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Old 01-09-2013, 06:08 PM   #1
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COPYRIGHT question
If a knitting booklet is out-of-print...and let's say the booklet copyright date is 1973...when do copyright laws not apply anymore?

When can a pattern in that booklet be scanned and shared with another knitter?

I vaguely remember hearing that a copyright pattern lasts for xx number of years...something like 25 or 50.

Does anyone know more about this?

The reason I ask...I knit a Baby Hoodie pattern back in 1977...but I didn't own the booklet...my girlfriend's mother did...and we were able to borrow the booklet from her mom. I have some tattered notes with the pattern directions, but not the booklet. I've knit this baby hoodie a dozen times over the years using my tattered notebook pages. I wish I owned the booklet!

Recently another knitter at Ravelry asked me where she could find the pattern. So I began an investigation, using Google Search. I found one booklet on Ebay (!) and it's a bid auction, starting at $8. So I placed a bid...and right now I'm the high bidder with $15.50. My max bid is $20 and that's it for me. I'm done. I won't raise my bid over the $20, and even $20 is prolly ridiculous, but I'm sorta emotionally attached to this pattern, having knit it for my babies way back in the late 70's.

But I'm curious...if I win the bid...can I scan the pattern and share it with this little German gal? I told her about the Ebay auction, and gave her first crack at it...but I guess Ebay.com is USA only...and German citizens have Ebay.de, and her Ebay has a copy of the booklet priced at $40, which we both agree is ridiculous. So she is jonesing around to get a free (shared) pattern from someone, and from what she said, someone might do this for her.

I'm still curious about old old old copyrighted and out-of-print patterns.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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This site seems to explain it fairly well: http://inventors.about.com/od/copyri...expiration.htm

In general copyrights expire 70 years after the author's death. I was thinking that it was 75 years since the piece was published, but that's not the case.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Antares View Post
This site seems to explain it fairly well: http://inventors.about.com/od/copyri...expiration.htm In general copyrights expire 70 years after the author's death. I was thinking that it was 75 years since the piece was published, but that's not the case.

I found this statement at the link you provided, and it would seem to apply to a 1973 booklet w/ knitting designs:

Published from 1964 to 1977 - When published with notice - copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years.

So I am translating it to mean that the 1973 booklet of designs will be protected from scanning, copying and sharing until the year 2068.

The paragraph in blue doesn't stipulate anything about the designer's death.
(edited to add: the death of the designer is mentioned regarding things published after 1978...the leaflet I'm looking into was published in 1973 with a slightly different set of rules...death of designer not relevant)

Of course, the booklet isn't a person, but the designs were created by an individual or a team of individuals. The booklet I'm referring to is a McCalls publication, but I don't suppose that's relevant.

And then there is the teensy few words on that copyright info page that say:
"If not renewed, now in public domain."

So if McCalls renews their copyrights...the lock on the designs will go on until my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren are knitters! In other words, the designs are lost. The original publication has disintegrated and the designs have become dust, and are gone forever. If they cannot be shared electronically for preservation, the hard copies are gone. Done. It's sorta a shame.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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That isnt always true though. It's a fuzzy area.

I found some info here about it in the questions toward the bottom-
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/FEATcopyright.html

I have this bookmarked-
http://yarnaholic.wordpress.com/the-...-for-knitters/

And the specific question is sorta answered here-
http://yarnaholic.wordpress.com/the-...or-knitters/2/
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for these links, too, Jan! One of the links provided a pdf copy of copyright information, and I downloaded it, and then uploaded it into my Google Drive. So now I'll be armed with a clear picture of copyright FAQ's next time someone asks me to share a pattern that's out-of-print.

I'm rather curious to see what the McCalls booklet displays regarding its copyrights.
Well, that is IF my max bid of $20 wins the auction.

BTW, the booklet I'm after is:

McCall's Makes It Just For Baby: 65 Things to Knit, Crochet, Sew,1973
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Over at Ravelry, in the Pattern page for the Hooded Ribbed Jacket seen in that 1973 McCalls booklet, I posted my 2 cents in the comments section:

"It’s a crying shame that McCall’s has allowed this design to become lost, and unavailable to 21st Century knitters. With copyright laws that can lock up the design for 95 years from the publishing date, and maybe longer if McCall’s extends the copyright…it makes the design totally unavailable to 21st Century knitters. There are a few vintage copies of the Leaflet/booklet found on Ebay auction/bid basis only, but this hardly qualifies as a viable resource."

I may write to McCall's as well.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:22 PM   #7
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Yeah, I think out should write McCalls!
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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I wrote to McCall's via their website, specifically found in their Customer Service.

McCall.com>click McCall's>click Customer Service tab>click How to Reach Us>then fill in your name, email> and in the drop down box, select Discontinued Patterns>enter your comment or question>SUBMIT.




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Old 01-09-2013, 08:36 PM   #9
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The Out-of-Print designs issue is an ongoing PITA. So I thought this one time, I'd take it a step further and write to the publisher who is guilty of locking up a pattern design and letting it slip into the Abyss due to copyright protection.

In my comment/question to McCalls, I specifically asked IF the booklet in mention is under copyright protection. (first things first) And if so, can they provide assistance with obtaining a copy of (specific design). And if not, I commented that it's a shame that copyright protection on out-of-print booklets & designs makes a relevant design unavailable to 21st Century knitters. Furthermore, many knitters at Ravelry are in the same line of thinking, and are searching for this (specific design.)

I did mention Ravelry, because I've seen several comments posted by knitters who are tearing their hair out, looking for this Hooded Ribbed Jacket which is under lock-and-key in the ABYSS of Copyright Protection.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
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There are many vintage patterns that should be available to the public domain. I'll send them something when I get back on the computer.
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