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Topic: Somebody selling a pattern from one of my items.  (Read 2351 times)
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« on: November 18, 2008 11:54:50 AM »

I listed an item for sale that is of my own idea, inspired by my boyfriend and the pattern was made up by me. When I listed the item, I checked around other sites to see if anybody has made anything like this before. I couldnt find anything. Now, I listed my item on 10-3 and I logged onto etsy yesterday and somebody is selling a pattern for the item I made, with two things extra in the pattern. In the listing it says 'the highly requested instructions'.

I feel so ripped off, and can't believe another crafter would do such a thing without giving credit. Am I being unreasonable to feel as though she stole my design and is now going to be making money from it? Also you can sell your items made from her pattern as long as you give her credit, but she isnt the one who came up with it! Ugh!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008 11:56:47 AM by dreadbeth » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008 04:08:12 PM »

I read your post earlier, and while on Etsy today, I stumbled upon this:
Hope this helps.


« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008 04:13:56 PM »

That is rather annoying. I would atleast expect them to convo you about doing such a thing, and share profits. As it is your design.
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2008 09:37:10 PM »

Stealing and copying is sooo bogus. You can hear "copying is the most sincere form of flattery..." until it happens to you!! :-(

You might want to contact Etsy admin. They may or may not do something about it.
Also, depending on how much you want to dive into this, you could contact a local legal aid organization, or look for a lawyer for the arts... If there aren't many lawyers who specialize in this, there should be. There is *(unfortunately) a need for such legal help.

Good luck to you.

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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009 12:48:27 PM »

*I am not a lawyer. You really need to talk to an intellectual property lawyer for 100% accurate answers*

This kind of thing can be very tough to prove. You have to show:

-That you came up with the item originally.
-That you came up with the item prior to the other person.
-That nothing like this existed anywhere prior to you creating it.
-And that the other person was aware of your item before they came up with their own.

Just emailing and saying "Hey, this person is copying me" won't be good enough. Probably for etsy and absolutely for a lawyer or a court of law. You claim to have "searched around on other sites and couldn't find anything" but that is unlikely to be a through enough search.

You may be able to bully this person into stopping selling the item, depending on how much they know about copyright law. But they could also just blow you off. I have no idea what etsy's response would be, but they probably have good IP lawyers advising them on what they are required to do. And their TOU's are likely written in such a way that they are not responsible for doing anything if they do not think it is necessary.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, since this person is not actually selling this same item (unless I am reading your post wrong) there may be absolutely nothing you can do about it. Selling plans for something is frequently not a copyright violation in the way that selling the same item would be.

*I am not a lawyer. You really need to talk to an intellectual property lawyer for 100% accurate answers*
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009 01:44:13 PM »

Once again, not 'technically' a lawyer, but I am a lawyer in the making studying in Cambridge so hopefully what they're teaching me isn't completely useless! I'm assuming you are in the US, and I am a student of English IP law, but I am under the impression the two systems are virtually identical because of the way the global economy works these days.

Everything that Josh has said (see above) seems completely accurate to me. However if you're really serious about pursuing this proving the idea to be yours is not going to be your biggest issue. Before you do anything you really need to look carefully at this other persons item, because unfortunatly even something which is very heavily inspired by something else may not attract legal responsibility if they can argue that it is sufficiently different. (Which is much easier than you having to show the items are sufficiently similar). So before you take any action I would advise you to consider if these extra two things in the pattern in ANY way change the nature of the product, because unfortunatly if they do, you may end up wasting your time.

Hope that was in someway helpful, sorry its not fantastic news Sad



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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2009 02:49:57 PM »

Sorry to hear about this!  I'm always afraid that this could happen to me someday, since I design most of my own items, but don't sell the patterns. 

It would have been nice if this seller contacted you first to ask permission.  I always contact the maker of a pattern before I make something from it and decide to sell it.  They are usually super nice and flattered and just want you to give them credit in the listing.

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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009 12:28:53 AM »

i'm sorry this is happening to you and even more for my answer. i went to your etsy shop and saw that most of the stuff it to do with clothing. i think the law for clothing is that there is little or no copyright laws to protect you for your designs which has got to do with the view that fashion isn't an art, that clothing details are functions and that most of the stuff are influence of other, or something along those lines. that's why clothing companies can copy designs to every detail expect the label of the other company or anything that constitutes fraud (eg claiming to be "Prada" or " Louis Vuitton" when it's not). You can even be the manufacturer of a company and have labels handing over the patterns of their designs they want you to produce and you yourself can use the same pattern (copy it) and slap on another brand name.

if you're really concerned about this you should contact a lawyer or equivalent but it would cost a lot of money. and the person with the pattern could rightfully say that the pattern is their own work although the idea of it is not. they are not selling the exact thing you were selling either since it is a pattern not a piece of clothing (or whatever it was you were selling).

i hope this helps and good luck for the future on this.
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009 03:19:25 PM »

This can be unbelievable frustrating, oh I know. But remember that while this person "stole" your idea, unless you sell the pattern yourself they're not competing. People who want to make their own will go there, and people who want the lovely wonderful item that your have, already made, in hip fashionable fabrics... will go to you. It doesn't remove the sting of being copied, but remember your business plan is to make nice clothes that people want to buy.

Sorry, and keep your chin up!!!

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