Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some More Solidarity

In the hope of continuing to create some awareness in the internet world about the "do's and don'ts" of pattern use (free and paid for) I'm writing a wee post in support of some fellow bloggers/designers who have spoken up about said topic recently (there are others that have talked about this in the past).

Pam of flintknits, Kate of Zeitgeist and Kate of needled have all blogged about this recently and have been very clear about what aspects of the misuse of their patterns are the most displeasing. If you haven't already I recommend that you read their posts (I have linked to their blogs above).

I am not aware of having as many problems as some designers have had with their free patterns but on reading Pam's post I did do a quick search for some of my free patterns and came across a few things that made me unhappy.

I'm not a very confrontational person and I don't like having to deal with contacting persons who may be violating the copyright on my patterns. I have less of an issue about a LYS using a free pattern without asking (as long as they clearly give me credit for the pattern within the class) although I do appreciate being asked permission as a courtesy (and this has happened for the most part). Not crediting the designer and renaming the pattern is not OK though.

The thing that really does rub me the wrong way is when other people make and then
sell said free pattern under a different name (whether they are selling the actual pattern or making the item and selling the finished product)!! This I don't like to see. I think that often that person may be blissfully unaware that this is a big No No and probably hasn't paid attention to the copyright. I know when I first began blogging I was not as aware as I am now of these issues.

So the point here is to educate the users of free patterns (and other free things on the internet that come with a copyright attached) so that they give credit where it is due and do not abuse the terms of the work being offered for understand, people aren't out to surreptitiously profit from the hard work put out there by so many wonderfully creative people (although some are and that's plain not nice)! FREE! A lot of hard work goes into writing up these patterns and most of the time continued pattern support is given free of charge (designers get many emails asking for help and I for one always respond).

We all want to keep seeing such awesome free patterns out there for our knitting pleasure do we not? Just be sure to keep within the parameters set out in the copyright and if you see someone else abusing these terms of use perhaps offer a friendly reminder not to do so.

I do believe that by having these online discussions we can make some kind of impact. Reading through Pam's comments it is evident that this is the case.

There will be knitting in my next post...promise!


dorit said...

Well said!!! And I'm looking forward to the knitting :)

Kate said...

Thanks so much for posting this. You are right that some of the (mild) abuse of copyright is entirely unintentional. It is good that these discussions are taking place, and raising awareness of some of the more thorny issues involved. Vive knitterly solidarity!

Kate said...

well said. Thanks!

Lynne S of Oz said...

It gobsmacks me that people happily download someone else's pattern and sell it. If they had an arrangement with the designer, fine. But they don't. And I think that some people do know it is wrong but hey they can make plenty of money out of it so why not?

Hilary said...

As a newbie/aspiring designer, I have been greatly appreciating these sorts of discussions lately. Thank you for bringing up this issue -- it helps me know what to expect. I just can't believe that someone would think it was ok to sell something made from another's free pattern...or to try and profit from it at all!