September 20, 2020

Needlepoint Piracy: An Exclusive Interview!

Here at Freedom to Tinker, we are relentless in our quest to bring you the finest in pseudo-journalism. And so when Frank Field lifted the lid on needlepoint piracy, our staff sprang into action to bring you an exclusive newsmaker interview with the ultimate insider source on this story, a source who was President of the authoritative American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) at the time the story first broke. This source, reached at an undisclosed location in the southwestern United States, will be identified only as “my mother.”

She writes:

The active needlepointers are generally members of [ANG] and its chapters. One of the things stressed on our [i.e., ANG’s] mail list (with more than 1200 needlepointers – not all members – but all active including designers, stitchers, shop owners, etc.), in our every other month magazine for members, with our chapters in their rules and regulations, and other places where we can – [is] that needlepoint charts and other materials from books, etc. can be copied only for your own personal use. They cannot be swapped.

[…]

Anyway, this article came out when I was President of ANG (at the end of my term) and caused quite a lot of discussion. [Swapping] is, and has always been, a problem – just think it may be among a wider group than previously because of the Internet. But among heavy users of patterns, I would suggest it is not commonly done. At least among the people I know, everyone is concerned about the decline in the number of stores selling these kinds of materials making it much more difficult to find patterns. For most people, attending a national seminar where a large store is available, or purchasing things by mail order or more likely on line, is what is happening now in the industry. Because we are trying to support the outlets still available for material, plus the manufacturers, many people are almost fanatics [about respecting copyright].

I would suggest that the decline in pattern sales for [some publishers] may be [because] there are fewer stores that carry their materials, and perhaps their patterns are not of such interest when you have no way to see the pattern in person.