Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CREATIV FESTIVAL, Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Sewing Workshop

Linda Lee
CREATIV FESTIVAL, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Sewing Workshop

Linda Lee, designer, author and owner of The Sewing Workshop Collection patterns, is coming to Toronto October 21, 22 and 23, 2011. Anyone who loves to sew garments will love her patterns. Visit and sign up for her seminars (one each day). Also there will be a free with admission fashion show Friday & Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 12 noon.  In addition, you can see the sample garments up close and personal at the Distinctive Sewing Supplies Booth #830. Linda Lee will be at the booth from time to time as well to greet customers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Access Copyright

It appears that I have much to learn about what staff of learning institutions are able to copy. Here is a link to the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency to which many educational institutions belong:

The concept of "fair use" comes into play as does the copying of partial works "less than 10%" for the purpose of private study.

The proper attribution of the work is also required to make the copying legitimate. I don't think copying a sashiko pattern out of a book, even if it is less than 10% is fair use. The students would take it home for personal use in a one day class even if it is a college accredited course.

Maybe someone out there can shed more light on this matter.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Copyright - Are Teachers the Worst Offenders?

I had a lovely time in Haliburton last week. I learned how to bead on fabric, shibori and indigo dyeing and sashiko. Great teachers and great students.

But there was one thing that dampened my spirits somewhat. And that was that the teachers and staff at Fleming College seemed to be oblivious to the copyright violations that they are perpetrating.

I did not speak up. I did not challenge the teachers or the staff. Why not? I tell myself that it was because I didn't want to put a damper on the class. And there are so few people who understand copyright and I didn't want to get into an argument or discussion about it. Probably, I was just too chicken to raise a fuss.

One teacher began the class by handing out photocopies of pages from a magazine article she had just read on the topic we were learning. She prefaced the handout by stating that she didn't believe she was violating any rights because she was giving credit to the magazine for the article. Wrong!

My colleague and I had brought in some books we had on the topic to share with the others so they could look at them and write down the information to purchase their own copy if they wished. Much to my chagrin the teacher took my books and made some photocopies for the class. Wrong again! Didn't even ask my permission which I couldn't give anyway.

And to top it all off, the teacher then proceeded to copy the instructions from a purchased kit and hand those out as well. The staff at the college made the copies. There is a sign over the photocopier that states that the college accepts no responsibility for copyright violations. No kidding.

I am feeling guilty for not speaking up.  However, I will remember to tell the teacher and students when I bring a book to a class that they are free to look at them and right down the information for ordering their own copy, but not to copy any pages. I will also write a letter to the college enclosing all the photocopies that were given to me and asking that they inform their teachers not to hand out copyright materials and that staff should not make copies from books, kits and magazines.

Someone told me that they believe that colleges pay a fee that allows them to photocopy copyrighted materials. I don't know if it's true but I will look into it. But does the artist get the money? Artists work hard enough for so little return anyway. I wish people would just do the right thing and get permission.

When I was at business school, we were often given copies of articles from Harvard Business Review. The university purchased the articles and they were reprinted for the students. The articles stated on the bottom of the pages "Reprinted with Permission". When I worked in marketing and communication in the corporate world, if I wanted to reprint an article or post it on our website, I purchased the rights from the publisher. If I wanted to use images for advertising, I bought the rights. It's easy to do. It's the right thing to do.

Teachers everywhere, students look up to you. Do the right thing. Don't violate copyright laws.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Learning Something New - A lifelong pursuit

Haliburton Campus

In the corporate world I always worked very closely with the education and human resources professionals. Ensuring employees had access to the newest and best available information and training was always a priority. Selfishly, it made my job a lot easier to work with people who "get it" and it was often a lot more fun than the mundane but inevitable administrative tasks.

But the challenge was to get people who needed the training the most to actually enroll it in. Our head of HR development often lamented that the people who were the most keen to sign up were the people who needed it the least; i.e. they were already very good at their jobs, highly motivated and educated.

And the people who needed it the most, were for some reason blind to the fact that they did. They were far too important or too busy to take time out to acquire a new skill. We concluded that what was really wrong was that those individuals were too afraid to admit that they had something new to learn or that they were too scared that they might embarrass themselves in front of their subordinates or peers. And so they just went on acting like jerks while the rest of us scratched our heads in disbelief.

Don't be a jerk. Take the time to learn something new. Enroll in a class. Make honest mistakes and learn from them. Park the ego, turn off the blackberry, let down the facade of "I'm better than everyone else" and relate to people. It's quite a fulfilling experience.

What brought on that rant? Well I've enrolled in three new courses at the Haliburton School of the Arts. I'm going to be learning and acquiring new skills. I will be making mistakes too. The group will no doubt include people who are better at these things than I am. I'm going to pleased to be in their company, admire their work and techniques. Can't wait!