Saturday, May 7, 2011

Solutions, solutions!

So, after all the frustrations and chatter about copyright infringement and how difficult it is for we designers to protect our rights I went quiet and did some beading.  That's the only way to get centered and realise why I'm following this path and to know that I want to continue doing so.
It also gives all the possible solutions time to marinate and formulate.

The obvious solution is to only sell commercial patterns so people are paying for the rights to sell and I released my first of these patterns, Goose Bumps, this week.  But, I am not happy, because I think this system hurts the ethical beader, the beader who just wants to make a design for themselves and to give as gifts and so adheres to the 'personal use only' rules.
I don't think those people should have to pay a higher price just because of a few unethical, greedy people.

So...a solution.
A club where you sign a yearly contract where you agree to only use my designs for your own personal use (for yourself and to give as gifts) and that gets you a 40% discount on the tutorials.
It would be called PUCC ~ Personal Use Contract Club
(added bonus, if someone complains about my prices I can say "Oh, PUCC it!")

I think I have the logistics worked out, basically, you'd ask to be in the club ("Hey Mikki, I want to PUCCer up")
and I'd e-mail you a would sign the contract, either digitally, or print sign and scan, or print, sign and snail mail it back to me.  I would then issue you your own special coupon code and you'd be set to get your 40% discount.  You would of course be able to upgrade a tutorial to commercial if you decided you wanted to sell it.

So...what do you think? Would you be willing to sign a contract to get 40% off?

I did come up with a term that someone mentioned might be useful for the beading community....RTS or Rights To Sell and I'm working on making a logo for that.
I want to format a letter with some useable graphics that we designers can send to the magazines....asking that they are used (or something like them) on the patterns in their magazines so that readers instantly know if they can only use the pattern for personal use, if they can sell what they make from it or not, if there is a license to sell available or not (and link to get it), if they are allowed to teach it or not and if there is a license to teach available or not (and the link for it).  And of course they would need to make sure these options were included in the contracts we designers are given.

As for a central registry for designs....that would be way too much work.
So, my thoughts are that we create a website where teachable designs are shown with links to where they can be bought.  There would need to be a format for listing them so they could be searchable by designer, stitch, type (bracelet, earrings, etc), and experience level.  This would give the bead stores somewhere to go to get things to teach without infringing someone's copyright.  Plus if the beading community came together to make sure that all bead stores had the web address and we had a page about copyright infringement then these stores would become informed.
We could charge a nominal fee for the listings...50c....and that money could pay for the website and go into a legal fund in case we need it.
It would be good for designers and good for bead stores. WinWin!



  1. Wow! I think it sounds fabulous, Mikki! I've only had one pattern published (though copied multiple times), so I can only imagine the frustration you and Carol Dean have had with all the infringers. Maybe if there were something like this, I wouldn't be so afraid to start selling tutorials for my patterns.

  2. Please don't discard the central registry idea. I looked at Ravelry again. It has the structure all set up for knitters and crocheters. I believe it would be a very simple matter for that site to add a section for beaders - a simple matter, I am thinking of copying the code and stucture of the site to add another craft venue. Many of the patterns incorporate beading on ravelry - and many, many people if the bead also knit or crochet.

    The person who coded the site is listed and I wondered how he would react if he were contacted - if the site were broadened it would increase the revenue stream for them through advertising and it would be a wonderful boon for all us beaders. :-)

    I wanted to write you about this earlier, but I am trying to get ready to move and am clearing out 31 years of detritus.

  3. Annie, I just don't think designers would use it. Given the input so far on what I wrote this morning it's lots of well wishes but no one wants to follow suit. If it works for me they might, but to be honest I'm not going to do any of it on my own, I don't have the time and it depresses me to have to lead all the time, I'm too old and too tired. I wrote about my PUCC idea to get input from people...beaders who would sign up and designers who would follow suit...two hours in it's disappointing and making me want to chuck it all again. But as I think my commercial prices are as good as a lot of personal use prices I'm not going to worry about it. I don't want the stress of people stealing my work and this is what I can do about it. It would be nice if designers could come together and do something jointly but I think in general people tend to watch the people who rock the boat and only get aboard after they've seen the boat didn't sink.

  4. I think if you started the Pucc it program other designers might follow is a good idea. I also understand the "old and tired" - I belonged to two artist groups in my area after I retired and soon found myself with volunteer roles that took up almost a day a week - don't have the time. I did take a shot at writing Ravelry to see if they would add a new category for beading - nothing ventured, nothing gained. I am expecting a "no". Oh well....

  5. I will do the PUCC program but it will take some time...have to change all the tutorials I have listed and I'll do a lead in time so people can get into the club. I do think if people see it work for me they'll give it a shot too.
    If Ravelry do it that would be cool...thanks for doing that.

  6. I like your thoughts on this subject Mikki, your solution seems a way forward. Are you considering this for US beaders only?

  7. The bracelet looks pretty.
    I have read the previous post. I hope your idea will work and you can avoid such situations.
    Greetings from Budapest. Tundrus

  8. I would be willing to sign such a contract to get 40% off, and a reasonable price for a personal use pattern. I never sell my work nor have I designed anything that amounted to much. However, I love to implement others designs and can't afford to pay commercial rates. A promise from me would be a promise kept.

  9. Thanks :)
    I think it should be worldwide not just in the US. With the internet our shopping capabilities are now worldwide and any new laws that eventually get onto the books will reflect this I think. Key word there is "eventually" so anything we can do in the meantime will help.
    Pam, the PUCC program is for people just like you :)

  10. I think this is a brilliant plan. It has the advantage of providing an education as well as a solution to a constant problem. And it's dang funny to boot! Bravo. I'm probably not going to be a club member tho. I have such limited beading time that if I am making your work, there is no time to make my own! But if I did not design for myself, the contract seems a very reasonable request for a 40% discount.


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