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.
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 contract....you 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!