I can, unfortunately, see both sides of the argument. I do, completely and without reservation, believe that artists who create should be protected from other people taking credit for their work. I think it takes a lot of work to write patterns, to come up with something new and work out all the bugs in it.
But I also think that the way things are at the moment, without any real set in stone copyright 'here's what you can and can't do' laws, we're handcuffed. From this perspective, how the hell do new introductory knitting books get written? How are there so many patterns available for similar objects just with different patterns? What is copyrighted? Are stars copyrighted? Or just stars of a certain gauge in a certain pattern? I agree that people should be protected for the work that they've done, and I'm ok cause I can work stuff out without patterns and can take ideas and make stuff for myself without needing to follow a pattern word for word, but what happens to people who can't? What if someone wanted, for example, a binary ds case pattern? Why am I not allowed to write that for them? Why are green ones and zeroes on a black background, in a different yarn, with a different graph structure, for a different purpose, totally banned because someone once made a scarf with green ones and zeroes on a black background?
That's why I have a problem with this, not because I want to rip off someone else's work, or because I think artists don't deserve protection or recognition, but because it cripples our ability to do new and exciting things and *share* them with other people. It's great that I can sit at home and think 'I have a nice new ds case for my bloke, yay' but I want to be able to share that with other people, and if I put in the work to write the pattern, as different as it is, why is that wrong?