But I will try to enlist all of you in the fight to stop this sort of thing.
It was a remarkable coincidence that I even discovered this problem. And if I happened to stumble upon my own pattern being sold illegally, it occurred to me that this kind of thing is probably happening everywhere. My printed patterns are in, ummm, limited distribution at this point. : ) So it's very possible that there are more illegal copies of my patterns out there than there are legal ones—making more money for the unscrupulous folks selling them than I could ever hope to make myself. And if this is happening to me, I guarantee it's happening to other designers as well. It's hard enough for us designers to make a living at this without someone blatantly stealing from us. But we can't be everywhere. So we need your help.
How can you help? Please just keep an eye out for obvious fakes like this pattern. If you come across a pattern that you recognize as being designed by myself or another blogger, please check it out and contact the designer if you think there's anything fishy. Or at the very least, don't buy it!
Here are some ways to recognize an unauthorized pattern:
1. The designer's name, company, and/or website are nowhere to be found, or are not obvious. As I said, my blog/company name was not found on this pattern.
2. The cover design doesn't match the cover of the designer's other patterns—or there's no design at all. Most designers have some sort of company logo or branding. If you don't see that logo, chances are the money isn't headed their way. An example of my current "official" pattern cover design is above. (And by the way, I would never, ever, EVER use the Comic Sans font, under any circumstances! Are you kidding me? That just added insult to injury!)
3. The printing is low-quality. This one's trickier, because some designers do copy their own patterns or print them on a home printer and sell them. And there's nothing wrong with that, as long as it's the designer herself doing it. But personally, as a former graphic designer, I'm a sucker for good printing. : ) So my hard-copy patterns will always be printed in full color, on high-quality glossy paper. They will never be obvious photocopies or home print jobs.
4. Ask yourself if this is a store/location where the designer is likely to sell patterns. At the moment there is exactly one store in the entire United States that sells my hard-copy patterns, and it's just ten minutes from my house. : ) So if you're not buying it from Material Matters in Theinsville, Wisconsin, it's not legit! (Although if you own a shop and are interested in carrying my patterns, I would love to hear from you!)
In the case of my Cross-Terrain pattern, the real victims here were the shop's own customers, since they were paying $4 for what was essentially just a printout of a free internet tutorial. So please help us combat this problem. If you recognize my or any other designer's quilts on a pattern that doesn't look "official," please contact the designer immediately and let them know when and where you saw it. I, for one, promise a free pattern of your choice to anyone who informs me of a legitimate case of theft like this one. Thank you all!
Edited to add: The Moda Bake Shop does encourage shops to make its patterns available free of charge to customers, in shops and as part of classes. I'm completely fine with that, as long as the pattern remains free and my name and blog address are prominently included.
As I said in reply to a comment below, the bottom line is, if a shop is making money from a pattern, the designer and/or publisher should be as well. Any other scenario is not okay. Thanks.