Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Been Caught Stealing

There is nothing I hate more than wasting my time.  Don’t you agree?   I waste my time…..and money when I have to call my lawyer. Recall that I hated law school and the idea of lawyers in general. There is no bill more annoying to have to pay than one from a lawyer. Oh, well maybe the accountant too.

I am stuck wasting my time going after people stealing our designs yet again and acting as if it’s okay. I was recently informed that there is a website where someone is selling kids clothing with our designs on them.  As I delved further, I found a company in China that was stealing our designs and printing them on finished products that were being sold allover the world.  Very nice, right?   I am not going to mention the companies’ names or websites because we are just getting ready to lawyer up on them.

With respect to not naming names, I have a funny story.  I remember when we were buying the Blank Quilting Corp and I wrote a blog about the fact that we were close to a takeover of a company in the industry. I didn’t name names or anything like that, just a little teasing by asking people to guess who we were buying. When we were ready to close on the deal, the lawyer said something to me like “seriously with the blog Scott???” To this day, I still have no idea how he came upon that blog, but he did somehow. I digress.

Anyway, stop stealing my designs. It’s just not cool.  Stop cutting corners and cheating as you are only cheating yourself. Take that!

Have a great week!

Stop Stealing Scott

P.S..…Here is where you can find my Executive Facebook page.

P.S.S.… Also, please subscribe to my blog and get notifications when new blogs are posted.  Look up on the right side of this blog to register.

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Author: Scott Fortunoff

Author of Tales of 4th Generation Textile Executive Blog. President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc. Co-President of FreeSpirit Fabrics. V-P of Henry Glass Fabrics. President of Scott’s Free Sewing Machines. Creator of the #sewrevolution.

43 thoughts on “Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Been Caught Stealing”

  1. Not cool stealing designs. It takes a lot of time, creative energy, and money to produce beautiful designs, patterns, etc. Obviously, those involved have no original ideas, so they steal. Not cool.

  2. I am only a “small” designer of applique quilts in Australia and have had this problem occurring with shops buying one pattern, then teaching that quilt by photocopying the pattern. Not cool at all!!!

  3. Outstanding post, Scott! And all these years I thought it was just electronics being stolen. Who knew?

  4. That did happen to one of the fabrics I designed a few years back for Blank. I found VERY poor quality fabric with MY design in a chain store (one that is no longer in business ).

  5. Yes. And…quit selling things made with licensed prints without paying for a license to do so. Yes, Disney already has lots of money, but they also hire a lot of artists and designers whose work should be respected. Please.

  6. Well written and so appropriate in today’s world where no one seems to esteem others hard work, and without hesitation, for lack of a better word, steals that which does not belong to them. To profit on someone else hard work and property is a sure show of character or lack thereof. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are able to stop these undesirables

  7. I had a customer in my shop once that I saw her drawing a design of a sample hanging in the shop – it happened to be one of my original designs, but I would react the same no matter who’s design it was. When I approached her and indicated that was copyrighted and inappropriate to copy it – she was a bit angry – I told her the pattern was available but she didn’t want to but since she could just draw it out. I stopped her and asked her to leave – no drawing or photos. How rude she was. No respect for d signers at all – she just wanted it and was not going to buy it. Sad.

  8. I hope that someday there is information out there to help the consumer detect the fake product.

  9. Unfortunately pirating others intellectual property happens a lot in some arenas. I remember Vlisco was fighting against a similar situation. Now there are other major players in Vlisco’s long held market undercutting prices all over the place.

    BTW, lawyers (some of my friends) and accountants (me and some of my friends) provide a much needed service to those in need. Scott show us some love.

  10. Interesting topic……on IP. How does that work going after IP on the international market (re: China?). I have seen the textile markets there via pics and the industry as I have a friend that shops for his Studio shows in China and they will print anything. I have also seen the counterfeit fabrics of famous FS designer show up on the secondary markets here too. Following this topic further as I am curious and I am interested in the subject matter. Go get them Mr. Fortunoff and make it difficult for the others too!

    1. It doesn’t work well to answer your question. It’s a big waste of time. The best you could do is have customs be informed and they could block stuff coming to the US from the perpetrator.

  11. It is sad to see this and I’m sure very frustrating for you. In addition to stealing fabric designs, I know it happens with pattern designers too. I’ve seen blogs/etsy sites/website, etc. in which the quilter states that he/she came up with a new pattern and are ready to sell it. The problem is that it’s not a new design. They simply pieced a different border, rearranged the blocks, added an alternating block, etc. and think that it’s new. Guess again! I’m glad you caught them and can focus on what’s really important – #sewrevolution, learning about Free Spirit, etc. 🙂

  12. Susan Carlson has a great piece on her FB page/website about this very issue. Stealing is stealing. You’re so right, Scott.

  13. Embroidery designers have a real problem with their designs being stolen also. Sometimes I wonder where are our good old fashioned morals and ethics. Put those barracudas on them, Scott!

  14. I am constantly reminding people that these companies who produce custom fabrics using copyrighted characters sich as Mickey, Mario, etc. are doing it illegally and that should not buy the fabrics..nobody listens to me. I am surprised they aren’t shut down.

  15. Since I live in a small town and no longer drive, I buy almost all my fabrics online. Which means I never see a bolt end, and I have not seen this info on the fabric: are individuals allowed to make wall hangings, clothes, purses or any handmade items using any StudioE fabric, without being guilty of copyright infringement? Does it make any difference if it is an item made to order, or a completed item offered for sale on ebay/Craftsy etc.?

    1. As long as it is for personal use it is ok. If you are selling in mass, that is a bigger issue and you would need explicit permission. A good example is the NCAA teams sold on fabric. You could buy and make stuff for yourself. But if you make a large quantity of blankets and sell them, that would be a big problem b/c the NCAA already has someone working with them to create licensed blankets. So this would be infringing on their contracts.


  16. I know I did a personal design for a project. It took me forever. I designed it for a really special lady in my guild at the time. She had been so kind to me in a time I needed kindness and no one really knew I needed it.So long story short by the next 6 months I see my design coming out every where.. what to do.. well if I was a fabric mogul ie you Scott!! I think I would sue them too. At least make them stop using it!! Good for you on keeping the fabric world a bit safer.

    1. Hi Stevey,
      Unfortunately people don’t respect copyrights. Nowadays, there are so many ways to photograph or scan and it’s just so easy to do. Suing is a pain in the butt and a brain drain.

  17. Are these thieves not smart enough to know they will be caught? Lawyer up and put a stop to it!

  18. Just to give you a heads up. Many of our American laws are not abided by in China. I have ran into some of the same issues in the software business. Good luck

  19. Your bio is quite a tribute to what you have accomplished. It will be fun to see what happens nextin your life. BTW, your charitable contributions show what a wonderful soul you are. Best wishes for continued blessings. And, for your article, I have found in my life that karma’s a b****.

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