieves. If you know someone who copies & distributes designs, say 
NO. This is illegal, disrespectful and criminal.” 

Support your designers. Buy designs legally so that we can carry on designing without the continual burden of theft.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How do you understand the mindset of thieves?



2 Dutch women have been violating needlework designs for years, despite numerous legal warnings.
Diana Wiersma & Desiree Onnekink Griffioen run a club in which they continually distribute illegal copies of needlework designs. Dees also assists in running a notorious Chinese site.

Having reported illegal copies for removal for the umpteenth time, which continually takes up huge resources from our operatives, causing enormous distress to the designers concerned without even going into the financial losses caused by such nauseating behaviour, here are a few snippets from their latest conversation which shows the mindset of these women who are incapable of understanding that they are THIEVES.
Thanking themselves for “sharing” thousands of illegal copies, upset that their “work” should be undermined and trying to decide how to set up a new club to continue their activities.
Yes, Diana & Dees, Big Brother is watching you … it’s a shame you can’t find something legal to do instead of stealing from others.
We do not believe such specimens should be allowed the honour of sewing our designs, nor to participate in designers groups.
* * *
… Meanwhile, the second sleepless night .... and we are not yet out how to proceed.
The club still exists, as you see, but ..... there is nothing more.
I have all the "content" as the club master calls it removed.
In other words .... every "movement" that I make on clubs, is followed closely.
That feels very nasty .... "Big brother is watching me" ... it does not feel safe anymore, as if my freedom is taken away.
I have consulted with Desiree and we are not giving up yet.
I am in any case completely gutted, feel helpless and sad, because yes .... this club is really my passion and my life.

So we are still some time to find a solution ..... so today as no weekend pictures.

In any case, I want to thank everyone who through club mail, mail, or here in the forum has given a helping hand, it does really well and really makes us feel that our "work" is really appreciated. THANKS all !!!