In Spain there is an extremely terrible problem of piracy: most magazines are for free download on the web (without the author's permission, of course) the next day of being published. And the same happens with so many of the published books! (Barbara Fay, Cristina Mirecki... so many others).
Apart from these infringement of the law, against the work of designers and book or magazine writers, the problem in Spain is the lack of conscience of the lace makers themselves.
|Carolina Roca, from Madrid, selling illegal material|
First, there are quite many sellers who sell photocopied patterns at lace meetings. They have big binders full of patterns. Mostly torchon. But if you look carefully, you can see patterns from Czech designers (Jana Novak, for example), German Schneeberg, jewelery taken from books... Sometimes the copyright mark has been deleted and the new seller's name is printed on it. Sometimes the original name remains there. Sometimes they photocopy the other way round, so that the name of author is reversed! (The explanation of the seller is that bobbin lace is worked from the wrong side!)
But the situation becomes even worse if we try to complain and tell these sellers that the patterns are ours. Then they almost insult us: they say they are working so hard to put these patterns on sale for the lace makers, they tell us off and even ask us to show them our copyright credentials.
After not having been successful complaining to the illegal sellers, we complain to the organization of the event, telling them that these people are selling copied material. Some of them tell us they cannot do anything to avoid this. Others say: everybody does this. Others say, you are right, perhaps next time we will not let them sell here. This has happened to us in Barcelona, in many towns near Madrid and also in the area of Almería.
On the other hand, lace makers themselves buy lots of these patterns. They are happy to pay sometimes the same price, sometimes even more, than for an original pattern! They are contributing to this illegal copying of our work.
As far as I am concerned, I explain my students in almost every class that they have to buy original designs if they want to preserve this art. And I show my discontent every time they buy copied patterns.
But sometimes I ask myself if it is not better to save my strength in making my work instead of trying to
change the world. On the other hand, it is our work that they are using illegally, or said in a clearer way: they are stealing from us.
I think that we, Spanish legal lace makers, need some help from our foreign colleagues to fight against this. Do you know how?