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The Robin Hood Rationalization

December 20th, 2007 at 08:36 am » Comments (3)

It is year end and like all business folk, we are looking back over the year and seeing what and who have most impacted our business this year.

Personally, family health issues have kept us at home instead of “enjoying” the life of show gypsy, but life happens and you have to roll with it. Instead we have been working on new products and the development of retail & wholesale websites.

The second biggest impact on our business has been what some like to call infringement, but what is in reality the rampant stealing of intellectual property.

Our YARNandTHREAD businesses are heavily involved with the Design Community so tend to be publicly proactive regarding copyright and intellectual property issues.

Sooner or later in any On-Line group discussions, someone starts spouting what I call the

Robin Hood Rationalization

These are the most insidious of the offenders. And, once introduced to the discussion, It is also the point at which further discussion becomes pointless.

They have decided, (without ever checking on the facts) that because they disagree with a law that protects Intellectual Property, and because these laws only exist because of their lack of respect for anyone or anything that stands in the path of what they have decided they are entitled to…

They attempt to cloak their criminal activity by Rationalizing their behavior by saying the law ONLY protects “BIG CORPORATIONS” so they are only stealing from those bad nasty people.

Like Robin Hood, these Thieves, these Pattern Pirates,

believe it is okay to STEAL

Apparently without any thought or concerns for who might be hurt.

Recently one person ranted that their action was justified as an act of Civil Disobedience. She made mention o f the Boston Tea Party. I would respond that there is a vast difference between Civil Disobedience to protest an unjust governmental policy – be that policy about where to sit on the bus to Taxation without Representation.

In fact, the reference to the Boston Tea Party, an act having to do with Taxation and how that was
considered Robbery without at Gun, is used to justify a similar act, the Stealing of a livelihood from the individual who has worked to create the pattern, chart or instructions you are enjoying.

I submit that behavior has more in common with Machevelli than Robin Hood.

Ignoring the fact that without BIG CORPORATIONS with the Deep Pockets to defending their Coroporate interests, there would be no viable protections for the tiny Microscopic Business of the Needle & Fiber Arts Independent Self-Publishers to have any protection at all.

Next time, you download a copy that someone else is illegally offering

Next time, before you STEAL (not share) an illegal copy of a pattern or chart –

Next time you offer to make Counterfeit copy of a Pattern or Chart or other Intellectual Property

Ask yourself,
Do I really want to be a petty criminal?
Do I really want to teach others that Stealing is Okay?

Everyone loves the myth of Robin Hood, and we seem to live in a Machiavellian Society.

Yet, it that really who you want to be. When all is said and done, nothing more than a common thief?

Just Doing Their Job

April 6th, 2007 at 04:58 am » Comments (2)

A Tale of Two Attitudes ….

In one professional group, a member needed to get contact info for something about an upcoming trade show guide. She asked on Tuesday and got answers on Wednesday and by Thursday her situation was handled.

She asked “in the group” for two reasons, first out of consideration for the association staff – this week s one of their busiest times of the year and second, because that is Exactly what the group is for, providing association information to members of the Design community

In other words, she asked for information in exactly the proper place.

What was striking (well not if you know her) was that not only did she come back and thank those who had provided the info she needed, but to comment on the great service she had received AND named the individual who provided it.

It was also great that several people chimed in to comment about the employee of the association and their positive experiences with this person in the past.


Contrast that with another incident

Something happened recently to a member of the art community and it was pretty awful.

Bad enough, but then, as a result of a misunderstanding, there “seemed” to be an insurance problem. Instead of calling the agent who set up the policy, this person decided to go on a list of artisans and talk about how upset she was.

What followed was pretty much what happens – some chiming in with their own horror stories,
other talking about what they would do, like calling their lawyers, contacting attorney generals, and all sorts of what I would call – if all else fails type of suggestions.

Well the good news is that a person on the list, explained that it was not as it appeared. (Information a phone call to the agent would have gotten her sooner) – Rather, the insurance company was protecting itself – so it was more about good people having to take an extra step because of the wrong doings of others and there was a happy ending.

And the person with the problem also came back to let the list know that it was resolved.

The incidents seem the same, but what bothered me was that in one case great care was taken to praise the company employee who helped resolve the problem and in the second, it seems great pains was taken NOT to “name names”

And yes, it is great that a list member explained – including directing her back to the insurance agent who sold the polidy.

Yet, it sounds to me while the agent who sold the insurance may have not explained “how it works” but then, it also does not seem they were ever given the chance.

What that agent did do right, was make sure his client got the proper coverage to begin with.

If that had not happened, it would not have mattered how helpful the “fill in because your agent is out of the office today” guy had been, because he would not have been able to help.

If someone gives you good service, even if all that service is making sure you get what you need,

Why not be as quick to praise as we are to condemn when we don’t get good service.

Seems to me that when we fail to at least thank (even a “thank you to all”) those who have helped us, even it was “part of their job” – don’t we just make it easier for those who don’t to justify their failures because “no one cares”.

Is saying thank you really so hard.


Thank you Marsha for your help to all the members of our trade association, you are part of an unfailling helpful team of folks and many of us do appreciate all you do.

Thank you Jackie and Fredrikka and others who took the extra time to make sure good service did not go unnoticed.

Thank You T-F for explaining how and why the seemingly unhappy situation existed and could be resolved.

Last but not least,

Thank you Unknown Insurance Agents At A Company I wish I knew more about for your service and caring during and after the sale.

And a special Thank you to all who have helped me and whom I may have neglected to properly thank at the time.

Just something to think about

Peace of the Season


What A Concept! Can You “Borrow” An E-Book

March 19th, 2007 at 09:16 am » Comments (4)

Is it reasonable to “borrow” an ebook?

And if so, how would one do that “Legitimately”

I am not talking about a DVD or Book On Tape from the Library,

I am saying for example, your friend purchases a How-to book of some kind on the Internet.

Now I KNOW, there are conditions where it is completely within the law to transfer the ownership of that book, just as I can with “licensed software”

AND for the moment, let’s just assume it is not a pattern or chart or other craft how-to books

It is a downloadable PDF –

Now I have to tell you, I borrow a lot of books from the Library – often with express purpose of deciding if I want to buy –

So, can I “borrow” an E-Book – and then “return” it to my friend

If so under what conditions would you think it reasonable for that to be done.

This is the sort of esoteric think that keeps me up at night,

So if you have a comment, concept or opinion, I really would love to hear it.

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