Saturday, March 11, 2006
More Bitchin’ ... Still Stitchin’The rage and fury still rages on over the Stitch & Bitch thing. Sew Fast/Sew Easy has chosen to take the low road in this and prove how totally clueless they really are. The knitting community is outraged ... we want answers. So we ask. And we get deleted and banned. Nice work ... way to go.
The issue with my Stitch 'n Bitch group has been resolved. Yahoo was slow to update our directory listing. SFSE wanted ME to make Yahoo change it. Lordy, but did they get stuck on stupid! Anyway, now that part has been resolved, it still leaves some questions. I posed these at the SFSE Forums, and they deleted my post. I posted again, and they banned my IP from there. Of course, I took screen shots of the posts ... first one, and the second one. It goes without saying that they did not address my concerns.
My main question is, how can they get away with claiming trademark rights to a phrase that has been in use for decades? Elissa Meyrich, the owner of SFSE, claims that she invented the term in 1997 and was the first use it to describe social groups of sewing enthusiasts (sewers?). However, this is untrue. There are dozens of documented usages prior to that, both online and off, dating back as far as the 1930s. Elissa Meyrich is a liar.
Secondly, how do social groups of knitters and the web sites we use to schedule and organize our meetings threaten the business dealings of SFSE? They are a sewing supply store located in New York. "Stitch and Bitch" has nothing to do with that store. Now they do have an online forum which they call "Stitch & Bitch Cafe" but that, as far as I can tell, is not integrated with their business nor does it generate any kind of income. It does not get much traffic at all ... the majority of the posts are about the trademark issue and their attacks on knitting groups, or at least the ones they haven't deleted yet. It exists ... barely.
Third, why attack only non-commerical entities like Yahoo groups, LiveJournal communities and CafePress stores? Could it be that the hosts, Yahoo, LJ and CafePress, have a policy of not judging the merit of the claim, they just insist that the allegedly infringing material be taken down or the account will be terminated. Why has SFSE not gone after Debbie Stoller, who wrote "Stitch 'n Bitch" and "Stitch 'n Bitch Nation"? Or HER online forum, named "Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook". Could it be that Debbie has attorneys who can and will see this in court?
SFSE has chosen to bully what they perceive to be individual, local knitting groups who have no power. SFSE is wrong. Very wrong. Most of these local groups have come together, mainly due to these attacks, and formed a large community of some very pissed off chicks with sticks. SFSE was counting on each of these groups to piddle themselves at the scary sounding letter and just comply without protest or resistance. SFSE is wrong. Very wrong. SFSE believes that what they are doing will benefit their business.
Are they ultimately trying to cash in on the success of Debbie Stoller's books? Corral (via threats and harassment) the online knitting community in order to license the phrase "Stitch 'n Bitch" back to us? I dunno what's going through their heads, or if they are even thinking this through at all. Their behavior ... angry, impulsive, obsessive ... reminds me of someone. Hmm ... my son? The one that has bipolar disorder ... yeah, that's it. The disordered and delusional thinking ... the "Little Napolean" syndrome ... action first, think it through later, if ever. It fits. I guess it hasn't occured to SFSE that the only people that are going to benefit from this are the attorneys. I suppose they think that even bad publicity is better than near total obscurity?
Hey, Sew Fast/Sew Easy ... here's your PR machine at work:
Just when you thought it was safe
Get your gloves on
A Rant: Bitchiness Reaches New Heights
Stitch 'n Bitch?
This has gone too far
Sew Fast/Sew Easy Strikes Again and SFSE-The Saga Continues
Tons of stuff at Girl From Auntie
A whole site devoted to fighting back: Free to Stitch, Free to Bitch and a forum to talk about it: Bitch & Bitch Cafe
There's lots more ... Technorati tells the tale
How these clueless idiots have stayed in business this long is amazing.
Stitchin' and Bitchin'
Stitchin' and Bitchin' Part II