Copyright Infringement

Hello everyone, hope you are enjoying your weekend?

This is not a subject I like to broach too often, but sadly, I get contacted every week, or more by well meaning customers who have seen my work for sale on other sites and are concerned that they are not legitimate. This means I have to contact the seller, or site claims department, and ask them to remove my patterns, it is not only time consuming but exasperating to have to do this again and again! (Precious time that could be spent stitching).

Here is an example: This week I heard from two different sources that this seller on ETSY was selling my designs:

I contacted the copyright claims department of ETSY to report them and received a reply that said in essence: ” We reviewed and rejected your report based on the information you provided. You can reach out to an attorney if you have additional concerns about this.” I had a similar situation with Amazon, who in contrast reacted very quickly and the relevant items were removed. (Thank you Amazon ).

Just to clarify, I do not sell my patterns on any other site but my own. The one exception is Inspirations Studios in Australia who license some of my patterns for sale. If you see my patterns, or embroidery patches, etc for sale on any other site, please do not purchase them as they are copies, not originals and they are infringing on my rights. There is very little I can do to prevent this from happening, but it might help if you only purchased patterns from embroidery designers that are known or recognized. Thank you for your honesty and support for small businesses.

Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.

77 thoughts on “Copyright Infringement”

  1. Violations of your rights are outrageous. However, I would like to mention two things. First, telling people to buy designs from only ‘known and recognised designers’ will make it rather difficult for new designers, some of whom will surely be legitimate. Given how difficult new designers must find it to get going, I don’t think this is a legitimate strategy. But people could look up a new name to see, for example, if the designer has a website and/or Instagram/Facebook etc. account. Somebody who has pictures of work with commentary and explanation, progress pictures or similar is likely to be legitimate. Second, I’m not sure boycotting Etsy in general is a great idea, though I agree Etsy behave very badly (hence the recent sellers’ strike). They are, though, a way for some people to make money from their designs and/or creations. Again, many legitimate designers will also have websites which links to their shops. Salley Mavor springs to mind here – I really would not like to see people boycotting her shop. I realise you didn’t ask people to boycott Etsy, but I would like to see some acknowledgement of the downsides to this. It isn’t just designers, either. There are small businesses on Etsy selling fabric, threads and equipment. In those cases, there’s not a similar concern as they’re not selling intellectual property. Etsy is a problem but lots of legitimate small businesses rely on it and it is not (quite) the Wild West which Amazon has become. (I know you had a good experience with Amazon but they often treat sellers absolutely terribly, including sellers whose intellectual property other sellers steal.) I don’t know what the solution is to these out-of-control sites, but I don’t think boycotting every Etsy seller is a good solution.

  2. I want to apologise. For my first embroidery project, I bought a kit from a Chinese seller, and only later I discovered that it was one of your designs. I finished it and learned so much from it. I am also glad that it led me to your other designs and the wonderful world of embroidery.

    Nevertheless, I am really sorry and will not be buying from unauthorised sources again.

  3. A bit late to the party here, but regarding Etsy, find yourself a friendly lawyer and put the fear of the Almighty into them. That’s the only thing they recognise. As for Chinese merchants, this is a well-known trait, alas. Such a great culture brought so low.

  4. Il y a des personnes qui se font de l’argent sur le dos des autres sans arrêt ! C’est une honte. Je serai attentive à toujours bien acheter sur votre site ou des publications françaises qui ont votre accord ! Ne vous laissez pas faire, c’est votre produit, votre travail et personne ne doit vous le voler ! Merci Trish pour vos newsletters régulières et pour votre blog.

  5. I am sorry to read of your trouble with copyright infringements. Could some nefarious “critter” gotten a hold of those patterns and posted them on Etsy as their own or some other fictitious name?

  6. Dreadful. Hope you manage to find a solution going forward to put a stop to this nonsense.

  7. Trish, it is absolutely deplorable that Etsy refused to do anything about your copyright claim. When Etsy became aware of the copyright infringement, they should have immediately removed the business from the Etsy website. As you are the original designer, your proof of copyright should have been immediately accepted. There are two things about the online business posting that struck me right away. 1. This is not a United States or Canadian business. The U.S. dollar price has a comma where there should be a period. That is common in a European/foreign business. United States and Canadian businesses always use the period when writing a price. 2. The name of the company/business is very strange. It reads similar to the beginning of an email address. For myself, I only buy patterns from your website, and will continue to do so. Hopefully, making the problem known will cause those who are selling your designs without your consent to close down their business websites. As for Etsy, shame on them. As we say in Montana, triple chokecherries to Etsy for their failure to recognize your copyright rights and remove the business website, and to the online business website Suncorss for violating your copyright rights and selling your original designs without your consent.

    1. Thanks Kristin and yes I agree with everything you say. FYI the seller is from China. I found on my site reports that they have been purchasing PDF patterns and obviously copying them. I have put measures in place to block them, so hopefully that will put a stop to their nonsense!

  8. How horrible this can happen and Etsy does not stand behind you! I’m not certain how I would know – would it be the name of the shop because their name is not your name? Anyway, it’s good you found out and best of luck – I have no idea how these people can sleep at night.

  9. Thank you so much to all of you for submitting your comments. I feel like I have a legion of support and that helps so much! It is upsetting that Etsy were not prepared to investigate my report, but it helps to know that everyone is aware and be rest assured that it will have no bearing whatsover on my designs going forward. I know that copying happens, but I also know that the majority of people are innately honest and don’t copy or share and you are the ones I create for. Have a lovely day everyone.

  10. Im with you, Trish. You have many loyal supporters who appreciate your hard work and dedication.We always look forward to something new and exciting from you. Bless you

  11. That’s awful. If it helps, the item is removed. I bet enough of us reported it that Etsy took notice. Still an awful system, I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  12. Unfortunately there are those in this world who are out to take advantage of anyone they can as long as they can make a quid. I love Trish’s work and only ever buy her designs from Inspirations, or I buy her books. I also do machine embroidery and I am amazed at the number of designs I see recreated on Etsy and other sites which are almost complete copies of a major design company. It makes one wonder why designers are not better protected. I hope your information deters others from buying from these rogues, Trish. All the best. I love your designs.

  13. Good luck with this Trish. Artistic treat is endemic, but it’s a good idea to ask those who know you professionally and your work, to be vigilant about where we purchase from. Thank you for all the hard work you put into your art and the support you give to your clients. 👏

  14. This is disgraceful behaviour on the part of some people. Difficult to make a living when people are so greedy and disrespectful. All the best Trish.

  15. Trish, call it for what it is…theft and piracy of intellectual property. Sadly, it happens in all industries and involves people who would never consider themselves as thieves except for gleefully accepting cheap and often illegitimate copies of someone else’s work.

    I’ve heard of people attending classes, then teaching what they’ve just learnt without credit or payment where it is due.

    Etsy’s re’action is disappointing, and they’ve just lost a customer, not that I was ever really one. At least the publishing industry and universities are aware that plagiaism happens in the best of families, and is dealt with accordingly.

    Do I have your permission to forward your comments?

    1. Thank you Robyn and yes I agree Etsy’s reaction was disappointing. Sad to hear that it happens with classes also! But it will help if everyone understands that if you see items cheaper elsewhere it is most likely a rip off. Also the instructions are not likely to be accurate.

  16. Trish, I edit a newsletter for my embroidery guild. Would it be helpful and acceptable if I reprinted your comments in our next issue? Embroiderers need to respect the work of our talented designers like you. A greater understanding of the issue is important.

    1. Thank you Catherine, yes it would be helpful to reach more people so they understand the situation with purchasing items on other sites.

  17. So sad as you are the one who has put all the time and effort into designing these projects.I won’t buy them.

  18. Hi Trish,

    How upsetting! I have never bought from Etsy. Will Etsy get the messsage from users? Fraud & Corruption is disgusting. One company getting away with this egregious behaviour is not acceptable, so hopefully no others do this

    Keep on designing & creating because the embroidery world is bigger than this company so this power can stop them.



    1. Thanks Susan, not sure if Etsy will get the message but none the less it helps if everyone is aware, and of course I will continue to keep creating and designing, no matter what!

  19. This is terrible. If I see this on any site other than Your own or Inspirations magazine, I will notify you as sending a letter to them makes sure they are aware of what they are doing.
    It is important to respect our designers. Thank you for letting us know

  20. Thank you for having the name of the shop, even if it is in small print. I now know never to purchase anything from them. This is horrible. Your designs are so unique. I am not likely to even think of buying your patterns from anyone because I have all your books (except the last one so far.). You are a wonderful designer and are entitled to the “fruits” of your labor. Sorry to hear this.

  21. I’m in a number of laser groups (I own 2 lasers in addition to my needlework shop) and unfortunately Etsy has a pretty bad track record with taking down this sort of them. Facebook is even worse. I would keep pestering Etsy and maybe at some point will pay attention. Etsy has become a safe haven for a lot of firms that steal other people’s work so it’s an ongoing battle.

    1. Thanks Cathe, that is interesting to hear. Sad to hear that Facebook are the same. Etsy was started by a bunch of young enthusiasts who had the best interests of small businesses at heart, but like anything they got too big and are now a major corporation. That does not mean that all the sellers are corrupt but feel they should vet the sellers before they are allowed to sell on their site.

  22. Poor form that you have to be a victim to this, as you are so generous with your talents on many other platforms all around the world! Come on folks, support our artistic creative inspirers ! Love your work Trish, from Northern Ireland.

    1. I was NOT PLEASED to discover that I had bought a PDF pattern of yours in good faith a couple of years ago. I discovered to my chagrin when I was happily stitching at an embroidery do here in NZ. Thank you Trish for clarifying your sales plan.

      1. Hi Melanie, there was a time when someone was selling my PDFs in your part of the world through craft markets or other. I had a spate of emails complaining that the instructions were not accurate. Sorry to hear you were one of the victims, if you email me I can help with the right pattern.

  23. So sorry this is happening to you and others! Good to know who does and does NOT have the rights to your beautiful embroidery. I hope ETSY will do better in the future!.

  24. Dear Trish,
    Thank you for this information. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I love your beautiful
    embroidery! 🌺
    Sandra Lane

  25. So sorry Trish. All that work designing and preparing plus the time it takes to get from the idea in your head to the finished kit etc. and unscrupulous people steal it! There’s no other word for it! It’s disgusting and Etsy, for one, ought to be brought to book.

  26. I absolutely agree with others who will boycott Etsy for this reason: your designs. I have had problems with Etsy’s “designers”. I turned off their emails but still receive them. I can now let Etsy know exactly why I am not buying anymore.
    XXX, Jacquelyn

  27. Your designs are so distinctive, Trish, this response was egregious! I bought from Stay once, never again. It was a small item which I have forgotten but the transaction turned into a tedious little mess. You experience puts the lid on it.

    Thank you for all the lovely designs, quality transfers, and great instructions. All the best, Charlotte

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Charlotte and yes that is exactly what happens if you purchase from other sites. Think we have all experienced this in one way or another. My husband purchased some bike equipment from Facebook and we never heard from them again! So it is wise to pay a little bit extra and buy from the reputable seller.

  28. THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention. I have sent a note to ETSY that I, and others, will NOT BE BUYING FROM ANY OF THEM, until this is corrected. If they want to keep their reputation and not be boycotted – well, I hope they’ll listen.

  29. Stolen ideas by individuals with no creativity of their own. Shame on them and on Etsy.

    1. I and many agree. Your patterns and artwork is just gorgeous and very unique. It is a terrible shame that Etsy condones for their customers to steal other people’s work. They need to revisit their regulations and set strong rules about this and ensure that there are no copyright infringements . At some point they will have a ruined reputation, sooner or later. They should be held accountable for their actions. Business is business!!

      1. Thank you and yes I agree, they should be held accountable, businesses can only survive on integrity and they should have the best interests of their customers at heart.

  30. I am so sorry people can not be honest. Your designs are beautiful and well worth the price. I pray people can find it in their heart to stop doing this to you. Thank you for your beautiful work.

  31. I suggest we all let Etsy know that this is not an acceptable response and buy direct from suppliers when possible. If enough people do this and boycott Etsy, they will alter their business model…

  32. Suggest everyone contact Etsy to make it clear we won’t use their site unless they do better job of addressing copyrights, and use this as example.


  34. Trish, I am so sorry you are having so many problems with this copy infringement issue. Phillip Jacobs is having similar issues with manufacturers copying his fabric patterns and designs. I have a friend who has a large online store and sells through Etsy and she said Etsy has really dropped the ball and she’s not happy with them at all. Sounds like they’re not taking care of business.

    I hope you have a good weekend and know there are many, many people around the world who recognize your talent! Will be on the lookout for those that are copying!

    Warm Regards,
    Carol Marriott Grover

    1. Thank you Carol, I am sorry to hear that others are having similar problems. It is sad that Etsy no longer has control over what sells on their site and that they dont have the personal touch any longer. I hope it gets resolved at some stage, but we will carry on regardless!

  35. Trish. This makes me so mad. I feel for all of you designers who put their heart and soul into producing such exquisite work. I really don’t understand the people who do this and think it is ok. Mary

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