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Horror Story for Halloween

Blood-thirsty vampires and flesh-eating zombies are all part of Halloween's faux terrors, but there are far worse monsters out there.

Take the copyright infringer who has stolen Kathleen Fasanella's book, for instance.

Many of you know Kathleen as the intelligent and informative author of Fashion Incubator, a wonderful website dedicated to patternmaking (Kathleen's professional expertise) and related topics.  She's also a generous soul who gave me a warm welcome to the blogosphere when I first began writing Counterfeit Chic.  What many of you may not know -- I certainly didn't -- is that Kathleen's website is supported by her book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing

Now it appears that a persistent copyist has taken not just sections of Kathleen's book, but the whole thing, and is selling allegedly "used" copies online at deeply discounted prices.  Kathleen has been fighting this problem for some time.  Now her sales have dropped by 90%, and as a result her site is in danger.  Read the whole story here -- and then buy a copy of the book from an authorized seller.

What good is intellectual property law if it can't stop horror stories like this one?  This isn't a squabble over sampling a few notes of a song or sharing an essay with a handful of friends.  It's wholesale theft, and a direct threat to Kathleen's ability to continue her work.

The truth is that law -- whether we're talking intellectual property or any other area -- is something of a luxury good.  Having rights is one thing; having the means to enforce them is another.