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View Full Version : UPDATE (pg. 2) - Selling hand crafted items from patterns


cookworm
05-05-2008, 01:02 PM
I hope this doesn't come out sounding rude, I don't mean it to be, but I am really wondering about this and I haven't been able to figure it out on my own, so here goes.

I like to do needle crafts, but I occasionally sew, too, and I use patterns for garments (since I am not a designer and don't know how to design my own garments, I have to use patterns). I noticed that with the sewing patterns for garments, I have yet to see a stipulation on the package that you are forbidden from making mass garments from that particular pattern and selling them for profit, so I wondered why it seems that in the knitting and crocheting world, it seems many people are kind of touchy about using their patterns to make things for profit. Now I totally understand why a person offering a free pattern would be upset if I decided to sell their free pattern (because that would be totally wrong), and I do understand why people offering free patterns may stipulate that you can use their free patterns for charity donations, but why is it when you buy a paid pattern--just like I would buy a paid pattern for sewing--many designers forbid you to make a profit off of mass producing items from that pattern? I'm not reselling the pattern, but maybe I would like to resell items made from that pattern, items made by my hands and my labor.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
05-05-2008, 04:20 PM
there have been too many instances of someone using a pattern then turning around and claiming it was their own... check out some of the postings on different websites re: crochet world.

Someone made the item then turned around and sold the pattern to the magazine (it was IDENTICAL to the one this lady had come up with)

it's why i don't post any patterns i create.

Crycket
05-05-2008, 10:26 PM
Thanks for bringing this up....I have had simular questions...

I guess the legal should be you can sell this item, so long as the pattern gets credit?

The item can be sold unless it is published?

I totally agree that the person who wrote the pattern should not be sold out....

but at the same time...I have to agree with cookworm as well...if you took the time and energy to make it....you should be able to sell it too!

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
05-05-2008, 11:42 PM
a lot of them also have stipulations as well.

Ie: Crochet World allows you to LEGALLY make and sell 3 items made from their patterns.

Many other designers will allow you to sell the items, so long as you do not sell the pattern.

We went through Copyright Infringement in my web design class. I found that typically, so long as you e-mail or contact the owner of the copyright of the pattern and ask politely as well as explain the situation (ie: I e-mailed Pat from Pat's web graphics about using graphics made by her on my website for my class as well as in a paper I was doing and not only was she more than happy to give her consent, but was happy that colleges were covering this in their classes.. She's actually a very nice woman),they will usually allow you to sell the items so long as they are given credit as the designer of the pattern. case in point: woolen pants style soakers. I have found no fewer than half a dozen patterns for the same garment that are identical, with approximately 3/4 claiming it is their "original" pattern and are trying to sell the patterns. I have a woman on my parenting board asking me to make items for her children and is willing to pay me for them... I am only charging her the cost of materials and my time, So she is contacting her husband's aunt who has an alpaca farm and not only dyes, but spins her own yarn as well.

You also need to change a pattern at least 10 percent in order to claim it as original.

When in doubt, contact the owner of the pattern.

tokmom
05-05-2008, 11:52 PM
This has always puzzled me as well. So basically, for any pattern you buy, make and want to sell, you have to write them for permission? I think it's really strange that it doesn't seem to be the case for sewn items. Case in point: I have a friend who makes twirl skirts for little girls. She bought the pattern from a fabric store. She makes and sells them for 40 dollars each and spends maybe 3 hours making them. That's a nice, tidy profit! But she never gives credit to any pattern maker. Just lists them as handmade.
But if I want to sell my totes, I have to ask the pattern maker and then get permission? I don't want to have any claim to fame about the pattern itself.

mwhite
05-06-2008, 06:35 AM
As a seamstress, I usually made garments for people and yes, got paid for doing it. I ran a totebag mfg. plant for over 12 years and made mass quantities of bags, aprons, etc... from patterns designed by someone else... Key word... Manufacturer: someone that takes raw materials and constructs them into a finished item for resale. As a crocheter, seamstress, knitter, etc.. you are basically a manufacturer. Now, in layman's terms, you do not have to state or make notice that you used a particular pattern when you make items to sell. BUT, if you imply, write or state that you designed the item, and actually used someone else's design, you are infringing on their rights and it's illegal. HOWEVER! Some designers actually state, in writing, that the sale of items produced from their design is prohibited. So, you need to be very careful and make notice of the particular designers' notations. As is the case in most situations... It's polite and smart to ask permission from anyone whose taken the time to design something.

dustinac
05-06-2008, 08:40 AM
On ravelry there is a group (http://www.ravelry.com/groups/designers-and-crafters-working-together)where they are trying to work together on this (designer/knitter)...I tend to agree I think if you buy the pattern as long as you don't mass reproduce and have the designers permission...why not...but some don't feel that way...On this group, designers are discussing a license and then some have said that they will start stating in their patterns that you can make up to 'x' amt before you have to contact them....:happydance: so hopefully it will change soon...

Jan in CA
05-06-2008, 01:02 PM
Look at it this way. You know how long it takes to knit up a project, but it probably takes 10 times as long to create a pattern. For garments especially you need to figure out the size ratios, knit and frog, knit and frog, write it up, etc. There is a lot that goes into it. How would you feel if you had spent countless hours creating a pattern and then having someone else claim it as their own and make a profit from it? I don't think I'd be happy about it.

http://www.geocities.com/jbtocker/copyright/copyrfaq4.html

The link above gives lots of help for this and explains how much needs to be changed etc to call a pattern your own.

robynbird
05-06-2008, 01:52 PM
This is an interesting discussion and usually I stay out of all the copyright talks. :) However, I don't think the intention of the OP was that they want to make and sell what they make and claim the pattern as their own. But rather just like in a sewing pattern have the ability to purchase a pattern and make the item and sell it for profit.

I would think it takes just as long for those who create sewing patterns to make it just so like those who create knit and crochet patterns.

And as for the woolen pants soaker patterns - I haven't been knitting for a real long time but after making a couple raglan sweaters (Mr. Greenjeans and Juliet) you pretty much can figure out how to make your "own" pattern - in fact, other than the lace on Juliet and the cable on Mr. Greenjeans - they are the same. So what i mean is, once you get the basic construction knowledge of anything - socks, sweaters, soakers - you can make your own w/o a pattern and claim it as your own.

I'm not a fast knitter so selling stuff I make probably wouldn't make me much. :)

cookworm
05-06-2008, 02:18 PM
Look at it this way. You know how long it takes to knit up a project, but it probably takes 10 times as long to create a pattern. For garments especially you need to figure out the size ratios, knit and frog, knit and frog, write it up, etc. There is a lot that goes into it. How would you feel if you had spent countless hours creating a pattern and then having someone else claim it as their own and make a profit from it? I don't think I'd be happy about it.

Thanks for the link, Jan--it's very helpful! I thought something like that had been posted before but after doing a search, I couldn't find it in any previous posts.

I COMPLETELY agree that a designer should be upset if someone were trying to pass off their design as their own (I would be!), but only if the crafter is claiming the design as their own. As tokmom said, her friend doesn't claim the design of the girls' skirts as her own design, just that she handcrafted them, which she did. I would not and have never claimed a design as my own, but the time, work, and money used for materials that go into making is certainly is mine. If I make something for a family member or myself and a someone comments on the design, I always point them in the direction of the pattern. If it's simply a matter of putting a disclaimer on FO's you intend to sell like a label or a sign at a craft table that says, "Handcrafted using a design by Jane Doe", that would certainly be easy enough to do. I am not trying to take anything away from designers, because frankly, I could do NO crafting whatsoever without a pattern. I know it takes time, skill, hard work, and extreme talent to design patterns; I have neither the talent nor skill to design patterns myself, which is why I need to use others' patterns. So their hard work is invaluable to me and completely appreciated...without it, I couldn't knit, sew, or crochet. I'm certainly not trying to demean what they do, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't create anything.

If I'm a designer--no matter whether it's sewing, knitting, etc.--I have two choices. I can either design a pattern and sell it and make a profit that way, or I can choose to not make the pattern available to anyone but I can mass produce my design into FO's and sell them that way. If a designer chooses not to mass produce their design for whatever reason and opts to only sell the pattern, I still don't understand why there's opposition to the pattern purchaser making a profit.

Ensuring a designer gets credit for FO made from their designs is very easily remedied by the seller including a label in FO's or putting a sign up at your selling table indicating that it's a design by such-and-such a designer. Maybe designers could make a stipulation like that in their patterns if they are concerned they won't get credit for their designs, instead of strictly forbidding any type of duplication for profit at all?

Jan in CA
05-06-2008, 02:37 PM
I agree with some of what you said. I know YOU aren't trying to rip anyone off, but unfortunately people do. Someone has grabbed some of the videos here and is passing them off as their own for example. (Sheldon is working on it) I personally don't see a problem with people selling items they make as long as the designer is credited. Many don't see it that way though. :shrug:

cookworm
06-18-2008, 02:24 PM
I wanted to share some information I discovered with KH'ers that may be interested in going about obtaining permission from a designer for making items from their pattern for profit. I hope this information is helpful; it might save a few steps to know where to start to get permission.

The item I was hoping to make to sell for profit was from a book of items with patterns all from the same designer. I contacted the designer directly and got a response today, and I was told that since the designer published the designs in a book, the patterns basically become the property of the publisher. According to the designer, the publisher therefore is the one to contact when you are looking at using patterns out of a book.

If you are looking at patterns directly from the designer--that is, free ones that you find on line, or even ones that you pay for that are being sold and distributed directly by the designer and not through a pattern company (like Fiber Trends, Oat Couture, Interweave Press, etc.), I would assume that contacting the designer directly would be the best course of action in that situation.

So according to the designer that responded to my inquiry, I'm guessing that places like Knitty, MagKnits, etc. might fall under the same category of finding patterns in a book that you might want to make for profit--if you were interested in making items from any of those places for profit, you'd need to contact Knitty, MagKnits, etc. for permission to do so, rather than the designer?

knitpurlgurl
06-18-2008, 02:52 PM
Okay, I am not a designer (I'm lucky I can knit at all) and I have no plans on knitting up oodles of anything to sell.. but it just seems to me that it's ridiculous that one cannot buy a pattern and make as many items as one wishes to sell. I don't know copyright laws, this is just my opinion. I personally feel that if you are privately purchasing patterns and creating items/garments from it to sell - as long as you do not try to take credit for the pattern, you should be able to do it. And as long as you are not a big time producer of goods (like a mass manufacturer of clothing..), it shouldn't be a problem. I mean, I reference other books when I write papers (ie footnotes and bibliography), but I don't specifically ask permission from the authors to reference their texts. All in all, the items you create were, as another poster said, manufactured by you. If you are selling goods to friends and family members or local craft shows, I think it should be allowed. Now, having an Etsy shop or an Ebay store where you mass sell - that's a little different story. (IMHO)

GirlChris
06-18-2008, 05:19 PM
In my opinion when you purchase a pattern you have purchased the right to make however many you want and either give them as gifts or sell them. Either way, once you bought the pattern that is them giving permission for their pattern to be used once they decide to sell it. JMHO Now if it sepcifically says not to on the pattern I guess that is different I just don't understand that logic but I would honor it if it said not to do it.

cookworm
06-19-2008, 03:57 PM
Because this topic seems to be such a sore spot in the needlecraft world, I decided to contact the designer specifically, and I'm only sharing the results of my inquiry with everyone. I made my personal opinions known in the first post of this topic so I don't want to flog a dead horse to death :wink: , I just wanted to let other knitters know the protocol for getting permission to use patterns.

Lisa R.
06-19-2008, 07:49 PM
I mean, I reference other books when I write papers (ie footnotes and bibliography), but I don't specifically ask permission from the authors to reference their texts.

I truly don't know anything about the copyright laws as they relate to knitting patterns and design, but I wanted to point out a huge difference here.

You may reference another book or quote small portions of it, but I'm guessing that the author whom you're referencing would certainly be up in arms if you quoted the entire book in your own paper, even if you did give him credit!

I've read bits and pieces here and there on this topic, but am not really qualified to discuss it.

knitpurlgurl
06-19-2008, 09:48 PM
I truly don't know anything about the copyright laws as they relate to knitting patterns and design, but I wanted to point out a huge difference here.

You may reference another book or quote small portions of it, but I'm guessing that the author whom you're referencing would certainly be up in arms if you quoted the entire book in your own paper, even if you did give him credit!

I've read bits and pieces here and there on this topic, but am not really qualified to discuss it.

Lisa - Don't feel bad, I'm not qualified to discuss it (intelligently anyway) either.. But it doesn't stop me from expressing my opinions..:teehee:

tokmom
06-22-2008, 10:04 PM
I too, don't understand why you can't sell the item you made if you bought the pattern. I think it's very confusing to a lot of people.

Good luck Cookworm. I hope you get your permission slip from the publisher.:thumbsup: