Thursday, March 12, 2009

Public apology.

In a recent post I thought I was being funny about my crankiness about everything that came across my path that day. However, as with most of my posts it was written, sent and not maybe really thought enough about.

Part of that post dealt with the issue of copyright and bounced off a post written by Brenda Gael Smith I said - referring to people who are concerned that their work is not copied by way of photograph on other people's blogs,

"I think they are just missing the point and they are humourless, selfish, uptight people. ( I accept that when I have had chocolate and water and sleep I may think that they are lovely people who are just missing the point.)"

I had meant this to be a crack against my own unreasonable attitude on that day and to say that when I was in a better mood I would not think ill of the people themselves but would see that they had a perfectly reasonable point on which I disagreed. It was meant to be a joke against myself and my bad temper But, in hindsight it was an extremely crass thing to write.

I have had a personal email from a quilter I know and respect who does dislike bad photos of her work being on someone else's site and who was extremely distressed to be described as humourless, selfish and uptight. This person is far from that. They work hard on their web site to share information and resources and they were one of my first influences in quilting. I am mortified that (a) I upset them so much (b) that I may have upset other readers who have not contacted me a (c) that anyone might think that I was calling Brenda herself humourless etc.

Let me make things clear:
1. Copyright law is copyright law. Brenda and other quilters who want to protect their copyright in all ways are absolutely 100% entitled to do so. On my post I did say that Brenda was right.
2. It may make me cranky on a bad day. Lots of perfectly legitimate things do. The fact I am cranky does not alter the law or excuse me writing something capable of being interpreted as a personal attack on someone who is not cranky about the law as it stands.
3. People who want to protect their copyright in a way which they are entitled to do so are not humourless, selfish or uptight. I however, on a bad day react to perfectly lovely and right people in an unfair way which may be funny to many readers but patently not to those who feel themselves to be under attack from me.
4. I am really truly sorry for any offence caused to anyone.
5. The person who emailed me thought that I was calling Brenda herself names. I wasn't but on re-reading the blog I can see easily how that conclusion was reached. For anyone else who also thought that but didn't comment either on the blog or privately let me say that Brenda is another quilter who is more than generous with her time and expertise. She has spent hours and hours assisting our Twelve by Twelve group with her computer and quilting expertise and her blog is chocka full with tips and free tutorials. I can testify - having been with her on a day when she suffered the problems of trying to navigate around Somerset on small, very badly signed roads - that she is not humourless.

I on the other hand am clearly an idiot and I apologise.


Garnered Stitches said...

On a good day most people would have read your blog knowing it was written with a good heart, as I did on the day and greed up to a point- especially the idiot crossing the road! At other times of the month I may have read the blog in question totally differently and emailled you accordingly - By saying this I describe myself and DO NOT imply that any of your commentators are effected by their hormones - I therefore give you an example how easily it would be to offend someone when thinking you are being witty while posting on a blog!
I'm sure it was furthest from your mind that you were going out to upset anyone. Copyright is a sensitive thing. When you have spent time creating a piece art or design and then for it to be copied would probably be a similar feeling to having a child cloned!
I hope those who have been upset by your piece are now happy with this gracious apology and take heart, Helen, keep on blogging, we look forward to reading your blog.
best wishes

Quilt Pixie said...

I rather appreciated your blog post. I found it funny and entertaining and helpful in assisting me to see my crankiness as just that. I too find myself projecting attributes onto others unjustly when I feel cranky. My rational mind knows they are undeserved, however that does not mitigate my desire to think in those terms some days -- and your reminder that when I do that I'm actually say "I'm having a cranky day" rather than "this is how the world truly is" in a humourful blog post was most welcome.

Your gratiousness in apologizing is also a lesson for me that sometimes, when appropriate, it is right to admit publicly that I may have hurt someone unintentionally; to take responsibility for that, and to explore how I might refrain from doing so in the future.

I love that you share yourself. that you publicly share some of the less good characteristics we all have in common; that you name them as characteristics that are not desirable; and at the same time have a sense of humour about yourself.

tirane93 said...

i didn't personally take offense at all to your post, but i think it is remarkably responsible of you to apologize for coming on too strong for some folks. keep thinking for yourself and keep telling us about it. for the main i think everyone benefits!

Brenda said...

I know Helen to be a kind-hearted and generous person (funny too!) and I am sure that she did not mean to cause any distress. I think we've all written an e-mail or blog post in haste or in anger or the spirit of the moment that, upon reflection, might have been worded better. That send/post button can be so seductive sometimes.

Anyway, as your gracious post is partly directed towards me. Thank you and keep on blogging.

Mandie said...

I enjoyed your last post, but not offending other people is tricky when you are being humorous. Your were big enough a person to apologise that you may have offended some, and that in itself shows you're not an idiot.

Terry said...

Helen, you are so funny as a rule that I took the post as an outrageously comic comment on your own crankiness, not as a reflection on anyone else. I hope your contrition does not cause you to lose your witty edge! And I must say I think it is a time-honored traditon for one lawyer to poke another and I suspect Brenda can give as good as she gets--all in a spirit of humor of course.