8/08/08 is a date that comes up only once in every century and it’s upon us as I write. This time the date is even more special because it’s the date on which the Summer Olympics begins. I LOVE the Olympics, both Winter and Summer, and I’m so glad they they’ve split the two so I have to wait only 2 years between my Olympic TV feast. You’ll find lots of good sports designs in both our Free Designs and designs for sale sections. What you won’t find, however, is a design of the Olympic rings and why I’ve illustrated this paragraph with a mock set of rings made from the numbers of the date. The reason is that the Olympic rings are a copyrighted and trademarked symbol and the Olympic committee is very aggressive about policing their use.
All of which brings me to what I really want to talk about.
We all love our copyrighted characters, like Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty,
Precious Moments, Garfield, Betty
Boop, etc. Some embroidery design companies have licensed these characters and
brought out sets of designs using them. If we purchase these designs we are
free to use them on items for ourselves and as gifts to others. We’re not
permitted to use them on items we for sale On the other hand, the question of
whether we are permitted to digitize these characters for our own personal use,
items for ourselves and as gifts for others, is somewhat of a gray area. I have
several transfer books with copyrighted characters and their use for embroidery
is specifically addressed in either their instructions or copyright statements.
In that case it’s fairly black and white; yes, you may. The gray area is
whether you can draw the characters yourself or get clip art on line or in
books and digitize from there. The legal
answer is, “no,” So why is this a gray area? It’s a gray area because you don’t
know any better, you’re not doing it for profit and, well, how would anyone
So why am I mentioning this here, on my blog? I’m not the
copyright police and what you do in the privacy of your home is none of my
business. However, I’ve found a few mentions in the forums here of copyrighted
characters that were digitized by some of us talented MEers with offers to
share them with others. While you’re more than welcome to share any of your
original digitizing (After all, that’s the reason AnnTheGran came into
existence in the first place.) here in the forums, I have to ask you to not
write about or share designs of copyrighted characters that you’ve digitized
yourself. I’ve nurtured annthegran.com since I first created it nearly 12 years
ago and I’m very protective of both the good name and the integrity of the
site. Believe it or not, there are some individuals out there in the wild,
wicked world of the Internet who would like to see annthegran.com go down in flames. A copyright violation is
just the kind of thing they’re looking for.
Please, please know that I’m not upset or angry or accusing anyone. I know that if anyone has done this it’s been in innocence and an attempt to be helpful and friendly. Those of us who have been enjoying this wonderful hobby for many years and have participated in online discussion groups, already know this. But so many are excitedly discovering machine embroidery and AnnTheGran every day and I know that copyrights and trademarks are the furthest things from their minds. I hope you’ll take this gentle reminder in the grandmotherly spirit in which it was written. ‘Nuff said.
Letters! We get letters!
Okay. We don’t really get letters, but we do get email and comments on the blogs and in the forums. I’m going to address just a few of them here.
katydid says, “I leave too much space between letters, What is the rule of thumb?” Keep in mind that embroidery designs “draw up” when they stitch. This is particularly true with lettering. I snug my letters up pretty close to each other so there’s the correct amount of space between them when they’re stitched. See the sample on the left, showing lettering both on my computer screen and actually stitched out.
bunny has a Singer Futura 350 and wants to know how she can use the PES format designs she has downloaded. I think your machine needs files in SEW format. Catalog XPress will convert the PES files to SEW for you.
karana says that her needle sometimes gets gummed up when she’s using “sticky” stabilizer. This sometimes happens to me, too. I have 2 solutions that I use. The first is a little bottle of silicone lubricant. I put a drop on a cotton swab and wipe the needle down with it. The second is the same, only using alcohol. I have a bottle of alcohol that I use for cleaning the bobbin case so it’s near the machine.
altslady has Catalog XPress and says she has to have her designs in a separate file in order to use them with her software. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I want to mention that if you double click on a design in your catalog the design will open in the software you designated when you installed Catalog XPress. You can open a design in any program you choose, however, by right clicking on it and choosing “Open with.” A window will open asking what software program you want to use.
edithspain has installed Catalog Xpress on a new computer and is upset that the program has been “switched off” on her old computer. It sounds like what you’ve done is transfer your license from one computer to the other. This will “switch off” the program from which you’ve transferred the license. However, it’s not necessary to transfer the license simply to install the program on another computer. Simply install it and use the registration number you already have to activate it.
Something else about moving to a new computer and having to leave behind all the work you’ve done sorting those thousands of designs. Remember that CatXP is a data base. It doesn’t know where your designs are until you tell it. Make sure that you put your designs in exactly the same place on the new computer as they were on the old computer and then copy the file edb.mdb from the old program and paste it into the new installation. That’s the file that has all your personal information in it.
And last, but not least, para ayiyai: ¡Bienvenido, Gladys de Chile! Estoy feliz que usted tiene gusto de me Web site. Espero que pueda visitar Chile alguna día. Lo siento que hablo español solamente un poco y no muy bien. Hablé español cuando era una niña, pero olvidé mucho.
The last time I saw Paris . . .
When I asked what things you’d like me to talk about, the only one who answered was Pat, and she asked for travel stories. This one’s for you, Pat!
In 2006 Bill and I were traveling with our travel buddies, Loes and Theo, following Bill’s WWII march from Utah Beach in Normandy to the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, Theo detoured through Paris because I had never been there. Theo pulled up to the curb in front of the Eiffel Tower and we all jumped out of the car. Theo grabbed his camera and Loes stood guard over the car so the French parking police wouldn’t ticket it. Bill and I stood in fromt of the Tower while Theo snapped off a couple of shots. Then we all ran back to the car and continued on our way. So I can say that I’ve visited Paris and no one (but you) has to know that it was for only 15 minutes. Click here for the scrapbook page.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I'm off to veg in front of the games! TTYL