Thursday, May 3, 2012

World Intellectual Property Day

Thursday, May 3, 2012. I'm running just a bit behind because International Intellectual Rights Day was April 26, 2012. Yes, you're right, there's a special day for almost anything! I will have to find out when to celebrate International Blogger's Day! I had a recent experience of my own that got me thinking, AGAIN, about designers' rights. I taught a crochet class at a bead store and provided written instructions for an original design bracelet. I taught them how to crochet and how to crochet with wire and beads using this pattern. Each student went home with her copy of the pattern. A month or so after the class I got an email from one of the students proudly telling me that she had finished her class bracelet and was making more. She went on to say, that she would use the class model to promote and sell the others she was making! I gave it some thought and then answered her in a professional way. I told her that as a "friendly reminder" I had given her the design for her own use and it was not legal to receive income from making someone else's design. I didn't hear from her again and I don't know if she was embarrassed, mad or just made a mental note to never do that again! On April 27, 2012, Interweave Publications celebrated World Intellectual Property Day along with the U.S. Copyright Office, American Chamber of Commerce, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and others around the world to give credit to the talented writers, designers, artists, photographers, and innovators who work with us to share with readers and customers their products and ideas. To mark the occasion,they released a new eBook for artists and crafters, Know Your Rights: Copyright 101, to raise awareness for the issues surrounding copyright and the problems with copyright infringement that are currently impacting our industry.The 10-page eBook is available for free download in each of Interweave’s 10 online communities for artists and crafters. Here is the link to the downloadable crochet version: Cut and paste it in your browser. Know Your Rights: Copyright 101 for Crocheters
This down-loadable book is chock full of important information. Clearly, it does not replace legal counsel, but it certainly clarifies many many issues that we often wonder about. Geared to the specific craft, it has separate sections that answer concerns held by crafters, designer/authors and shop owners. I highly recommend taking the time to read this e-document and to download it for future reference! "Most people think of pirated movies or music when they hear about copyright violations," says Eunny Jang, [an] editor at Interweave. "But we answer questions about copyright for crafters, artists, designers, and authors every day—copyright and other intellectual property issues are a big deal in the DIY marketplace, where the "I can do that!" spirit and respect for original, independent design and authorship need to coexist peacefully.” Questions around copyright can range from simple queries, like 'Can I make a copy of a pattern?' (Answer: For your own use, yes; to give to a friend, no) to more complex issues, like 'How can I be inspired by other artists without infringing on their intellectual property rights?' (Answer: By executing your vision independently, and asking permission where necessary). "Ultimately, copyright is about protecting the creative process, ensuring that the creator of a work can benefit from that work," adds Jang. "Our goal at Interweave is to educate our consumers about what copyright is, and why it matters—and to give authors, artists, and designers everywhere the tools they need to protect their own rights so they can continue to create new works and share them with the public." Once you've read this booklet, please think about all the time, energy and creativity that designers and authors offer up to make your crocheting experiences happy ones.They are just trying to make a living like everyone else. It's so easy to make copies these days; so, think TWICE next time before you hit the "copy" button!