Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Lots of heat - any light?

To answer a few comments...

I don't think it's complicated either, Debra - I contacted Amy yesterday morning. She told there was nothing she could do about it. I didn't ask that she remove the design - as a matter of fact in my email to her I stressed that I didn't want Melissa to feel bad about her first published piece - but I wondered if she could offer a link to my hat kit to sort of offset my lost sales. It's my best selling hat pattern - grandparents love it... go figure! She said it wouldn't be right.

Kerstin and Steph: I respect your opinion(s), but it would take a lot of hard work to see nastiness in my last post, or to glean that I "convey the impression that she [Melissa] has ripped you [Annie] off with some sort of intent" If that's how it read then I sincerely apologize to Melissa.

Melissa and I have been emailing about this and I feel we've come to a nice resolution - I've encouraged her to continue designing, told her how cute I thought her hat was (of course I think it's cute, I designed it too!) and complimented her model.

Melissa strikes me as the type of woman who can fight her own battles, which is the best thing you can say about anyone! I don't think that Melissa feels that I said she ripped me off (oy, THAT'S a convoluted sentence!) - but then again, I can't put words in someone else's mouth.

If she does feel that way, I can assure her - and the world, god, and everyone else who reads this - that (once again - say it with me everybody...)

I don't for a moment think that Melissa Walters "stole" my idea

I never implied, insinuated or even thought that Melissa had "ripped me off", but as my pattern IS copyright protected it is incumbent on me as the owner of that copyright, on behalf of myself and all designers who earn their living by selling patterns, to set the record straight. As far as ranting - well, I hadn't thought I was ranting but of course you have every right to believe I was. And here I am, ranting, day 2. Stop me, before I rant again!

This is an
important issue - not just my little piece of it, but as an issue that all designers and all knitters who buy patterns have to contend with. And I do feel that it is incumbent on an editor to scan the horizon and see what else is out there. That's part of being an editor. And, like all humans, editors are not perfect and make mistakes and can't see everything that's out there. When a mistake is made, it's good to try to correct it and learn from it.

All I'm asking is that we - the knitting community, designers, pattern purchasers, interested bystanders and the cats that love them - All I'm asking is that we LEARN from this and try to be careful as we present new patterns. As a costume and set designer, I know that no one works in a vaccuum - that inspiration is NOT theft - and that we are affected by everything we see.

I also know that you can't really tell those two hats apart.

And, here's a thought - how do you think Melissa would react if I hadn't said anything and my hat showed up in the next issue Vogue? (which it won't, sadly...) I recently had a sweater in Stitch & Bitch which looked a LOT like a sweater in Interweave Knits. IK came out first, and as soon as I saw that sweater I emailed the editor at IK to make sure she understood that the sweater in S&B wasn't a steal, that it was a coincidence.

That was an instance where two sweaters were being published almost simultaneously, different from this situation where my hat pattern had been published last year. But please believe me that if I had seen that sweater in IK before I sent the sample to S&B I would have had Deb and Pam on a conference call to discuss the situation and would have offered to pull my design. I hadn't done anything wrong, but it just wouldn't have felt good to me.
and isn't that what this is all about - me feeling good... heh heh
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