A magazine that I have greatly enjoyed over the past years, The Gift Of Stitching Magazine, is stopping publication with their May issue. One of their main reasons is internet piracy (copyright violations). It is so very sad that yet another resource for stitchers is being lost due to people who just can't grasp the concept that they are stealing. It frustrates and angers me a great deal.
I've seen how these people defend themselves. They say things like they only use the stolen patterns that they download to discover new designers and then purchase real copies of the charts for designers they like. This might be true for a few of them, but it is NOT true for the majority of them. Far too many people download charts for free and refuse to see that by doing this they are crippling designers' businesses, thus causing them to stop designing as they can't earn a living wage with their designs. For this magazine specifically it has been horrendous to see that within 30 minutes of the new issue becoming available, the file is uploaded on at least 3 different major infringement sites. Then the issues are downloaded hundreds of times within a few days. Then the people who download the files argue that it doesn't hurt the business of the publisher of the magazine (it is a small business that publishes this magazine, not a large publishing company). I don't understand how they can believe that their stealing doesn't effect the publisher when hundreds of downloads do equal hundreds of lost sales to the publisher. If it were true that downloading these illegal copies do not impact designers, then TGOSM would NOT have seen such a loss in sales that just gets worse every quarter. The fact remains that designers who are being infringed upon do see major drops in their income/sales, the more frequently they are infringed the greater the drop in their sales.
These drops in sales would NOT occur if it were true that everyone who downloads a pattern just to "see if it is a good pattern" then goes and actually buys that same pattern. Since designers are seeing drops in sales, some to a point where their designing business is constantly running at a loss (in other words it costs them money to continue to design, rather than breaking even or making a small profit), it is obvious that the theft of their designs is negatively impacting their businesses.
Sadly it is true that human beings will convince themselves of whatever they need to so they can continue their behavior when they know that behavior is wrong. Many of these thieves convince themselves that stealing these designs doesn't hurt the designers and is "ok", in order to feel that it is okay for them to continue to download stolen charts. They deny the harm they are doing.
I truly am saddened that the stitching community is losing yet another great resource due to internet thieves. I loved TGOSM as it introduced me to many designers I had not seen before. It had many interesting ways of finishing stitching beyond the usual framing, pillows, needlebooks etc. It had some wonderful articles. I will treasure all the issues I have.
Kirsten, thank you for all the work you put in to publishing The Gift Of Stitching Magazine. I enjoyed it tremendously!