Today dozens of listserv moderators from local Stitch & Bitch groups received a not-so-friendly email from Yahoo! informing us that we need to change our the names of our Yahoo! Groups listservs or get shut down. Sew Fast / Sew Easy, a sewing store & school in New York City, filed a complaint with Yahoo! claiming copyright infringement.
Okay, changing the listserv names is not a huge big deal, as Debbie Stoller mentioned in her really kind letter about this issue (unlike SnB Raleigh, she has a lawyer). It's not like they're asking us to change the names of our actual knitting groups (Knit and Kvetch? Purl and Patter?).
But what is a big deal is that Sew Fast / Sew Easy has been harassing knitters over the "Stitch & Bitch" name for over a year now. WHY? Because they have copyrighted the name "Stitch and Bitch Café" for the chatroom on their website, and they want to brand as many of their products with their Stitch & Bitch logo as they can.
Earlier this year they forced our comrades at Stitch & Bitch Chicago to take the "Stitch & Bitch" name off the T-shirts and handbags they were selling at CafePress.com.
Now they've forced dozens of local SnB groups to monkey with our listserv names. Legally, their claim is probably baseless, but Yahoo! would rather not find out in court, so here we are.
Do I have to mention that if you're not already boycotting Sew Fast / Sew Easy and badmouthing them to your friends, it's time to start…?
According to Debbie Stoller and her lawyers:
"Unfortunately, there is no immediate recourse with Yahoo other than to make the change at this time. They require this as soon as anybody makes any kind of claim--they do not evaluate the merits of the claim."So it looks like we have to go ahead and comply with this nonsense, but please don't think that's because Sew Fast/Sew Easy's claim of copyright infringement has any merit. I think they are bullies with no right to harass us. And their pink website is fug-ugly, too.
In case you'd like to drop a line to Sew Fast / Sew Easy to say hello or let them know what you think of their harassing knitting groups, their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.