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.
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!