I have a new computer and too much time on my hands. I decided to take some sewing time off and just browse around blogs and such. I came across an interesting and disturbing situation between some dollmakers that are friends and acquaintances of mine. This little blog is a TRIBUTE to dollmakers who WILL stand up for themselves and who WILL make efforts to protect their copyrighted designs, whether legally or creatively, and stand up for each other. So I type this blog at the risk of "sounding unprofessional" to further take a stand.
I entered ebay just over a year ago with my dolls and in surfing ebay, was able to pick out several doll designs that were so much alike I knew someone was copying someone. After all as you get to "know" a dollmaker, a style is a style, you can pick them out from those tiny gallery photos. As I grew to know some of them, the stories emerged and it all made sense. I wondered how someone could have a pattern for sale that was of someone else's design, but I was new to the marketplace. Well I found out that the pattern for sale and the doll for sale were two different people, one was the original and one was the immitation. The comfort is in knowing that people/customers see someone is copying , but in the long run they want the original, not a fake. A true artist doesn't need to copy, their creations exist in their minds, it is a gift. To me copying and inspiration are two different ball fields. To be inspired by a color, shape, accessory, or theme and create in your own style is one thing, but to basically "xerox" a design and call it your own is illegal and immoral. For me I know my customers know my style and collect from me, because it is original and not the cheap immitation.
I too have had copycats attack my work. The way I found out was through my faithful and valued customers notifying me. I thank them and appreciate it. My attorney sent appropriate letters to the copycats and though they still teeter on the fence posts testing me, they have backed off a bit. Copyright law has changed so much in the last couple of years, that items like dolls are protected more than ever now. My legal consultant told me the only way you DON'T have a copyright is if you allow someone to copy your work. Each infringement is a battle to be fought and won, one at a time. So watch out, I will be WATCHIN' you... you know who you are!! I am also happy to share that ebay will support copyright infringement and end the auction if you have proof, of which i have tons of it!! I am just waiting, and watchin'...
So I salute my pfatt sister (guess I won't mention names)for her courage to stand up for a valued pfatt sister and to show her true creativity as a true artist to get her point across. It is ashame that two talented groups of women had to separate into two separate groups just like religion does to people, hence there are hundreds of religions.
I am proud and honored to be a part of pfatt. I was undecided on which group to join at one time, but the choice was made quickly for me, it was the RIGHT CHOICE, and I have no regrets!! The small group of women are some of the most amazing human beings I will ever meet. They are faithful, supportive, loving and caring, let alone involved with worldwide companies who treasure their work. I have been told that the Ashton Drake company and other large corporations regularly search "PFATT" for artists. Again, I am honored to be a member of that prestigious group.
So TRUE dollmakers of America!! don't be afraid to stand up for who you are and what you do!! Beat the immitators off with a stick if need be...
hugs to all, robin