Originally Posted by Knitting_Guy
Copyright infringement is not dependent upon your having seen the original copyrighted item. The copyright exists and the holder of the copyright has a right, even an obligation under the law, to enforce it or risk losing it much like a patent.
Whether you purposely copied the item or came up with the same thing on your own actually makes no difference under the law.
And yes, in some ways one could argue that it's somewhat oppressive, but it's the best theft protection currently available.
It has been a long time since I took Literary Editing, when we discussed copyright and plagiarism, but I am SURE this is not right.
I feel that people are taking a stricter view of knit-copyright than actually exists, and while I do agree with "better safe than sorry" when it comes to lawsuits, I don't think that the law is as black and white as it is being painted to be.
I need to think more on this issue, though, to come up with coherent arguments. (It's late, and 3 beers doesn't help my case.