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willowangel
12-01-2007, 04:42 AM
Hi guys - just wanted to say sorry for the sporadic posts - I've been severely limiting my computer time so I don't get behind on my holiday making - if I go on the puter too much, I'll be playing Hellgate London too much ;-)

I'm enjoying the work, though - I've been making my own patterns for various amigurumi things - so far there's a bat, a dalek, a hentai tentacle monster (really, don't ask), a bitter looking pint of guiness, and hopefully at the end of today there will be a weighted companion cube (only real computer geeks will get that ;-)).

I have a question though - I've really enjoyed making these things, and would love to write the patterns for them, but I don't know whether or not to charge for them. So much of what I learned came from the free patterns other people had to offer, that I could then figure out my own way of doing things, but I know it's going to take some time writing out the patterns and it took me a lot of experimentation to get the design right in the first place. I think I wouldn't charge for the companion cube and the dalek patterns, because they're other people's designs in the first place, but what about the other, generic things? Any ideas?

There will be pics of the family of stuff I've made in between crocheting snowflakes and hotpads.... much as it's eating up my time I'm loving it ;-)

Fi xxx

DorothyDot
12-01-2007, 03:45 PM
This is quite a grey area. I've also considered selling knitting and other handcraft patterns, but this is what I've found out from other, more experienced people [but not lawyers by any means]:

First, only old patterns, from before like 1910 or so, can be safely sold under your name. Copyright issues here. Apparently as soon as you set pen to paper to write a pattern, your work is copyrighted. As in, no reproduction for profit by anyone else without your express permission. [But good luck enforcing that in court.]

Second, apparently you can take someone else's pattern, make enough alterations to substantially change the pattern's results by 10% and then call it your own pattern. I know I routinely do this for my own projects -- meaning I make changes to what the original pattern was.

Third, if you have created your very own pattern out of your oh-so-brilliant mind, then it is yours to do with as you will. Sell, give away, squirrel away in your cupboard away from any other prying eyes, whatever.

Eventually I want to sell at least some of my patterns on my website, but that's yet in the future. And I am likely going to offer up ones that generously follow the 10 % or more changes rule and ones that I've made up myself.

Hope this helps. It's a verry grey area. And regarding those "antique" knitting patterns - who's to say someone else hasn't beaten you to that old pattern and already made it their very own, so that if you try and do it - you're [innocently] tramping on their copyright.

I doubt that many of these issues actually get prosecuted. But it's not my style to tempt fate.

Hope this helps,
Dot

PS - I just noticed that you're in Scotland! The guidelines I've cited above apply in the USA - don't know about Scotland or the UK.