Sunday, September 16, 2012

What a Shabby Chic!

OK, so it might seem like a complete about turn to moan about someone using my words and images in one post then turn round and address this topic in the very next but bear with me (I hasten to add that the person who used my blog as a source for their own definitely DID refer back to me here).

Now it seems that other people are going too far in the other direction. Shabby Chic is a term I have heard used about a style of decor for a few decades, can't remember where I heard it first but I think it was an Interiors Magazine and it was referring to the french influenced version of finding old things in skips and tarting them up, eclectically mixing differing eras and style to achieve a relaxed and comfy look. Well, apparently now someone, Rachel Ashwell to be precise, OWNS the term SHABBY CHIC!!!! Not only that but Ebay are now removing listings that use the term without warning and refusing to refund the sellers because RA's people have gotten on to them about this breach of copyright.

See this blog entry, for an ebay sellers first hand experience of this Draconian reaction on Ebay's part. Ebay actually seem to HATE their sellers. It is the only explanation for the way they treat them these days. I have been lucky and mostly had pleasant transactions there over the years but the playing field was no longer level once they stopped sellers from leaving negative feedback. Over the following years Ebay has tilted the pitch so far in the direction of the buyer that I see the sellers (those few who aren't huge multi-million pound retail operations) struggling to keep breathing in the muddy water as both dishonest buyers, and Ebay itself, kick balls at their heads... Shabby indeed!!!


C said...

There is smoke coming out of my ears as I type! The RA team are being so greedy and ridiculous and Ebay are surely shooting themselves in the foot? I just googled Shabby Chic, the Wikipedia page refers to it originating in an interiors magazine in the 1980s as you suggest, and House of Fraser and other furniture companies use it to categorise their products, our local charity shop has a nice little shelf devoted to it and labelled as such; will they all be receiving court injunctions I wonder?! It reminds me of the story that Ralph Lauren tried to sue some polo sport organisation for use of the name 'polo'... and Mrs Beckham did something similar for use of the word 'posh' in something...???!! It's not as if these people need the money, nor would even be affected by the success of someone else using the same term to describe something, is it, ffs?
Aaaargggh. That's fired me up on a Sunday morning! Let's hope your post and the example you link to will publicise this ridiculousness more and maybe something will change.

C said...

PS I may have got that wrong about R Lauren and the Polo association.. I'm sure it wasn't that straightforward...but nonetheless I think the principle is there whatever way round it is, it's the idea that somebody can have 'rights' over a word or a phrase that is so out of proportion.

Yve said...

Wouldn't surprise me, it's all bonkers. Didn't Yves Saint Laurent actually patent a shade of Blue? I think nature got there first but hey ho! I find RA's arrogance in laying claim to a phrase that already existed pretty bad but Ebay as such tossers...

Remember when it used to be so much fun on Ebay, back in the days when people actually used to bid before the last few seconds of a listing and the place was just full of genuine people who wanted to clear out their wardrobe instead of factories who have a vast line of seconds to shift from which they have ripped the High Street Store labels? It used to be friendly and personal back then, now it's just another huge, faceless Deathstar of arsiness!

Georgina said...

I have never used Ebay, but I've heard similar rumblings from friends who used that venue once upon a time.

I recall the term, "Shabby Chic" used years ago when I was a young mother. I must have been watching something on the television... in those days I did a lot of that since the youngest was a bit on the challenging side and taking him out in public was too terrifying for both of us...another story. I might have been watching Phil Donahue or Martha Steward...who can remember, but it was then, in the 80's I heard the term.

My father opened up this little shack of a burger "joint" many years ago in South El Paso (TX) and called it the "Big Boy." Well, the large California chain of "Big Boy" restaurants, rained their attorneys down on my father's tiny establishment that catered to the majority of of it's residence, recent transplants from Mexico, legal or not, and generations of other Mexican families living there since the Mexican Revolution.

He was threatened with a major law suit if he didn't change the name, which he did to "The Fat Boy," in honour of my dad's own stature!! LOL Well, since then, I do believe that large chain is gone, another victim of the precarious economy, but my father's little "Fat Boy," still stands today, new ownership, though. The cook bought it from my father many years ago, and they still serve the same food, greasy hamburgers, fries, burritos and my dad's favorite, tacos de carne (meat tacos) but I used to kid my dad that the tacos were really "tacos de papa," or potato tacos, and that the meat was "de espiritu" or had the "spirit of meat!" He taught me how to make them and boasted about my culinary talent...told him I could actually make "real" meat tacos!! LOL

Anyway, I don't like what's happening in this world, so I try to maintain my little part of it. As for people "borrowing" words, phrases, paragraphs and even replicating someone else's work, well, that's down right criminal...around here we'd say, "get a rope!" LOL

Eve, have a good one and as always, love reading your blog.


Yve said...

Hee hee, "get a rope", bit extreme but made me laugh a lot ;o)

Your Dad got the last laugh in that showdown, that must have been really satisfying! I totally understand people protecting their business if someone is literally infringing and harming their takings but there are limits.

I remember the whole story about Posh too, how can Ms Beckham lay claim to a term from the 1920's (my guess) which was in common usage long before she was a "twinkle in the milkman's eye"? It's all bl**dy crazy!

Right, I am off to Copyright every Anglo-Saxon swear word I can think of and you can all F***ing pay me royalties next time you stub your toe!