I received a request last week to translate 5 pages of a craft pattern. I spent hours on it, and even wrote up the blog post.
It occurred to me just before posting it that it will be more useful if I had the title of the book and ISBN number so that anyone else who was interested can purchase the book. So I emailed the reader who requested the translation. The following was what I already completed, but why is it blurred out? Read on….
So my reader sends me a reply and said she doesn’t know the details because she downloaded it from somewhere and then I was directed to a url where someone had uploaded the book online for everyone to download for FREE! I do not know who uploaded it and it was the first time I came across a Japanese sewing book for download. I’m sure there are more of such sites and links out there, and maybe it’s understandable given that not everyone has easy access to these books, or it might be just too much to pay for a book that you can’t understand. The person who uploaded it may even feel that she is sharing a good thing.
This discovery happened after I had put in hours of work doing the translation. I felt sad for the author of the book who put in alot more time creating the projects, coming up with the diagrams and patterns and instructions, only to have it stolen from her and available for free download.
I started this website to share my love of Japanese sewing books. I share photos from the books so that you can see what the projects and instructions are like before deciding whether or not to buy. Notice that I never scan in high resolution pictures or any pattern in its entirety so that nobody can just download it and use it without buying the book. Even when I link to free pattern sites, I take the extra step of showing you a screenshot to see where the links for downloading the patterns are rather than linking the PDFs directly (thereby skipping visiting the website altogether). Trust me, it is much much easier to just copy the link to the PDF and letting you open it directly. But some of these bloggers provide free patterns so that they can improve hits to their website, or to direct visitors to their online stores. So sidestepping the main site itself is, to me, not giving credit where it is due.
My point is, we should support the creative efforts of the authors and buy the books. There are lots of avenues for buying Japanese sewing books online. They may be pricey but so are other craft books in other languages. If you find them too expensive, there are also lots of free online tutorials out there for sewing and crafts.
After much thinking, I decided NOT to make the translated patterns available because by doing so, I will not only be condoning the behavior of the person who uploaded the book, but also making it pointless for people to buy the books if you can just download it, and NOW even getting it translated for FREE!
K, I hope you will understand my decision. I have just decided to throw away hours of work. It was not easy for me too.
So now that I’ve made my stand clear, from now on, I will only entertain translation requests from people who own the books and provide me with their own snap shot of the pages in question. I will need information about the book such as the title/ISBN number so that we can direct people to purchase it online if they like it.
I will also display only part of the translation where it is educational (for everyone to learn how to read the patterns/instructions) but not where actual size templates/patterns are included, especially for small zakka or craft items where the templates/patterns are usually included with the instructions. Not much of an issue with clothes as the templates are usually way too big and will never be scaled to the right size for download
There… a long and wordy post of a moral dilemma that hounded me since I made the discovery this morning. To lighten things up, I have another post coming up in a few hours time (before I go on vacation) about a Book Giveaway! Stay tuned.