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Thursday, July 14, 2005



I think we get the pleasure of sitting back and watch her dig a deeper hole for herself. She's on the defense and making mistakes (inconsistancies in the letter, including references at the end of the letter with TWO of your bags as evidence). I just hope she learns her lesson, and passes it on to people she works with. I keep thinking; wouldn't it have been easier to admit her mistake? We ALL make mistakes, your character really shows in how you respond to mistakes!


I'm very sorry for what you're going through and I've got my fingers crossed that this gets resolved somehow for you.


If you want, I am sure that all of us will contribute to a fund to help you with your lawyer's fees. She obviously has not spoken with a lawyer.


Wow, I'm just catching up on this situation now, and it's horrendous. Simply unbelievable. I'll be watching to see how things unfold, and I'll be sending an e-mail myself soon. Good luck!


i received a letter this morning too - from the editor's email but signed by jenny, the woman who wrote the article. weird.

anyhow, even if by some weird fluke she missed seeing the booga bag pattern - which i find very very hard to believe, i think it was the first or second pattern i found online, it's *that* popular - that still doesn't explain why the editor wrote you emails before publication!


Hi J, Just a note, I did get a letter from S. Miller, though it was signed by the author, explaining the "timeless" method of constructing bags this way. I mean, I do the bases of my bags this way too so I hear her point, but... her bag looks awfully like yours, even with the modifications. Which she detailed. At length. Yes, she has changed more than the "required 10%" but I think it's still a very grey area.

Here's the stickign point. Didn't the editor contact you before publication and say that your bags were one of the things that inspired her pattern? I mean, don't you have that in writing? That's WHY they wanted to give you credit in the first place, isn't it? Stick to your guns. They promised you credit and a mention in the mag and they renegged. They're being unethical, no matter how much they "changed".

Pip pip, hang in there. --Rainy


My bet is that she's sending all of us the same crappy e-mail. I agree with Tori... she's digging herself farther in. The bag DOES look like yours, has the same ideas and she knows it and we know it... I agree about the fund for your lawyer fees. The knitters will help. I'm so glad you're choosing to fight this. You will "win." You are morally & legally right, and she deserves to pay the consequences for her actions. If she hadn't admitted to and agreed to certain things prior to publishing it might be another story. Keep us posted. The yarn you just spun is DIVINE by the way.


To see the pirated pattern go the this address.


To me, it looks like an embellished Booga J bag; not an original pattern. Changing the yarn or count does not make it her own. BTW - Jenny, the designer, is an ASSISTANT EDITOR of the magazine!


Please add a "h" at the beginning of the address.

My emotions are running amok...



I talked to my bf, the lawyer, last night, and he says that you can feel free to print any letter you get from anyone - oncet hey send it, its your property. He doesn't believe that they can place limitations on what you do with the letter.


I'm so disgusted I have no words! I responded to the Miller/Doh email- I just don't see her defense. The point is that Miller said she would do X, Y, and Z for you since the bag is "essentially the same" as yours. She did not keep her word. And you have her emails. All of them.

She has no right to tell you what you can and can not publish- she wrote the email to you.

Sorry, I'm just venting. Let me know what I can do to help you!


What a frustrating mess, I agree with Tori...her lack of character is very evident in the way she is handling this mistake. Hang in there, we're all behind you :)




I received her letter as well. I wrote back to. I think, (correct me if I'm wrong), that the issue is the fact that the magazine broke their agreement with you. They agreed to give you some credit for the bag's inspiration and a free subscription. You received neither. I wrote them back highlighting that point. Sure, timeless design, yada, yada. But at the end of the day, they made a promise and broke it.


Good luck! I'm sorry that you have to deal with this, she is being horrid.


i've been mulling this over for a few days, because i wanted to make sure i wasn't saying something just to be contrary, but i think you're overreacting. lots of people design and knit felted bags, myself included, and honestly the differences from one pattern to another are often pretty subtle. we can't all go jumping down each other's throats all the time or we're just going to discourage others from contributing their own (small or large) innovations.

the bag in this magazine isn't a booga bag any more than a booga bag is a constant companion or an oregon tote. the picture on the website shows a striped bag with bobbles and a ribbon handle. it might have been nice if the author or editor had given you a nod, but i don't think it was necessary at all. i will be interested to hear how this develops if you speak to your lawyer.


Well Girl,
Prepare for the good fight. I'm sorry you gots to do it, but hang tough. You've got a lot of people on your side of the rope. Dishonesty and sham shall not go unpunished!


The 10% rule is nonsense anyway. Jenna's article on knitty covers it pretty well. Ugh. Hope this gets worked out, and soon.


It really is not a copyright issue at all. it is an issue of them saying they would do one thing and not doing it. They acted as though they were following comon courtesy and then threw it all out the window in the end!


I've been reading your posts and am in shock! I hope that your lawyer can help you. Your design was beautiful and you deserve the credit. The way you were treated is a great way for the magazine to ensure loss of fans. (me for one).


I think there is enough evidence from previous emails to prove that this was based on your design, that she knew it was, and that she is purposely being dishonest. The quote from the email that you posted flat out says it! She knew it was your bag design! I've worked for several different magazines, and only the most incompetent of editors would forget to give due credit. The chances are far better of it being intentional. Her behavior certainly seems to indicate that it is. While I personally detest confrontations, I detest dishonesty even more--so I say sue her!! I hate when people think they can get away with ripping other people off. Grrr!!


Just for fun, I searched "felted bag pattern" in Yahoo. The 5th hit was this link which is labeled "Booga J" and links in to your site. Is it theft or admission of guilt?




I googled and you're No. 1!

But we knew that already.


Deanna - Stamping Online is her own personal store. No rules broken there, just an old link.

This whole situation stinks. The editor and magazine need to own up to the fact that they were in the wrong by not giving the credit after they said they were. And her threatening emails just show how petty she is being about this. I hope you're able to get it resolved, Julie.

heather (pixiestikz)

I saw the mag in question the day I sent the letter...

Making the bag smaller or attempting to disguise it with fun fur, still makes it a booga bag.

4 people agreed with me (the MD knitters who were with and saw)

She never responded to me. I guess she deleted mine!

dammed horrible!


Saying that she will acknowledge Julie, and then doesn't, is just as outrageous as the pattern. I just wrote the editor, telling her I would boycott Belle Armoire until an apology/acknowledgement is made, in the magazine, to Julie. I encourage everyone to boycott Belle Armoire (and let them know).


I got a letter from Ms. Doh that beat around the bush for a while, claiming several times that she had never, before we started emailing her, heard of the Booga bag. What a lie! Anyway, I'll forward it to you, if you'd like to see the mass production they're sending us. I think THEY'RE the ones who are going to need legal help....when they go bankrupt because no one will buy anything from them again!

I do have to agree with Heather that their pattern does not differ from yours any more than yours does from the constant companion or an oregon tote. However, I think if they expressed to you in written form that you were to recieve credit, they have an obligation to uphold that bargin. I plan on replying to Ms. Doh and telling her so. Good luck, we're behind you!


There's no excuse for the way this editor has handled the situation. I have to wonder if she spoke before consulting Jenny-the designer/assistant editor- maybe SHE didn't want to give credit where credit is due? Either way they've made a big mistake in thinking they can disregard the agreement.- which you have in writing.
Keep your chin up ;-)


i got your email julie, and i'm going to comment here again because i think discussions like this need to go on in public, so people will continue to think about how copyright affects their work.

i understand that this editor made an agreement with you, and having it in writing with dates and timestamps should prove that pretty solidly. she also seems like a pretty unpleasant person, based on the dealings people have had with her, so i'm by no means trying to dismiss the idea that she has been dishonest and disrespectful with you. however, the title of your initial post was not "editor dishonored publication agreement -- please help!" that first post was pretty explicitly about percieved copyright problems.

i think the crafting world has some pretty crazy and occasionally frightening ideas about copyright and people need to loosen up in the spirit of creative enterprise. none of us invented knitting. none of us invented felted bags. 90% of the felted bag patterns available are "based on" a rectangle picked up around the edges and knit up the sides with an i-cord handle, and most of the people who have designed bags originally learned this construction from another pattern. assistant editor jenny learned it from the booga bag. i learned it from an old pattons leaflet. i know at least one person who learned it from one of my patterns.

this editor may have admitted to you up front that the pattern in the magazine is based on yours, but it differs from the booga bag in size, proportion, materials, color pattern, and stitch pattern. it would be hard for it to be more different and still be a rectangular felted bag. my guess is that once she took a look around at some of the other patterns available, she realized the elements of her design that she borrowed from the booga bag were not unique and she no longer felt obligated to credit you. i'm not even going to try and guess whether the agreement she had made with you over email is enforceable, but i hope you get some resolution on that. i'm sorry this has been so stressful for you. enjoy your fiber therapy this weekend.


I'm also wondering what a lawyer will say.

IMHO, copyright involves your WRITTEN pattern, which, unless she printed your pattern in the magazine word for word, she has not violated your copyright.

Second, the Booga bag, a lovely and ingenious bag, is a utilitarian object, and cannot be copyrighted. The fact that it is stripped cannot be attributed as a singular design element, since the yarn asked for in the pattern does the work for you. As well, other knitters have access to that same yarn, and can knit a perfectly similar bag using a pattern from the 10 or 15 bag books available at Amazon. In the end, it could even be argued that the Booga bag was based on someone else's pattern.

Sounds like the BA author contacted you as a courtesy, and then it all went wrong. She had no legal obligation to tell you at all. If she hadn't, you wouldn't have been the wiser and you wouln'd be losing sleep over this.

I still hope it turns out in your favor.


Julie: you have a great site and I downloaded the bag pattern some time ago- I love it.
I bought my first - and now my last copy of BA last week here in Charleston, SC. The reason it caught my eye was the blurb on the front about felted bags! As I read the article, I thought it seemed vaguely familiar.
I know it doesnt help to know that you not only made a deal with what turned out to be a real amoral type; you helped her and her cohorts sell magazines!
However, I hope that there is fodder somewhere in this letter for your legal action.
FYI-I got to this site from another and I hope all this gives you and your designs a wider appeal. Have a cup of tea and let out a long breath...
from a canadian stuck in southern belle country- maura


OMG, I am just catching up on this. I am horrified. Back at least 1-2 years ago when I began looking for knitting patterns and inspiration on the internet I cam across your booga bag....yes, BOOGA BAG (as a matter of fact, my print off shows I printed it 6/12/04). It infuriates me to no end that a magazine could be so wrong and so horrible. I absolutely will never support them in any way. Sending you my best wishes to get this corrected and give you to recognition that you deserve!


I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that this all gets resolved quickly. I know that when I wanted to learn about felting, it took me about two clicks to get to the booga bag, which has become so ubiquitous that if it's mentioned in any knitting forum, everyone knows what you're talking about. Hang in there! If it goes to court, we'll have to organize a trip to the courthouse where we can all knit booga bags in unison.


I know I'm late on this, having some drama of my own. The magazine editor made no mistake. She should have dropped the project. I understand what Heather and Lily says, however that's not the point. We would make NOTHING, if we all had to worry about origin. Crafting is one thing, having a business is another. I'm tired of people with the "I never heard of a Booga Bag." This is why you do research first. Coming from the NY Fashion District, where this kind of s**t happens frequently (such lack of talent out there), you have a case. You are a small, but ESTABLISHED business owner. Cases like yours have been won on the grounds of such similarity causing "confusion in the mind of the consumer", which will affect your present and future sales. The number of stitches cast on is moot. It is the recognition factor that's important, hence crediting. Copyright infringements, can put you OUT OF BUSINESS, so, you are not overreacting. Why are registration #'s (RN's) are placed on merchandise? If Louis Vuitton can send U.S. marshals to raid sellers of conterfeit merchandise, why can't you come after a magazine? You must establish a precedent for yourself. Good luck. I'm with you. If you need more knowledge, I can site PLENTY of precedents in your favor.

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