Well hello there! If you attempted to visit the site the past few days you may have gotten a 404 message saying the website was ‘Forbidden’. While that certainly adds some sexy danger to my image, it was the result of a site takedown notice from none other than Mariella Shearer, aka The Hare Moon, aka EbayUK’s bythelightofthemoon, aka Etsy’s toknittowoo. Here’s the truly hilarious part – she asked that the site, the entire site, be taken down because I ‘stole’ one of her images. ‘Stole’ it to use – wait for it – in a post demonstrating how she’d very clearly stolen the image from me.
So, to restate – my site was taken down for 5 days because this blatant, unrepentant thief had the sheer balls to claim I stole her image in a post demonstrating “her” image was a badly photoshopped rip from my site.
I’ll wait a moment to let the uproarious laughter die down.
Now, I’ve already called her out for her theft. I’ve made the majority of the vintage knitting community quite aware of it. And I’m pretty sure anyone who reads the post that caused all this bother would agree that the image is clearly stolen. However, we are living in a fearful and litigious society, and while I have generously (and many have warned me, foolishly) shared these patterns with you all, she is selling them. That she stole them from my and several other sites is moot. Because she’s selling them I am ‘infringing on her livelihood’ and therefore I, the one providing content, am the one the hammer comes down upon. Angry Jim wrote a full summation of the situation on his site, including her full contact information, which I’m also reposting below should anyone wish to get in touch with her concerning their own stolen images being sold, or perhaps their sites being threatened with takedown notices for pointing this out.
While I dearly enjoy knitting, this site is far more for me than just a place to share patterns. It’s the platform from which I’ve chosen to speak to the public, a full compendium of over 5 years worth of writing, worrying, animated gifs, research and yes, free patterns. That someone would dare threaten all that over something so petty, not to mention backwards, speaks to an avaricious and narrow mind.
She actually signed a document reading “I, the undersigned, do solemnly declare that the image represented at the following website address is my creation, my intellectual property and copyright and I have not given authorization to anyone, including the owner of rarerborealis.com, to use or display it.” Well, if badly cutting and pasting an image onto a new background and slightly changing its color makes it yours, then I’d like to share some more of my own personal, copywritten, totally my own and not anyone else’s vintage images:
Before Ms. Shearer runs to the nearest keyboard to type out yet another infringement claim, I’d like to point out these follow THE EXACT parameters she’s claimed make the images she stole from ME, HERS. Calling me out will by the same stroke invalidate her own threadbare claims. As an additional gauntlet thrown down, I’d like to ask Ms. Shearer to see a photo, ANY photo, of the vintage knitting books she’s culled her ‘digital scans’ from. I’m more than happy to share photos of my collection; IN FACT, this week I’ll be giving away some duplicates I have in my physical, non-imaginary vintage knitting collection that really exists!
Ms. Shearer claims I have infringed her copyright. Well, she has infringed on my now-lessened belief in the decency and thoughtfulness of humanity by persisting in her greedy, dishonest ‘business’ venture. If anyone out there feels similarly, please do let her know. Also, please do link to and repost this; I would love it if one of the first things that came up searching for vintage patterns was a warning away from her sites.
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