06-17-2011, 03:10 PM
I have a question regarding Copyright Laws. I'm considering entering the Cupcake Baby Set from Itty Bitty Nursery by Susan B. Anderson in our state fair - would this violate any copyright law?

Jan in CA
06-17-2011, 03:47 PM
I don't think so. If you were making them to sell that would be a different issue.


06-17-2011, 05:17 PM
I agree with Jan!

Besides, you're not taking credit for being the designer.

(You're the lowly builder, she's the designer and architect.)

Best Wishes for a BLUE RIBBON! :thumbsup:

10-27-2011, 12:56 PM
well..its only taken me forever to respond!!! lol!!!! i went ahead and entered the set...hat, mittens and scarf. unfortunately no ribbons...the competition was stiff tho!!! there were so many beautiful pieces!!! as disappointed as i was i just chalked it up to a new experience...and am already planning on what to enter next year!!!

10-31-2011, 10:04 PM
Copyright protects the pattern from being copied or reproduced but does NOT protect finished items from being sold, ever. Even if the pattern maker says you can't sell it, or that you must have a license, its untrue. Once you make the item it is yours to do with it what you want.

10-31-2011, 10:16 PM
Copyright protects the pattern from being copied or reproduced but does NOT protect finished items from being sold, ever. Even if the pattern maker says you can't sell it, or that you must have a license, its untrue. Once you make the item it is yours to do with it what you want.

Interesting but how does this relate to patents? You also need to keep in mind copyright laws differ from country to country. Is there a link you can provide to back up this information? Im interested in knowing more about this.

10-31-2011, 11:40 PM
http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/patterns/1216882/1-25n There is a pretty long discussion on it there.

And you are right - this is in the US. As far as patent goes = Copyright only protects the words that compose the pattern. If you wanted to protect your rights to a three dimensional object created from the pattern, you'd have to file for a *patent*. And you can't patent useful items, like clothing. And then as soon as anyone using the pattern changed *anything* about it, as in using a different colour, yarn, needle size, stitch, etc, it would nullify the patent. You would have to patent every possible incarnation of the pattern to cover yourself, providing what you were trying to patent wasn't deemed a useful article.

Not to mention patents being obscenely expensive.

I saw on Rav where a lady was giving out an Angry Birds pattern, and she had received a cease and desist letter. SHe had to rename the pattern to "Angry Fowl" and she was all good.

11-01-2011, 12:17 AM
I finally decided that if someone wanted to "hire me" to knit a sweater for them (pattern being a "copyright" design) I would ask the customer to purchase the pattern, and the yarn. Then they would only be paying me to knit it. The designer is happy, she got her $6.50 for the pdf pattern, the LYS is happy, they made their profit on yarn. I'm happy, I've been compensated for my time.

I know this scenario can't apply to all possible situations, such as what if the design is in an out-of-print book? But then there is always the Library, and Ebay.

I'd never want to tangle with some designers, even if I'm in "the right." Some designers are real nut jobs, totally paranoid about losing their "living". Why borrow trouble? One designer in particular stalks my Ravelry projects, and jumps down my throat if I say anything she considers "revealing" about the pattern stitch counts when I'm describing a modification I had to do. Even though I'm totally "in the right" and "within my rights" according to Ravelry guidelines, this designer persists in sending me nasty, threatening private messages, and went so far as to dig up my personal email and continue her hysterical rant. The lady is C.R.A.Z.Y. It's very upsetting, even though I am not breaking anything close to copyright laws!

So I really do speak from experience about crazy designers, and their paranoia! You'd never want to run into one of them, and you'd never guess who the nut jobs are!

Another precaution I'd personally take is: Keep my business to myself and OFF THE INTERNET. I'd work with customers one-on-one, face-to-face, when working out a suitable agreement for a knitted item.

The second her design hits the internet in any way, the designer knows how to find out. Search engines are powerful tools. The crazy paranoid designers would spend the time to gain this information even before they'd eat breakfast.

11-01-2011, 12:34 AM
Thanks for the extra info Kayhold :thumbsup:

@ ArtLady1981 : Very good advice, if I ever knit well enough to have someone want me to knit for them Im doing it your way. :cool:

Jan in CA
11-01-2011, 02:06 AM
That's an excellent way to handle it, Dollyce! I doubt I'll ever knit for anyone for money..for one I don't knit enough or fast enough and two I don't like making what I do for a hobby become work. It's not fun anymore that way IMO. ;)

11-01-2011, 01:49 PM
I think there may be some confusion...i didnt make any profit by knitting this item...i simply entered it in the state fair. there have been a couple times that someone has asked me to knit something for them...i simply have them buy the yarn...its pure enjoyment for me to knit - and time really isnt an issue!!! granted its only been baby blankets...so not too time consuming! :)

11-01-2011, 02:14 PM
Dollyce, what do the Ravelry site leaders say, have you taken this to them?

11-01-2011, 02:47 PM
Yeah, I would call that harrassment and isn't tolerated by Ravelry guidelines.

11-01-2011, 05:40 PM
Dollyce, what do the Ravelry site leaders say, have you taken this to them?

No, I haven't taken it to the Ravelry brass. It is too upsetting. However, upon the most recent snarky message she sent to me... what I did was DELETE my project entirely. I kept working on it, but I deleted it from my Ravelry projects. THAT was my answer to her. Basically, "stick it up your a**." I didn't respond to her message at all. Just deleted the project.

However, when the project was done, I needed to re-entered the project to track my knitting, and account for the yarn. But, in the notes section, I posted: "I didn't enjoy knitting this sweater and I wish I had never cast on for it." Of course the reason being that part of my enjoyment was taken away by her. Until this recent attack, and my subsequent deletion of the project, I hadn't realizde how much I enjoy notating my knitting process! My notes section is sort of like a blog, a knitting diary. And I'm quite surprised at how many comments I receive that my notes have helped others! That's gratifying, but not the reason I share my knitting experience. I just like to.

WOW! Did I ever get a lot of people messaging me, asking me WHY didn't I enjoy knitting
this sweater? They were worried about 'is there something wrong with the pattern?'

Well, knowing full well that she stalks my notes, I was careful what I replied. She could have spies asking me WHY, and being paranoid, she would be looking for me to say something she could pick a fight about. I wasn't in the mood for another message from her...so I played it cool. She can be very passive-aggressive, and sometimes just plain hysterical, IMO.

So far, so good. The witch has not commented or messaged me about anything since.

I will continue to knit her designs because they are well-written, error-free, and darn good designs. It's a shame that she's such a nut job. Attacking your own customers is so OUT THERE...it's unbelievable.

I do notice that her Ravelry Group has little activity. No doubt others have felt the sting of her paranoia, too. But I'm a special target because I notate so much about my knitting experiences with any given project.

I read that Ravelry says HANDS OFF a knitter's notebook. A knitter can say whatever she wants to about a project in their own personal notes for that project. The guidelines are a bit more strict about posts in the public arena, like the Group for a design, or designers. But hands off the personal project notes. Well, that doesn't stop the witch. She can't help herself. I really believe she doesn't like me. It hurts my feelings. All I've ever done is buy dozens of her pdf patterns, and knit them! Oy.

I am done with her. If and when I start another of her designs, I'm going to say whatever the I want to,
and just let her try to message me again. I've had it up to here.

The next time, I will contact Ravelry. I've saved all the personal emails she's sent me over the past 2 years. Plus her snarky private messages at Rav. I have proof of harrassment, but for the time being...I'm just not spoiling for a fight. It's very upsetting, and I'm thin-skinned.

Being a business women (my art consulting business) for the past 32 years, I can't fathom mistreating customers. It's just unbelievable. But then I'm not crazy. :wink:

11-01-2011, 06:15 PM
You have done the wise thing Dollyce, saving all correspondence, a paper trail is a must under these circumstances. If she doesnt like people making notes on their projects she shouldnt have her projets on Ravelry in the first place, you cant have your cake and eat it too. The whole beauty of Ravelry for the designer is the advertising but the down side is anyone can critique, praise or change your pattern, if she cant take the good with the bad she needs to start her own blog where people can blow fairy kisses up her *** and she can live in her fantasy world.

I encourage you to tell that princess to suck it up Dollyce, the beauty of the internet is your anonymity, just keep in mind the childrens rhyme 'sticks and stones', all she has is her keyboard, but admin has the big red ban button, Im sure with a theatening email from the Ravelry bosses she'll crawl back into her hole.

11-01-2011, 07:27 PM
Can you just put up the project but not link to it? That would show her.... lol

11-01-2011, 07:45 PM
Can you just put up the project but not link to it? That would show her.... lol

Oh, I know what you mean! Hmmm, that is a good thought. :thumbsup:

However, linking to it has advantages. But next time I knit one of her designs, I will try your suggestion!

If she's really hardcore stalking me, she'll be subscribed to anything and everything I post...and she'll know anyway.

I don't know how people do that...subscribe to someone's knitting new posts, new photos, etc...but there are a few people who message me whenever I've done something like post a new project, or post a new photo for a project. I don't know how they know! :??

Is that was RSS feeds are about? :shrug:

11-01-2011, 08:23 PM
When you friend someone you can tell when they're online; maybe where they're at too and what activities they're doing.

eta - yeah, I just went to my Friends list (you're there) and you can search for them in your groups, search their projects and their stashes. So maybe that's how. If she's on your friends list, take 'er off!

11-01-2011, 08:45 PM
If she's on your friends list, take 'er off!

Ewww, running over to Rav right now to see! Thanks for the tip!

11-01-2011, 09:28 PM
I always thought that you couldn't take someone else's pattern that they created, knit something, and sell it. I thought that was the way that copywrite went?? I'm confused by this thread now!!

11-01-2011, 11:13 PM
I always thought that you couldn't take someone else's pattern that they created, knit something, and sell it. I thought that was the way that copywrite went?? I'm confused by this thread now!!

Here's something I wouldn't do: knit up 6 sweaters, using the same design, 1 in each size, then try to sell them in my Ebay or Etsy shop! THAT would definitely bring trouble my way!

But, it's quite different if a person brings me her printed pattern and some yarn, and pays me to knit it up.

All the designer wants is her $7 for the pattern. It's really none of her business who does the knitting, and she could care less as long as she was paid for the pattern for THAT sweater.

What really chaps her hide is if I were to buy the pattern one time, and knit it 10 times for "customers".

Another thing that's outright theft is when one person in the knitting club buys the pattern one time, and prints it up for all 30 club members for a knitalong, or worse than printing it up 30 times, attaching it to an email for all 30 club members! This enables them to mass mail it to their own 30 friends and family! The designer could potentially lose minimally $210 if I print the pattern for my 30 club members, but if I attach the pdf in an email to all 30, and they do the same, the designer could minimally lose $6510 in lost pdf fees at $7 each.

Never ever "give" a friend a copyrighted pdf pattern. Make her pay her own $7.

11-01-2011, 11:35 PM
No, copyright just covers the writing and photographs, not the finished item. Many people put a disclaimer in their copyright notices that items made from their pattern can not be sold for profit, but it's not legally enforceable.

11-02-2011, 10:27 AM
See, I've knit so many things that I could have ended up selling because it didn't work out for the person I was knitting it for. I just ended up giving stuff away because I didn't think I could sell it because I didn't write the pattern myself.

So if I purchase a pattern, I can knit it and then sell the item? And that could go for free patterns as well? As long as I don't claim that it's my own pattern?

11-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Pretty much, if you're in the US. The UK, Australia and maybe canada have different laws that cover the design of the item that go beyond the written pattern.

11-02-2011, 06:41 PM
Beware of Australian designs. Copyright laws in Australia are different to those in other countries. Due to treaties with most international countries our copyright laws cover our designers internationally so beware of selling a fo from an Aussie desingners pattern, seek their permission first, or use your common sense and take the advice of previous posts in this thread by Artlady.

The design side of the law can get a little messy but knitted work is generally not seen as 'functional' under the Australian copyright laws and therefor if you reproduce an Australian pattern to sell commercially you need the express permission of the designer. If a designer has published their pattern on a website, magazine or other publication and does not clearly state you cannot reproduce their item for personal use you have the implied permission to go ahead and make the item. If you wish to lend that pattern to a friend to use you are also covered, sharing a purchased pattern, (not photocopied) is fine and not an infringment of copyright law. A designers copyright is in place upto 70 years after they have died.

Now heres the fun bit, I got all of this info from the linked website at the bottom of this post.

Using ideas, information, techniques and methods:

Copyright does not protect ideas or information. Nor does it protect styles or techniques or methods. Copyright protects the way in which an idea or concept is expressed – for example, as a
drawing, or a piece of writing. Therefore, if you are simply using someone elseʼs idea, information, technique or method to create a garment, you will not be infringing copyright. For example, the original idea of making a swimming costume in two pieces was not protected, but it is likely that the first bikini and the pattern for that bikini were protected as artistic works. Also, while a particular pattern for flared pants may be protected, the general idea of pants being flared is not.

If you were however to change a pattern by someone and try to resell it as your own creation and you lay your FO next to the FO of the designer and you had difficulty finding a diffence in design you would be infringing their copyright.

I have noticed there are a few articles on the net saying its fine to sell a reproduction as long as you mention the designers name but that goes against everything I have learned so far. I will be looking deeper in the the 'design' side of it, some items are considered artistic even though they are functional and this is where it can get very confusing.


11-02-2011, 06:46 PM
And actually, the Australian designer wouldn't be able to make a case in the US because we don't have the same design protection. If they were even able to find out you made some dishcloths and sold them.....

11-02-2011, 06:53 PM
From what I have read suzeeq, due to the treaties we have in place this includes more recent free trade agreements.

Taken from the Australian Copyright Council Information Sheet G021v10 Hobby crafts and copyright

"Most foreign copyright owners are protected in Australia, and Australian copyright owners are protected in most
other countries because of international treaties such as the Berne Convention."

Theres a small page of info on that here

http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/Copyright_IsAustraliancopyrightmaterialprotectedov erseas

11-02-2011, 07:11 PM
Ahhh the Berne Convention, yes.

However, how many Aus designers are going to track down patterns sold to US knitters and determine whether the items made from the patterns are being sold? One can respect their wishes, but it's still going to be hard to determine if their IP is being infringed on.

11-02-2011, 07:20 PM
Lol, I agree Suzeeq, I guess its just a matter of using your common sense really, but after hearing about ArtLadys problems I guess it was worth mentioning. We Aussies frequent alot of Amercian sites because our own sites are just not busy enough, its more of a knitter beware thing. Thankfully most Aussies are pretty easy going, if you asked in the right way, offered to advertise their work and werent mass producing, ie just selling at a local market stall I dont think there would be many negative answers.

11-03-2011, 01:03 PM
I was asked to teach a sweater class using a free pattern available at Naturally Caron. The sweater is also in the Ravelry pattern database, but it links to the Naturally Caron website for the pattern download.

So the LYS owner asked me to get permission from the designer, or the Naturally Caron website, for us to use the free pattern for the class. The LYS owner told me she had already run into hot water on previous classes that she had taught using other 'free patterns'.

So I contacted the designer via Ravelry, and the Naturally Caron's Twitter page. Never did hear a peep from the Naturally Caron people.

But I did receive a message back from the designer. She said we could use the pattern for our class, but please direct each student to the Naturally Caron website to print their own free pattern. In other words, I was not to print out 6 patterns and distribute them myself.

BTW: this class was to have been advertised on the shop's website, the shop's Ravelry Group, the shop's Facebook page, and the shop's Twitter feed. It would surely have come to the attention of the designer, or the Naturally Caron people, sooner or later. I was glad that we got full permission from the designer. No hassles, no worries, later on. :wink:

So we were given permission IF we directed each student to visit the website and download their own copy. Of course the reason for this is so that the student is exposed to the website advertising. Naturally Caron sells yarn, and free patterns for that yarn. The sale of yarn is what really pays for the "free" pattern. But we all know, nothing in life is really free. The Naturally Caron people no doubt paid the designer for her pattern. Then they hope to recoup that expense by selling yarn to people who visit their website for the "free" pattern.

11-03-2011, 06:24 PM
There's a very interesting thread over at the Ravelry "Copyright Matters" Group!

The thread isn't too lengthy, and the posts are great!

Everyone needs to read it! It is funny, and informational!

It shows that more nutty people exist besides my stalker designer! :roflhard:

CLICK HERE (http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/copyright-matters/1872950/1-25)

11-03-2011, 06:41 PM
I get involved in a bunch of them just on the main Patterns forum. Some of the same people also post on both, so that's where I've learned my Copyright law... ;)

11-03-2011, 08:29 PM
There's a very interesting thread over at the Ravelry "Copyright Matters" Group!

The thread isn't too lengthy, and the posts are great!

Everyone needs to read it! It is funny, and informational!

It shows that more nutty people exist besides my stalker designer! :roflhard:

CLICK HERE (http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/copyright-matters/1872950/1-25)

Its unbeleafable how far people will go to monopolise on an idea :teehee: