January 21, 2011

Am I an idiot?


the original, as published here in March, 2010

Since I saw this picture this afternoon in my reader (via Sewing Craftgossip) I have been feeling slightly upset and miserable. Really: I couldn't believe my eyes. I was yelling at my screen. Did my Quick Fix Grocery Bag become an Eco-chic Shopping Bag without me knowing? I'm not sure what to think of this. Should I give this the benefit of doubt and just consider it a coincidence or are there too many similarities for this to be even possible and has someone at Good Housekeeping who was short of ideas and looking against a deadline simply copied my idea?

This particular tutorial is one I am really proud of. The idea is genuinely mine - it happened while I was putting away grapes we had earlier that day and I saw the bag they came in lying on the counter - a plastic bag with cuts.  This particular tutorial has been a big hit in the craft community ever since it was published and it still is, with referrals and links showing up everywhere.  This particular tutorial made it even to Design*Sponge. And now, apparently, to Good Housekeeping too, only did they forget to credit or put up a proper link!

It makes me wonder if I'm an idiot and incredible naive by posting tutorials and pictures of things I made just like that, for free, accessible to everyone, everywhere, assuming - or, as of now, hoping - everyone will stick to the rules when it comes to copyright and intellectual property rights. It also makes me wonder whether I should continue doing so the way I do. You see, there goes a lot of time and effort in everything I make, in every tutorial I write. I know, that's a personal choice - no one ever forced or even asked me to do so.
So far, I kept my blog deliberately commercial-free, add-free, sponsor-free - there's no financial gain or whatsoever for me in this entire blogging business - that's a choice too. My reward is in your comments, your encouragements, seeing a traffic increase or a steady increase in the number of followers and subscribers, a referral here and there...
All of this was a choice.
But maybe the wrong one...

So I'm asking you, am I an idiot or should I be happy it happened just this once - that I know of...
__________________________________________

Comments are closed now - Good Housekeeping has acknowledged its mistake and credits and a link to the original post have been added.

Thank you for your comments, e-mails and support!

xo, P.

73 comments:

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Wow. There's no denying it-someone copied your idea, but it may be several times removed. Maybe they copied someone else who copied you who forgot the credit. I'd send an email right away to the magazine, without accusation, but asking for credit or restitution. They do use advertisers and make money off their posts.

Giulia said...

Oh, I'm sorry!!!

Lillie said...

nope you aren't an idiot. you're the smartie who thought of the bag in the first place. sharing is caring. keep doing what you do, i'll go give good housekeeping my two cents of internet vigilante justice and hopefully others will follow. it isn't unusual for big folks like that to steal from hard working respectable bloggers. their time will come. <3

Monika said...

No you are not an idiot. You are clearly very talented and people are into your style. The person who takes credit for your work will never have the satisfaction going back to that moment when you dreamt up that idea and have that 'a ha!' moment. That they cannot steal. We live in a world where anything you put out there online is up for grabs. There are theives in cyberspace just as there are everywhere. Don't let it dampen your creativity or stop you from sharing with those people who admire your work and give you positive feedback. Create and share inspite of theives, be flattered. Don't be upset. Being upset does nothing for creativity. Life is just too short!

CraftyCripple said...

I agree with maventheavenger and think that Good Housekeeping may not know that they have been offered a tutorial that is a copy of yours. I sometimes think that these design thefts and copyright infringements that come about are because a designer submits an idea as their own to the big company and gets paid for it because the big company assumes that they are getting what they paid for, an original idea.

They need to know that a particular designer is not an original thinker.

I hope that you don't stop producing your blog the way you do. It is beautiful and inspiring. Please don't let this incident destroy your pleasure in creating and being part of our online crafting community. I know it leaves a sour taste in your mouth to have this happen, but you are appreciated and if you disappeared you would be missed.

meisje van vervlogen dagen said...

Wat ontzettend vervelend! Het geeft een rotgevoel, maar blijf herinneren waarom je het in de eerste plaats fijn vond om de tutorial te maken. Je inzet wordt door een heleboel lezers gewaardeerd! Stuur Good Housekeeping een vette nota!

Deidre said...

ugh... they copied and it's crap! I just had someone copy one of my tutorials to a T! I had taken a simple idea and expounded on it to make it more functional. That part of the tutorial was ripped off by someone big in the blogging community. Ticked me off too! I didn't say anything, but it still bothers me. You should definitely complain! We're talking good housekeeping here for God's sake! Bogus!

la.daridari said...

sharing ideas on web is always risky, but is also like a need for a creative person.
The question you should make to yourself is:" is it more important for me to trust in honest people to build a creative community with or to protect my ideas?"
On the internet protecting is very difficult... personally, I hope that people who share ideas is as respectful with mine as I am with theirs.
And I hope also I'll continue to share your fabulous ideas....

Snowlet said...

This angered me -- When I was an academic, I counted on people to cite my work correctly. I made very little money, but I was happy to publish. In turn, I would obsess endlessly about proper citation when I used other people's ideas.

I don't think you are being unreasonable. For what it's worth, I left a comment on GHK's site shaming their editorial staff for their intellectual theft. It's "under moderation" (review), so I doubt it will ever see the light if day.

Thank you for your wonderful blog--I enjoy it every morning with my coffee.

Lillie said...

did you email them and ask for credit? try and see what they say and let us know?

Little Treasures said...

I would contact Good Housekeeping and give them a piece of my mouth / mind if I were you! However, everything posted on the internet can and is copied so where do we draw a line?
It also happened to me a couple of times and when I saw "my" tutes I said "You cannot beat my imagination I will always be ahead of you" - that is enough to calm myself and carry on. The other solution is that I drop posting ideas altogether.
Unimaginative copycats are all around - you just brace yourself, clench your teeth (you are allowed to swear a bit) punch the air with your fists and carry on.
The ones who follow you know your talents and recognize your creations.

Anonymous said...

I commented on their tutorial a link to yours

zilamonster said...

First, you are by no means an idiot.

You are a generous person and generous people are often taken advantage of.

You have to decide how much you are willing to be taken advantage of; you have to decide how much you are willing to give with no expectation of gratitude, credit, or even basic decency. You have to acknowledge that the lowest common denominator is alive and well in our society.

All that doom and gloom stated, the lowest common denominator makes up a really, really small fraction of society. The majority of people are lovely.

Is it worth being objectified and capitalized by the few skeeves in our society in order to bring light and happiness and fuel for creativity to everyone else?

I think you are wonderful.

Emily {WhipperBerry} said...

Oh my goodness! I know exactly how you feel. I feel so happy when I genuinely think of a new idea. I would be crushed if this happened to me! That stinks, and I am so sorry!

Anonymous said...

NO I would be Pissed if i were you!! Sorry you have to go through this. Talk to Trish Preston at Two Peas in a Pod.

Diana Gutiérrez Toledano said...

This questions was one of my first ones when I decided to start my blog.
In my case, illustrations are really easy to grab, print and sell, forgetting who put work, time and effort into them. But this is something I have to live with if I want to share my work with people... And that's not being an idiot, it's just taking a risk that is worth taking.

Keep sharing... but like other people said, ask for the proper credit!

Ammie said...

Unfortunately, you have every reason to be upset. I have heard of this kind of plagiarism happening at mega craft sites before. I'm sorry! I do think that your designs are popular enough that many people will spot the copy, and I hope they will turn to your work and website instead.

Thanks for all you do for us, sharing free tutorials and patterns. I love your blog, and your bags are always an inspiration to me.

Jayna Rae said...

I so understand your anger, but then also your wonderment at if it is possible for two people to have the same idea. Just last week my husband was working on some T-shirt art for a band. He had an great idea, but before he began to sketch he decided to research ALL of the bands previous tour shirts. Someone had already made the band a shirt that was near to identical to what he was thinking. Phew! He adverted that. Sometimes great ideas happen twice, sometimes they are stolen by evil corporate thieves. I wonder if this might be the evil corporate thieves case. I'm leaning toward yes.

adornedunicorn said...

Contact Good Housekeeping. Give them the chance to do the right thing, and if they don't, then be mad!

~Heather said...

Whatever the you decide to do, whatever the outcome might be, I do hope you are still able to share your gorgeous photos, ideas and voice to the blogosphere. It would be a dull place without your lovely site (which, I confess, I check out about everyday).
Best of luck, however you decide to proceed.

jlynn said...

This is really too bad-- it shouldn't have to stunt the sharing of creative ideas for free online! However, I would be just as angry as you. I feel for you. Know that many people appreciate your posts!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw the entry on CraftGossip as well and immediatly thought of your creation. I was really surprised when i saw that it didn't refer to your site.

I hope it's a small encouragement for you that your design stands out like that and is instantly recognizable. I'm sure there are lots of other blog readers who feel the same way.

Thank you for your good work and for sharing your wonderful ideas.

PS: I agree with the other entries, contact the site and ask to be mentioned as creator.

Anonymous said...

Left the following comment at their site. See if they post it...

"This is a wonderful idea. In fact, it stands out so much that I recall where I have seen it before: http://pm-betweenthelines.blogspot.com/ .
Would be nice to link. Even if it turns out the same idea was had twice.
all the best!"

RosaMaría said...

of course you aren't an idiot! I'm so sorry read about it, I think could be a good idea contact to Good Housekeeping and ask about it...
but whatever they say you can be sure that the talented and creativity can't be copied, you work is unique and we are many many people who admire your work and apreciate all that you share with us. Thanks for that choice!

Bianca said...

I'm so sorry for you! But this can't be the end of your wonderful tutorials. Please!!!
all the best

CaLynn said...

Heya! Dont call yourself an idiot! Good Housekeeping has quite a handful of writers and some are better than others. This *clearly* looks like a rip off of your design - I would contact them immediately. No question about that! Turn that sour gut feeling into confidence - you made the design so go tell them like it is!

Liz G said...

This is a crying shame, but please don't let it ruin your enthusiasm and your lovely openhearted tutorials - they are much appreciated! I have commented at both craftgossip and Good Housekeeping giving the link to your original article and saying they should have credited you.

Emily said...

I saw this yesterday and thought of you too! I agree with the previous commenters- you should contact Good
Housekeeping.

Sarah said...

Oh, dear. I saw this, too. I hope it was innocent and not done on purpose, but I know it happens. You deserve the credit 100%.

cindy said...

i have seen this kind of thing happen online. you should definitely contact good housekeeping about it and give them a chance to do the right thing. unfortunately, there's always a risk when we put our work online and no you are not an idiot!

Daria said...

I was really shocked to see this a few hours ago, and I'm sorry I'm commenting on your blog for the first time on such occasion (although I regularly follow your work, and with great delight).
As a designer (and maker) I completely understand your disbelief and frustration, anger, even a slight depression and discouragement - I've gone trough that several times, especially on my previous jobs. After I exhaust all the emotions in such a case, I usually end it with "let it rest on their souls" (if stealing or copying can make 'them' happy, they must be pretty miserable, and also, the awareness of stealing or copying must leave a slightly bitter taste in their mouths & minds even when other praise them for my/or your work - it makes them more aware that the work and genius is not theirs, when they're praised).
Oh, wait - I forgot! I do notify them that it's my work they signed. Of course I do. And I think you should do the same. It's something liberating in a way, and leaves you less poisoned with the ugliness of what happened. It leaves you free to focus on your work and enjoy it, instead of thinking about what will happen with your next project if you make it public again. It doesn't leave the bitter taste in your mouth. At least, this does function with me.

And also, I see how great it is to have such a supporting group of friends and followers, ready to defend your wonderful work. Whoever feels like it should leave a note somewhere on the internet pointing out the truth about your work and the stolen project.

I hope you'll feel better soon and that there will be public justice for your work.

Daria

Jen said...

I think this might be a great read for you at this time. I can imagine seeing that bag was shocking!

http://aworkinglibrary.com/library/book/common_as_air/

Jen

Silvia said...

You are one of the smartest creative woman I've never seen...and really generous to share your ideas.
Only the best ideas are copied...

Angel said...

I feel for you! I had a similar experience. I made a scrappy produce bag for sewmamasew and 6 months later I picked up a sewing mag at ac moore and saw the same exact thing. different pics of course, but it was put together the same exact way. Just annoyed me, even if someone else came up with the same. exact. idea. it just seemed awful close for chance. blah on copiers!

tonya said...

I love your stuff and I remember your post about this bag but I never considered this an "original idea." I have an almost identical bag that my grandma made in the early 80's. It's also made with slits and from an old, white t-shirt (one of my grandpa's old undershirts.) The only difference is hers had thicker, rounded corners at the bottom, because she sewed a seam perpendicular to the side-seam at the bottom. And it isn't nearly as neat as yours! She didn't carry produce home in it, but she did hold apples and oranges in them and hang them from a hook in her pantry. I don't use it to carry produce either(it's threadbare now), but because it reminds me of her I keep it around and keep my plastic bread bags in it. This seems like such an obvious type of idea because the produce bags (grape bags in particular, like you mentioned) ARE already like this that I wouldn't assume Better Homes and Gardens deliberately set out to steal your idea. It's more likely that they didn't know you already posted a tutorial or the editor legitimately thinks she thought of it on her own. As an artist, I have seen countless expressions of similar ideas occur without knowledge of the other, and would think it even more likely when the idea is one that really already partially existed, at least in some form.

As an artist, I also feel it's our responsibility to share what we can and not take things so personally. BH&G isn't selling the pattern, so they're not taking your profits, and you posted it freely to your site. I can maybe see the ruffled feathers because you feel you came up with it, but something so common-sense has most likely been done before. At least I think so since I have one that's nearly 30 years old.

Don't let it get you down. Take satisfaction in doing what you love and sharing. That's what I do.

karen m. said...

Oh, Pascale! I am sending you a hug. Clearly, you are generous, kind, and talented, all qualities to cherish. If it helps at all, please know that your warm chats bring joy to many. We love crafting and shopping and sharing family life with you!

Jaimie said...

No, you are not an idiot, and I'm so sorry this happened. I remember your post about the bag, and I thought it was genius. You should absolutely be contacting Good Housekeeping for, at minimum, credit, and possibly even financial compensation since you know they are earning money from sharing these ideas. Again, I'm so sorry. I've seen this happen to so many creative bloggers in the last year or two.

Le Bouclard said...

You did it first and better !
Every body here confirms.

Alisonswhim said...

It's true that this is really your idea. Unfortunately I don't think that there's anything you can do about it. I've seen similar projects all over the net lately and there's no telling where the magazine got the idea from. If it was me, I'd ask my readers to email goodhousekeeping and tell them where they saw it first. In fact, I'll look up the link for you!

Alisonswhim said...

Here's the email addy to 'Contact the Editor'
GHletters@goodhousekeeping.com.

I'll send a note to let them know they need to give credit where credit is due. ;)

Anonymous said...

I also left a comment stating it was a fantastic idea...which it is, I have made a few from your tutorial, and that for a detailed tutorial readers should visit your blog where the tutorial originated. It is waiting moderation.
Only great ideas get copied...

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Pascale, I saw it to in my reader and I was certain it was yours. I was so surprised when I read further.. this original tutorial of yours was what brought me to your blog.. I recall it precisely you wrote about grapes....

Felicia said...

*sigh* I'm so sorry, your ideas and tutorials rock. It's beyond annoying when this happens, and the perps are both large and small. It's also happening a lot more often, with people reblogging or Pinning without giving proper credit; when a big co. sees something without a proper tag, they most likely won't spend any time looking for the source. A similar thing happened here http://drawglueglittermake.blogspot.com/2011/01/claires-accessories-have-copied-me.html, maybe you can get something useful out of it. Good luck !

Rie said...

I love your blog and I think if you are not happy with what they have done then you should tell them otherwise they may no idea of what they have done.
Keep us posted...

BronP said...

Argh, it's so wrong, not only that they stole your idea but have in the process led you to reconsider a generous thing you do for your readers (like myself) who look forward to your inspiring and carefully thought out tutorials... I hope they acknowledge you as their source...

Janiece said...

I am sorry that the credit wasn't given to you, but more than likely they have no idea where the idea originated from.
At least you know and your Blogging friends do too.
Maybe the magazine will see this and realise that they need to pay attention about publishing ideas that THEY did not come up with, or say that they do not know who to give the credit to.
I am a new follower to your blog, but I LOVE your ideas.
Please keep sharing them.

amy said...

You are definitely not an idiot! If I were you, I'd contact Good Housekeeping via email with a polite but to-the-point email letting them know that the design they are using is originally yours and request that they give you credit for it properly.

Sadly this happens to many bloggers, if they don't give credit or take down the project, then it gets trickier. However, most companies will respond once they are notified of the "error".

nicole/brussels said...

Het doet echt deugd te zien hoeveel mensen je steunen, en vooral hoe ze je creativiteit weten te waarderen, en van je blog houden!
Schrijf gerust naar GoodHouskeeping, het is een correct blad, dat zeker een rechtzetting zal brengen! In ieder geval zal ik het volgen, tot nu toe heb ik dit niet gezien in het blad zelf, mss was het op internet?
Zal alles nog eens grondig bekijken straks via internet! Ik begrijp je woede, doch ik hoop dat je vooral verder doet met je blog, hoeveel mensen kijken er niet naar uit naar je berichtjes, mooie foto's en mooie werkjes dat je brengt!

PS laat je lezers niet in de steek, zij blijven tenminste trouw verder achter je staan!

Noga said...

I love your blog! Why a bad did of another makes you feel wrong? That is the nature of the web, we don't know who reads our blogs and what kind of use they do with our ideas.They cause themselves bad name. That is enough. Please take it as a complement and keep on. I love your blog! Please don't change!

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Oh Pascale that is not nice! I remember the tutorial you did and it is fabulous and your pictures are stunning as always. Hopefully it is an oversight on their part and they will print an apology. If not then they will have to live with the bad karma that such actions bring. The good people of this world would not dream of ever behaving in such a way and you are one of them. Definitely not an idiot! Don't let them bring you down and don't change, we all think you are wonderful and so talented. I love your blog :-)

casserole said...

I am so sorry this happened! And incredibly embarassed that my post at Craft Gossip was a vehicle for this. Please know that it unintention on my part, and that I've udpated the post at Craft Gossip explaining the situation and giving credit to your idea.

http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-eco-chic-shopping-bag-from-a-t-shirt/2011/01/20/

--Anne

virginia said...

maybe send the designsponge link, which featured your tutorial, to the good housekeeping editor. that will establish a publish date for your tutorial.

yours has a more sophisticated appearance (smile).

bees said...

i would absolutely call that a rip off. there is no denying it. i would be so angry and hurt. say something!

Elisa said...

I agree with everyone that said call the magazine and have a chat to them about it. If they come back with a bad attitude then I would 'rally the troops' and have all your followers twitter, email and facebook their disgust at this breach of copyright. I would also contact other blogs such as 'Design Sponge' and let them know what's happened. Hopefully by doing this the magazine will see that you are making it known and will not want a bad reputation. Please don't takeit lying down. You produce a wonderful blog which inspires many and gives you joy. Why let them take that away.
Good Luck

Ali said...

Contact the magazine - by phone if possible. Be polite, but firm and professional. Know what you want (to be credited, financial compensation, for them to take the post down). I tackled a national magazine who used a photo of mine without permission and got an immediate back down and nice big cheque from them.

Chances are, they will be horribly embarrassed about the whole incident and keen to make it better.

Whatever you do, do not let it put you off doing what you want to do in terms of designing and sharing via your blog. Because that way you loose twice.

I'm sorry this has happened, but you can't change the nature of the beast. Only your response to it.

Mai said...

Am really sorry for what happened its horrible to have someone ripping off your idea, tutorial like this.... its my first time posting and i really love the tutorials you share with us its so inspiring and encouraging. please keep it up and never let anyone put you down fight for your right no matter what.

Sorry again.....

Aimee said...

oh no.
I love your tutorials and the way you freely share your talents and ideas with us all.
I think this is very sad because you don't blog about your tutorials for advertising or financial profit.
Don't let it get you down- you are SO clever and generous in sharing what you have spent time on creating. Thanks for all your awesome past tutorials- you are one clever lady!
I hope things can be sorted out soon. and that it can be linked back to your original idea and tutorial.

ArtMind said...

Pascal, I love your blog and your work & I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Generous people seem to attract these kind of things and it is so sad. I hope that you will write the editor and point him/her out to this post so that they can set things straight.
Don't stop doing what you love because there are so many people who you are a true inspiration to.
Try to forget about the bad guys that don't know how to show respect for others creativity...

Kristi said...

i see they have now given you credit. i hope this doesn't stop you from sharing your creative soul with us. xo.

eloleo said...

Tja, dat is natuurlijk niet tof. Een idee ergens oppikken en dat verwerken in een eigen ontwerp is één zaak maar een idee gewoon klakkeloos kopieren zonder bronvermelding, dat is een heel andere zaak en dat kan natuurlijk niet! Ik hoop dat je het toch ook een beetje van de positieve kant kunt bekijken, men zou je niet nabootsen als het niet kei-kei-goed was, hè. Kop op en verder doen met wat je al altijd deed: wondermooie tutorials schrijven en een prachtige blog maken.

Anna said...

well, you're certainly not an idiot. It's a brilliant idea of yours and of course some lame-o had to steal it. I can't imagine what it must feel like, very hurtful I'm sure. Your blog is beautiful, what you make is beautiful, and please don't stop sharing. Hey, and I'm sure you could do well for yourself with some sponsors, etc. But I know it's not for everyone. :)

jlconn said...

I loved your bag when I first saw it. I especially liked the "changes you had made" to this one: http://www.marthastewart.com/article/good-thing-t-shirt-bag that I had seen a couple of years ago!

You see sometimes great minds do think alike : ) I do not think your version should have been passed around without credit, if in fact that's what happened. I agree you should especially contact Good Housekeeping about the issue.

Have you tried "signing" your photos before you post, so that pics cannot be copied without credit? Of course this cannot prevent the use of your idea without permission.

This act of thievery is certainly not in the spirit of great camaraderie I've seen on the net between bloggers. Sure hope it's not a sign of things to come.

Kelly said...

I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the conversation, but apparently I do. The bag made here looks nothing like the Martha Stewart one and is far better in my opinion. Also, regardless of whose granpa's shirt has been made into a similar bag in any decade, the Good Housekeeping folks even photographed "their" bag in the must obviously similar setting as the one seen here. And in a way that is not intuitive, I might add. Brimming full of produce or over a shoulder perhaps but the similarities are too many to just be a coincidence.

The first post that I read here was in fact the one with this tutorial, properly linked to by another blog and I have been checking in periodically ever since. I would personally like you to continue posting the same as you always have, because I love this blog. I personally don't mind when a blog has ads, they wouldn't bother me as long as the creativity could continue!

Jannette said...

Echoing other commenters: what a rotten thing to do. Very immature, very mean-spirited. I hope you'll find the energy to shake it off (not an easy thing to do..) - hopefully the support of your readers will help, even if it is only a little bit..

Het allerbeste!!

bicocacolors said...

I don't know if you can do anything about it, but I can only say, no one will copy the mediocre designer or bad ideas!
I know you're a good designer and that is precisely the cause why people copy you!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog several months back, and I must say, I love it! Your style and design is so refreshing in its simplistic yet detailed form and I love that you manage to keep the aesthetic quality of your work feminine without every being gaudy or "fru fru."
It is a shame that a talented artist such as yourself would get an idea stolen or not be credited for your
hard work. I am sure it makes you want to pull back, protect yourself. However, one of the beautiful things about your site is the way you do share with your readers. Most of us are faithful, un-mercenary, and as hand crafters know what it means to do what you do. With talent like yours I am sure it will not be the last time something like this happens. With the way the crafting community a good idea spreads like wildfire and often the originator gets no credit. I wish the system were different. Hopefully, it doesn't happen again. I'm sorry this happened to you, but please don't shut us out completely. We love your work.

Mrs.Jones said...

Nope, not an idiot, just very talented and full of good ideas, which is why they were stolen! All I can say is think about it as a compliment - doesn't make it feel better however!
As a semi-retired pro-photographer, had similar stuff happen all the time and I know that sick/cross feeling that takes over everything.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Your designs are awesome and your followers know the truth!
Take care Miss!
Beck x

blue moss said...

pascale...i'm so sorry it took me so long to comment about this. i read your post on a computer that i couldn't comment on.
i have certainly been thinking of you and your fabulous creations. i actually saw the picture in good housekeeping and couldn't believe my eyes! i read that you contacted them and am so glad! i LOVE your blog and your tutorials. you are not an idiot...but you know that...
you are the best!!!
michelle

blue moss said...

oh...and i liked yours so much better than that green they used

Yaya said...

I love the blog and I made three of the denim bags! But I must say, as an intellectual property lawyer, this is not a copyright issue.

Copyright law does not protect ideas, procedures or processes, only the expression. Certainly your pictures are protected by copyright, and if Good Housekeeping were to use your exact language or something substantially similar in their tutorial that would be protected. But just like your favorite lasagna recipe, tutorials for crafts are not copyrightable.
That said, I believe copyright law is behind the times when it comes to protecting design as an expression of an idea.

Don't be discouraged, some sort of quasi-contract theory could help you recover! And the admiration of your adoring followers is compensation as well!

Stefanie said...

You are not an idiot. Good Housekeeping clearly ripped your exact design off.

However, at the same time, this is not a new idea. It does appear as if the Good Houskeeping bag is a little too similar for comfort, but I learned to make these in elementary school, which was a while back. Also, the idea was inspired by an existing grape bag. Someone thought of that.

You are not wrong. I am definitely on your side in this case. Unfortunately, there's still a lot of gray area when it comes to ideas.

cinback said...

I, too, empathize. However, ideas are inspired by different things at different times. As it were, I had a very similar idea for a t-shirt bag before I had even recently discovered your blog. Sometimes people get the same idea.

Pascale said...

Comments are closed now - Good Housekeeping has acknowledged its mistake and credits and a link to the original post have been added.

Thank you for your comments, e-mails and support!

xo, P.

Related Posts with Thumbnails