While we have been thoroughly reminded that the world is full of mean jerks lately, unfortunately there are also jerks lurking in our quilting community.
About a month ago, when I was Pinterest-ing before bed, I clicked on a post bearing resemblance to a pattern that I both own and have made and got sent over to a blog I had never been to before. I was taken aback because this person was purporting this to be their original design and had made their version (identical to the original) of the pattern available for free on their site. Knowing that it was far to late to try to fight copyright infringement and plagiarism at 11 PM in my pajamas, I liked the post on Pinterest as a mental note to follow up on it.
Of course I forgot about it until Friday last week.
When I finally got back to investigating, I looked through the entire blog and realized that many of the free patterns posted by this person were outright copies of patterns by designers that I recognized. Just based on patterns that I recognized I found five instances of plagiarism in this person's blog -- four of which took for-purchase patterns and made their own free versions of the pattern.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
I emailed each pattern designer with the link to the blog post of the copied version of their pattern and all of the posts containing the copied patterns have since been taken down and removed from the blogger's website. One designer told me this person was rude and wouldn't apologize and one designer's business manager told me that they recognized additional patterns taken from another designer and passed on the website to them.
Side note: these aren't little pattern designers like myself either, we're talking people I would consider "big time" designers and bloggers who have fabric lines, books, you name it. I'm hugely surprised people didn't notice that the blogger in question was copying patterns before now because some of the posts in question were over a year old. This could be a function of this person being a relatively new blogger with a relatively small following but it's probably also related to the fact that people are jerks and like getting things for free.
Ready for the kicker?
This person, who has made a name for themselves by copying others, is going to be featured in not one, not two, BUT SEVEN upcoming quilt magazine issues.
Needless to say, this grinds my gears.
I've put in complaints via the customer service emails for each of the magazines or publishers that this blogger has said will be publishing their patterns.
But really, what else can be done? This person has gotten their "in" as a pattern designer with major magazines and they will likely not suffer any consequences. Magazines work months ahead of schedule and likely some of these issues are already printed.
This post is more of a vent than anything else since I don't feel like it is appropriate to start a witch hunt by sharing this person's name and blog because they have actually removed all of the posts as requested by the designers even if they have been plagiarizing with reckless abandon.
So I leave you with this thought: the quilting community is amazing 99% of the time. This 1% of jerks can't be allowed to succeed -- this is why things like May is for Makers is so important. If you see something that just isn't right, don't be afraid to say something.
Update 6-16-16 9 AM: I actually received a response from an editor at one of the magazines in question that they will be cutting ties with this person and will be removed from consideration from any future issues. Unfortunately with the way that the magazine process works, they may or may not be able to pull some of the patterns out of the fall issues, which is disappointing.