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Topic: Urban Threads vs. Sublime Stitching  (Read 8640 times)
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lisalady161
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« on: May 04, 2009 05:55:47 PM »

Okay ladies and gents, I asked Kitty if this was okay to post, and she wondered why it hadn't been brought up sooner!

Is everyone aware that Urban Threads was accused of plaigarizing Sublime Stitching Designs?  A third party site called Boing Boing is mounting a smear campaign saying against UT, stating that it is a big conglomerate picking on poor little SS which is a single owner business.

It gets more fun, as Dinosaur and Robots, a site owned by one of the members of Boing Boing, posted pics of UT and SS designs....AND THE DESIGNS WERE ALTERED TO MAKE THEM LOOK MORE ALIKE!!!  Angry

Personally, I think both sites lean so heavily on general popular commercial themes,  tattoo and commercial art from the 50's and 60's that neither can justifiably stand up and say "I got here first."  From what I've read on UT, Niamh herself admits her stuff is pop art. 

I'd like to hear what Jenny has to say, and why she's letting bloggers all over the web stick up for her instead of addressing this herself.  My understanding is that Sublime Stitching is huge, with tons of media exposure and I guess her fans even have their own board on some craft site  Huh

I also find it muy reprehensible that this third party blogger used two embroidery companies' reputations as a way to get more hits on his site(s)!

I have no affiliation for either group, but I find it wonky that a site as successful as Sublime Stitching, which is primarily for hand stitching needs help from a third party defending itself against a site like Urban Threads, which is a site primarily for machine embroidery!

I will rant more on this on my blog, but I'd like to know if anyone else gives a shrill soprano hoot about this!??? 
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009 11:10:36 AM »

I've been following this controversy on various sites and have come to this conclusion...I'm going to purchase the designs I like regardless of who offers them and always give credit to whomever I get them from when I post my projects.  I have ordered from Urban Threads, Sublime Stitching, and indies on etsy and think there is still more room in the market for designers.  The more the merrier!  I don't personally see the Urban Threads patterns as a direct rip off of Jenny Hart, these are common kitschy themes that are everywhere.
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009 01:57:19 PM »

I still care!  I found a blog which already summarized my take on the situation beautifully (http://craftathon.com/misc/urban-threads-response), but please allow me to pontificate anyway.

I have purchased from both companies and been happy with those purchases.  I will probably continue to purchase from them both, buying from whoever has the pattern I want.  However, I am currently not thrilled with either one.  Urban Threads may not have meant to mislead us, but she did.  Deliberate or not, the site made it sound like a one woman company, which it isn't.  Personally, I don't care that it is affiliated with Embroidery Library, but I do feel misled.  And (as far as I can tell, please correct me if I'm wrong) Sublime Stitching posted an open letter on this situation *before* contacting either Urban Threads or Embroidery Library to try to clear things up.  I'm not comfortable with that.

As for the copyright infringement issue, it looks like a few Urban Threads designs are a bit close for comfort, but for the most part it looks to me that they are drawing from the common well of indie craft aesthetic and creating what that market wants.  Sublime Stitching was the first to do that, and Jenny Hart deserves major kudos for that, but there's room for more than one designer.
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009 11:19:17 AM »

Here's a link to the Urban Threads post regarding the situation:

http://www.urbanthreads.com/content/view/326/
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009 12:32:04 PM »

I'd like to hear what Jenny has to say, and why she's letting bloggers all over the web stick up for her instead of addressing this herself.

One thing to note... and this is just speculation on my part... is that I think that if someone is pursuing any copyright infringement actions, then they need to refrain from publicly discussing the situation.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009 12:32:38 PM by the craftster admin (leah) » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009 12:41:49 PM »

I was thinking that as well.  I read that on one of the blogs recently.

What a sticky situation. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 07, 2009 12:43:15 PM by sweets4ever - Reason: Typo. D'oh! » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009 12:45:27 PM »

If it's the case, then it's a bummer because other people can say all they want about it publicly but the person who is taking action can't really chime in and defend themselves or present all of  their evidence to the public. Sad
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009 12:48:18 PM »

That sounds like my personal Hell, basically. Cheesy  I think I would have to step away from the computer, if I was in that position.  It would drive me nutty.
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009 04:09:27 PM »

My understanding is that Sublime Stitching is huge, with tons of media exposure and I guess her fans even have their own board on some craft site  Huh

 You mean this? http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=173.0
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lisalady161
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009 06:13:51 PM »

Quote

Sorry if I offended, I was trying to be funny and keep this thread as light in tone as possible.  But apparently from your comments below that might be impossible.

I didn't think about the legal ramifications, but as a former student of copyright law that makes her silence understandable. 

But I still  find it wonky that SS is the injured party here, because with the exception of her guest artist series I found very little of her work that isn't derivative from 50's and 60's tattoo and clip art.  Hell, those silly Christmas ornaments have been on everything from greeting cards to the cover of a 1960's Percy Faith album!

Perhaps I was unclear in my original post, but what hacked me off about the whole issue was that a third party site started the fight, neither SS nor UT. 

When I first read Dinosaurs and Robots, I saw the comparison pictures and went, "Wait, that UT picture isn't right (Rocket Girl).  Someone added and subtracted elements form the UT design to make it look more like the SS design. I also took offense at the "Big corporate UT ripping off poor little SS", excuse me?   

So what if Niamh works for a machine embroidery company; don't most of us have day jobs?

Jenny Hart's the hottest cottage industry in anything anywhere for the last decade.  I just can't see why she's the underdog here.

I agree with most of the posts here....there's enough web for everyone and you buy what you like. 

But maybe I tend to side with UT because I found them on the web last spring and loved their stuff so much I finally picked up my hoops again.  Maybe because UT had fun, original designs that were a little more complex and interesting than Sublime Stitching's stuff.  Maybe because Niamh's website led me to Craftster and all the other great sites on the web.

If people don't like that, too bad.  I'm sorry to be the unpopular voice here, but I thought at least you moderators would be a little more unbiased.

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