Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

I'm going to guess that when Charles Caleb Colton coined the above phrase, he hadn't just had his work ripped off.  Because, having recently had my design work plagiarised, copied, stolen, whatever you want to call it, I feel far from flattered.

Back in February I got the shock of my life when I realised two of my designs had been completely & utterly ripped off by a lady following me on Instagram.  She had emailed me complimenting my work & asking advice with regards to software & fonts, and I had offered my help (my design process is no secret - I wrote a blog post about it here!).  I felt physically sick when I saw "her work" on her Facebook business page - clearly copies of my originals which had been on sale for almost a year.

Now, I know a lot of people are not in to naming & shaming, but… if you steal from a shop, you get dragged off by the cops & your name gets printed in the the local court report, so, why should intellectual theft be any different??  This is my work & she stole it!!

I posted the above comparison photo on my Facebook page & hers, and after initially ignoring contact with me, she finally responded to my emails, apologised, and closed her Facebook business page.

Here's a few extracts from her apology:

"I really cannot apologise enough. I am deeply sorry, truly. I have learnt my lesson from my very stupid mistake. This hobby while a full-time mum was never meant to end like this. And end it has. I am seeing this as the end of my printing. These prints were as simple as words on a piece of paper for my sister's in-laws. Stupidity put them on Facebook. I completely understand your frustration and never meant for two pieces of card to cause so much upset, heartache or distress."

Well, I have plenty to say about that.  Just words on a piece of paper??  I value my work a little more than that!  And as for it being ok to copy if it's "just" for your sister-in-law, well…!  (Why put them on your Facebook business page then..?)

Now, did I believe it was the end of her printing business?  Not for a second.  Did I believe that she'd learnt her lesson?  I really hoped so.

So, imagine my surprise when today, I discover that not only did she set up a new business no less than two days later, but the first prints she added to her shiny new Facebook business page were my designs!!

Yes, really!!

Unbelievably she's actually written "All designs are my own" on her about page!

It's enough to send a heavily pregnant woman in to early labour!


  1. Hi Sarah, hope you're ok! That's really bad of that woman and certainly very bad business practice. If she carries on like that, she'll soon get herself a bad name. Your work is lovely + I might need something for my son's wedding in Sept! love Ellen,x

  2. Sarah, that's awful. I do hope you manage to get it sorted out. Your wonderful designs are automatically covered by copyright and intellectual property laws as soon as you commit them to paper but I'm sure you know all that. Perhaps a warning message quoting the paragraph about copyright (I have links if you need them) and a warning you'll pursue it further if she does not cease and desist would be appropriate. Your lovely card, bought at the Madley Park fair last year still has pride of place in my sewing room. Love Kate x