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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Wrinkle To Copyright: A Rant

I wrote a blog post about copyright infringement on September 30, 2008 as a follow up to one I had written regarding my experiences with reporting a site that engaged in blatant copyright infringement of needlework charts (on May 5, 2008). Coincidentally on one of the groups I participate in a woman posted (on Oct. 5, 2008) that she clearly violates copyright by copying charts for designs that she wants and will continue to do so no matter what. (She had asked for a copy of a chart someone had used to make a square, and was told no because it violates copyright. She sent private email to this person and was extremely rude and abusive.) She also insisted that it is not illegal for her to borrow hardcover (copyright protected) books from the library, and copy the charts out of them for her own stash, or to get copies of charts that she wants from other people instead of buying them for herself.

When the moderators explained how copyright laws affect needlework charts, they did so very politely. (These women are extremely polite, caring women) The responses they got were verbally abusive and full of profanity. She was placed on moderated status to prevent more of the rude emails from getting on to the list. Her reaction was to send more emails attacking the moderators. All of the explanations and such were done off-list so as not to disrupt the group.

Now, this woman's job for the group was to receive the stitched squares and make them in to quilts which were then to be given to a charity from the entire group, not just from herself. Prior to this she had recently received a package (her first) of squares to make into quilts.

They requested that she return the squares so they could be made into quilts by another quilter and given to someone in need from the group as a whole, as they were originally intended to be used. This woman replied that she would not return the squares, that she intended to keep them "as payment for my troubles" (that is a quote).

As if this was not bad enough, she then logged into the group's site and deleted people's entries in the databases (these databases are used for members to sign up to stitch for a specific theme) so all the sign-ups for the different themes were gone! These databases help the moderators who run the group to organize things, to know which quilts need more squares, which ones are full, and which squares are completed.

To add insult to injury, she then deleted the entire database that had been set up for an in-group exchange of stash (not copies, original charts)! The group site logged the delete actions as it logs any changes to databases, so the moderators knew who did it and at what times it was done.

After this the moderators banned her from the group. They then posted an apology to group members whose squares are in this woman's house because they would never know what the squares were used for or to whom they were given.

I am utterly flabbergasted! This is an adult woman and she behaved like a spiteful child saying "if I can't have it, no one will" and "don't do it my way..fine..I'll make a lot of trouble". This was nothing more than a child's tantrum. Infantile, spiteful, hateful behavior towards a CHARITY group! Somehow, for me, the fact that this was done to a charity group that has done so much good for so many people makes this so much worse.

How can anyone behave in this manner? How can someone deliberately choose to be so obtuse when things such as laws are politely explained to them? How can someone do their best to try and cripple a charity? or at the very least attempt to confuse the charity organizers and delay their work? How can someone do this?!?! The stitchers may have to re-stitch some squares, which is annoying, anger inducing, and frustrating. The moderators/organizers are left questioning their own choices and with a loss of trust that people who come afterward will be suspect to (meaning newcomers will be more heavily scrutinized before they are trusted). So the group members have been hurt as this woman intended them to be.

But, the ones that are truly hurt by such actions are the intended recipients of the quilts, as they will either be late or not received at all. The group will willingly replace missing squares if asked, and the women running this charity group have already re-organized everything, so the upset has been minimal. (which is good!) But how can someone who says they care about others (people who are ill, children who are ill etc.) spitefully keep squares that were meant to be given to others out of love and kindness call themselves charitable? This is NOT charity, this kind of behavior is atrocious! This group gives many quilts to children who are in hospice care, which means terminally ill children. These quilts give these children happiness. To keep these squares is to deny the intended recipient that happiness, and it is distinctly possible that one of the intended recipients may not live long enough to receive a replacement!

I would love to post this woman's name and email address publicly so others know not to trust her in any group, but I do not wish to be sued for "slander" or "defemation of character". But I do plan to pass this woman's name and email address along to the other groups I am involved in so they can be aware of how this woman behaved and thus decide whether or not someone that is so willing to hurt others is someone they wish to trust in any manner within their group (exchanges, charity, round robbins etc.). I do not usually agree with such blackballing of people because the stories are not able to be verified. However, as I am on this specific list I have seen for myself that these things were done and thus the information is valid.

Ohhhhhh I am so fucking mad! I could just slap this woman! All I can see in my mind is a sick child, passing away before their quilt arrives and thus unaware that there are people out there who are thinking of them and care about them. Even worse, a person (adult or child) being informed that their quilt will not arrive on time and then having to deal with the dissappointment and hurt that this causes. How can anyone, any sane decent human being, want to hurt others this way?!?!?!?!

OK I need to stop and go do something else or I'll just continue to rant and rant and rant...and this post is long enough already.

Edited to add: I just found out that the two cow pieces I stitched can not be made into a quilt right away as the rest of the cow's that made up the quilt are part of the squares this woman kept! Ohh that ticks me off!


  1. You're right to be annoyed, but let's just take some deep breaths here and relax... :)

  2. That is absolutely appalling. There is just no understanding some people....


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Missy (aka Raven)