Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another debate on Copywrite law-sigh.......

It makes me so mad when people start popping off about copywrite issues without knowing the facts.  This rant was prompted by someone removing a tutorial for a pattern that his common knowledge.  The pattern is out there a hundred different ways and you can post a tutorial about anything you like as long as you do not copy the pattern verbatim. The author of the pattern owns the rights to their written words and pictures used, not the product produced from the pattern.  Once you purchase a pattern (or download a free) pattern you have purchased all rights and freedoms to do as you will with it.  Consider this-if you purchase a book on how to build a bookshelf.  You read the book, follow the directions, purchase the materials, and build a bookshelf.  That is YOUR bookshelf.  The author of the book can not tell you what to do with the bookshelf.  Once you read and learn how to build a bookshelf that KNOWLEDGE is yours.  You can go and build and sell 200 bookshelves if you like.  You can teach anyone you want how to make that same bookshelf.  You can go and teach bookshelf building workshops at the local YMCA if you were so inclined.  Back to the original book.  Now that you are an expert shelf builder you no longer need the book that started it all.  What to do with it?  Well if you listen to the pattern writers of the world, you should apparently destroy all evidence of its existence.  However, If you have done some research (which I have done plenty) on copywrite law, you know that since you purchased the book, it is now yours to do as you please.  You can pass it on to a friend, donate it to a library or sell it in a yard sale.  That’s right I said you can resell it.  BECAUSE IT’S YOURS.  You wouldn’t let your college professor tell you what you can do with the knowledge gained from his class would you?  God I hope not—If you would let me know-that is a whole different blog posting. 
So now all of you pattern writers out there who are getting all pissy about this blog post I understand how much work goes into writing patterns, I have written a few myself.  I also know many of you rely on the sale of your work as your income; however this does not change the law. 
I am open to hearing your opinions and discussion even if you don’t agree with me.  Before you go posting irate messages and comments, please for the love of God, do some research about copywrite issues.  I would love to see your comments- However- since this is my blog, I am the only one allowed to spew ignorant rants and raves.  If you are making a statement about copywrite law please back it up with facts and a source.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, HERE is a great reference point. 

If you need official info you can find it here


  1. Coming from a graphic degree background ('cause I wouldn't call what I learned graphic design), we were taught that if you change something at least by 80% then it is yours without having to credit the source.

    Personally I agree about if you change a pattern and "make it your own" you OWN the pattern. However I try to keep to the 80% change rule, though it rarely seems to happen..

    'Course, any patterns that I design I tend to add that it was 'inspired' by whatever pattern I base it off of, though I haven't posted many patterns myself. And when I tat/knit/crochet anything I try to credit where the pattern comes from, if only so I can remember the designer lol

  2. Thank you so much for writing it all out so clearly. May I link to this from my blog?
    All this outrage over stitches that have existed since we started to knot fibre, is getting a bit ridiculous, but I try to be considerate and respectful! :)

    1. Of course you can link it! I agree that it can get absurd.