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March 22, 2012

Sad News

Maybe some of you have heard the news already but I wanted to say a few words myself. . . . . . .the needlework magazine, "The Gift of Stitching" is going out of publication.  I had the privilege of being asked to contribute designs on two different occasions to this magazine.  It was, and is, a gorgeous publication.

I know Kirsten and the struggle she has endured publishing an e-magazine.  Each issue was very sought-after on the copyright infringing web sites.  I applaud her for fighting it as long as she did.

Have you ever heard that "sharing" a chart doesn't hurt anyone?  That needlework designers/publications can "afford" to lose the money via a few downloads?  Sharing does hurt and no, no one can afford the financial loss when it is multiplied so many times over.

I personally know stitchers who were once infringers.  Many people have recognized the harm they were doing and quit sharing and downloading.  However we have a long way to go if we're going to save this industry from a certain death.  Maybe it won't happen today or tomorrow but it will happen if all stitchers don't take responsibility and stop illegally sharing their charts.

I love designing but I too get discouraged when I see new charts downloaded hundreds of times.  To say I haven't thought of giving up would be a lie.  I'm sharing this to make a point. . . . . . . .many designers are on the verge of giving up the fight due to loss of income and respect for their hard work and I don't blame them.  Needlework is an industry like any other.  It takes money to keep it going.  Once the money is gone, so is the career and it's time to move on.

Thank you to every person who drove two hours to buy a chart, stitched it or stashed it and then bought another!  Thank you to those of you who gave away your original charts to friends rather than making copies for them.  And thank you for speaking up and telling your stitching friends NO when they asked for a copy of the chart you paid for with your hard earned money.  I am an optimist and I'd still like to believe we can turn this around and keep our designers and publications.

Thank you Kirsten for all you did for the industry by providing us with a beautiful, educational needlework publication.  You will be missed.

Diane



39 comments:

  1. I am very interested in hearing your opinion on the "sharing" of copies (not originals) of OoP patterns.

    Not things where there is a momentary shortage after the first print runs out, but works which are years OoP by still-active designers and publications from long out-of-business designers.

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  2. That is to say, clearly it is a legal wrong as presumably the IP is still the property of someone, but do you consider it a MORAL wrong?

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  3. Well said. I do not make copies for what I paid for...I deal with a stitch group and there have been times someone has asked me for a copy and I have said I cannot. A few have given me the "cold shoulder" and so be it! I am one who appreciates the time and creative energy you as a designer has put into a pattern. Thank you.

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  4. Berit. . . "Out of Print" does not mean out of copyright. To stay within the law you must find the chart from a secondary source like Ebay. Copying an out of print chart is illegal. With so many new and wonderful charts being produced. . . . don't look at what you can't have, look at the mountains of charts you can have! :)

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  5. Berit. . . . .I will only speak to the legal aspect of the situation. Each person must decide for themselves how they feel about abiding by the law or disregarding it.

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  6. Well said! Thank you for expanding your comments to this aspect of the issue. :)

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  7. I could not agree with you more Diane.

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  8. Like Gracie, I have also received the cold shoulder when I have said no to sharing a copy. Too many times in the past year I have heard of stitching shops closing up and liquidating their inventory. I was shocked that our own LNS in the capital of Canada could no longer sustain itself.
    I was so saddened to learn about Kristen and TGoS but understood completely.
    I'm with you on this one.

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  9. Gracie and Lynn. . . . that must have been hard to endure. But know this, true friends would never turn a cold shoulder to you. :)

    I think it's good to talk about this now and again and give everyone an opportunity to voice frustrations like you both did.

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  10. This is very sad. It has been so hard to see so many shops and designers quit the business over the past several years. I have loaned an original chart out before (usually something out of print that someone wanted to borrow) but have never made or used illegal copies. I've alson never given or loaned anything out from a class I've taken as I know many of the designers depend on income from teaching classes. I cherish all the patterns that I could never create myself and am thankful for all the talented designers. I spend quite a lot of money annually on my hobbies of stitching & quilting and want to keep everybody in business so I can keep on stashing! I hope the people who abuse the copyrights wake up and pay attention to these issues.

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  11. Dear Diane,
    In one hand, i totally agree and understand your feelings. In the other hand, you should never forget that there is people who just can not only afford it but also have no access to see or know the new designs. My friends and I made a site in order to increase people awareness about what is new. Our mission is to introduce people with the designers and help them to fall in love with this hobby but it won't succeed unless the designers also cooperate with us. I know it's hard in the beginning, many of people will just download your designs but we try to do all in our hands to make people know where to find, buy and to be able to reach the designs. Moreover, when we open up theme about particular designer, we do competitions so people can win of his/her designs - to be honest in this level we don't ask people where they did find the patterns - but we make sure that more and more people will appreciate and notice the difference between skan and publicated pattern.
    If you are interested and I could have convinced you, we could open up the theme about your works, you will choose the best work and I will buy one of yours pattern with all materials as a prize for the winner.
    In this way, step by step we will increase the market need in this field and as a result suppliers will do everything to satisfy market need as in my country Russia this field in not good and not everyone can buy from outside the country.

    Elena.

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  12. I couldn't have said it any better!

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  13. Thanks for this post, Diane.

    Would you mind answering a question I have about passing charts on. I know, as you said, when you have finished a chart, I can give the chart away. What is your opinion on a "traveling" chart? One that is passed on to a person, who agrees to pass it on to another person when she has stitched the design. In this instance, I'm not talking about copying a chart, but passing on the original chart from one stitcher to another (I'm currently participate in one such "traveling stitcherhood".)

    It is my understanding that it doesn't break any copyright laws, but I read recently that designers don't appreciate it, because it apparently takes away from their potential income, because those people don't go out and buy the chart themselves.

    What are your thoughts?

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  14. Elena. . . . I cannot afford many things in life but it does not make it acceptable to steal what I cannot pay for. We are talking about needlework, not food, clothing, or the essentials of life. People who infringe need to step into the shoes of the person they are stealing from and ask one simple question. . . . . . ."would I want this done to me?" Not one single person would say they would yet they have no problem treating others in this way. It's the Golden Rule. . . . . Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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    1. Maybe the problem is that my english is not very good , you had understood me in the wrong way .I dont stand on the internet pirates side! I am on the other side.
      In our forum we dont copyright the illegal patterns! The problem is that sometimes in our russian's handcrafts shop we cant even buy a DMC threads.
      In our forum we give the people information about internet shops, we tell them about the materials and we give them the direct internet adresses.
      Every month we tell them about one designer and make a stiching from his/her designes. In this moment i cant garanty that all of them bought a patterns, but i can garanty that in this six monthes more than 20 people opened for themselves new names and started to buy patterns from the internet shops, not by downloading.
      We do some competions between stiching works and the winner always gets original pattern or kit, that my friends and me buy from our own money because we realy love cross stich and we want to make our forum intresting and lively .

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  15. Great post, Diane. It's hard not to feel discouraged about all the theft going on...

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  16. Susan. . . .it is perfectly legal. It's not that we don't appreciate it, it's just that if that became the "norm" so to speak, it too would put us out of business. What we have to remember here is that this is our livelihood, our job, our means by which we pay mortgages, utilities and so on.

    I have no problem with sharing charts (like passing on books and movies) but please understand that the practice of doing this combined with the illegal activity is sinking many ships. Our industry is much smaller than the movie and book industry and we have felt the sting in a much larger way.

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    1. Thanks for the clarification, Diane. Yes, I can understand that it would cost you if it does become the "norm". In the traveling stitcherhood that I mention, this is the first time I've participated, and it was a chart I would never have purchased, but I enjoyed participating in the camaraderie that the traveling of the chart brought about.

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    2. I just wanted to add a bit here about a traveling stitcherhood I participated in. The design was a freebie design given to shops to distribute to people who purchased linens, charts, etc from their shop. I think(hope!) this is okay because it was a freebie given by the designer to be distributed. The original has been traveling and I really enjoyed stitching it and have been thinking about purchasing some of the charts from that designer. So in this case, isn't a freebie traveling pattern a good thing?

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  17. Anyway, I never share the patterns that I bought!
    Elena

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  18. Thank you for this reminder Diane. I too am going to miss Gift of Stitching magazine. I've seen a couple of very negative posts against Kirsten on her Yahoo Group since this announcement - mostly because they feel like she's leaving them in the lurch. It saddens me greatly that they just "don't get it"; they chose to close their eyes to this huge piracy issue and think that she's just doing it to "scam" them out of their money.

    I hope the industry is able to get through this huge, huge problem; but I know it won't be easy.

    Keep up the good fight as long as you can. I love the designs you have done to date!

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  19. Diane, I can just say "AMEN" !! I will miss TGOS magazine.

    I'm tired of getting emails from people asking me to "share with them" the beautiful designs that they see I have done via my blog. I always say NO and give them a link to an online LNS where they can buy it, and always get very nasty replies.

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  20. Diane as a strugglind designer, I really appreciate yur comments. What started as a hobby, has had to become my livlihood due to illness, but, quite honestly, I dont know if I can make it work. If people want things for free, there are plenty of sites that have free charts, which is also diffiulct to compete against, although, these do not infringe copyright

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  21. Diane,

    Thank you for such a well-said post about the piracy situation which continues to steadily worsen. Do the culprits truly realize the effect their illegal actions are having on so many?

    I plan to also address the problem on my blog and want to reference your blog.

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  22. Yes i am also worried about the future of cross stitch designers and my favourite online stitch stores. This is my passion, my hobbie, i value the designs i buy and treasure the stitched result. I choose not to be tempted by illegal downloads - i want to see the needlework industry not only survive but thrive! I pray that people participating in the illegal uploading and downloading of charts will come to see the damaging effect they are causing to the industry and the designers themselves whom they claim to love.
    take care and god bless.

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  23. Anonymous5:46 AM

    I will greatly miss TGOS as I've been a subscriber since day one. I watched as Kristin had children, struggled with computer gremlins and moved to another country and feel as if she's part of my family and she doesn't even know who I am. I also raised three children, so I know well she's working two fulltime jobs and probably not getting enough from one to justify the time it takes away from the other. Decisions like this are hard made as are probably half off discounts and what designs to publish so my heart goes out to her. I don't stitch much anymore, but have a lifetime supply of stash I have been weeding for a few years. I don't buy charts or fabrics anymore, just TGOS and SANQ. I feel for those on both sides of this hobby in this economy, its tough out there for many families. I also feel for those in countries where they have little to no access to supplies they desperately crave. (simaqsous please contact me, I bought out the DMC at my WalMart when they stopped carrying it and will gladly send it to you). I'm also on Pinterest and amazed at the quality of the free designs I repin. Nothing like those I stitched in the old days. Designers have a job to educate stitchers in more ways than how to stitch a chart, Diane always does it well.
    Stitch on
    Adana
    amberseeker.blogspot.com
    (adana69 at Yahoo dot com)

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  24. Anonymous8:42 PM

    Hi Diane, you, and other designers, have every right to be angry by this outrageous insult and I, for one, don't mind a bit that you 'cry' on our shoulders.

    I am a member of an online trading site here in NZ and I have purchased from 1 trader who posted photos of an original pattern but then sent me photocopies, needless to say, I, and others, do not buy from them anymore.

    However, I have never seen any of your designs, or designs from others mentioned in your blog but if I do, you and other designers can be assured I will report the sellers to the auction site owners.

    I have also shared this on With My Needle.

    Regards,

    Marian (NZ)

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  25. Anonymous8:44 PM

    BTW, I meant to say the photocopied pattern I received was not one of your works. I have seen a couple of your original charts for sale, and stopped bidding when the price stepped over the NZD40.oo mark as I knew I could buy my own from my LNS.

    Marian (NZ)

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  26. I live about 1 hour south of Brisbane (Queensland-Australia). In the last 2 years, I have seen at least 4 of my favourite needlework/craft shops close it doors. I now have only 1 store that is near me, and that is still an hour away. If this store was to close, I would have to order online,or drive to Sydney, to get your patterns, and buy hand-dyed threads and linens.
    So to others- If you continue to rip off your favourite cross stitch designer, by downloading from the internet or copying from friends, not only are you taking money from them, but you are forcing your needlework store to close its doors. So save up your pennies, and buy an original copy- Don't download rubbish!!!. It will be worth the wait.

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  27. Diane,

    You mentioned "I had the privilege of being asked to contribute designs on two different occasions to this magazine". I remember the Bee pinkeep from January 2007, but what was the other design? I love your designs and have all that you've published. I would hate to think there is one out there I missed!

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  28. Anne . . . . traveling patterns are fine (legal) whether they were originally paid for or were a gift from a designer as long as the designer allows photocopying.

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  29. I was also very sad when I received Kirsten's letter. I will miss the magazine very much and I am a supporter of upholding copyright laws on anything, be it stitching ,music etcI just wonder how it can be stopped..will it be at end when gifted designers and the publishers of their works can no longer take the strain of this pirating. I truly hope not.

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  30. Hi Diane, it's truly a shame that there are stitchers who try to get something for nothing. If having a chart is that important, find a LEGAL way to get it. Perhaps giving up Starbucks for a week...that would buy a few patterns! After reading your post, I did a search and sadly some of my patterns are out in cyberspace for free. But I have WAY too many design ideas to throw in the towel. For any pattern poachers out there, may your floss always be in endless knots!
    Take care,
    Diane from Silver Creek Samplers

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    1. I agree with you Diane. All it takes is giving up something small in our everyday lives in order to afford our patterns, supplies etc. When I go to buy extra treats like coffee, lunch in a cafe,etc, I just think about what else I can buy with that money- Cross stitching/embroidery always wins out!!!.
      By-the-by- I love that saying 'May your floss always be in endless knots'- might make a cute sampler!!!.

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  31. As you already know Diane I am with you and the industry on this topic. I've posted many essays about this issue. I've done catalagues of different sites, on my own time, so I could provide accurate lists of all stolen designs to each designer via email rather than 1 email per design. Sadly, piracy continues to grow and the people doing it continue to justify it to themselves as not causing harm. I don't understand how they can continue to believe it isn't harming the industry when designers, magazines, and stores go out of business and tell people it happened as a result of copyright infringement. People are nasty. :(

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  32. Diane, I'm so proud of you for keeping the copyright issue alive and well for the benefit of designers and publishers of their designs. To hear that The Gift of Stitching is discontinuing publication of the problem sickens me because it's such a beautiful magazine and because it was so obvious the heart and soul that went into it.

    Copyright has become such a hot topic on Yahoo groups that on some, I've seen it hushed by moderators as there is such heated points of view. I consider this a good thing because it shows an awakening and a source of knowledge about the laws. As much as I feel I DO know, there are many points that can be confusing, and to keep the subject in the forefront can only serve to educate and make aware. We stitchers, partly because of the Internet and partly because of publications, come to personally know and love our designers and deserve to know the laws and the consequences that breaking them have on our own lives.

    As I grow older with my stitching friends and hope to be able to continue stitching, with an ever-growing number of gadgets to aid in aging eyes and hands, it's my hope to see younger people join in our ranks to keep the industry alive and growing. That can only happen if we stitchers are educated by our designers, like you and others, Diane, and pass it onto the younger who follow. It would be nice to think that working together will keep the industry alive and well and that young, budding designers will have a chance to reach their potential.

    I'm to the point now where I shred working copies when finished with them and will pass on a traveling pattern and buy my own just because it's less trouble than shipping it around and keeps my designer in lunch money. But that's just me because I'm a little quirky ;-)

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  33. Diane, I'm so proud of you for keeping the copyright issue alive and well for the benefit of designers and publishers of their designs. To hear that The Gift of Stitching is discontinuing publication of the problem sickens me because it's such a beautiful magazine and because it was so obvious the heart and soul that went into it.

    Copyright has become such a hot topic on Yahoo groups that on some, I've seen it hushed by moderators as there is such heated points of view. I consider this a good thing because it shows an awakening and a source of knowledge about the laws. As much as I feel I DO know, there are many points that can be confusing, and to keep the subject in the forefront can only serve to educate and make aware. We stitchers, partly because of the Internet and partly because of publications, come to personally know and love our designers and deserve to know the laws and the consequences that breaking them have on our own lives.

    As I grow older with my stitching friends and hope to be able to continue stitching, with an ever-growing number of gadgets to aid in aging eyes and hands, it's my hope to see younger people join in our ranks to keep the industry alive and growing. That can only happen if we stitchers are educated by our designers, like you and others, Diane, and pass it onto the younger who follow. It would be nice to think that working together will keep the industry alive and well and that young, budding designers will have a chance to reach their potential.

    I'm to the point now where I shred working copies when finished with them and will pass on a traveling pattern and buy my own just because it's less trouble than shipping it around and keeps my designer in lunch money. But that's just me because I'm a little quirky ;-)

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  34. Anonymous9:06 AM

    When it comes to out of print books, it is legal to photocopy 10% or one chapter. Photocopying 10% of a pattern would be interesting. This is not a practice that I indulge in. I photocopy my pattern because I tend to fold the pattern as I stitch and the continuous folding and unfolding obliterates the markings on the pattern so the original is required. I NEVER photocopy for anyone other than myself and don't ask others to copy designs for me. I do ask them where they got the pattern from then buy it for myself when I can afford it.
    Why is it that so many people want something that someone spent a lot of time devising for nothing?

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  35. Diane Dear - What is the LNS link that will get me results? I have
    keyed in the few you note on your website and each came up with a blank
    stare or could not be located. I am in middle Tennessee outside Nashville and am endeavoring to obtain the Sheep/Virtue series.
    As to the copying of patterns, a no-no in my book and all needlewomen
    should be aware they bite the hand that feeds them glorious designs when
    they put one into the copy machine. The demise of the Gift of Stitching
    is sad, indeed.
    Mary

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Thank you so much for taking time from your day to drop me a line or two!

Diane