Sunday, April 15, 2018

Intellectual Property

While there are many more interesting and educational things I'd love to post about today, once again I am revisiting the issue of what is your's and what is mine, when and how is it acceptable to "repost" or reuse blog content, and why.

Anybody who writes a blog is placing their intellectual property out into the public domain. This may be in the form of photographs, descriptive text, techniques, or more. In the eyes of copyright law, this is no different than those who write and publish books. Kids learn from an early age that plagiarizing will quickly get them a detention or suspension, as stealing what is not theirs is a punishable crime. We know not to photograph books, or copy patterns from magazines to pass out to our guild buddies. Photo printing services will not reproduce photos that appear to have been taken by a professional photographer. The concept of stealing has been ingrained in our upbringing from an early age. So now, with the era of digital information sources and social media, why should that concept be any harder to understand? The truth is that it is easy to comprehend. It is also easy to circumvent too.

I have maintained this quilting blog for nearly 10 years. I try to be generous in sharing techniques and projects that I work on. By and large, guessing from the comments I receive, these techniques have been appreciated. I think I have been quite fair in passing along ideas and pointers that can make another quilter's journey easier.

One thing that is quite prominent on my blog is the copyright given at the top of the right sidebar.

All original material on this site is © 2006-2018 by Mainely Quilts of Love. All rights reserved. Please do not copy photos or ideas without express written consent. Do not take screen shots; do not post to any social media without asking first!

My copyright statement is not here to be snippy or rude. In fact, it is a pretty standard disclaimer, and nearly every educational quilt blog has one. I don't watermark every photograph because this is time-consuming. Every year, several quilters contact me asking for permission to share information that they found here, and 99% of the time I say that it is fine.  Am I being unreasonable? Is trying to protect my rights as an educator and an author wrong? I don't think so, and the lines of the law say "no" as well.

Despite right-click protecting my blog and posting the copyright statement, I still find my photos posted to pinterest. I completely understand that some people just do not care nor respect what the blog creator asks as a simple courtesy.  Yesterday I received the most insatiably inconsiderate email from a reader who thought my asking people to NOT REPOST (bolded in yellow) was beyond acceptable. She went so far as to tell me I shouldn't be able to win ribbons at national shows because this was so rude. Clearly she has no understanding of how show judging operates, but that is beside the point. What is important is that there are still too many readers who do not understand that what they read on a blog is not their personal content to reproduce and reshare without consent. 


I read each and every comment my readers post, and respond personally to most when questions are asked. My goal is not to piss you off by asking to respect that which I have spent my professional career working on. Give credit where credit is due. If you desire to share something with a broad audience, such as your guild or blog, just ask me about it. Taking what is not your's only to repost it so that your pinterest feed is active is in poor taste.


If you disagree with me, please feel free to comment. I am open to a civil discussion about this matter. We can agree and disagree politely.  The next person to send me nasty email, though, may be made a public spectacle for all to see.


Have a nice Sunday~

21 comments:

Bob Kelher said...

Hi Margaret,

As far as I can tell, you are far and away one of the most generous of the nationally known quilt makers when it comes to sharing your techniques, processes, and thoughts through your blog and your books and your articles. I have learned so very much from you, and I only hope that a few "bad apples" don't sour you on those of us who have been helped so much by you in our quilting pursuits.

Becky Kelher

Vicki said...

I have learned so much from you through your blog posts over the years. I'm a so appreciative that you share your talents and processes. I like that you detail which thread and batting you use and how you create your templates...and that sometimes even you need to pick out bad tension nests. I rarely comment on blogs, but felt that you need to hear from those of us who are quiet to know that there are so many who understand and follow copyright laws and fully support your stance regarding intellectual property. The more copyright issues are discussed the better chance that people will support pattern makers, magazine distributors and artists of all kinds.

Mary Bolton said...

Agree completely with Becky & Vicki!

Jackie said...

I as well have truly appreciated all you share and show us. It amazes and disappoints me that people are still disregarding “intellectual property” it only takes a moment to ask permission.

Patty Sliney said...

I don't think you're being snippy or rude at all, Margaret. Your previous post about walking your readers through the creation of a (gorgeous) show quilt was fantastic. I loved it. I think there is just this misconception out there in the Internet world that if the photo is out there, you can do whatever you want with it. Same with free lessons, free patterns, free quilting and embroidery designs, etc. Folks just don't fully understand intellectual property right laws, and also don't spend the time reading site disclaimers. I'm sorry you've had to post about this, but gosh, maybe folks will read, and then understand. Love your blog, your quilts are inspirational, your classes are fantastic, and your books let us have you right in our quilting studios.

Quilt+Bitch said...

Hear Ye Hear Ye. Thank you for your post.

Rhonda said...

Thank you for plainly spelling things out!

Carolyn said...

I agree with Vicki. Discuss this issue so all will know. I read your blog for what you are working on because my skill is not there yet. Congratulation for the ribbon at MQX.

Sandy said...

You are absolutely entitled to keep your creations without sharing, unless you choose differently. I can't imagine anyone deciding that Michaelangelo didn't deserve to have his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel if he chose not to share images of it. Assuming, of course, that that had been something to worry about back then.
You do gorgeous work. You are a professional, making a living from what you do. No one has the right to tell you that you *must* share everything without limits.

Leeanne said...

You have my praise! All well said.

Sewgirl said...

So sorry to hear of being disrespected. Not a good feeling. I too appreciate your talent and all you share. Thank you.

Alison said...

I am sorry to hear you have issues once again. I would be very sorry if it caused you to stop blogging as your work is so beautiful. It must take ages to get a post together with words and photos - we really appreciate it.

Carolyn H said...

I'm so sorry you are encountering people who show no respect to your property. There simply ARE many ignorant and uncaring people out there, but if the shoe were on the other foot, I wonder how they'd feel?

Bunny said...

I totally agree with all comments above. Your work is magnificent. Too bad there are so many jealous and entitled people on social media that think they have a right to be so mean spirited. Keep on with your talent we certainly enjoy your beautiful work.

Joy said...

We discussed copyright at our last guild meeting. This is an issue that many do not understand, and it needs to be discussed over and over. If it is talked about on a regular basis, eventually most people will understand and accept it.

МАРГАРИТА said...

I sew for myself, this is my hobby. Maybe someday I'll get ready to sew a blanket that looks like yours. In the meantime, I enjoy your imagination, skill and beauty of your blankets!

LoriM said...

I think another challenge in the technology front is pure ignorance about proper ways to share content. Users only understand “copy/paste” or use a single social media platform with ease, so they don’t completely get the idea of linking back to original content when they refer to it. I know I have had numerous opportunities to “share” your advice for dealing with dye migration and bleeding, but always link to your post to do so. “MSG says...” is as expert as it gets, IMHO. 😉

scholar-nurse said...

My first comment on a blog: Thank you! I am a writer with the same problem. I love your work and your generosity. So sorry this needs to be said. Please “out” such presumptuous and uninformed people.

RachelA said...

Definitely name and shame, you are so generous with your techniques and ideas, thank y inspire me tremendously. Hope you don't have to stop sharing your talent because of these selfish ignorant people.

kupton52 said...

I found your blog a few years ago and have read every single post in the archives. Words of gratitude could never be found to thank you for the amount of information and inspiration received. Your photos are pure eye candy and are as informative as your written words. You are NOT wrong to try to protect YOUR intellectual property and I'm appalled that you had to respond to a selfish and rude person. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your work on this blog. I don't travel much and will probably never see your work in person, nor take a class with you (although that is at the top of my bucket list). Please continue this blog and do not be disheartened by the ignorance of some. Hopefully, your words have educated this person who obviously needs it.

Unknown said...

Just an additional comment your quilts are beautiful and I’ll only take a picture once it’s in a show for my personal enjoyment. I know I speak for many people out there that truly are inspired by your work
And now a quick question .. if you have a minute.. on the border strips that you presoak... are the vines and flowers all appliqued down when you stretch and soak before adding to the quilt... I always have trouble making them not wavy.... thanks for the help