Copyright infringement, the Internet and you

By Judi Tompkins

(Note: This is NOT intended to be legal advice…. you should seek legal counsel if you seek redress in your country’s legal system) 

Based on original by Rebekah Joy Plett also attributed to Julian Lennon and others

Recent weeks has seen an increased number of blogs, posts and emails about copyright infringement across all platforms and countries and it is clear that crafters, artists and designers are angry and frustrated beyond belief trying to address the online theft of their images, ideas, and designs.

We here at the Global Textile Hub and also on our Facebook page have had several discussions about this issue and how we plan to address it.

First, keep in mind that each country has copyright legislation that applies (or perhaps doesn’t apply) to written, graphic and audio materials. These laws apply within the boundaries of the particular country. 

 Second, some countries (not all) have international agreements and legislation that protects (to varying degrees) intellectual property rights on written, graphic and audio materials.

Third, the Internet, is a global platform that encourages and facilitates the sharing of information across international boundaries, so you can understand why it is virtually impossible to keep up with where your information is going, who has it and how it is being used.

All of this made even more complex when some countries do not feel constrained by intellectual property or copyright ownership – anywhere.  Pursuing many overseas countries for copyright infringement is prohibitively expensive and ultimately futile with international non-enforcement.

So…. what can an artist (or anyone) do in the current environment?

A few suggestions:

  • Don’t share photos of people (children particularly) or designs or whatever else you don’t want shared or copied. Don’t even share these with a friend online because once they enter cyberspace they will “escape”.
  • ALWAYS give credit and attribution to the people or sources for your own design ideas. “Based on a design by X..” Most artists really just want to be recognised for their creative designs … give credit where credit is due.
  • Whenever possible – and do make an effort here, contact the original maker/designer for permission to use their work.
  • Put copyright information on your works as a signal to others that the design is copyrighted. This sends a signal to the honest folk and is your first line of defence with regard to your “duty of care” to protect your works. (An unscrupulous person could Photoshop your copyright information out of a picture, but you will hold the original photo with the information as proof of ownership).
  • Fully document your own design process. From your first sketches, through the creative process, to the completed project. Take photos of your work. This (along with the copyright symbol on your photos) helps to demonstrate that you own the process and the product if you are ever challenged about having stolen a design, that is actually yours. This happens, a good example is the video below and how she is handling it.)
  • If you are in business and selling your designs online you will have to decide whether or not it is financially, emotionally and psychologically worth your time to pursue an individual or business for copyright infringement. If you are incurring huge financial losses it may be worth pursuing in the courts – or not. You decide.
  • DON’T copy and share “old” designs under the impression that copyright doesn’t apply. In general, in Australia, copyright for design work is in effect for 75 years after the death of the creator…. don’t guess about this timeline. Find out and either get permission and at the very least provide attribution, if you don’t’… YOU are stealing, no matter how you try to rationalise it.

Here at the Global Textile Hub we will not knowingly take credit for designs or images that do not belong to us. We will always try to acknowledge and attribute designs and ideas to the maker or the creative behind it. If we get it wrong, please let us know so we can correct errors.

The bottom-line?

Please keep sharing your great ideas, designs and images, they serve to provoke ideas, change perspectives and help us see the world a bit differently. This is what creatives eat for breakfast!


A Tribute to Robin Inkpen

Our friend and colleague, Robin Inkpen, from Donnybrook, Western Australia passed away on 22nd August, 2019.

Robin was a softly-spoken, reflective thinker who used her extensive professional experience and skills to synthesize fashion design/illustration; etching and silk-screen design into a very personal artistic style that expressed her love of textile, her passion for colour and the truly satisfying tactility of fibre art

We would like to pay tribute to Robin with a video created by Kira Mead, showing images of Robin’s work, and a message Robin recorded earlier this month.

Robin perhaps offered some insight into her personal philosophy when she discussed her process for creating and colouring her Mandala as, “a highly enriching personal experience in which you look inside yourself and find the shapes, colours and patterns to represent anything from your current state of mind to your most deeply-desired wish for yourself, for a loved one, or for humanity.”

Mandala 80x80cm designed & hooked by Robin Inkpen Western Australia

Vale Robin.

You will be missed. You will be remembered.

We will celebrate your life.

Networking and Collaboration

The Global Textile Hub team found collaborating on a virtual project and an installation “Textile Tessera“, an example of embellished hooked pieces, was both challenging and rewarding. 

Re-imagined” a mixed media virtual Exhibition

Successfully venturing into the “virtual” world to present this Exhibition, gave them the idea of bringing like-minded people together, hence the Global Rug Hub 2019 video and the webinar.

The team at the Global Textile Hub were not the only ones who envisaged a challenge relying on networking. 

Susan Sutherland from Ontario, Canada, tells about Rémi Lévesque’s 200 Cushion project; 200 coussins hookés pour mon 200ième / 200 hooked cushions for my 200th

Brigitte Webb’s beautiful cushion from Scotland was an example of networking and collaboration. Meeting up with Brigitte at The International Guild Handhooking Rugmakers, in the UK, Susan brought the cushion, without the foam back from Reeth, England, finished the pillow making part and shipped it to Rémi Lévesque, who said he was surprised to see the success of such a project “we never expected that it would take an international turn”. 

What started in 2017 as a local challenge finished up with 240 cushions showing up from around the world.

Designed and hooked by Ti Seymour, Abu Dhabi, UAE. This cushion travelled the most distance to reach Barachois, NB at Église historique de Barachois, Grand-Barachois, NB. 

“Forever Friends. Celebrating my friendship with Claire, Dawna, Candace and Mary, forever grateful to have you in my life”.

Global Rug Hub Video and Webinar

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 9.11.50 am
Top L to R Judi Tompkins, Kira Mead. Bottom Jo Franco

Created and produced by the Global Textile Hub team in Australia, Kira Mead, Jo Franco and Judi Tompkins,

The Global Rug Hub Webinar connected like-minded craftspeople and artists around the world,

from a gas-lit cottage by a windswept tarn on the edge of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria north of England


to Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, Ohio, USA and beyond.

Susan L. Feller (seated) Judi Tompkins, Jo Franco and Kira Mead (on screen)

Rag rugs … fabric time-machines linking ancient craft contemporary art and futristic technology.

Register for the Global Rug Hub

Finally! THIS is the invitation you’ve been asking about and waiting for!

Click HERE to register for the Global Rug Hub 2019.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email with the JOIN link and also a link to check the time and date of the event in YOUR location.

If this webinar format is new to you, click the following link for help –  Helpful Hints for Global Rug Hub webinar


Networking via the GT Hub

As Kira Mead is in the throes of finalizing the video “Global Rug Hub” to be presented at the virtual Global Hook-in on 13th August 2019 (USA EST) the team has been introduced to yet another talented textile artist who uses traditional rug hooking techniques in her textile works.

In the spirit of networking textile artist​s from around the Globe we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Rug Hooking Artist, Nadine Flagel,  a self-taught textile artist from Vancouver, BC. Nadine will be at an international artist residency at Kingsbrae Garden, ​St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada in August 2019.

Her mission is making art out of “making do.” Trained as a literary academic, ​Nadine​ focuses on the repurposing of both texts and textiles. Both rely on cutting up existing text(ile)s on aesthetic and sensual appeal, on thrift, and on putting old things into new combinations, thereby intensifying​ and multiplying meanings.

Nadine creates public and private commissions, writes articles on craft, teaches rug hooking at Maiwa School of Textiles, and has received grants to make art with youth. She is a member of CARFAC, and BC’s Craft Council​. She lives and works on unceded land of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples.

Please visit Nadine at Kingsbrae! If New Brunswick is not a possible destination for you – you can see more of Nadine’s work on Instagram ​at

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