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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The Carpets of Nepal, Part I - The Ruggist

The Carpets of Nepal | Part I

As an industry we bring modernity with all of its inconsequential demands to a place where subsistence agrarian culture still dominates the economy, where manual labour is a way of life, and were exploitation (in wide ranging and various forms) is still a major concern. We also have the ability to bring hope, compassion, understanding, and as I’ve called for, real empathy for the Nepali people. We do this by honouring them for all that they’ve done for us, and by continuing to work with them as they rebuild their country. They are a “patient, studious, artistic, nuanced and extremely hard working people, and I would not be who I am without them.” says Tom DeMarco of Kooches, speaking words universal to any serious designer of modern carpets. With that, The Ruggist presents a photographic journey that explores the best of Nepali made carpets.

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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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