Bootlegging grannies latest copyright battle

Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 20:30:27 MDT

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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