I thought I could just ignore it and it would go away. I thought if I thought good thoughts, it would go away. I thought if I said anything I'd look like a loon! I've tried those strategies and it's not going away. It is a touchy subject but it has been weighing heavy on my heart. Initially I'd received a few emails from lovely customers and fellow designer alerting me to another designer having uncannily similar items for sale. I took a look and thought "WOW!" that does look copyright infringingly similar if not the same. I sat with it for a few days in attempt to out run my PMS that I thought was surely playing tricks with my eyes and mental state. My motto is usually "Never put off to tomorrow what PMS can totally ruin today". I didn't say it was a good motto. None the less I waited. It didn't go away and neither did the emails. So I jotted off a jaunty note requesting that the person please respect my copyrights. I received an equally jaunty note commenting that, I make mostly pendants (not true), that I have so many more sales than they do (irrelevant and as one friend commented to me "does this look like a commune?" which I had to laugh at!) and stating that it is their style and they couldn't change it if they tried! Denial.
As this is my main source of income and I've worked really hard over the last 12 years, not only is this person stealing from me and my children, others are noticing it, and talking about it. That isn't pretty. Would you want the world looking at your work thinking "What are they trying to pull?!" It is not a small bead and design community but people definitely notice this sort of thing. Even in an attempt to fix the problem and find a solution, there is talk about it. It is not going unnoticed for me and for other designers having similar issues. Do people think that if you see something posted online that it is free for the taking? They are in fact not. Once you create something, it is yours and is protected by law. My thinking was that this person will move onto other work and either grow into their own or start stealing from someone else. That doesn't fix a serious problem though, one that many others find themselves in. I do believe there is room for everyone, but know in my heart that there is no room for this behavior. Others have suggested I contact an attorney. Sound advice. For me the point is this, sitting idly by is not good for me or my work. At some point you need to protect what is yours. I really appreciated that there were friends out there that thought enough to say something to me, to try to protect me saying "We have your back", and you know, I have yours! For now I am keeping my sense of humor at the ready. I know I will need it!