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Monday, July 11, 2005



I've just sent a letter off to Ms. Miller - a day late but not a dollar short. CC to you, FYI. Good Luck and be strong girl. You wrote the pattern. You deserve credit.


Yes, I agree with Gina...you deserve the credit!


I agree with you that it's worth not giving up, even if it's a legal hassle. You will be standing up for all of us who have copyrighted works out there in the world. I'm sorry it's come to that for you, but this is a clear clear clear violation. Good luck.


Best of luck!

You know, I bet if you got a lawyer friend of yours just to write a nice, professional looking letter, there's a good chance they'd make good on their offer and give you an apology. Nobody wants legal problems, and with a letter like that, they'd probably be scared into doing the right thing.


I agree, you can't let this go. That would be teaching the magazine people that they can get away with walking all over people and not doing what they said they would. RK's idea of a nice legalese letter sounds great! Hang in there, you're doing a great job. I can't wait to see your new bag.


As a journalist, I am stunned at how callous an editor can be in giving credit. They know who REALLY designed that pattern. Just wanted to let you know I wrote an email, too, and I think you should stick to your guns! Keep making beautiful things!


I agree - a letter from a lawyer outlining the results you expect is the way to go. It sucks that you have to go that route, but you don't want her to get away with it. Crappy magazine.


Heidi of My Paper Crane directed me here. I'm so sorry some callous editor took advantage of you like that.

those are good resources for learning specifically about copyright.

my partner's brother is a furniture designer and some asshole stole a unique chair design from him. He sued with success and they had to cease production and pay him reparations.

At this point, everything is on your side (aside from having been victimized in the first place). You have printed proof of their violation, you have a papertrail of correspondence with the editor acknowledging that it's your work.

It doesn't matter that the article's author did a variation of your bag. That falls under derivative copyright law, which means that anything based on your unique work belongs to you. If someone made a collage of one of my drawings and called it their own art? It's legally 100% mine.

You were nice and cooperative and accepted a cheap, but honest deal and they violated that. Take after them for money. Most copyright legal cases are done in civil court and the likelihood of a criminal case is slim, but you have everything a lawyer needs to build a strong case.

also, in addressing angry letters, throw a few at the big advertisers. Publications don't make much/any money off newsstand sales -- they make it from advertising, so if you write letters about your situation and hint at the fact that you will boycott any company who gives money to these thieves, that's going to hurt the magazine more than letters to the editor. (Although y'might as well cover all bases.)

And for good measure, I like sending letters of complaint to magazines on their own subscription cards so that they have to foot the postage.

Good luck.


That is awful! I can't believe someone would feel right going forward with the article. Any further word from the magazine yet?


I am also a day late, but I wanted to share this with your readers to encourage those who have not yet written an email to the editor to do so. I researched this a little bit and found the following on the Belle Armoire website:

"If you have a unique artistic technique that you’d like to share with our readers, send samples of your artwork accompanied by a query letter outlining your idea to the managing editor at the address below. Please note: If the technique you wish to share with our readers was learned in a class, a workshop, or from an art or craft book, Belle Armoire® requires that you give credit to the author or teacher who instructed you."

Julie, I think that you should have one of your attorney-friends write a letter to Ms. Miller. Clearly, she has misrepresented herself as trustworthy, and has misrepresented her magazine as honest.

Good Luck!


I found you through My Paper Crane and was of course angry that yet another artist has had their rights infringed upon.

I emailed the magazine and gave my opinion on the matter.

You have the terms and condition of use by their emails to you and this should be enough to take legal action against them since they clearly broke that agreement.

Why do big companies always step on the little guys?

Good luck and I hope it all works out (in your favour!)


You definitely should keep on this until they own up to and fix what they have done. You have a ton of support and you will be the ultimate victor in this battle!

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