First of all, let me tell you how grateful and surprised I am by your overwhelming support on this issue. When I wrote the post, I didn't think you (yes, YOU, lovely ladies) would leave me such supportive comments, do some digging, or contact Listia for me. I am such a blessed blogger to have so many awesome readers! So, thank you everyone!!
As many of you know, her auction was taken down. We filed a notice copyright infringement claim and sent it to Listia late last night, and they immediately removed it. We were having some technical issues and couldn't send it sooner.
There are few things I learned from this experience...
One of my lovely readers who is an attorney sent me an email with advice which I deeply appreciated:
"...There is no such thing as a copyright in a fashion design. Fashion, clothing, home goods (such as towels or bedding) are not protected by copyright law because they are considered functional goods. There is little to no protection for fashion designers under US copyright, trademark or patent law."
Ok, I didn't know that about the law. Although she also told me this;
"As long as the woman who is selling her own tutorial for a shirt similar to the one you created has not directly copied any pictures or substantially similar text or instructions from your blog tutorial, then she is perfectly within her rights to sell her tutorial."
Right, I don't think I didn't get offended if she was just making the shirt or selling it on the side or something. You see ruffle shirts at so many different boutiques, and shops. But she was using my picture and even after I nicely asked her to not to use my image, she switched the photo to a different ruffle shirt image of mine. If she was selling her own tutorial like she was saying, why is it so hard for her to take her own picture and use that instead of mine?
I also learned that everyone has different ideas about things like this. There are the people who don't care and steal peoples’ ideas, there are people who think it is wrong and take action, and there are people who think, “Why bother? “
I feel like there are so many gray areas in this society, and we are getting too afraid to say when something is wrong. Also, coming up with ideas and designs of my own, taking pictures while I am making something, and writing a post about it is very time consuming. I do it because I enjoy it, though when you find out that someone stole the content and is claiming it as theirs at the click of a button, gives me a really bad taste in my mouth. I think people who have creativeness in their blood would understand what I am trying to say. It's not just about getting credit or money.
Once things are on internet, it is hard to know what will happen to the content and this may not be the last time that I have to deal with something like this. Although, I am so grateful to the person who told me about this and my readers who supported me through this, I will keep creating and blog on. :)
Big thanks from me to you everyone!! (((big hug)))