Why I am Not Sharing

I am quite convinced that certain issues come up in a cycle rotating almost every two years or so.

This post has to deal with one of those issues. I will try to get through it as nicely and politely as possible. Intellectual property

Lately, there have been some issues with violating Intellectual Property Rights. As such, we will start there.

What is Intellectual Property?

“Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” (World Intellectual Property Organization.)

What are Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time. (World Trade Organization)


Article 27. Section 2 “Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.” (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.)

Copying and distributing someone’s research without permission violates Intellectual Property Rights. Using someone’s photos from the internet without their written permission violates Intellectual Property Rights. Taking photos of someone’s slideshow and sharing them violates Intellectual Property Rights. This is as much a moral issue as it is a legal issue.

Now, I am not going to address other instances of late as those are other people’s business. I will address part of my end.

I feel I share quite generously that which I am happy to share. This past year, I shared transcribed primary information weekly for millinery and in a variety of series for other social and material culture topics. I have shared a number of how-tos and directions over the years. Besides my blog, I have shared a notable amount of research and information in printed publications.

Frankly, I put a great deal of my time, thought, energy and money into my research and writing. I know there is some delusion oou there that those of us who work in the public school system live a comfortable lifestyle. I assure you, this is not the case. I do not have oodles of extra time and extra cash laying around to toss at a fun little hobby. I take my research seriously and choose to cut other parts of my budget to get what I need to do my research.

I have been asked for particular pieces of research lately.

  • I have been asked for up-close photos of the techniques I use in my winter millinery.
  • I have been asked for step-by-step images of how I do my straw millinery.
  • I have been asked for up-close images of originals in my collection.
  • I have been asked for construction details from originals in my collection.

want to be happy to share these. My gut reaction actually is to share. But, the reality is I have had my millinery work copied and sold. I have had my directions copied and distributed.

There is no way for me to tell if someone asking is doing so for honest reasons of personal enrichment, curiosity and improvement, or if they are looking for some pre-done research they can make a quick profit off of.

I acknowledge some people may not realize they have done this; they may not have malicious intent.

But, it happens.

And, frankly it sucks.

This said…. Yes, I am working on a couple projects. I have one pet one in particular. You will see some of the products resulting from some of the work during this project. You, meaning the general internet public, will not see the details of this project until I have decided the format and venue to properly introduce it.

Please, as take time to consider how you can protect Intellectual Property Rights whether your’s or someone else’s. 

Published in: on February 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm  Comments (16)  

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Anna, I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I’m a terrible researcher & admire those of you that can, do & share, but I can’t imagine how wounded you must feel, and so many care for you farrr to much to do anything. We are also smart enough to know what “Intellectual Property” is and the rights of that person that attach to it. Please allow me to say, from many of us, we are collectively outraged for you. Take time to get your bearings. We’ll wait for you! Caring Thoughts!

  2. You are 100% justified in not sharing your designs and practices! There are too many people who take advantage of helpful people.
    I have occasionally been asked by people at modern craft shows where I get my apron fabrics (they’re so cute, of course they want to know!). If they sound like a sewer I share a couple site names just to be nice and because I can tell they weren’t going to buy anything anyway by this point. If not, I just say “all over the place.” I’m not giving away the horse, just a little bit of hay!

  3. I too am sorry this has happened to you. I have learned so much and look forward to your posts. Thank you for all you share.

  4. Just today I was thinking about the research and construction that went into your work on Needlebooks. As I read, I admired your drawings and directions. I’ve come to know how much of your talent and treasure you have put into the scope of the publication. I appreciate you and your love for the mid-century. Thank you.

  5. Super annoying. I’ve even seen others take stuff on my blog and recreate it into their own handouts. I’ve also had others remake my tutorial into their own. Really? Why not just link to mine? If you could only know the intent.

  6. I totally agree with the other comments; I understand how painful it is to have someone use your hard work for their own profit. Someone I trusted used a photo that I took on a book cover and never asked me or gave me credit but put his own name on it! I understand betrayal. I love reading your posts and blogs Anna; as a “newbie” I have learned so much from you. Please know how much you are admired and appreciated.

  7. Thanks you very much. I do want to say many of the illustrations are Elizabeth’s. She did a beautiful job.

  8. Oh Dear, I am so sorry that this has happened…again. I very much appreciate what you find you can/want to share. I very much appreciate the opportunity to BUY you book, Fanciful Utility. And I totally concur with your comment about intellectual THEFT being a moral issue as well as a legal issue. BTW, as a retired teacher I can emphasize that “extra money” does not exist~I had to budget just like everyone else. And if I had truly kept track of all the family monies I spent on my classroom and my students…Thank you for what you share and thank you for the opportunity to learn from you. Sincerely, Dori G

  9. I love working with my hands, doing crafts, etc. My family on both sides have always been handy and crafty. There have been many times I will see things folks have done and ask (politely of course) how they made their item. I have never been really interested in recreating someone’s item for profit. For me it’s about, “can I do this”. Usually once I make an item or two I move on to something else. And even if I get good at it (like some of my leather working items) I will usually give it away. I have had folks tell me I should sell my stuff, but for me it’s a hobby and not a living. Maybe when I retire I may switch, but otherwise I don’t think so.

    Sorry folks have stolen your ideas and I do agree with your comments.

  10. Barry, Thank you for your comment. You describe just the type of person I enjoy sharing with. It sounds like you really enjoy the process.

  11. Dori, Thank you for your comment and appreciation. I am glad you enjoy FanU. Thank you for all your years in the classroom.

  12. Bonnie, I am so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for understanding. And, thank you for your readership.

  13. Emily,
    I wish people understood how much time we put into our work and blog posts.
    Thank you for writing.

  14. Linda, Thank you for your comment. I am glad you enjoy my posts.

  15. I can’t imagine keeping a straight face during face to face questions.

  16. Trisha, Thank you for taking a moment to comment. I appreciate your thoughts.

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