Thursday, March 09, 2006
Stitchin’ and Bitchin’ Part IIOK ... now they're really beginning to piss me off!
About two months ago, a sewing supply store in New York, Sew Fast, Sew Easy started attacking knitting groups that were using Yahoo Groups to organize, and the name of a knitting book by Debbie Stoller, "Stitch 'n Bitch" to refer to their local groups. I previously posted about it here: Stitchin' and Bitchin'
Today, I got the dreaded Cease and Desist trademark infringement letter stating that the group that I am coordinator for is in violation. Our Yahoo Group page has no reference to "Stitch and/&/n Bitch" or Sew Fast, Sew Easy, so I am puzzled, and infuriated, that I got this. Many other SnB group leaders have also received the C&D letter, and most do not have the supposedly trademarked term on their group pages either. This leads me to wonder if SFSE is making a move to trademark just the concept of social gatherings that revolve around needle crafting. I would not put it past these people to do exactly that ... they are mean, spiteful and in the case of their marketing and PR director, stupid and illiterate.
Text of the C&D Letter. I sent an email to SFSE asking WTF? Their reply. Obviously a form letter they are sending to everyone. But it further increases my suspicions that they are trying to control all online needle crafting social groups ... note the 2nd paragraph in which they state that the way to preserve our groups is to list it with them on their rather anemic forums.
UPDATE: I have emailed and called SFSE and Yahoo to find out what the violation is, and I still cannot get an answer. Debbie Stoller has her attorneys looking into this and they have given us specific steps to follow, which I am doing. I am also preparing for the possibility that our site will go down. Airset looks like it might be a feasible replacement. For now, I wait and see.
UPDATE II: After a volley of emails back and forth, I finally got someone at SFSE to specify exactly what their problem with our site is. As it turns out, our site is OK. But if you search and find us in the Yahoo Groups directory, it still has the Stitch 'n Bitch phrase in it. I had edited that out of our group site back in January when this issue erupted then. So, I am now trying to make them understand that I do not have any control over the directory, that they need to yell at Yahoo and leave us alone. They are seriously stuck on stupid ... now they are saying that it is up to me to contact Yahoo and make them change the directory listing! And until they do, our group is still at risk of being terminated!
For anyone interested, the next Knoxville Stitch and Bitch meeting is this Saturday at 2pm at Panera on Kingston Pike. Join us!
Oh look! I've been "Silenced" ... woo hoo!