restoring faith and wonder, creating solutions

It was a rough weekend here in shiboriland considering the energy that had to be expended to sort out the problems created by someone who’s complete lack of ethics and honesty ended up with her taking all the materials from my online class and using them as her own.

Adele at A for Artistry responded quickly and became part of the solution by removing the class and communicating with me to complete resolution.  I thank her for that.  She further sent me the class materials that were to be posted for this online class-and guess what?  They were all my materials! My samples, my words, even photos of my own hands demonstrating the techniques!  I was blown away.  I thought that it was likely that she was using the materials in some way but jeeze. All she did was remove my name at the top and the copyright notice at the bottom and replace it with her own name.   Can you imagine?  Adele of course was horrified and feels terrible.  I will be taking further measures tomorrow by informing sites such as the Dyerslist, the Dyers Forum, and several other sites where she has been posting her workshops and let them know what has been going on. It will be up to them as to whether they remove the posts or not.

I will also be changing the nature of my online classes.  The class that was most affected was the older shibori techniques class. Most of the lessons were PDF based.  The blog featured other videos and such but the PDF’s are easier to steal.  It looked to me like she just printed them out, cut and pasted them and recopied or scanned them back in.  When I get a chance, I will be reworking that class in a way that makes it more difficult to steal.

We are both interested in creating a solution! That is how we can feel better about all of this-by creating a solution.

In yesterday’s post, I created a list of guidelines for those who want to teach…even Martha in the comment section chimed in with a very good addition to the list.

Today, I made a list of the things I would want from a teacher if I was hosting their class. I’m sure there are things you would add (please feel free to do so in the comment section). I think these sorts of things would help protect the host, other teachers, and the students from fraud of this nature occurring in the future.

  •  All teachers would need to have a decent online presence. Look, if you want to teach online, then it is essential that students can see your work and get a sense of who you really are. Blogs and Facebook pages are great for this.  They are free and simple to create.
  • Teachers would have a website or a flickr account where more information about them can be found as well as a collection of their own work for all to see.
  • Teachers would have email and respond to it in a timely fashion.
  • All this would be very transparent and easy to find-not “in the works”.
  • Class postings would include these links to the teachers sites.
  • I would want some references -past venues, student references.
  • I would probably do a skype interview. Or at least a phone call.
  • I would Google their name, their email address and review it all.
  • I would have them sign a contract stating that all materials submitted for the class are their own works and that necessary attribution is given when referencing the work of others. (this addition suggested by Adele in the comments below)

This would be a start.  What would you add?

This is the world we live in now and we better get smart about it. Mediocrity will become the new norm if we let it.  Things are changing. It’s awfully easy for this to happen if we don’t take precautions.   Remember this piece?  I am still working on it…it is about transparency…and hope…and seeing on through to the other side.

trans boro window covering-indigo

I do want to thank everyone who chimed in on this past post-especially those who offered solutions and ideas.  I know we are all outraged by this sort of behavior, but in the end it’s what we DO about it that will count. We can’t just sit around being outraged and exhausted by it all. That’s not gonna change a damn thing!

38 thoughts on “restoring faith and wonder, creating solutions

  1. Susanne C. Barrie

    So as far as you are concerned the problem has been resolved? Is that because the perpetrator was caught in action? Having completely LIFTED your course could not have been an accident… was it done by someone who was hired to develop her materials? Was it possibly inadvertent? What an exhausting hassle…

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  2. Michelle in NYC

    Yike–outrageous–so sorry–I’m truly amazed actually. how could anyone not know! Well, lets hope the venues that carry the purloined material will think better to remove than grieve. Shamed1

    Meanwhile seeing through your tender shibori window, I’m reminded that all things real, really felt, are beautiful.
    Peace

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  3. velma

    i saw adele’s response on the blog and was heartened. and it sounds like your further communications were positive. you’re right about this, and i am SO glad there has been a positive resolution. the thief should be labeled as such.

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  4. Adele Sciortino

    There has been a lot of back and forth on this subject. It has been an unfortunate situation for all of us especially Glennis and myself. I had to step back for a bit to figure out what I needed to do in so far as screening new teachers for my site. This is the first time that this has happened to me and I don’t want a repeat performance. I do send out a “Teachers Package” that states that it needs to be their original work but I will be adding some of the points that Glennis has listed plus to protect myself and the site I will require a signed contract that I am having my lawyer draw up this week. Hopefully the other online class sites will take note and do the same. As artists we work hard to show our creativity and at some point share our techniques but I agree it is not fair or correct for someone to steal our work. Not only do I host an online class site I also teach live and on online classes. I hear everyone’s outrage and I want to put a stop to these thieves too!
    Have great creative day…Adele

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      1. Adele Sciortino

        Yes, they were acknowledging by email that is was there original work but I want to go a step further and have a formal letter or form or something that they sign that protects me. Make sure that everything
        is PERFECTLY clear. I don’t want any gray areas. Have a good day!

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        1. steelparade

          interesting.

          “acknowledging by email” vs “signing a legal contract” are two different things in most cases.

          to me it is interesting that these sort of services have operated with out a formal contract for each artist. this is not the practice in most other fields.
          this speaks volumes about your trust for your artists.

          hopefully those who are reading these comments will take note, and understand the necessity of a legal contract when performing publicly…..or in this case specific case, teaching online at an international level.

          solutions are fun!
          🙂

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  5. Morna Crites-Moore

    I feel sorry for you for all the time-suck this crap has caused, in addition to the larger issues. I hope the dust settles soon.

    That is one beautiful window boro.

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  6. Vicki in Michigan

    I am starting to think it is probably necessary to watermark every image we put on line. I suppose someone could just crop that out, though, unless it was right over the heart of the picture……

    Sad that so many people think that because it is easy to steal something, it is ok to do so.

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  7. Janet

    Glennis – this is a total outrage. So sorry for all the trouble that has happened – but I’m glad that you got it straightened out. There should be a black list for people like this. Wishing you better experiences.

    Love the boro window covering.

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  8. SandraG.

    Hi Glennis: Your window trans boro piece is BEAUTIFUL. I feel the same outrage as everyone here has experessed. I only wish there was something “positive” I could add to change these awful ????/people and make this go away – not only for you but for all the artists who have been and will be affected by this. My only hope is that if “that” person is reading this maybe, just maybe, might feel some form of regret or guilt over what she/he has done. To me, this negative force has no respect or integrity and probably has never been taught these very important life vertues – now that is sad and pittiful.
    Blessings of healing to you, Sandra in AZ

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  9. shiborigirl Post author

    On an additional note- Maggie Backman (of the Silk Experience) and I have had similar conversations over the past years in regards to hiring teachers for workshops. She is of a different generation (in her mid eighties now if you can believe that!) and has done very well embracing new technologies. Every time we consider bringing in a new teacher I ask if they have a website, blog, an email, etc. If I can’t meet them or take their class I want to look them over. Even with in-person workshops I think it is important for students to be able to look teachers over. Otherwise, how do you choose? Everyone looks the same in a workshop catalog. I have constantly advised that if they are going to teach they need to pull that together. We are advertising online and students need to be able to access this information for themselves -and online.
    Back in time…I was once a President (unpaid) for an educational statewide non-profit serving over 10,000 families. This was around the mid 80’s. I was the crazy one that insisted that anyone who served on the board needed to have an email address and be accessible to the membership. And that we needed to have a website. If someone wanted to serve and needed to have us set that up- we would do it. There were a few who were reluctant but in the end, look where we are now.
    back to work everyone!

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  10. fibercrush

    It’s tragic to think that while someone can steal the materials and use them as their own, I don’t believe they could ever create the same experience as Glennis was able to create with her online Shibori Dyeing class. It was quite special! And, while I think this is a terrible thing to have happened, I’m think the ideas and solutions to head off the possibility in the future are going to be very helpful for all of us. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. vivian helena Aumond-Capone

    This is a crazy time for artists, and with so much information on the net, very difficult for teachers. I teach at my home studio, which I love because of the fun we have gathering and sharing. I am not computer wise enough to do it another way.. but one of these days I might..
    I also have frustration with teachers that always teach someone else’s method from a book, but there is no way to stop that.. I just hope everyone has to buy that authors book…
    You are such a sharing person with all your ideas and methods, which is greatly appreciated by so many… Thank you for informing us.

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  12. Nancy Dasenbrock

    sorry to hear about this glennis. and glad you are being pro active. one thing i would like in a class is permanent access to the lessons. this may have been mentioned but to me it is important. i need to be able to go back again and again. i have already lost some of the information i have learned in your classes. the older mind doesn’t seem to keep info as long … at least mine! but i get the sense from your classes that you are a generous person and really have a mission to spread the education about this wonderful craft. for that i thank you so much. and i am glad to see that though you are disappointed that someone has treated you badly you are able to keep going. thanks for that as well.
    nancy

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    1. shiborigirl Post author

      nancy- you should be able to access all the class info as muchand for as long as you need to- if there is a problem with it, let me know and I can send you the links again. just email me. there is no other choice but to continue. (is there?)

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  13. donnastitches

    While it wouldn’t prevent someone from copying photos and PDFs, one more thing I might require from an unknown teacher: A short video that shows the teacher demonstrating the work that would be included in the class.

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  14. Wholly Jeanne

    Well, this just pisses me off. That’s (unfortunately) all I have to offer, given how tired it is tonight and how thoroughly possible remedies have been discussed here already. But Jeez. It’s kinda’ like the family situations I’m dealing with right now that bring to the front row the old adage: No good deed goes unpunished. Same thing, different context. Glad it won’t push you into a locked closet, though. Still maddening beyond description . . .

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  15. debgorr

    I don’t have anything to add really, just want to say how much I admire your coming up with proactive solutions to prevent this from happening again, to move in that direction anyway.

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  16. midnighthazel

    Glennis, your window boro is beautiful. All things are possible when you see through.
    Also, when I read your post about mending, I wished I owned a pair that needed mending 🙂 you have a beautiful gift. Thank you for giving.

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  17. kathy

    very glad to see that the “workshop thief” appears to have disappeared from the virtual world – well done you for dealing with it so cleverly. The web illuminates, perhaps even magnifies, all aspects of the human being; sadly some of them are dark. Kindness is the best counterbalance.
    I love your delicate window hanging – I have a great store of sheer hankies, some edged in lace, gleaned from my mothers drawers after she died. I couldn’t bear to throw them away and hope to do something similar in time. You piece is a lovely inspiration. Thank you

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  18. Melly Testa

    Gosh, Glennis. I am so sorry this happened to you and glad that you were able to spot it and find resolution. I too teach online and I am very hesitant to create PDF’s because of what you describe here. I would much rather keep the content available to the student for the long term without pdf’s. That said, there is software out there that can copy video content, I don’t know the name of the software, but it is getting easier to duplicate content that we think is ‘protected’. Informing ourselves is key.

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  19. Trish

    I was just working backwards clearing emails from one of my accounts and found this. Sorry it has taken me so long. I know you have had minor problems of copying before but this is just fraud and whoever is doing it should be informed of that and of the consequences. My husband is an educational author and has had to deal with similar acts in the past. It is so sickening and I hope by now you have got it sorted out. On a happier note, thank you for your posts and sight of your gorgeous work. I have had a lovely time reading through it. Happy new year and all the best from Trish in the UK

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      1. Trish

        Thank you – I’ll do that. Now that I’ve got my email accounts under control – my job for the New Year! Bye for now, Trish

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