Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Copyright Infringement

A little while ago I was reading the knitting blog belonging to a friend of a friend. She had posted a pattern with a fabulous review. Some spidey sense made me look and e gads! It's a pattern that should be paid for not a freebie. I emailed my friend and asked if we could please let her friend know that the posting is a copy right infringement. I'm pretty sure that this was done innocently from what I know of the poster. It's even worse because I know the designer of the pattern. In some ways the knitting industry is very small. I did tell my friend how awkward this is for me as if the post isn't removed quickly I feel an obligation to advise the designer as I would be seeing her the following week.

Another designer friend has told me that she thinks these things happen because knitters don't realize that there is a real person behind the pattern. It is produced by some nameless, big, bad, evil corporation. The pattern in question has the designers name on it but  was commissioned by a yarn company as a way of promoting their yarn and is available by PDF download.

ETA: the post was deleted very quickly once my friend was able to reach the poster.

What do you think, do most knitters understand that someone like me developed the design, wrote the pattern and got it published? Or are they so distant from the process that it simply doesn't enter their thought process that they are taking the very small profit a designer makes right out of that person's pocket.


  1. When I was a more newbie knitter, I learned from Stitch n Bitch, so I knew right away that each design was done by just a regular person who was craftily endowed.
    But I didn't realize until a few years later, when I discovered ravelry, that there are copywrite rules.
    I found out because someone had asked someone else for a copy of a patter from a book, saying that they had lost that page. And they got a reply saying that is a big no-no on ravelry and that they have to find another way. Like they could go to the library and photocopy x amount of pages or whatever.
    but it blew my mind i was like woah. really? i was about to ask someone for a copy of a paid for pattern myself that day!
    but now i'm so deeply involved in the knitting community that i'll buy a pattern even if i'm not going to knit it anytime soon just to show the designer some support because i love their designs!Like right now i'm waiting for a desaign to come out by one of my fave designers and can't wait to get some money to her because i know she's moving soon and will need the cash.

  2. Kudos to you! I work in intellectual property law and I'm very familiar with copyright infringement. You did such a great thing!!! I, too, believe that it was an innocent mistake. Nonetheless, whether it is an individual designer, or a big corporate entity, they are both protected by the same laws.

    PS love your blog!