World Intellectual Property Day

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I just found out that today is World Intellectual Property Day.

Please take a few minutes to visit Zencrafting and read Pat's post about Intellectual Property - what it is and what resources you have at your disposal should you find that someone has pirated your work.

Apparently, the work of several wonderful, talented crafty bloggers has been recently pirated and re-published without credit on another blog. From what I can tell the piracy has been quite deliberate.

I have experienced the awful feeling of seeing my own tutorials reproduced more than once - with no credit given.

I am pretty upset actually that this has happened to several of my favorite bloggers and it is best, as my daughter will attest, that I not speak to this subject in my current mostly furious state of mind!

So instead I will do something I hope will be useful and positive and share the letter I usually send to people who "borrow" material I have published. My first step is to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anyone reading this post, when faced with the same issue,  is free to use it.

Dear .....

I just hate having to write this e-mail as you seem to be a lovely, well meaning person and I know in my heart you meant no harm when you reproduced my xxxxx tutorial and my zzzzz tutorial on your blog. I also see that you are new to blogging and may not understand that a bloggers photos and writing are actually original copyrighted work.

I appreciate so much that you liked my tutorials enough to want to share them with your readers, but it is important that you understand, now - early in your blogging career - that by reproducing my original work on your blog, verbatim, without my permission, you are actually violating my copyright.

These copyright rules actually apply to every blogger and this link might be helpful: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copyright.html

The correct way to link to another blogger's work is to write them for permission - especially if you wish to use a picture from their post.  One picture and a link back to the tutorial on THEIR site - that is how it is done.

 For reference:  http://gingerbreadsnowflakes.com/node/244

I even request permission from my friends and my own daughter when I wish to use a picture posted on their blog. Copyright aside, requesting permission is common courtesy and if you continue posting other's blog posts as you are currently doing, you will lose more readers and good will in the blogging community than you hope to gain.

I am so sorry to bear this unpleasant request but I must request that you take both my xxxxx tutorial and my xxxxx tutorial down from your blog. You are more than welcome to post one image of each with a link to my tutorial posted on my blog. Nothing more.

You do not have permission to post my tutorials in their entirety on your blog.

In the future, if you will ask permission, I am almost always happy to allow you to reproduce an image from my post (with credit for the image) and a link back to the original tutorial. 

Sincerely,

In every case so far, every person to whom it was necessary to send this letter was more than willing to comply. Because they were new bloggers, they were unaware that they were infringing on my copyright as well as the copyright of many others.

 

What a great and well thought

What a great and well thought out letter. I agree that most people do not realize they are doing anything inappropriate. They think they are just passing along a great tutorial they saw and want to share. Your letter gives them an out without feeling bad. Wonderful!

I seems like the comments are

I seems like the comments are disabled on the newest post, but I see on there that you say you won't be sharing anything of 'value' ? What does this mean? Are we going to miss your tutorials?

Who can I complain to?!

Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this letter with us! Fortunately I haven't had to write a letter like this myself yet, but I do know how infuriating it is to not get credit for your work, in other contexts. I'll have to keep this bookmarked in case it ever comes up in the future. Thanks for spreading awareness of the issue!

Wow, Pam. You seriously

Wow, Pam. You seriously rock. I am printing this out.

Dear Pam The kindness in your

Dear Pam

The kindness in your letter express the really beautifull person you are - I do not know if you remember but when you incitate me to post my HTD I told you that this situation was one of my problems because many times I have the how-to-do and models at home but do not remember anymore where I took it from.
However, I trully believe that when I do something new I use my own taste and skills even if based in some inspiration I took from anywhere and this would not be copyright - but I have seen many people referring to this problem and you present a a gentle and very very positive solution.

You're a star! Sorry you've

You're a star! Sorry you've had to use the letter at all but pleased you had success with it. You are wise well beyond your years my sweet friend.
Jx

You are a model of patience

You are a model of patience and politeness. I sit at your feet...

Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this helpful post, Pam!! Your letter is beautifully and precisely and positively worded. It conveys your pride in and ownership of your work. I hope never to have to use it, but I will save it as a resource!

I have been an admirer of your tutorials for a while now. Your blog is a wonderful resource.

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