Remember my mentioning Ellia of Greenbeanbaby Art in this post? Well, for the second time, she has her artwork ripped off and used without her permission or credit given for her work.
This time, someone has been selling items based on Ellia's work! This, despite a small copyright label on her work, and a paragraph in her sidebar requesting that her work be respected and the copyright honored. She's now been forced to superimpose a VERY large copyright symbol right over the top of her illustrations.
Honestly, I don't know why people do this! As a quilter, I don't expect to see anything of mine on someone else's site, because there are only so many different blocks and ways to manipulate them, though I did find one of my early photographs on a stranger's blog. But Ellia is a paper artist, and her drawings are very unique. I've been following her blog for about 18 months now, and I'd know her work anywhere.
The gal who did it, would not respond to Ellia's emails, and deleted her comments. Several of us tried to email this gal, with no response. I clicked on the names of those who gushed over her new designs and hopped over to their blogs, to let them know these were not original designs, but stolen from another, and provided the link to Ellia's work. I encouraged them not to support this deception. One person wrote me back, suggesting I contact the perpetrator personally, that inspiration can come from many sources, and that she did not wish her blog to be used for comments about another.
She's right about her blog; if I'd known any other way to get the word out, I would have. It really made me mad to see people praising this gal for "her" new card designs, when she had stolen them from Ellia. But anyone looking at the two girls' work could see there was no "inspiration"--it was an deliberate act of copyright violation. AND she had the audacity to have a similar copyright post on her site.
The thing is, this person had other lovely designs in her shop--and items I would have willingly bought, myself. However, in my opinion, her reputation is now tarnished and forces me to question the validity of all her designs. If you are truly talented, why the need to copy another's work?
I feel the same way about quilt designs and BOMs. In our quilting bee a couple of years ago, we took turns sharing our favorite blocks in a basic BOM. One of my favorites is Ribbon Star from Marcia Hohn's site. I was very careful to contact Marcia and ask permission to share her instructions for making this block. She very graciously said yes, and only asked that I give her the credit. I copied it directly from her site, which had her copyright at the bottom of each page, and made sure I announced to all at the meeting that these instructions were from Marcia. (Blocks are pretty much public domain now, but the specific instructions and illustrations are what are copyrighted.) She works hard to make patterns available free of charge to anyone who's interested, and her efforts and generosity should be appreciated, not exploited.
This is the reason I quit bringing my quilt magazines to work for a long time. One of the other nurses was a quilter, and we'd have our own little show and tell sessions with things we'd made, and we'd look over the new magazines as they came in. Then I discovered she was taking the magazine back to her unit and photocopying patterns she liked. That's also a violation of copyright. I paid for the magazine, so I am entitled to use any pattern in it; she did not pay, nor did she borrow it from a library. She was getting something for nothing, and I didn't want to be a part of it.
It's illegal, folks, and just plain rude and disrespectful.
Okay, I'll climb down off my soapbox now.
Today, Ellia has posted that the person is refunding the money to those who bought the first products and will issue a "makeover". There was still no apology to Ellia, but at least she is doing right by her customers. Many of her loyal followers have dissed those of us who protested, and that is their right, but I am satisfied to see the woman is attempting to rectify this situation.