PlanetJune Craft Blog

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open letter to a thief

To the person who has been stealing my crochet patterns and posting them online: I am not a large corporation who can easily absorb a little petty theft. I am not making millions from my patterns. I work hard to produce quality patterns for the enjoyment of the crafting community and I charge a small amount as compensation for my hard work.

I was shocked and hurt when a member of the Crochetville community drew this to my attention this morning (thanks Maria!). One of the things I love most about the online craft community (bloggers, forum users, etsy shoppers, etc) is the culture of inspiration, and sharing ideas and techniques, that enriches us all. I have created lots of free tutorials and I always offer my customers any advice or help they need via e-mail. So to discover that one of my customers has betrayed me like this hurts even more.

crochet pattern
My patterns are protected by copyright… or are they??

To all my lovely honest customers and online friends: Thank you for your comments and your custom! Your appreciation of my work makes all this worthwhile, and I’m not going to let one bad apple spoil everything for me. If you see any of my patterns illegally floating around the internet, please do let me know so I can try to stop them from spreading.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to combat this kind of thievery?


  1. Mini said

    Better yet, watermark their name and SNAIL mail address. This should be visible to you from within the paypal order payment screen. I got to thinking email addresses are too easy to change. Snail mail addresses are not.

  2. Mini said

    I’m so sorry this has happened to you. People can really suck sometimes.

    Another tip is to add the customer’s name and email address as a watermark to the PDF file before you deliver it to the customer. Lock down the security for editing (do not allow). It’s nearly impossible to hack into the file to remove. That would discourage any would-be thief from posting as everyone would know immediately who the culprit is. You can also password-protect the file so it requires a password each time the file is opened.

    I’ll keep my eye open and let you know if I find any of your patterns posted elsewhere!

  3. Joel said

    June, when you come across one of your patterns on the web, immediately contact the site’s ISP and inform them that their customer is using the servers to districubte stolen information. They will remove the file!

    As a webmaster (webmistress? it’s hard to picture a lady with stuffed bunnies everywhere as a “master”) I’m sure you know the difference between a web address and the hosting ISP.

    Best of luck. I love your patterns, and your site is very helpful.

  4. Sara Fail said

    I’ve seen designer’s msgs at the bottom of each page that say, if you purchased this from anywhere but (insert your own approved sources here), you bought stolen intellectual property and need to report the seller immediately.

    Or something like that.

  5. Oh June! I am so gutted for you! I think the best thing would be the background as Lis suggested. I wonder if you could add some sort of statement at the bottom explaining how hard you work on them as a sort of plea to conscience?

  6. Lis said

    Yikes, that’s horrible! I feel your pain.

    It’s kind of difficult for us to place watermark on the images, because that kind of disrupt the visibility for the crafters to view the images. I do patterns too, and I know I want people to see it clearly on the pictures.

    June, what I did though, is to create a background in pdf, with my logo, I also protect the entire document so that they can’t edit the wordings, copy the images etc, that way, it’s in hope that if they do post the entire pattern up, buyers will see who is the genuine designer.

    Worth giving it a though eh.

  7. Anne said

    I am really sorry this dreadful person has done this to you. Unfortunately there are some people out there with no conscience at all.

    The only thing I can suggest is to put your name as a watermark all over your pages.

  8. Cristina said

    I’m sorry about wath happen to you June. That is really a big messy thing, i don’t know about those laws, so i really can’t help you there.

  9. Kari said

    I don’t know about Canada’s copyright laws, but you should definitely do some reading. If it was me, I’d start with a cease and desist letter, and then if they don’t stop, I could persue them legally in a civil court case (but lawyers are so fricken expensive!) Oy, I’m really sorry this happened to you, it really sucks!

  10. Kari said

    Oh my god….. this is HORRIBLE, June! I can’t believe someone would cheat you out of all of the hard work you’ve put into your patterns! Ugh, I hate how this happens all of the time, and there’s barely any recourse – or at least no set road for those to take who’ve been cheated. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had some authority to report such intellectual theft to?

    Where’s the pattern police when you need them? LOL

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