Ah the issue of copyright infringement.....There are so many different facets to this discussion and I've been doing this long enough to experience my thoughts on this from many different perspectives.
I may or may not have told this story previously, but in my very very early start as a beader, another beading enthusiast admired a necklace that I was wearing. No problem I said, I'll bring you the directions, and I did. I went home and copied them from the book they were in and delivered them. It was my nice nature, my wanting to share my enthusiasm for beads, my not understanding that this was wrong. So I do have empathy for those nice people who are sharing and not realizing this is wrong.
Also, I am a huge believer in sharing and will gladly discuss technique, taking a project and explaining to an interested beader in gory detail how they can bead my piece. But that is my way, and I don't expect it to be everyone's way.
I like to think I've learned and I now pass on what I believe to be appropriate protocol, which is to please purchase the book, magazine or tutorial for your own use. I do this with knitting as well, although knitters seem to share pretty freely, I always purchase the pattern from the designer if it is something I am going to make. I also try to educate anyone who would willingly share a pattern with me by thanking them and letting them know that I will purchase it to make sure the designer is paid for their work.
Seems simple but there are so many gray areas. There are some patterns that are quite easy and more technique. Over time they become kind of public domain. Spiral rope comes to mind, I wouldn't know who to credit for it. I'm currently doing a cubic raw bangle with crystals and pearls, but it is cubic raw, a stitch, not something I feel that I can own in anyway (although mine is sort of pretty, with a beautiful and classic magnetic clasp)
There are projects like this where the original designer gets lost over time. But there are also times where people knowingly either share someone else's tutorial or set out to copy a piece bead for bead, or maybe changing up a bead or two and then calling it their own, sharing it with friends or teaching it in stores. This of course cuts the original designer out of the revenue loop, and since beaded designs is how we make our revenue, it becomes rather problematic. Making a living being a bead artist is hard enough without losing the income from our own designs.
The discussion usually cycles around to 'how do we educate folks to how they should behave?' I think that Sabine Lippert
has totally the correct approach in wanting a positive outcome for both designers and bead shops. So along those lines she has created a campaign of education where there is a mutual respect for one another. In return for agreeing to not share or teach projects that belong to a designer without permission, a group of designers will provide free projects that they can openly share. This would appear to be a win for everyone, as often bead stores do not have the time to design, yet they want to promote the beads that they sell. The designer is acknowledged and everyone has more awareness of appropriate protocol.
I've changed my facebook banner to reflect my alliance with this group. As we move forward with the concept, badges will be available for stores, and free projects will become available to those that respect designers rights. I will keep you posted as I learn more about how to participate.