View Full Version : A question of ethics
01-01-2010, 12:14 AM
I have an old booklet with a bunch of craft items in it. The booklet specifically says the items may be made to sell at craft sales, bazaars, and what not FOR personal profit. However in looking at a few patterns online I see some that are not just similar but just about exact and they say you are not permitted to sell items made from the patterns. As long as I have the booklet will I be covered if someone should happen to say something? The patterns in the booklet are crochet Christmas ornaments and knitted stockings. I will have to dig out the booklet for the exact wording, at which time I will post to make sure.
What is your take on this?
01-01-2010, 12:19 AM
Oh I've seen a LOT of people selling non modified patterns on the internet which have specific sections telling not to sell them online.Creators of patterns write blogs about it all the time, but I don't hear about many people actually requesting they stop.
If someone asks, you can always direct them to the pattern.I would maybe scan that section of the pattern and post it where you're selling it, if online.
I think you'd only have a problem if you were selling something with like a franchise logo; then again, I've seen TONS of people selling butchered Little Big Planet Sack Boys and I don't think they got sued.
If people harass you and you know you're using a fair pattern for selling, I'd just tell them to buy their own and count the stitches themselves.
01-01-2010, 01:22 AM
Crocee, when one of the Mods comes along, they'll have an answer to your question. I've seen it before, but don't remember all the particulars. And the answer was very definite.
I believe you are covered if you can prove you got it from a source that said it was OK, but once again, the Mods will know. Copyright infringement laws are technical.
01-01-2010, 01:47 AM
when in doubt, contact the publishing company.
I"m surprised that there aren't more lawsuits over at etsy where people are using copywritten images for their items (jewelry, stitch markers, etc) and obtaining them from the website of the company that owns those images.
01-01-2010, 01:54 AM
I don't know if I can contact the publisher. If I remember right this booklet is from the 40's or 50's.
01-01-2010, 06:59 AM
Warnings in copyright notices are to help a copyright owner protect their copyright. What is legal and what is ethical are not necessarily the same things, and most notices are mainly there to protect the owner in case of mass production of their designs, as most people cannot afford the legal fees to protect their copyright on every single infringement. That doesn't make copyright infringement ethical. (Many people apparently think what is "ethical" is what you can get away with doing without being caught.)
Plainly put, it's never ethical or legal to use someone else's work, logos, or other property (intellectual or physical) without their permission, whether the work is for sale or for your own use. The copyright notice tells you whether you have the right to use the work and to what extent.
BTW, I think you're fine using your pamphlet to make objects for sale, according to the wording of the copyright notice. :)
Jan in CA
01-01-2010, 01:18 PM
I agree with Zina. You should be able to use that pattern for profit since it states so right on it. Hang on to it though in case anyone asks. Or keep a copy of it and put the good one in a safe place.
Here's a Copyright FAQ for Knitters that may be of some interest as well.
01-01-2010, 10:02 PM
Having some experience with IP law, when it comes to creations of the knitting sort, the only reason that we do not see a huge crack down on places like Etsy is that any pattern publisher worth their salt is going to have to PROVE they used that particular pattern to make that particular item and then they KNOW that they will have to "count the stitches" and that any deviation from the pattern nullifies their claim... so if you add or drop a stitch, they have no recourse.
Now, if you advertise and item you've made for sale as done by XYZ Pattern in ABC Knitting Patterns, then you're in for a fight if they feel like being litigious.
01-03-2010, 07:15 AM
I think you are GOOD TO GO! You are COVERED by the printed permission in the booklets!