Monday, December 13, 2010

Beware, there are crazy people at Ravelry too

An unbelievable thing happened to me during the weekend. I found out that a person in Ravelry was using my copyrighted pattern picture as her only wip project picture, and the project page had no notes claiming that she’s not the owner of the picture. Instead the copyright text under the picture said that she had the copyright. She also had many other copyrighted pictures in her other projects, without any additional notes as well. So I contacted the person firmly, but still very professionally, to inform her that she has infringed my copyright and that I expect her to remove the picture as soon as possible. However, I did not know that I had contacted some kind of a crazy person.

She replied to my message pretty much blaming me for not telling that I don’t want people do use my picture and that she was using them for some Ravelry group thing. The tone was really aggressive. She even said that she’s going to tell everyone that they shouldn’t bother to knit my design. I ignored the latter and kindly explained to her that copyright in fact means that people can’t use my pictures without permission and I don’t have to state that separately, and that it doesn’t matter in which context she wants to use them. They’re still my pictures and I have the rights.

And then I decided to check out what Ravelry group thing she was talking about. I thought I should warn the starter of the group thing or the moderators of that group that there’s a thing advising people to use copyrighted pictures without permission. I did not found a thing asking people to use copyrighted picture, but I found out that the very same person I contacted to, was trash talking about me in the forum.

In her forum post she claimed that I had contacted her in a “very, very rude way”. J.R. has seen all the messages I sent to her and all the messages she sent to me, and he agrees with me: the only one with rude messages was her. She also lied: she said that there was a capitalized text in the project page that said “I am not the owner of this picture but the designer” or something like that. It was an utter lie. I checked the project page carefully before contacting her. J.R. saw the project page too and he does not remember such text to exist either. I wouldn’t have mind her post so much... but she was pointing me out and making me look like an awful person.

So when I left a message in the forum to ask them to stop trash talking about me, she witched to other forum and used even nastier language there. She even said that she had reported me to Ravelry. For what? Asking her to stop using my copyrighted picture? And at that point I decided that she must be crazy. I just couldn’t come up with any other explanation. Why would anyone sane do that kind of thing? What did she benefit from doing that? You can only imagine how furious I was. I had done nothing bad to her and yet she kept on trash talking about me.

I am so disappointed with what happened that I’m reconsidering if I really want to share my patterns in Ravelry in the future. I didn’t share my patterns to be come a “designer” or to be seen as one, I shared my patterns because I loved Ravelry. I thought it was my way to thank all those wonderful people in the Ravelry whose free patterns I had used. But why share if that’s what you get? People exploit your hard work, trash talk about you, lie to make you look bad... I really don’t need any of that. I don't deserve any of that.


hillanen said...

Some people are just plain unbelievable. :( I am sorry that you had to go through this kind of awful thing. :(

Elina said...

Wow O.o She IS crazy. A normal person would have apologized and done what you asked, even IF you had been rude. And how hard can it be to grasp the concept of copyright? Unbelievable. But I trust that most people can see through her trash, usually when someone is really trashing someone, it's not the whole truth... Maybe YOU should contact the Ravelry staff to give her a warning? Obviously they can see who's being reasonable and who isn't. It would serve her right if she got banned, that kind of behavior is just ridiculous and unacceptable.

I just don't get why ppl bother to bully others and be complete asses, when it's a HOBBY after all. It should be a source of joy, not drama.

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry to hear this. It sounds like a Kafka novel! :(
I hope it doesn't put you off Ravelry though. There are crazy and mean people everywhere, and I know for a fact that Ravelry has a higher percentage of nice and wonderful people than any other place on the Internet ;) Don't let one bad experience turn you away. Hugs!

o_O said...

You poor thing. I think some people forget that there are real people on the other end of the keyboard reading what they probably would never say face to face in person. I agree with Fridica - I hope this doesn't put you off Ravelry either, I've only had good experiences through this site. Hugs, you're great!

Your friend,
Heidi J.

Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

Don't get down on Ravelry just because one person is crazy. I'm actually kind of amazed that it doesn't happen more, considering some of the other forums (not knitting ones) that I've been a part of. It just seems like on the internet mean people feel as if they don't have to hide their meanness like they do in real life.

I hope this one bad experience doesn't keep you from doing what you love! WE all appreciate you, and that's all that matters!


Susie said...

I hope that you reported this to people at Ravelry. I'm sure they'll be able to see who posted what and will take appropriate action.

Alyssa said...

That's so horrible! I hope that you at least contacted the moderators of those groups. Mods should not be letting people say horrible, untrue things about people. Just know that this isn't acceptable on Ravelry, that user should be reprimanded and the groups should be, too, for letting such horrible behavior continue.

Also, did the user upload the picture to Flickr? If so, you can contact Flickr to have the image removed.

I'm sorry that this happened to you :( Just know for every horrible person that does this, there are hundreds if not thousands of people that see your pattern and appreciate it, WITHOUT ripping you off!

Alice said...

Wow, I'm sorry this happened to you! Have YOU tried contacting Ravelry to get this sorted out? I mean, you do have your rights and I'm sure Ravelry will honor that -- either by telling her to remove it or banning her for being a...well, you know.

Amoena said...

Thank you for all your supportive comments. You are amazing... and the best of Ravelry as well!

Alyssa and Alice: She deleted the whole project, along with the other ones that had copyrighted pictures. It was more convenient to her I guess because that's why she was able to lie about the content of the project page :/ The moderators, I think, did their best. They did not removed all the comments, but they removed some and edited some of her posts so they didn't point me out anymore. The other thread was completely archived, because it was a really popular one and it had thousands of posts already.

Susie: I feel that reporting her would put me in the same category with her. I don't like to talk badly about others, even when the things I say are true. I just hope she learned something from this (like that it's easy to check up what she's writing in the forums) and is more careful next time with her public accusations.

Carol said...

Carol: It's a year later, but I just read your post. I'm glad for you that things finally got settled. I just went through all of the projects based on your design. Knitting your design has given a lot of people much pleasure, and many laughs! Remember that. We thank you.

Carol said...

Carol: It's a year later, but I just read your post. I'm glad for you that things finally got settled. I just went through all of the projects based on your design. Knitting your design has given a lot of people much pleasure, and many laughs! Remember that. We thank you.

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