What constitutes the theft of an "idea" or "design"?

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby mnp13 » January 29th, 2011, 1:53 pm

"Security by obscurity" (SBO) is an easy thing to set up but a dangerous thing to depend on.

I think perhaps "hacking" was the wrong word to use for any of this. When someone says "hacked" people think of a person sitting there trying usernames and passwords until they guess the right combination and get in.

SBO is when you put files someplace that is very hard to guess, and don't give the link out publicly. Sometimes someone finds that folder by accident, sometimes it just takes some educated guesses to figure out where it is.

If you go to galleries/ you will end up on a page that tells you that you are not allowed to view the contents of that folder but there is a TON of stuff in there, and not all of it is stuff that I care to have out in the world, but it's a risk I take. So, if you don't know what's in there to look at it directly you can't just go in and look around. That's SBO - the folder is not password protected, it's not really secure in any way, but unless you know what you're looking for, you're not going to find it easily.

Lots of websites will show you the complete directory listing of everything in the folder if you just remove the name of the file you are looking at. Because their basic security settings stink.

A good example of this is the "person" we got Ruby from (some of the dogs are horrific, be prepared)
Here is an image on his site- http://www.tufnufkennels.com/images/Kaya1_sqr.JPG
however if you remove the image name - http://www.tufnufkennels.com/images/ you can now see a listing of every picture in that directory. So, if there were private files in that directory, they are private no more. I actually helped out in a court case against that same individual and "we" won - due to a lot of information that was just hanging out in files that weren't "obviously" accessible but were out there for me to find with a little poking around.

So, how does this all relate? Well, as I understand it, Noel had a lot of research notes and files in a directory that wasn't password protected. I don't know why they were there, and it doesn't really matter. But they were. It appears that they were accessed, and themselves used as "inspiration." And yes, in my mind, and in the mind of most artists and craftspeople that is theft.

I could take the photo of Jeanine's leg with Minnie (I think it's Minnie) and do the "same" picture, but have my model in a skirt instead of fringe, and have a cat instead of a dog. Would that be copying? A "tribute"? or would it just not matter because really, how many ways can you post a model with an animal??? OF COURSE IT'S COPYING!

My sister deals with this all the time. She puts hundreds of hours into researching her Victorian costumes. She makes multiple versions of things to get the construction right. Then someone buys one of her dresses, picks it apart, and uses it as a pattern, so they can sell knockoffs for cheaper. Why cheaper? Because they don't have all of the research hours into it, or the expert construction, etc.

Intellectual property is a tricky subject. I know a good deal about it in relation to programming, because that's my field, but artistically it's such a hard thing. In my opinion, it's more about ethics than anything else. And I'm sorry, but there are also patterns of behavior, which is where the blog post came into it.

If I started making leashes out of climbing rope, with big clips, that are sturdy enough to pull a car (and I know that because we did it) would I be copying? Or just making a leash because really, how many ways are there to make a leash with a climbing rope? Of course I'd be copying!

So to me, that about sums it up.
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Postby DemoDick » January 29th, 2011, 1:57 pm

sfbullygirl wrote:well now you do :)

never said my word was truth what I said was if Noel's friends want to bring all this crap out into the public light then show some proof that Rebecca or her husband's IP address accessed her photobucket account and downloaded pictures of collar designs. If that can be shown then I stand corrected on all things said since I have yet to find any collar made by Noel posted on any forum or her website that looks like any of the Vintage Collar Line that Rebecca recently launched.


No you did not. You wrote that Noel had her "cronies" posting FOR her, implying that she was the one responsible for the posts, rather than the people who made them.

You as a peace officer should understand that all facts should be submitted in order to ascertain guilt or innocence...


I am not a peace officer.

...and perhaps you have seen something I have not, and that is fine. As I have said this should be between the involved parties and not innuendos and half truths spread across dog forums to smear someones name, but since it has now been brought to this level I just want make sure that Rebecca's reputation is not unfairly characterized.


I have not taken a side. Not enough info. That doesn't seem to have stopped you from taking one, though.

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Postby BullyLady » January 29th, 2011, 2:06 pm

mnp13 wrote:Intellectual property is a tricky subject. I know a good deal about it in relation to programming, because that's my field, but artistically it's such a hard thing. In my opinion, it's more about ethics than anything else.


Totally not taking sides on the collar issue, but I just wanted to throw in that I totally agree with this statement. My husband is a musician and we have run in circles where this type of thing comes up often. In my opinion, after watching this stuff go on for years, it's all about ethics. It's one thing if two people happened to come up with the same idea, it's another if one person went looking for it. At the end of the day there's not usually a lot that can be done legally, but people know whether they legitimately came up with an idea or not and have to be able to sleep at night.
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Postby BullyLady » January 29th, 2011, 2:16 pm

And as another aside, I'm always surprised at how often people actually do come up with the same idea in the same time frame. I even have a non-artistic example!!

There is a process at my job that really slows patient flow down, and is very pointless, not sure why we do it this way and it could be easily corrected and we would see many more patients a day. I saw this happening and so wrote down a solution/change and put it in the hospital suggestion box. If you put a suggestion in the box and the change gets made, you get a very small monetary award. The idea may be being implemented, so the entire department was told about the suggestion I made. One of my coworkers said "Well I was talking about that eight months ago." I wasn't here eight months ago, and I have never heard him speak of it. But he's pissed, and if I get the money he wants part of it, he's demanding more than half even, because he's been an employee longer than me. He talked about it, did nothing. I saw the problem, apparently ended up at the same solution he did, but I wrote it down and submitted it. :| If I get the money I won't be sharing it, and I can sleep with that at night because I know I came up with it on my own.
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 29th, 2011, 2:21 pm

Michelle, I'm going to address Minnie and my legs (yes, it's was Minnie!). And I know this was an example but it's an interesting subject to me.

First of all, I have no idea if the 'scene' I set as stylist was even original. I freely admit that I didn't research the pose before we shot it. There may very well be other shots that were done before mine that look like that. In fact, I have a hard time believing there aren't other shots like that. So, say my 'scene' wasn't original and someone came along and 'copied/duplicated/paid tribute to' it. Would I really have the right to be outraged? Who's to say the second person didn't stumble upon the same idea like I did?

Secondly, I know for a fact that Matt's work is 'copied'. Although I don't think 'copy' is a great term for it. Yes someone can try to duplicate his style but let's face it, it's *not* his work and therefore not a 'copy' per say. We've had this very discussion many a time and both of us are confident in the fact that our work is good. Good enough that we don't worry about someone trying to copy it. His work is better. Period. If someone wants to buy a cheap copy of his work then so be it. Ultimately they are losing out. Now if someone was taking his work and removing the water mark that would be a very different matter. It would also be an issue if someone was putting Matt's watermark on their own, inferior work.

Did that even make sense? :doh:
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Postby sfbullygirl » January 29th, 2011, 2:24 pm

ok so now it was not hacking, it is that she sat in front of a computer and she just happend upon a folder of Noel's pictures? So how does she know it was accessed and that it was accessed by Rebecca...which I would suppose if she has proof the has contacted her attorney and will not be answered here. I find it hard to believe though that she would put her hundreds of hours of research out on the internet that was so important to her with no password and not keep it on her computer instead.

What I cannot seem to grasp is why would Rebecca access Noels pictures of research, and we are saying here that it was pictures of old dogs and collars, not actual collars she made correct? Then make a collar from that picture she supposedly stole and then post it along with the collar she made from that picture? Something about that does not add up to me. The pictures that Rebecca shows as inspiration for her collars are all available online to anyone on public sites and are not original ideas to either of them..simpley interpretations of them..so Noel cannot own the rights to be the only person ot make a copy of a collar, unless there is something I do not know.

I am taking the side of making sure that the proper information is out there Demo and this thread was started by Noel's friends to bring up an issue that Rebecca had with another collar maker..not Noel and it was done in order to sway public opinion. I felt the public then needed to know what the "real" issue is at hand because the original post is misleading. Rebecca did not copy a collar made by Noel that I can find, the whole issue is Noel somehow seems to believe that the only way Rebecca could have possibly come up with these designs was to somehow search the internet and happen to find and access some research pictures she had in a folder somewhere.

If there is hard proof that this whole scenario actually happened then Noel can take Rebecca to court and they can settle the matter there..until then this is just words on a screen.
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Postby mnp13 » January 29th, 2011, 2:31 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:Michelle, I'm going to address Minnie and my legs (yes, it's was Minnie!). And I know this was an example but it's an interesting subject to me.

First of all, I have no idea if the 'scene' I set as stylist was even original. I freely admit that I didn't research the pose before we shot it. There may very well be other shots that were done before mine that look like that. In fact, I have a hard time believing there aren't other shots like that. So, say my 'scene' wasn't original and someone came along and 'copied/duplicated/paid tribute to' it. Would I really have the right to be outraged? Who's to say the second person didn't stumble upon the same idea like I did?

Secondly, I know for a fact that Matt's work is 'copied'. Although I don't think 'copy' is a great term for it. Yes someone can try to duplicate his style but let's face it, it's *not* his work and therefore not a 'copy' per say. We've had this very discussion many a time and both of us are confident in the fact that our work is good. Good enough that we don't worry about someone trying to copy it. His work is better. Period. If someone wants to buy a cheap copy of his work then so be it. Ultimately they are losing out. Now if someone was taking his work and removing the water mark that would be a very different matter. It would also be an issue if someone was putting Matt's watermark on their own, inferior work.

Did that even make sense? :doh:


Yes it does. A lot of sense actually.
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Postby sfbullygirl » January 29th, 2011, 2:45 pm

so Rebecca goes to this site and see pictures of dogs and collars she likes...but because supposedly Noel has also downloaded these pictures into her research file Rebecca is not allowed to make collars from them becasue Noel was "planning" on making them...and the argument is that Rebecca did not get them from this easily acccessed public site and other like it but rather sat searching the internet for Noels hidden research folder and took them from there?

http://www.haynespitbulls.com/pitbullphotohistory.html
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Postby amalie79 » January 29th, 2011, 2:49 pm

mnp13 wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:Michelle, I'm going to address Minnie and my legs (yes, it's was Minnie!). And I know this was an example but it's an interesting subject to me.

First of all, I have no idea if the 'scene' I set as stylist was even original. I freely admit that I didn't research the pose before we shot it. There may very well be other shots that were done before mine that look like that. In fact, I have a hard time believing there aren't other shots like that. So, say my 'scene' wasn't original and someone came along and 'copied/duplicated/paid tribute to' it. Would I really have the right to be outraged? Who's to say the second person didn't stumble upon the same idea like I did?

Secondly, I know for a fact that Matt's work is 'copied'. Although I don't think 'copy' is a great term for it. Yes someone can try to duplicate his style but let's face it, it's *not* his work and therefore not a 'copy' per say. We've had this very discussion many a time and both of us are confident in the fact that our work is good. Good enough that we don't worry about someone trying to copy it. His work is better. Period. If someone wants to buy a cheap copy of his work then so be it. Ultimately they are losing out. Now if someone was taking his work and removing the water mark that would be a very different matter. It would also be an issue if someone was putting Matt's watermark on their own, inferior work.

Did that even make sense? :doh:


Yes it does. A lot of sense actually.


This makes sense, but when you start factoring in things like stock houses and the cheap CHEAP knockoffs you can get through those places, especially houses that hire artists and pay them abysmally, and give them little or no reprographic rights, and others pay the teeny tiny fees for these knockoffs, that does take work away from the better artists out there. It's great emotional consolation that you do better work, but financially, it can be rough.

If this topic is of interest, you might want to google the debate going on now about artists' (particularly illustrators') repro rights and stock houses. There's a lot of stuff that goes on that I would see as unethical... :|
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Postby DemoDick » January 29th, 2011, 2:51 pm

sfbullygirl wrote:so Rebecca goes to this site and see pictures of dogs and collars she likes...but because supposedly Noel has also downloaded these pictures into her research file Rebecca is not allowed to make collars from them becasue Noel was "planning" on making them...and the argument is that Rebecca did not get them from this easily acccessed public site and other like it but rather sat searching the internet for Noels hidden research folder and took them from there?

http://www.haynespitbulls.com/pitbullphotohistory.html


Eh, maybe. Maybe not. Eventually it will come out.

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Postby Karen » January 29th, 2011, 2:57 pm

sfbullygirl wrote:so Rebecca goes to this site and see pictures of dogs and collars she likes...but because supposedly Noel has also downloaded these pictures into her research file Rebecca is not allowed to make collars from them becasue Noel was "planning" on making them...and the argument is that Rebecca did not get them from this easily acccessed public site and other like it but rather sat searching the internet for Noels hidden research folder and took them from there?

http://www.haynespitbulls.com/pitbullphotohistory.html


I have no dog in this hunt and was reading for amusement when I saw the link above. MANY of the images on that site are not public domain at all but are copyrighted to Preservation Publishing. Jillian and Mike spent tens of thousands of dollars to repair the old cabinet cards and redo them. They hold the copyright on these updated images. Just on that front page alone I see 5 she owns the rights on and I haven't even looked at the rest of the pages.

Back to the snipe fest.........
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Postby sfbullygirl » January 29th, 2011, 3:13 pm

I do not see any copyright info on that page or anywhere on the site about the pics..but that is up to Rebecca to obtain the release which she may have already done. I was using it as an example of publicly available photos that are also all over FaceBook..now did any of these people get permission, I do not know. I would think that if the site owner was worried about that they would have some sort of copyright info posted..or if they do I cannot see it
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Postby DemoDick » January 29th, 2011, 3:37 pm

"Snipe fest"? Really? LOL. Real life must be outright war then.

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Postby cheekymunkee » January 29th, 2011, 3:49 pm

DemoDick wrote:"Snipe fest"? Really? LOL. Real life must be outright war then.

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Postby BigDogBuford » January 29th, 2011, 3:50 pm

DemoDick wrote:"Snipe fest"? Really? LOL. Real life must be outright war then.

Demo Dick


I agree. This all seems pretty tame to me and I also think it's an interesting and relevant topic of discussion. And I always thought it was a 'snipe hunt'......
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Postby cheekymunkee » January 29th, 2011, 3:52 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:
DemoDick wrote:"Snipe fest"? Really? LOL. Real life must be outright war then.

Demo Dick


I agree. This all seems pretty tame to me and I also think it's an interesting and relevant topic of discussion. And I always thought it was a 'snipe hunt'......



No silly, that is only what the boys told you. :wink:
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 29th, 2011, 3:56 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:
DemoDick wrote:"Snipe fest"? Really? LOL. Real life must be outright war then.

Demo Dick


I agree. This all seems pretty tame to me and I also think it's an interesting and relevant topic of discussion. And I always thought it was a 'snipe hunt'......



No silly, that is only what the boys told you. :wink:


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Postby mnp13 » January 29th, 2011, 4:21 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:This all seems pretty tame to me and I also think it's an interesting and relevant topic of discussion.


I agree as well.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 29th, 2011, 4:58 pm

mnp13 wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:This all seems pretty tame to me and I also think it's an interesting and relevant topic of discussion.


I agree as well.


Yup, as an artist myself...I'm finding this topic very interesting...and I've learned from it already.
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Postby Hoyden » January 29th, 2011, 5:24 pm

When is a coincidence not really a coincidence?

As some of you may know, I’ve been working on line of historically based dog collars for quite some time. I’ve literally put hundreds of hours of research in that project amassing quite a large amount of images, books, information, references and resources.

When I launched my website on December 9th, 2010, I launched a line of historically inspired dog collars, called the “Signature Leather Collars” collection, and I mentioned that there would more to follow. These collars were posted on 5 different pit bull forums.

Imagine my surprise when I hop onto PitBullForum on January 24th and see that someone had copied a collar that was in my “Vintage Collars – Work in Progress” file on Photobucket. My work was copied right down to the little details, including using round spots in place of bullet spots and large 1” pyramids in place of the name plate at the back. The only difference was the collar that I made was deep brown, 2.25” wide tapering down to 1.5” at the buckle and the spots between the two pyramids were one size smaller than the collar posted on PBF.

I was sick. My client, who happens to be on PBF was upset, and justifiably so. I had made what was supposed to be a unique collar based on a historical design, a surprise for this client’s friend and here it was posted on the forum. I profusely apologized and asked her to send the collar back to me. I am remaking the collar and eating the cost. (I have asked my client to say something about this publicly since they are so upset, however my client does not like confrontation and has asked that I keep their identity private for fear they will receive nasty messages via PM from individuals on PBF and nothing will be done about it by the moderators. While I strongly disagree with their decision, I will respect it.)

Between 3 January and January 21st: Well over 100 images of historic dog collars that were stored in my photobucket account in the “Vintage Collars - Working file for new creations” & Vintage Collars – Work in Progress” folders were downloaded by one person. These weren’t just photos of vintage or historic dog collars, many had design notes attached them in the description field on the images themselves. Those notes included the order I planned on making the collars in, which size spots I would use, which color leather, which metal, which buckles, where to buy the less common spots, other research notes and possible names for each collar. Several included links to components as well as links to a hidden page on my website. I was working on this project with a friend in England who has been taking photographs for me in museums around Europe, so this album was not password protected.

The hidden page on my site was put up on 30 December 2010 for a client in Virginia, it was accessed by someone OTHER than my client several times. The only place that this link to the hidden page was mentioned, other than in the emails to the client was the image remarks in my “Vintage Collars – Work in Progress” file. That link is: http://www.petesdoggear.com/true

You don’t need to be a hacker to download someone else’s images, It’s not hard to find images posted on-line by someone, figure out where they are stored on line and back track to the source to see the entire folder.

Is this all purely coincidence? I think not.

9 December 2010 - PetesDogGear.com goes live with my Historical Line of dog collars called the Signature Leather Collars. http://petesdoggear.com/signature_leather_collars I posted these collars on FIVE pit bull dog forums. Traffic logs tell me that someone with the IP addresses of 67.186.76.144 and 99.32.195.222 located in the same town as this individual accessed these pages many times.

24 December 2010 – I mention the possibility of sharing pictures that my friend took at the Leeds Museum http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142719&start=15

22 January 2011 - Here I mention that I will post up some pictures of metal collars. http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=143783&start=15

23 January 2011 - A collar that looks like my client’s collar is posted on PBF. The thread removed by the Moderators at the request of this individual when my friends make a comment about it. The moderators refuse my request to leave it up.

This individual has claimed that she has wanted to do a Vintage line for a while, but it was not launched until 23 January 2011. I find it highly suspicious that shortly after so many of my images and notes were downloaded a new line of collars is launched and the first one rolled out looks just like one I made.

What deepens this suspicion is knowledge that this isn’t the first time that this person had copied another collar maker’s work and has been called out for it. This person has also encouraged other businesses to copy other people’s work, so it’s blatantly obvious that this person has no regard for the intellectual rights or designs of other companies or individuals.

On 27 December 2009, this individual posted a collar that closely resembled the work of another collar maker, Ana Poe of Paco Collars. This individual layered two unique Paco Collars designs on top of each other. She was called out for it by Ana Poe. The thread with that collar suspiciously disappeared from pitbullforum.com as I could not locate it.

It is, however, available on PitBullTalk.com as that forum has a policy of refraining from post censoring: http://www.pitbulltalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=31995&start=0&hilit=whatchu

Ana Poe makes mention of the theft in her 7 January 2010 blog post entitled Artistic Integrity: http://anapoeland.blogspot.com/2010/01/artistic-integrity.html

This is the collar in question: http://m.b5z.net/i/u/10075336/i/theft/brass_junky.jpg

Ana Poe sent a courtesy warning to this individual in January 2010 via email requesting that she remove the collar entitled “Brass Junkies” from her web site as it’s similarity to Paco Collars’ designs was causing customer confusion. That request is honored.

Fast forward to December 2010. This individual is at it again. This time she has commissioned another company, TYIT owned by RE, to make a copper tag “Hail to the Thief” that is so close to a similar design by Fetching Tags that others are confused about who made it. Within minutes of posting the copper tag on line, people are confusing the TYIT product with the Fetching Tag product. Note that comment made by the owner of Fetching Tags is removed in the second screen shot. http://m.b5z.net/i/u/10075336/f/HailToTheThief_knockoff.pdf


25 December 2010 –This individual was informed by the owner of Fetching Tags that her actions indicated that she was supporting her friend RE’s efforts to continue making and selling these tags that were copies of Fetching Tags products and questioned why this individual was willing to promote/support this action. A request was sent to this individual to remove the photos of the copied products from ALL use online & to stop promoting these items or Fetching Tags would be forced to take legal action.

It was also brought to my attention that the individual in question has created a collar called the “Enzo” that so closely resembles “The Griffin – Deluxe” collar by Paco Collars and the “Original Ranger” collar by Brad Rossignol that it is confusing.

What seals the deal for me in all of this is that this IP address, 67.186.76.144, shows up as having accessed the hidden file mentioned above. (http://www.petesdoggear.com/true) If you look it up, you will see that it is located in Kankakee, IL, the location of this individual.

There is also an issue regarding the usage of images that are copyrighted and belong to others.

Links to snap shots of the pages censored by PitBullForum.com:
http://m.b5z.net/i/u/10075336/i/theft/2011-01-27_Vintage_Inspired_Collars_p1.jpg
http://m.b5z.net/i/u/10075336/i/theft/2011-01-27_Vintage_Inspired_Collars_p2.jpg
http://m.b5z.net/i/u/10075336/i/theft/2011-01-27_Vintage_Inspired_Collars_p3.jpg

On Page 2 of the Vintage Inspired Collars thread, 01/27/2011 at 5:19pm Ben from Ella’s Lead posts; “These collars came from a friend on flickr that gave permission to use the photos. They look a lot like the photos that accompany them. The photos are not copyrighted (the person posted them as tried to track down anyone with rights.)”

At least one of the photos used, if not more are copyrighted.

The Lu’s Remedy collar (http://www.ellaslead.com/inc/sdetail/4657 has a picture of a Colby Dog that belongs to Preservation Publishing http://preservation-publishing.com/.

Their site states:
All text, designs, artwork and photographs on this site are copyrighted, property of Jillian Cline. © 1998,
but permission for personal use only may be given, on condition that a link back to this site is included.


I do not see a link back to Preservation Publishing on that page or reference to permission given.

I contacted Jillian Cline of Preservation Publishing, who informed me that the image is owned by her partner, Rose and that Rose had not given the individual in question permission to use the image on her web site.



So the question I have been asked is “Why didn’t you address this privately via PM?”

My response is WHY? Why should all of this be hushed up, shoved under the rug and ignored? This matter has been dealt with privately at least twice before, but who knows the real number, yet the behavior never changes. Instead, it has spurred the creation of designs that –just- barely skirt the law and has grown to include the infringement of other artists.

Once is an accident, twice is suspicious, but at what point do you call something a pattern? When is a coincidence not really a coincidence?

My intent on posting this is not to “gang up” on another collar maker, but to simply point out the truth. This market has plenty of room for everyone without resorting to stepping on each others toes or pilfering from other collar makers.
Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men ~ General George S. Patton, Jr.

She taking all the stars down from her sky to hang them up someplace new, where there's better weather and the sky's a different blue. ~ Autumn Fields
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Hoyden
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