Aug. 11th, 2007 02:22 pm
jan_andrea: (exist)
The eBay a$$holes are at it again.

I got another email from a disgruntled buyer who'd gotten one of my patterns in an eBay auction (this one). Apparently the PDF is a duplicate of my shopping cart cover directions. Looking at her other auctions, it seems likely that she's also ripping off at least two to three other patterns (this one, for the diaper/wipes case, and this one, for the sleep sack, and this one, for a high chair cover).


I wrote to the seller. No response yet. The buyer wrote to the seller, requesting a refund, and was refused. She has opened a dispute with PayPal, which she should win. I've opened a VeRO dispute with eBay regarding the seller, which hopefully will light a fire under her ass. The buyer also sent me a copy of what she had received from the seller, and it's a copy-and-pasted version of the shopping cart cover directions... including Sophia's picture. I am PISSED about this. I mean, damn it, what part of copyright is so hard to understand? What kind of complete jackhole rips off free works and sells them as their own?

I'm trying to find a quick and easy way to add a watermark to my images. I didn't want to do that, particularly because most of the images in the patterns have measurements and things in them, and adding text over that will make them more difficult to use, but it seems that if I want to protect my free work from assholes, I just have to bite the bullet and do it. Unfortunately, I haven't found a freeware program that will batch add watermarks AND do so on GIFs -- most seem to be for JPGs. Does anyone know of a freeware one that will do watermarks in batches? I could probably get Fireworks to do it, but that's a lot more work than I really want to put into this. I am willing to pay for a decent program, but honestly, having to pay to mark my own damned images because other assholes can't stop stealing them is pretty obnoxious :(


ETA: The buyer sent me the file; it's word for word a copy of the pattern of my site... including Sophia's picture. Her paypal dispute was answered thusly by the seller:

Item sold was for instructions on how to make shopping cart covers - the document she received included directions on how to make shopping cart covers. I did not acquire the info from the website she indicates - I have have never heard of it until now. The site I obtained the info from told me I could do whatever I wanted to with it. I am sorry if she is upset with the directions, but what was advertised is what I provided. I feel it is unfair to demand a refund for digital information that has been received by the buyer & that is as described. I have received several threatning pieces of correspondence from this buyer, and do not wish to communicate further with her. I ask that you rule in my favor seeing the item she received is EXACTLY what was being advertised.

The "threats" were the buyer telling her she needed to remove the listings and that she was writing to me :P And of course, the seller absolutely does NOT have my permission to be selling my directions. I wrote to her and said that if she obtained them from another site, I needed their URL immediately. Of course, no reply.

I also bought the sleep sack and high chair cover directions, to see if they were also copied from my site. Well, guess what? There were no files available to download. I'm guessing that she panicked and removed them from her site, but didn't take down the auctions; this gave me the opportunity to leave negative feedback (which I did) and open disputes with PayPal (which I have done). I'm very curious to see how she handles that. It's pretty much damned if she does, damned if she doesn't as far as sending me the files, unless they aren't copies of my site; if they are and she sends them, I have ammo; if she doesn't send them, my dispute is still valid. The only way she can win is if they aren't copies, which I doubt.
jan_andrea: (exist)
I got an email from a kind reader of my site, saying that she'd bought a pattern for a diaper and wipes case on eBay, then stumbled on my site and found that the PDF she'd been sent by the eBay seller was a word-for-word, pictures included, copy of my pattern. Here's the listing. She even used MY PICTURE in the listing!!


I'm filing an intellectual property infringement with eBay, but still. Who in their right mind pulls this kind of stunt? It's not like I haven't *very clearly* spelled out my copyrights on the page, and made it abundantly clear that the pattern is for personal use only. I mean, it's one thing to use the pattern to sell items made from it (and a lot of people do, despite the text on the page), but to copy the pattern itself and *sell it*?!? WFT?!?!?!

I am writing this to the seller:

I was alerted to this listing by an unfortunate buyer who then stumbled upon my pages  in a search for sling sewing directions. (If my user name doesn't make it clear, I am Jan Andrea, owner of www.sleepingbaby.net)

I must admit, I'm pretty stunned. This listing is such a blatant violation of my intellectual property rights. I don't even know where to begin with what was wrong with your selling *my* pattern as your "original" design, right down to using my photo in your listing!

I'm glad you've ended the listing (hopefully you had a change of heart and realized how wrong this was), but at the very least, I expect you to refund the two buyers' payments. I will be writing to the first buyer to alert her to the fraud. The second wrote to me, so she is aware of it already, and I will advise her to seek a refund. The pattern is *free* and was never, ever yours to sell.

I will be pursuing a VeRO with eBay. I hope that in the future, you will think many, many times before you decide to steal someone else's intellectual property for your own financial gains.
I should be far more harsh, but what the hell. I really am stunned.
jan_andrea: (crazy)
Another bravely anonymous one, of course.

The entry:

Name:  m
What's your pet peeve?  people who make political statements using baby goods- evil
How did you get here? Followed the link in your signature file/tagline
Comments:  making political statements using baby goods- evil
and your husband nas a chain maille website hypocracy at it's best!!

My reply:

No, really, huh?

The baby crafts section is... it's free. I mean, it's meant to help people, which is what I like to do. That's not a political statement, except that it ties in with my belief that many ideas should be free. My politics are just... my politics. They're not on the same page as the baby crafts, and no one is forced to read them.

You, however, would benefit from my grammar page, which would tell you the correct way to use "it's".

Also, I'm unsure of why my husband's chain maille page is the least bit hypocritical. He's not going out and hacking at people with swords. He just enjoyed, for a time, making chain maille in his spare time, the way many people enjoy knitting. Just because it once had a defensive function doesn't make maille, in itself, a weapon or an offensive item.

I'm just perplexed that you bothered to write this... stuff. I mean, believe what you want to, but this is my webpage, and I'll put what I want on it. I'm not making a political statement with baby goods -- I have free baby crafts, and I have my beliefs. Would you write something like this to an explicitly Christian, or explicitly Republican, site that also had free craft ideas?

I just can't wrap my brain around where these people get off. Honestly, the level of incomprehension the idiots seem to embrace is just astounding.
jan_andrea: (crazy)
Oooohkay. Where are these people coming from? This week's contribution comes from "Rochelle", who once again mistakes her visit to my site as supporting it:

"I liked the site until I scrolled to the bottom and saw the counter for war dollars. It indicates to readers that you think the war is a waste. It's easy to criticize a war effort because that was the course of action the government took. What we forget to ponder is what COULD happen if we were not spending these dollars. It tells the world we are cowards and will not defend ourselves. That warrents future attacks. Then everyone would fuss because Bush did not attack. Like the site...I will not support it's political views. You may want to leave that part off."

My reply:

Remember this: Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. 19/20 of the terrorists on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, and the other was from somewhere else (not Iraq). Bin Ladin personally criticized Saddam Hussein as being a bad Muslim -- they had nothing to do with each other. And while Hussein was a bad, bad man, that does not justify the US's preemtive strike on him. That action should have gone through the world body of the UN.

I felt that the actions against the Taliban in Afghanistan were justified -- the Taliban, in addition to being bad, bad men, were also involved in 9/11 in allowing Al Qaida to set up training camps. However, the same was never true of Iraq, whose country the US had been bombing since the end of the first gulf war anyway. "We" went in on false pretenses. That war is not justified, and it's not a war we're ever going to win, without the rest of the world behind us. So, you're right. I do think the war in Iraq is a tremendous waste -- of human lives (ours and theirs) and, of less importance, of resources that could be far, far better used elsewhere.

This is my website. It's where I share my views. I am happy to share ideas for crafts, but I am also free to express my personal beliefs. No, I will not leave that part off. It's an important part of my life, and if you choose not to visit because of it, that's your issue, not mine.

Clearly, I need to add some kind of mission statement to the front page. I know it's hard for people who have been brainwashed since 9/11 to remember that Afghanistan != Iraq, but dammit, it's my website! If I want to be political, I'll bloody well be political! I mean, I've visited babywearing sites that are overtly (and to me, obnoxiously) Christian, but never in a million years would I suggest to them that they should feel free to share their FREE STUFF, but leave their religion off because I didn't personally agree with it. I might bitch about it to myself, but it's *their site* and *their ideas*. I'm also really weirded out at the thought that people think that by visiting my webpage and getting free patterns, they're somehow supporting me. Like I get money somehow when they click, from my *no advertisements* and *no fees*. Puhleeze. If they want to use my ideas, great -- more power to them. But to suggest that I should keep my politics to myself on *my website* goes beyond the pale. Idiots.
jan_andrea: (exist)
Just got this entry (anonymous, of course) in my guestbook:

"The cost of war=the price of freedom. I'd rather pay for my children's future now then know they'd not have a safe one to look forward to. I've removed your link after getting what I needed from your patterns. I can not support someone who doesn't support our country, our troops, and our world. God bless you."

My reply:

I'm sorry you feel that way. Of course, in using my patterns, you're not actually giving me any "support" as such, since I receive no benefit from people downloading stuff from my site... it's actually somewhat the opposite. If you want to use me and then remove my link, that's entirely your perogative.

I hope none of your kids die in this war, btw. The current war in Iraq had *nothing* to do with terrorism. If that had been Bush's agenda, he should have invaded Saudi Arabia (where 19 of the 20 hijackers came from), but that wasn't the motive. I'm sorry you can't seem to grasp the difference.

And, of course, you're entirely wrong about my not supporting "our world". I am not "my country, right or wrong," but feel that war is not the answer, especially when the provocation isn't from a nation, but a terrorist organization, which cannot (as we have seen in the last 5 years) be stopped in a military operation that targets innocent civilians. Bush is making far more terrorists in his little war than he will ever kill.

Fie, I say. Grammar aside, she's clueless, or at least, completely misled by Bush & Co's erroneous assertions that Iraq had anything to do with Al Qaeda or terrorism. Second, she's failing in her own object lesson -- she doesn't want to "support" me, but she doesn't mind *using* me. Very Christian of her, I'm sure. I just wish I knew where she'd come from (probably a link on The Babywearer) so that I could figure out who she was and suspend any of *my* business with her, should I happen to have any. I'd prefer not to support jingoist idiots who think "support our troops" = sending them to die in a pointless war.

ETA: The only thing on my site that would lead her to the conclusion that I don't "support our country, our troops, and our world", by the way, is my "Cost of the War in Iraq" ticker. Oh, and I have an essay or two from right after 9/11, but there's nothing particularly damning about those, either. So her entire bitch seems to be that I have a link that says the war has cost about $306 billion US. Which isn't even a political statement. Just a fact. So, whatever. She's a twit.

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