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Grannies and Pirated Software 280

Posted by kdawson
from the oh-dearie-me dept.
dthomas731 writes, "After reading Ed Foster's blog about how the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC) is suing grandmothers over using pirated digitized designs, I thought you might want to call your own grandmothers and tell them they are going to be needing a lawyer. And the ESPC is very serious. On the ESPC faq page they scare these grandmothers by telling them even if they didn't know the software was pirated, that 'Unfortunately, when it comes to copyright violations, ignorance is no defense.'"
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Grannies and Pirated Software

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  • by yagu (721525) * <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ugayay}> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:05PM (#16093289) Journal

    This almost seems a new (or not so new) trend, and a way to make money above and beyond having a product, though ostensibly "having a product" is where one should start (are you listening RIAA?). So now after seeing the apparent success of legal scare tactics by RIAA and others, the embroidery industry is piling on?

    Should we be enraged? Or should we jump in too, cull the internet, everything, for any evidence of anyone, any group, etc. with even the remotest hint of infringing on something you can claim you own?

    Don't worry too much about specifics (read the article, the legal threatening letter isn't specific enough to tell Granny what CD she has that infringes), and raise legal bloody hell. This could be more profitable than spam. With a modicum of respondents "paying up", one could conceivably collect rather large sums.

    The internet does provide the ability to spread intellectual property instantaneously, and similarly provides amazing tools to sniff out where stuff is, intentionally or otherwise. Unfortunately, most of the "pirated" booty is "otherwise", i.e., the perpertrator has no awareness. These "perpetrators" are not the problem. They should be left alone. Enough already.

    (Aside: I really would be curious to how prevalent this (these) letter(s) is (are). Are they really doing this? How many letters have they sent. The article mentions contacting your states attorney, alas, the demographic targeted here is not likely to know that, and probably not privy to /. for reference to this article. Sigh.)

    • by Pharmboy (216950)
      This is kinda the thinking behind SCO "swinging for the bleachers" with IBM and Linux, isn't it?
    • by russ1337 (938915) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:40PM (#16093418)
      If I understand this correctly, the people who came up with some embroided designs are concerned their images are being coppied? OK, thanks, just clarifying it for myself.

      There has to be PLENTY of people into embroidery that have the skills to design their own patterns right? Now someone just needs to introduce these people to Creative Commons. [creativecommons.org] Get all the oldies (and a few young'ins) with artistic talent to draw up a few designs and start sharing. The 'Emproidery Protection Racket' will just plain be left out in the cold.

      All us grandkids have to do is remind the oldies that they should only use the patterns with the "CC" label that come with them.
      • by aywwts4 (610966)
        Setup the site, make it Grandma friendly, (40pt font) Perhaps make a killing on google ads for long term life insurance for pennies a day.
      • by dr.badass (25287) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:09AM (#16094085) Homepage
        There has to be PLENTY of people into embroidery that have the skills to design their own patterns right?

        You'd be surprised. I know I was when my dad's wife started a home-based embroidery business. While there is cheap (~$200) and simple embroidery design software, the mid- to high-end of the market is more like CAD/CAM territory, with a similar level of skill needed. We're talking $15,000 software for your $150,000 machine. The designs being pirated here probably for this latter kind of work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Suidae (162977)
        Just some random thoughts on the subject:

        The machines that this concerns are usually Pfaff [pfaffusa.com] or a competitor (thats pronounced f-ah-f). They are priced anywhere from $3000 to $9000, with a huge variation in price depending on which independent dealer you get screwed by.. er, purchase from. Dealer support is a big factor, the machines do occasionally need service and the users need training. A good dealer makes a big difference in the end-user experience. Shop around and rely on reputations of dealers within t
    • by rackhamh (217889)
      Or should we jump in too, cull the internet, everything, for any evidence of anyone, any group, etc. with even the remotest hint of infringing on something you can claim you own?

      They're not just "claiming they own" it -- they have copyrights on the designs. Which means, presumably, that the (C) symbol was to be found somewhere on or near the design. Maybe it was just too small to make out with granny's failing eyesight?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jmauro (32523)
        Thanks to the US Congress the (C) symbol and registering is no longer a requirement. Copyright is automatic.
        • Registration is still required before you can actually do much to enforce copyrights, even though copyright itself is automatic on creation of any copyrightable work.
          • by jmauro (32523)
            Nope. It just serves as prima faca evidence that you are the author. It also allows you to recover court costs and statutory damage on top of lost income. Still can be quite profitable.
            • For most copyright actions, registration is an absolute prerequisite (see 17 USC 411).

              In addition, if you register before filing suit but after the actual infringement occurred, you can't, even if you do win the suit, recover attorney's fees or statutory damages. So that means you won't get any more money back, in most cases, than you can prove either you lost or the infringer made because of the infringement, and a big chunk of that is going to attorney's fees, so net you are likely to lose money on such
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          > Thanks to the US Congress the (C) symbol and registering is no longer a requirement. Copyright is automatic.

          The US Congress had nothing to do with it, the Berne convention did. Just so you don't have to look it up, Berne is in Switzerland. Yes, we became signatories to the convention a LONG time later, but it was hardly a US creation.
    • I'm not really tracking with the opening statement. In both cases, the respective industries do have a product. Whether or not you like or others like the given is a different matter. On a related note, I don't really understand how a product being rubbish being a justification of making copies of it, if it's not worth the money, it's probably not worth the time listening to it either.
  • not quite correct. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:05PM (#16093291) Homepage Journal
    " 'Unfortunately, when it comes to copyright violations, ignorance is no defense.'""

    heh, thats not quite correct.

    If A company makes a book, and I buy it from them, and then latter it turns out they didn't have permission to do that, I still can not be sued.

    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:09PM (#16093305) Homepage Journal
      Now, IANAL, but from what I know, it doesn't actually matter whether or not you knew that company had permission to sell the book.

      You see, copyright protects the right to copy. When you're buying a book, you're not making a copy of the book. Someone else is. And that person, company, whatever, is the one who bears the legal liability for making the copy, not you.
      • Now, IANAL, but from what I know,

        Hoo boy...

        it doesn't actually matter whether or not you knew that company had permission to sell the book.

        You see, copyright protects the right to copy. When you're buying a book, you're not making a copy of the book. Someone else is. And that person, company, whatever, is the one who bears the legal liability for making the copy, not you.

        Only if the copy was lawfully made. See http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#117 [copyright.gov]

    • by Fnkmaster (89084)
      Agreed, these people don't have a leg to stand on with respect to buyers. Theoretically, if they can show the person actually used the design to sew something, then the thing they sewed could be questionable in legality if there is a trademark involved (I don't see how that could be covered under copyright law, but I guess I'm not familiar enough with this industry to comment).

      But there is no way that just looking at a copyrighted data file, assuming that's all that's being done here, by a person who happe
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773)
        But there is no way that just looking at a copyrighted data file, assuming that's all that's being done here, by a person who happened to purchase a copy from a person who didn't have the rights to distribute it, could possibly be in violation of copyright law.

        Yes, that's absolutely correct, except that it's completely wrong, sorry:

        The first question, then, is whether those who browse any of the three infringing websites are infringing plaintiff's copyright. Central to this inquiry is whether the persons br

        • by Amouth (879122)
          I have heard this argument before.. and i am supprised it hasn't been twisted to visual memory.

          the fact that you can remember anything is because you made a copy of it..
          • Yes, it's silly and oft-criticized, but it'd probably be better to create some broad exceptions that acknowledge how computers work with regard to all kinds of works. And nothing as limited as 117. And some broad exceptions for ordinary people acting noncommercially would also be good.
            • Would be:
              1) Eliminate statutory damages for innocent infringers, and
              2) Disallow court costs and attorney's fees against innocent infringers, and
              3) Expand the definition of innocent infringers to, in addition to its current scope, include all people who had a reasonable belief that their use was "fair use" under the law who were acting without commercial intent when infringing.

              This would eliminate all incentive to pursue charges against innocent infringers who aren't causing substantial actual damages; inste
              • No, I'd rather just have a blanket exception: if you're a natural person, and you're acting noncommercially, you're not infringing, whatever you're doing, and whatever your mental state is. Copyright would only be a factor in commercial matters, or for organizations, corporations, etc.

                I'm ambivalent about adding mens rea to copyright, since it would seem to encourage people to be deliberately ignorant of the copyright status of works, so that they could get away with things.

                Also your third exception is all
    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:02PM (#16093521) Homepage Journal
      You didn't copy the book, so you didn't violate the copyright. The company you bought it from is guilty/liable, not you. Similarly, these grannies didn't copy the CDs they bought, so I don't see how they violated anyone's copyright.

      This is a different situation than the familiar RIAA vs filesharers. The RIAA is suing the publishers of the files. And even downloaders can be argued to be "making a copy", of the data from their network connection eventually to their HD.
      • by guruevi (827432)
        Well, in the Netherlands the current copyright laws are so broad (thanks to **AA ass-kissing government "non-profit" organizations) that it allows for somebody to be sued because they're playing a legally purchased song. The reason: they are in fact copying the data (from hard disk to memory, buffer, cache) and circumventing the copyright protection (DRM) because technically, all data has to be buffered somewhere analog or digital without encryption to make it come out of the speakers.
    • If A company makes a book, and I buy it from them, and then latter it turns out they didn't have permission to do that, I still can not be sued.


      are you really sure? If you work at company B and company A repackaged say, photoshop, and called it 'photostore' and sold it to you for $5, I doubt you'd be in the clear from a legal standpoint...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Kierthos (225954)
        Yeah, but that all falls under certain common sense assumptions. If I go into a Barnes and Nobles and buy a book there, the assumption is that the book is a legal copy of the book. If it isn't, it's Barnes and Nobles' fault, not mine. If I go into a software store and buy a copy of Photoshop, the assumption is that it's a legal copy. If it isn't, it's the software stores' fault, not mine.

        Now, if I buy Photoshop off of a guy on a street corner, the manual was printed at Kinko's and the CD is obviously a burn
        • by Petrushka (815171)

          If I go into a Barnes and Nobles and buy a book there, the assumption is that the book is a legal copy of the book. If it isn't, it's Barnes and Nobles' fault, not mine.

          Unless, of course, the book happens to be the new Harry Potter book, and Barnes and Noble sold it to you before they were supposed to. Then it's your problem, not Barnes and Noble's ....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by zenthax (737879)
      I think they probably are correct in this case because it concerns embroidery. Not being a person who does embroidery on a regular basis I can only guess that this software is most likely some type of digital blueprint for embroidery designs. Basically instead of a book this seems to be more like sheet music or even music files in general. Think charges for playing music in restaurant, elevators, etc. The copyright is on the embroidery design it's self and the program hence both the person who made the
      • As someone else has already said: using the data is not copyright infringement. Copying the data is. I cannot be held liable for buying something in good faith, no matter what somebody's lawyer tells me. At the very worst, all they can do is confiscate the CDs and I'm out my original purchase price, unless I can somehow get a refund or sue the company that took my money.
    • No, it's correct. It's your example that is in error. If you buy a book that was made and/or distributed unlawfully, you haven't broken the law. Buying an unlawfully made copy isn't infringement. Making a copy, as you necessarily must when you download, would be infringement, OTOH.
      • by Petrushka (815171)
        If you buy a book that was made and/or distributed unlawfully, you haven't broken the law.
        ... except in a case like this [guardian.co.uk], of course.
    • by jetmarc (592741)
      > Ignorance is no defense.

      There is a difference between

      a) I didn't know I was pirating,

      and

      b) I didn't know pirating was illegal.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:11PM (#16093313) Homepage Journal
    "What if I am innocent and did not know the designs or software were counterfeit when I purchased the designs?

                It is your responsibility to investigate any designs or software that you purchased over the Internet or from online auctions. You must take steps to insure that they are legitimate original embroidery designs or software, not pirated copies."

    Great, so now we need to research every product we buy to be sure the company didn't do anything illegal.

    I think not.
    • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:25PM (#16093359) Homepage Journal
      Well, here is some point where turkish law is better than u.s. law.

      Recently a high court whose decisions are exemplary and binding have decided that it is not the customers' responsibility to know what they were buying was pirated or not - the SELLER of pirated stuff is guilty. And it is the companies' responsibility to protect their own copyrights.

      Which perfectly makes sense, as no inhabitant of this planet has to maintain a list that contains which company holds the rights to what product.
      • I would not assume that the self-serving FUD of an industry group accurately reflects US law. In US law, innocent infringement is not a complete defense to civil infringement, but does mitigate damages. Furthermore, if the innocent offender was sold or given the material b someone who represented it as legitimate, they likely have a claim against that third party for any damages they would be liable for for the infringment, and more, either on a theory of fraud or some other related basis—and could li
      • by stubear (130454)
        That's the way it is in the U.S. The details you failed to mention however are what happens to the infringing material once it is discoverd that the seller violated copyright? In the U.S. the buyer is out the cost of the intellectual property (If you're buying a copy of Photoshtop for $150 you get what you deserve) but no other legal action can be taken as they did not violate the copyright. I'd be willing to bet that it is very similar if not identical in Turkish law as well.
        • An innocent buyer would no doubt have a claim against the fraudulent seller for at least the amount paid, and possibly for the fair market value of the product the seller agreed to sell but failed to legally provide (and, depending on the jurisdiction, possible some damage multiplier for the deliberate fraud, as well.)

    • No, they're correct. Copyright is a strict liability statute, like, oh, statutory rape. If you do it, you've broken the law, regardless of whether you intended to or not, or how cautious and reasonable you were in your attempts to avoid breaking the law. Mental state is not a factor.

      It can be useful in reducing statutory damages, and it makes you fairly sympathetic, as if grannies that embroider aren't already, but it does not get you off the hook.

      Patents work the same way. What protects ordinary people is
  • Fake? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cheeziologist (596855) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:15PM (#16093326)
    Does this story not strike anyone else as to be so ridiculous that it must be one of those things set up just to see what community reaction is like? Like a researcher at a university doing a sociology experiment. I mean..."Embroidery Software Protection Coalition"...come on!
    • Re:Fake? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Elemenope (905108) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:29PM (#16093380)
      Perhaps. Their homepage provides a phone number though. Anybody from PA who can call and check it out? (I hate long-distance charges.) As far as the story being ridiculous...I don't know. If you had asked me 20 years ago if I believed that the music industry would be hauling their customers to court for making personal copies of songs and trading songs with friends, I'd have called you crazy. And yet, here we are.
      • by jargon82 (996613) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:43PM (#16093431)
        Dialing... (after hours, clearly) 1 2 3 4 rings You have reached the legal dept for the ESPC. Our office hours are Monday - thurs 9:30am through 4pm Central standard time. Please leave your name, number that you can be reached at between those hours, thank you. Why Central, if it's in PA? Monroeville is near Pittsburgh... it's a pity it's a PO box because I am there about once a month. Anyone got a better addy? :)
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by jargon82 (996613)
          I'd further like to point out that the number is 888-921-5732. Thats a toll free number for US callers. That means, it costs them money, not you. Thats right, everytime you dial 888-921-5732 and listen to that voice message, it costs the owners of 888-921-5732 some amount of money. Again, that number is 888-921-5732. Or something.
      • by Tim C (15259)
        the music industry would be hauling their customers to court for making personal copies of songs and trading songs with friends

        DO you have any links to back that up? Obviously I've heard about court cases against p2p users, but suing over personal copies or sharing with friends is a new one on me...
    • Re:Fake? (Score:4, Informative)

      by One Louder (595430) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:32PM (#16093387)
      Well, the domain has been registered since 1999, by the folks that run sewing.org, which has been registered since 1995, so if it's a hoax, it's a bit more elaborate than normal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lottameez (816335)
      Well it's just another example of the disdain that the Bush administration has for Grandmothers. Are you happy now SCO? Darl? you Listening!!??? It doesn't run on Linux, and Micro$oft will just try to steal it for Vista. Google's version is better anyways and runs on my IPod.

      Let me be the first to welcome our Embroidery Coalition Overlords.

      There. That should about cover all the usual /. responses...Nothing for you to see here. Move along.
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        What's sad is that I thought you were serious for a minute there. I need a break from here...
    • by zifferent (656342) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:09PM (#16093819)
      Most definitely is fake. In fact it's a scam.

      http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=20 00117763&tstart=0&mod=1156813029715 [ebay.com]

      You see they get these sewing people all scared, work them up into a lather and then direct them to the "Amnesty Program" here:

      http://www.embroideryprotection.org/Amnesty_Progra m.pdf [embroideryprotection.org]

      Where they procede to take $300 a piece from unwitting cross-stichers.

    • Does this story not strike anyone else as to be so ridiculous that it must be one of those things set up just to see what community reaction is like? Like a researcher at a university doing a sociology experiment. I mean..."Embroidery Software Protection Coalition"...come on!

      The Geek sees Granny in her rocking chair.

      The reality is that embroidery has become a high-tech craft and small business. Here are three examples from Froogle:

      Quantum® XL-6000 Embroidery Machine by Singer [hancockfabrics.com] $3000
      Melco EP1B Port [allbrands.com]

  • yep (Score:5, Funny)

    by User 956 (568564) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:27PM (#16093364) Homepage
    On the ESPC faq page they scare these grandmothers by telling them even if they didn't know the software was pirated, that 'Unfortunately, when it comes to copyright violations, ignorance is no defense.

    In this day and age, it's also not a barrier to using a computer.
  • Oh, you don't want to mess with the RI-double-A
    They'll sue you if you burn that CD-R
    It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a seven-year-old girl
    They'll treat you like the evil hard-bitten criminal scum you are
  • I'm torn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by n9uxu8 (729360) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:45PM (#16093438) Homepage
    This is clearly a case of a coalition getting together to become the next RIAA. However, my mother makes her living making embroidery machine instructional videos and custom designs (http://littlebrownjugdesigns.com/ [littlebrow...esigns.com] for those interested...I didn't code the page, it's not my fault). Anyway, the granny-embroidery crowd can be viscious and there is an embedded culture of one person buying a design and giving a copy to everyone they know. This isn't really a big deal, however. The big deal is when an embroidery supply store buys one copy of a training dvd or design pack and just burns a copy to sell whenever a customer expresses an interest. For a one-person-show, it's impossible to track down all the stores operating this way, so some sort of industry coalition makes sense, but it should target infringing merchants not the Grandma who just wanted to stitch Faye Valentine on her grandson's backpack.

    Dave
    • The big deal is when an embroidery supply store buys one copy of a training dvd or design pack and just burns a copy to sell whenever a customer expresses an interest.

      Liken this to music 'sharing'. How often is that meme presented as an end result of the general file sharing thing?
      One copy of YouFaveBand is sold, and then put up on Kazaa, eMule, torrent..for everyone to have. The artist and production team gets the proceeds from exactly one sale.

      but it should target infringing merchants not the Grandm
      • A more accurate anology is where a bunch of kids (or grandmas) copies music CDs (or embroidery patterns) and trades them around. The grandparent post indicated that this sort of trading of embroidery patterns is not considered to be a big problem by at least one embroidery pattern maker.

        The grandparent post indicated that there is a problem when an embroidery store [or music store] copies embroidery patterns [or music CDs] and then distributes them for commercial purposes in violation of the license [bootl
    • You just... (Score:4, Funny)

      by ModernGeek (601932) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @12:56AM (#16094281) Homepage
      ...slashdotted your mother.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RimfoMan (546888)
      Don't be too torn.. The ESPC is tring to also wipe out any small player (like your mother) They have shutdown several independent designers, who were selling original designs, by threatening them and their customers.

      There was some good coverage on this about a year ago on a loca TV station, WNDU-TV in South Bend, IN.
      Here is the link.. http://www.wndu.com/news/contact16/092005/contact1 6_44586.php [wndu.com]

      ====
      Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my employer, my
      friends, nor (as she often tells me) my
  • Software Costs (Score:5, Informative)

    by jhines0042 (184217) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:00PM (#16093512) Journal
    I've actually looked in to getting an embroidery machine. (My mother actually has one too)

    Here's the rub. The machine costs $5000. The software for loading your own designs into it... another $5000 (last I checked)

    Yes, these machines hook up to a computer via USB, they have their own CD drives and their own format for embroidery patterns. The patterns you can buy on CD for a pretty penny, more expensive than a music CD for sure.

    So, no, I'm not surprised by this at all.

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:01PM (#16093513) Journal
    From the website at http://www.infotoday.com/linkup/lud090106-goldsbor ough.shtml [infotoday.com]

    """ The group, EmbroideryOrganizationInformation (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EmbroideryOrganizat ionInformation), is a Yahoo! Groups discussion group that was set up in response to piracy and copyright infringement charges made by ESPC against those who share embroidery designs obtained from embroidery software and from embroidery design companies.

    Many of the participants have elected to participate in the discussion group on an anonymous basis. In response to this, ESPC obtained a subpoena to force Yahoo! to reveal the identities of these people in addition to filing defamation claims against individual members for what they wrote.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in turn, filed a motion to block this subpoena, which it described as "brazen" and "heavy-handed." """
  • Are these the same thugs who were suing grannies for making multiple items from the same (paper) pattern?

    What they need is to sue some granny who has a terminal illness and a shotgun.
  • by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:21PM (#16093595)
    someone please tell me this is merely a bad joke... if it isn't, there is gonna be some serious crap going down. seniors vote much more than average citizens. up here, IIRC, 87% of senior citizens voted, vs. 65% of the general population. i can imagine that there is a comparable phenomenon in the US.

    and plus, the whole suing old people raised a PR firestorm upon the RIAA, so i can expect a similar effect on this.

    provided again that this isn't a really early april fools joke...
  • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:28PM (#16093617) Journal
    Because this is excessive greed.

    As for prohibitions against copying, one should consider the scalability.

    If everyone was prohibited from using each others ideas without permission, it won't scale well if you have many billions or even trillions of people. Unless you assume that it is typical that only a very few of the billions are creative enough to have new ideas.

    If I came up with a unique thought first, others should not be prohibited from thinking it, they shouldn't falsely claim they are first or the only ones because that would be lying.

    I would have thought that civilized nations would have plenty of ways of keeping inventive people alive and reasonably contented even if they don't get to have monopolies over everything. And the "expanding markets and thousands of new types of jobs" would be good enough.

    In fact I think it may actually be all the excessive greed that's causing it to not be good enough.

    It's like the starving in Africa - not due to there not being enough food, but evil and greedy leaders. There are more overweight and obese people in the world than starving people - so there's more than enough food to go around.
  • I hope that this nonsense comes home to roost!

    Let me explain.... my parents would often lament the state of our country. I would inevitably come to the conclusion based on discussions that they have turned over a totally screwed up country to the generation(s) that follow. When I suggested that to them they were not pleased... but I maintain it is the truth.

    They allowed this nonsense to fester for quite a while... the impact of their apathy goes way beyond this specific case.

    I just don't see how th US can m
  • Embroidery Machines (Score:4, Interesting)

    by beadfulthings (975812) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @10:34PM (#16093649) Journal
    I want to express this with all due respect to the grannies involved, as I'm certain this has come as a shock to some of them.

    However (ahem). Today's sewing/embroidery machines aren't the straight-needle treadle-operated Singers of yore. They come equipped with flash drives, USB ports, CD/DVD drives, and network connections. Many are Internet-upgradeable. Even to buy in at the low end of the market, you have to come up with about $1,500 - $3,000. Upwards of $5,000 gets you a respectably flexible and powerful system. Manufacturers who formerly dealt only in industrial sewing machines (such as Juki) seem now to be involved in the home market. Manufacturers of traditionally high-end home machines (Viking comes to mind) have a glittering array of semi-professional options with price tags to match. They are also specialized, with machines available for embroidery, quilting, overcasting seams in garments--lots of features formerly available only in industry.

    I guess what I'm saying is that you have to come up with a fairly substantial investment to get into this game in the first place. Maybe what we need is an open-source embroidery pattern movement (Tux would make a cute embroidery pattern), but a lot of these designs are licensed (such as Disney characters), and to me it stands to reason one would have to shell out substantial money for them.

    It's also a bit of a slap in the face at the idea of the ditzy old lady bereft of any technical smarts at all. Not the case if she's just logged into Husqvarna for the latest update to her Viking SE.
  • FAQ: But I bought the disk therefore I own it and I should be free to do as I wish with it. I own my car and I can let others use it--what's the difference?

    When you buy a disk, all you truly own is the physical diskette itself, not what is on it. The designs are licensed for you to use in a specific way; the copyright holder owns the content. When you share designs, you are typically not loaning the disk to another person, you are giving them a copy of the disk--in other words, you have become a bootleg man
  • by davmoo (63521) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:21PM (#16093870)
    Even though this goes against the principles of Slashdot, I did in fact RTFA. While I don't agree that its a good idea from a PR standpoint to go after grannies, I also don't see anything in the article, or at the organization's web site, that is factually incorrect. They are merely exercising their rights under US law. Don't like it? Then don't buy their product. Don't want to get in trouble? Then besides not buying their product, don't *cough* acquire *cough* their product either.

    It works the same way with the RIAA. I think the RIAA sucks. Suing teenagers is usually not a good idea from a PR standpoint. That's why I don't buy their product. I also don't *cough* acquire *cough* their product either. But regardless, most of what the RIAA says (and noticed I didn't say "all of what they say") is in fact correct under US law.

    Its also quite obvious in reading most of the replies here, that none of you have ever made or marketed a product that has a very limited pool of customers. Just like most of you have never created music, artwork, or software for sale. If you did, and someone started passing your creation around and cut in to your sales, I bet a lot of you would be changing your responses (and hiring lawyers). If you want to create something and give it away for free, that's your right to do so. But its equally someone else's right to create something and offer it only in exchange for money. You only have two choices in this debate...to pay and use, or to keep your money and not use. You never have the right to steal their product because you don't like their policies or prices.
    • by westlake (615356)
      Even though this goes against the principles of Slashdot, I did in fact RTFA.

      When the Geek sees the word "embroidery" he sees Granny and Sylvester. He does not see small business. The embroidery machine as a $5000-$10000 commercial grade color printer.

    • by vorpal22 (114901) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @01:31AM (#16094395) Homepage Journal
      You only have two choices in this debate...to pay and use, or to keep your money and not use.

      I disagree. I think that there's an entirely reasonable third choice: (1) to pay and use when the price is reasonable and the company behind the product respects us, and (2) to protest through whatever means we feel are appropriate when the price to end users is completely absurd or the company treats us like garbage.
      • by davmoo (63521)
        Even if I were to agree with you, stealing the product is still not a legitimate form of protest. Whether the price is absurd or the company treats users like garbage does not change that.

        Go get 5 gallons of gasoline and then drive off from the pump without paying. When the cops show up at your house, tell them "I'm protesting the absurd price of gasoline and the poor treatment of consumers by big oil companies" and see how that affects your situation. The only way it will help you is if the cops are lau
  • This is great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@@@kc...rr...com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:27PM (#16093901) Homepage
    The more copyright and patent issues encroach into the lives of the less geeky the better. Bring on the lawsuits for quilt patterns, sewing patterns and wood working designs (im going to lay claim to the spindle). The more insane the lawsuits get the more likely it is that the sheepish masses will finally wake up and see just how jacked up the current laws are.
    • This is actually the sort of copyright hell that we have been dreading. The good thing about it, as you pointed out, is that it raises awareness about copyright laws being ridiculous. Presumably this will lead to copyright laws eventually becoming an election issue, and then finally being overturned. This will probably take an extremely long time to happen, though, and in the meantime people will end up being treated very unfairly.
  • But don't I only have to change it 10% to make it my own?

    No, this is a misconception about copyrights as it applies to the graphic arts industry. In fact, by changing the original design and then selling the new version of the original in any manner, the person doing this has moved into additional violations of law, not only copyright law, but general tort laws.

    Um...seems to me there's an opportunity here to hoist these folks with their own petard.

    The designs must be an open standard because it stated that
  • by loraksus (171574) on Wednesday September 13, 2006 @01:47AM (#16094434) Homepage
    Call ONLY the Legal Department of the ESPC at 214. 350.1892

    Would hate to be checking messages on their machine tommorow.

    And yes, I'm saying go and call. These groups should realize that threatening the buyers with lawsuits and prison time will not go without retalitation. This is the equivalent of the RIAA hunting down the people who bought copies of professionally pirated, legitimate looking cds and demanding settlements or threatening to sue. While a C&D may be appropriate, legal threats are not. Harrassment of the victims is just despicable.
    Fuck them and their $300 settlement.
  • by pamdirac (184338)
    And as an individual, you can spread the word that sharing is stealing.

    Surely even the ass clown that wrote this FAQ had to appreciate the double-speak. Good is evil. Awesome.
  • I would be fascinated to see what the results of a visit from the BSA to all of these concerned businessmen would turn up. Somehow, in their greedy obsession with squeezing every last sou from anybody that they think could possibly owe them, I suspect that their licensing of Microsoft products is lacking. Hmmm, come to think of it, I'd be just as fascinated to see the results of a sweep through the RIAA and MPAA offices by the BSA.

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