The Lemming Effect!

Yes there are many violators in tatland who have excised portions from my protected split-ring heart designs and derived other heart designs. This is not original thought but a violation of my copyright. It is stealing and let me explain why I KNOW that as FACT.
   Many in the community (tatter and designer alike), think that a "split-ring chain" fixed in a heart shape falls under the heading of the "shape" rule. False!
   Maybe it is just ignorance of the law. Maybe it is just a way to make themselves feel justified in stealing my work. If these individuals truly cared about tatting designers, then they would also respect the laws that should be protecting all of the people who design original work, not just the few.
   This is not about the technique or the method used to tat a "r st" split ring or my modern version of the split-ring. This is also not necessarily about the "shape", but the fixed lace is in a shape of heart so the shape does play a roll. This is about a design elements.
  • "Shapes" can not be copyrighted. True!
  • Anyone can use the "shape" of a heart. True!
  • Split-rings are a technique. True!
  • Techniques (e.g. split-rings) can only be protected by a patent. True!
Back when the split-ring technique was being referred to as the "r st" technique, Anne Orr had used the technique in such a manner that every design element was protected by a copyright. The copyright of all of the "r st" designs prevented the use of this "technique" by other designers because the elements were protected. It is called a "loop hole". Whether it was lady luck or deliberate is besides the point as every possible way to create a new element using this new technique was quashed by "exclusive rights" of the copyright owner.

61 years passed before Mary Sue Kuhn perceived the genus of the "r st" technique and  re-coined the technique as "split-rings" and then reintroduced the technique back into the tatting community with her publication "The Joy of Split Ring Tatting" in 1984.
Mary Sue published her "Six Pointed Split Ring Stars" in Better Homes & Gardens in 1988. That is how I was introduced to split-ring tatting.
   The only other designer to publish a split-ring design (also in 1988) was by Pat Perry. "Lacemaking Today - Reverse Stitch Creates Shimmering Snowflake" by Pat Perry.

There were NO split-ring heart designs published by Orr. No "r st" hearts are in the public domain.

Neither Mary Sue Kuhn or Pat Perry published a split-ring heart design.

In 1989, in volume two, issue 6 of TATtle TALES I published the FIRST EVER split-ring heart entitled "My Fluttering Heart".

Border Element
The "split-ring border chain" combined with a "three ring clover point" at the bottom, and the "center ring" that separates the lobes at the top, combined with the "half daisy" on each side of the split-ring border becomes a border design element. 
   The "butterflies" are another element, and the "center" is the last element. The combination of all these elements qualifies the design to be protected by federal law.
   The split-ring border chain is "fixed" into a heart shape and is my "copyrighted" design element. I am the first designer to tat a "split-ring heart border". Having been granted federal protection, only I have the right to derive patterns from this copyrighted design.
   Split-ring patterns can be traced all the way back to the original publication date of that technique.
   This is just one complexity of the law that most tatters do not know, or know and just do not care. The final blow is when these violations have a copyright notice attached to them. They are all derivatives of my work. And yet, I am expected to respect their rights. What about mine? This is stealing! It is not a tribute to me or my work as no permissions were sought or granted. YOU should have asked permission first!
   How can I now go back and derive new heart patterns (which is my protected right) when the design feels spoiled? I am unable to look at the design with a fresh eye, because all I can see are those violations. What should have been a fun and exciting designing experience, is ruined for me.
   If the positions had been reversed and I violated their rights there would be a true shit-storm raining down.
   The majority of these SR Heart violations happened so fast, that when I started to complain I was ignored or told that I did not have my facts straight. I have my facts straight.
   So many in the community were publishing split-ring heart patterns that it would be a full-time job trying to get it to stop. It only took a few individuals to post their derivative heart design (complete with a copyright symbol), and  the "lemming effect" was off and running! Just because one person is violating my rights made it the right thing for all who wanted to do so. Some of these people have such a huge influence within the community and those followers believe that their every written or spoken word is the absolute truth.
   Since I am writing about this topic yet AGAIN, I could start demanding removal of all those derived split-ring hearts and their patterns, but I seriously doubt that the right thing will be done. Frankly, I probably need to be placed in police protection, given a new identity and live the rest of my life in a safe house for just writing this post. You may think that is funny but I do not.
   This is why I am not civil to those tatters who violate my rights. They are always trying to put words into my mouth that I have not said or written. Some are just plain ignorant about the law but think they know better. The self-promoter is always trying to sell a pattern or shuttle and do not care about any one but themselves and their bank accounts.
   Tatting is not fun for me anymore. It has been spoiled by a community who hides behind their monitors and say nothing. If you knew how many people have viewed the previous article I wrote on copyright and yet only a handful commented. What does that tell me? I am worried for those FEW who commented on my blog as they have probably made themselves targets. I appreciate the comments left but from this point forward the comments will be private and only to me from the contact form.
   Those of you who claim to be my friend and did not take a stand.... shame on ya!
   I will state one more time, even though it is not your business, I do not have a "personality disorder", (what exactly does that even mean?) I am also not "bi-polar".
   What I do have are principles. I have done my homework and I rely on the FACTS not word of mouth, or advice from a contract or divorce attorney or my BIL. Why should I sit quietly back and let individuals take advantage of my generosity and flaunt their disrespect for the law and me!
Heart Catcher 
Heart O' Daisies
Queen of Hearts
Cupid's Heart
A Change of Heart
To My Hearts Content
Gypsy Heart
Heart Blossom
Jess's Heart
Call Me Sweetheart
Unchained Heart
Natalie's Heart
Butternut Heart
Daisy Heart
Sarah's Heart
Mary's Heart
Cameo Heart
Wheel of Fortune Heart
Acorn Heart
 Golden Butterfly Heart
Gayle's Daisy Heart
Alternating Butterfly Daisy Square Heart
Tatted Fantasia Heart
Six-side Daisy Heart
 Teddy Heart
Acorn Heart
Down and Dirty Heart Schematics 21-40 Link
Down and Dirty Heart Schematics 41-59 Link
All Rights Reserved.
©1988-2014 by Teri Dusenbury.
Happy Tatting!