The LA Times reports the latest front in the battle over copyright
protection: grandmothers who illegally share copyrighted needlepoint
patterns with their friends.
Sales at the South Carolina design shop Pegasus have dropped as
much as $200,000 a year--or 40%--since 1997, in part because of such
swapping, said founder Jim Hedgepath. He and a handful of companies
and pattern designers are gathering evidence to wage a legal battle
against the homemakers.
"They're housewives and they're hackers," Hedgepath said. "I don't care
if they have kids. I don't care that they are grandmothers. They're
bootlegging us out of business."
Business people are trembling at the prospect that file-swapping
won't stop at music, videos and needlepoint.
There are already rumblings that it has spread to knitting and
"Where will it end?" wailed Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum, 54, who designs
needlepoint patterns. "I just don't understand how these [people]
can stitch a stolen angel and still live with themselves."
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