Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Comments please

I frequently get asked things that initially make me want to jump up and scream NO WAY! Frankly my first reaction to some things is tell people to go - - - - - -. Well, you can insert your own favourite expletive. But I have this other inner voice that always makes me step back and try to see things from the other person's point of view. Sometimes when I've seen both sides as well as anyone can, I don't always see a clear road to follow.

I spend a lot of time thinking things through. I'm never happy just doing, I want to know why. Over the years I have read people's comments about not being able to design and I started thinking about the first efforts I made in designing. I thought about what I did, why I did it, what problems I had, what was helpful, and what was not. Lots of thinking. As time went on I ruminated over this information and began to direct the thought process into how to impart my learning experience to other people. I considered how to break it down into something that could be worked at by someone with only basic tatting skills.

Then I took all of what I had been thinking and wrote it down creating diagram and pictures to go along with it. Then I though of using software for the purpose and did the same thing taking step by step screen shots and added this information to it. Then I took it a step farther to show how the drawing software could be used to create.

It took weeks of planning, writing, creating images and editing to create a course that I only charge a modest $20 for.

Now that I've shown how it can be done, what do you think my reaction would be when someone asks if they could take my lessons and translate them so that they could teach them?

Comments? I'd like to know what you think.


Katherinne McKay said...

I think that so long as you can retain copyright as well as getting paid for what you have created, you should go for it.

Request that you still receive your $20 per course, and that if they want to make some money off of it as well then they can charge whatever on top of yours.

If need be, request to have a signed contract for it. You would want to have all rights to control your course.

Jane Eborall said...

Sadly they'll probably do it anyway even if you say no!! Fact of life nowadays is that copyright and people's hard work isn't respected.
Another thought is that it's a huge compliment.
Again you could say 'yes' and tell them how much you charge for allowing them to use the lessons.

Fox said...

... and you could charge A LOT for tat fee! I mean mega-bucks.

Jane is right though, someone will probably do it anyway.

Fox said...

I meant "that" fee! Funny!
Fox : ))

shawkl said...

Only you can really answer that question for yourself. I have gone both ways with my own teaching materials. Some of them I readily give away just to promote the art in the hopes that others will join in. And some I sell because they took so much effort to produce. A mix of both of these keeps me happy.

victats@gmail.com said...

My first question is why can't the requestee just send the people she's going to teach to you online?
I know, I know, not everyone is on line.

I think Katherine is right...Maybe you could publish your material for people taking her class to purchase? i.e. a class kit

You've already established that you value your work and time when you charge for the class. I think there needs to be a fee when they model a class after yours. Otherwise they are free to come up with a design course independently.

Fox said...

I've been ruminating... On the positive side, if the person is from a place where English is not necessarily accessibly to the students, and the person is genuinely interested in teaching your course, to provide ttting to the interested students because s/he found it invaluable, and if this person is not so much an opportunist, just a bit naive, then, the situation may be looked at a bit differently. I suppose what I have realized is that this issue might be decided on a 'case by case" basis.

Cindy said...

Tough subject. Of course, it's a good sign if someone asks permission to do it - truly a compliment, and a desire to continue teaching.

I agree that some people will do it with or without your permission - there's nothing you can do about that. Maybe all you can do is just put your name on everything, and simply ask for credit for your hard work - being comfortable with the fact that it may not happen. I have to think that MOST people would give proper recognition, and anyone that doesn't isn't worth the breath complaining about because they will never change.

Lelia said...

perhaps you could hire the person to translate your work. Translate the english to other language.

would the designs stay the same?

And, you would keep the work under your own name - collect the fee, etc.

That way, more people would be able to use your product.

You, as creator, need to figure out the intent of the request and go from there.

Not sure there is one answer for each request.

Always, L.

Bri's Bits said...

Maybe your course should be copy righted in a book, like a course book, like other courses do, such as in school, a lesson book, then anyone who wants to purchase your book and teach form there will have to buy from you anyhow, and you will still be paid for your work. I don't think it is fair if they simply translate your work and teach it, and if you say no, I agree with Jane, it will probably be done anyhow. Seems to me though, if it is an actual lesson book, copy righted and printed, then there would be legal actions or such that could be taken against people doing it not going through you to teach from, just copying your materials instead of buying the learning manual.

Michelle said...

I think a person who would write to ask you about copyright, rather than just doing what s/he wants is the kind of person who will respect your wishes.

I vote for the "class kit" idea.

connie said...

Wow,I can't even imagine how much time it took you to conceive of and produce the materials for the course and then the time and energy you have put into the lessons after you have posted them.
I couldn't even keep up with the class. I suppose you could either charge a fee for each class this person teaches,or maybe offer to run a design class together with this person who would be responsible for translating the material, she could (if she so desired)also charge a fee for her service of translation. A third option might be that a large fee for the materials and a promise that she never teach the course in English. My rationale for that solution is that non-english speaking tatters would probably not be able to take advantage of your classes in any event. From a totally outside perspective having more people who can design tatting promotes the art of tatting.

Margarets designer cards said...

I think I would feel honoured that someone wanted my teaching lessons. But why should they use all your hard work for nothing. copyright today is something that people think is something to be kicked to one side. If they want to teach tatting then they have to comply with copyright and treat you and anyone elses work with respect. I think they should at least offer you a fee or give your name to those who want to learn so they can take the lessons direct.
At least they asked they could have pinched your work and put there name to your work.

Crazy Mom Tats! said...

I think a class kit plus teaching fees are more than fair.

BTW - when are you doing another class? I want in!

Karen T said...

I think it would be good to charge some sort of licensing fee up front with a continuing charge per student. The class kit sounds like a good idea. I think if you approach it in a pleasant, business-like manner, you may get some positive results rather than just blanketly getting ripped off.

Isdihara said...

Having been on the receiving end of your thoughtful responses, and having always been immensely grateful, I can say you are to be congratulated for NOT following the expletive route. (Not that it wouldn't have have felt good...)

You should NOT offer up your design course to be taught by someone else -- unless you intend to certify them (at a premium price) to teach your course. That is how aerobics instructors do it... they get certified to teach a specific technique. (ACE certification comes to mind).

Just my two cents. And not nearly as complimentary as yours ALWAYS are.

Sharon said...

Thank you all for your input. You have given me a lot to think about.
For those interested, the next class will start in May. See the Design-Tat blog for details.

louine said...

I was a school teacher and other teacher's wanted to "use" my lesson plans, examples, and activities.....I told them NO....it is intellectual property as far as I am concerned....when I retired, I put sll my lesson plans away in a safe place.....I might write a book one day.....same with you....don't let anyone else use your hard work.