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.