No Euphemisms, It's a Knock-Off! - ‘Story Stones’ from the ‘Donghia for Odegard’ Collection by Odegard, circa 2000 C.E. | Image courtesy of Odegard Carpets. - The Ruggist

No Euphemisms, It’s a Knockoff!

Too often when discussing what is and is not a knockoff a spade does not get called a spade.

It’s frustratingly cliché, but it’s the rug industry. The later half of that sentence has been uttered innumerable times as justification of some archaic practice that while remaining perfectly entrenched in the rug industry is not quite at home in our current times. Some are egregiously out of touch, others quaint and endearing. It is, after all, the rug industry and we must accept it for what it is or so goes the conventional wisdom. The problems – seemingly infinite as they might be – occur when convention, tradition, and ‘because that is the way we’ve always done it’ meet the modern legal structure in which we have chosen to live. As previously discussed in nauseating detail and considerable length (both on The Ruggist and in COVER) the issue of Copyright in the rug industry is not the simple black or white issue many would have you believe. Even if it were black and white (or is that white and black?), which hue of black and which hue of white are we discussing exactly? So many possibilities that we shan’t touch upon today; the position of The Ruggist is clear: Do not copy. Copy being – of course – a heavily nuanced word. It is however, the complete and utter lack of nuance that once again brings the issue of Copyright back to this electronic page.

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Lift Embargo: Iranian Rug Trade to Resume

For the entirety of my life, including but not necessarily limited to my career in the world of rugs, the position of the United States toward Iran has shifted numerous times. Waffling somewhere between a cozy unorthodox trade arrangement leading to unpunished imperialistic hubris (Iran-Contra) and the ostracization of an all-of-sudden-we-cannot-talk-to-you-because-lame-reason now and then pariah State, the treatment of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the West can best be described as a school yard pissing contest where the later wins because it has managed to curtail the supply of fluids to the former. The Iranian embargo has done far more to foment resentment toward the West than to encourage popular (read: acceptable to the West) change, and overall has been decidedly unkind to the people of Iran and by extension the Iranian carpet weaving industry. With the recent announcement of the deal struck between Western powers and the Government of Iran however, it once again appears as though trade of Iranian made carpets will resume. Rug and Carpet dealers rejoice!

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Nepal Ascending - The Ruggist

The Nepal Earthquake | Brief Commentary

The Sixth Opinion, my oft mentioned joke about any group of experts espousing more opinions than members of the group, is an inherent undercurrent in ours the world of rugs. Is a rug this? Is a rug that? What is the best quality? What makes a rug authentic? Crossed vs Uncrossed – if just to bring back to mind a fiery topic?  All great questions, some with definitive answers, others with, how do you say, more nuanced positions. It’s the nature of our existence as humans, especially creative humans. There are billions of us, yet we all seem to think we each know the solution to every problem, we all know “what’s right”, we all know what’s best for mankind. Well definitively, with 100% certainty (outside of scientifically provable facts – and even that is somewhat iffy depending on how advanced our knowledge is) I can tell you that position is wrong. Just try to get a group of friends to decide where to go to dinner, and you’ll see pleasing everyone just isn’t possible.

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Exploring Copyright - The Ruggist

Exploring Copyright

A look at copyright through the intentional act of copying the concept of a design.

A valued reader and nouveau friend recently brought to my attention that my last article on copyright had a certain ‘Groundhog’s Day’- esque nature to it. For those of you not in the know, ‘Groundhog’s Day’ is a wonderful (and nostalgic for me: I’ve been to Punxsutawney!!) movie staring Bill Murray that explores the meaning of life through the ad nauseum repeated reliving of one day. In the end Bill Murray’s character comes to some dramatic life altering realizations, but not of course before having some fun; it is a comedy after all. But I digress. When I first read his email I thought ‘Who the hell is he calling repetitive?’ but before I could type a response in so many words, my brain had already begun to contemplate what he was saying. I quickly came to realize the point my astute reader was attempting to make is that ‘Copyright This!’ and ‘Copyright this! Again?’ are strikingly similar, and though this was not intentional it seems only appropriate that a serialized article on knockoffs and copyright would reduce itself to such a state. After all, the nuances of copyright are nearly without bounds and the subtleties are enough to make you want to smash your head between a door and door jam – repeatedly, ad nauseum, like that movie. In the end we just end up talking (at painful length) about the various permutations of what is the very short version of the issue of copyright (in the rug industry): Talented (or otherwise) people create great carpets which in turn are made by others whom we shall call greedy and lazy, which I’ve said already; again, like that movie. It’s as though I am making this intentionally repetitive at this point. No? It’s as though I am making this intentionally repetitive at this point. Oh wait….

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