One of the biggest downsides (possibly the biggest) to running a small business selling your design work is being ripped off and having someone else pass your work off as their own and profit from it. Sadly it's not uncommon. Last night I got a message from a very kind fellow designer alerting me that someone was selling some of my patterns on Etsy.
This photo was taken on my old work desk, those very parrots are in my youngest sons bedroom right now...I painted that wall in Dulux classic cream for goodness sake (and it needs re-decorating now)! Another pattern being sold was one I gave away for free. I recognised several other patterns belonging to other people as well as patterns I had designed for magazines. I just can't get my head around the lack of shame about accepting credit (never mind payment) for someone else's skills and time - the absolute cheek of it.
Copyright infringement sounds so mundane but it's such a kick in the stomach when it happens to you. The patterns are often incomplete as the seller doesn't have access to all of the components and so customers aren't always buying a complete product and can be left disappointed. The injustice of being cut-out of your own work and ideas, designing can be so personal. Not to mention that it's hard-going starting a business and trying to make a living from it especially a creative business as creativity is often undervalued (the expectation of working 'for exposure' rather than money is a whole other post ...or posts) - for the avoidance of doubt I am not making a Jeff Bezos-style living doing this! As always with a small business every sale counts and is appreciated.
So yes I was pretty cross last night but not surprised. I have contacted the seller to ask for them to be removed immediately and will take further action as and when BUT I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DO ANY OF THIS.
The silver lining though is the sense of community amongst sewists and designers and that someone would take the time to tip me off. Thanks B x