Arrr! Mandalas Pirates!

I guess you know your book is popular if there are pirated PDF copies of it on Etsy..? This has started happening with the Japanese version of Mandalas to Embroider. Curiously, not with any of my other books. As far as I know, anyway.

Someone emailed me a little while ago to say they’d seen a PDF of the book for sale on Etsy. (Thank you, A!) She was almost apologetic about it, and not wanting to upset me with this information.

You’d think I would be upset about it, but I guess I’ve been involved with book writing, my own and friends’, that I know this is basically par for the course. And frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. That I know of. If this had happened when my first book had come out I may well have gone into an OMG WHAT DO I DO spiral, but now I just deal with it and move on.

I wasn’t upset, and certainly not with her. More like annoyed because it’s another something you gotta deal with. I have a new routine now: whenever I turn on my computer, I do a search on Etsy for illegal PDF copies.

So far, I’ve requested three people to remove the illegal PDF listings, and they have done so without me having to report them to Etsy.

Obviously, it’s annoying that people are illegally making money off your hard work! But on a small scale like this, and where it’s easy to deal with, I’m not going to let it upset me.

If you do happen to come across pirated versions of my book (if it’s a PDF, it is NOT legit), please let me know. Same goes if you see someone selling my patterns – my patterns are only available through my own shops. I am sure other designers/authors would appreciate a heads up if you see their work in pirated form.

It is difficult enough to police the internet for illegal copies if you’re a big business, and for those of us who are one-(wo)man bands, it is nigh on impossible, so your help really is very much appreciated. Even if you think letting us know is going to upset us. ♥♥♥



  1. November 26, 2018 / 2:38 am

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this Carina, but like you said, piracy is unfortunately part of the professional needlework world these days and I am very surprised it hasn't happened to you sooner. I'm so glad you were able to deal with the pirates successfully and without drama.

    I've seen a few copyright infractions in the stitchy world and they can get ugly. A few years ago, I stumbled across some pirated designs I recognized. I was one of several stitches who sent an e-mail to the designer, thinking she would appreciate knowing and would want to protect her work. She wrote an open letter on her blog to the people who sent her links and told us she really wished we hadn't done that.

    Her opinion was that she knew it was possibly – even likely – happening, but she could and did turn a blind eye until the links were sent, at which point she was forced to deal with it. The situation made her seriously anxious and paranoid about piracy, and resulted in her incurring legal bills she did not want to pay in trying to fight the pirates. She would rather not have known at all and was extremely upset. She later closed down her digital pattern company, Etsy and blog.

    It seemed a terrible over-reaction to me, but I try to keep in mind that piracy is a serious situation and people might react to it in different ways. The loss of control of one's work can be very frightening. That OMG WHAT DO I DO spiral is very real and sometimes spins right out of control.

    So I've learned to be a little wary of getting involved in disputes unless the case is very clear, as it was when I recognized your work. I was 99.9% sure you didn't sell PDF copies. But there's still a chance that I misunderstood the situation, and I respect your work so much – and would be very sad if you stopped designing! – that I was a little nervous messaging you. Sorry I didn't explain it better, but I'm glad you got it all sorted out! You have a great attitude about it too, which I really admire :)

    • December 5, 2018 / 11:09 am

      Thank you, Aurelia. I think it's less of an admirable attitude and more a question of not taking it too personally, or I would for certain fall into an OMG spiral! Which obviously isn't helpful. ;-)

      That is a very sad story about that other designer. In that light I can certainly understand you being wary about letting me know. I really appreciate that you did, though. It was relatively easy to sort out.

      I appreciate that you were looking out for me and my book! :-) xx

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