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Know Your Rights: Copyright 101 for Knitters

Apr 26, 2012
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How Much Do You Know About Copyright?

Knitting Daily and the staff at Interweave have released a new free eBook Know Your Rights: Copyright 101 for Knitters to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding copyright and give credit to the talented writers, designers, artists, photographers, and innovators who work with us to share their products and ideas with our readers.

This guide to the basics of copyright is for anyone and everyone: designers and makers, crafters, retailers, library staff, educators, and more.

"Most people think of pirated movies or music when they hear about copyright violations," says Eunny Jang, editor of Interweave Knits magazine. "But we answer questions about copyright for crafters, artists, designers, and authors every day—copyright and other intellectual property issues are a big deal in the DIY marketplace, where the "I can do that!" spirit and respect for original, independent design and authorship need to coexist peacefully."

This free resource addresses topics such as:

  • What is copyright?
  • How does copyright work?
  • What is copyright infringement?
  • Plus other pressing topics from simple questions to more complex issues, such as:
    • Can I resell a pattern/magazine/book/DVD I own? What about purchases of my digital downloads?
    • Can I make and sell projects I found in a book or magazine?
    • Where can I find more instructions for projects that I can make and sell?
    • How can I tell if a work is in the public domain?
    • Do I always retain copyright as the original author of a piece?
    • What do I do if someone’s violating my copyright?
    • And much more.

"Ultimately, copyright is about protecting the creative process, ensuring that the creator of a work can benefit from that work," adds Jang. "Our goal at Interweave is to educate our consumers about what copyright is, and why it matters—and to give authors, artists, and designers everywhere the tools they need to protect their own rights so they can continue to create new works and share them with the public."


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Comments

Ilehlia wrote
on Jan 6, 2014 10:36 AM

I've been researching this issue too, like Diane L. Sayer.  I have been checking all the major yarn and design companies' websites to see what they have to say, and so far, I have only found one that is clear and simple.  Lion Brand says, "Yes, you have permission to sell any finished item you make using a Lion Brand copyrighted pattern."  Hats off to them!  It makes me want to support them as a company. 

on Feb 4, 2013 8:58 PM

I've read each of these comments regarding copyrights and have also been researching the legality of selling knitting from published patterns, since I'm hoping to sell some items myself.  From what I've been able to discern so far, the pattern is protected, but not the finished project.  There still seem to be some gray areas there which from one source even disalowed gifting the items!

My frustration with the copyrights themselves are these.  Of what use is it for designers to copyright their patterns if no one buys, and uses them because they are not allowed to give or sell the item in question?  If you are an addictive knitter and make item after item with no one to use it but yourself, why would you continue to engage in such a hapless enterprise?  I would hope that instead  designers might instruct publishers to have the knitters give credit to the author of the pattern so that when the item sells their design is honored and perhaps advertised for them.  I think that could be a win-win solution for designer and producer.  Maybe Interweave could propose that option to the contributors of their patterns and start a new trend, within the law and with due credit to creative minds.  

These legalities scare people, probably unnecessarily, and don't promote the art.

phindingphun wrote
on May 4, 2012 7:56 AM

Thank you for the update, Jamie.  I know we interessted crafters appreciate this "more correct" version.  I would also really appreciate it if you decided to answer the question "Can I sell my finished objects?" in a direct and precise manner, rather than relying on an indirect answer and legalese, but at least now you aren't relaying incorrect info to those who are less informed about the hot topic of copyright.  Thanks for your work on this...now I won't have to burn my copy of Start Spinning.  ;o)

JaimeG wrote
on May 3, 2012 7:16 PM

Hi everyone, the revised eBook is posted! Thanks for your patience this week, as our graphic designer for the project was on deadline for a few issues going to press and it took a little longer than we had expected. If you have other general questions that you want us to address in future updates to the eBook (we anticipate updating it once a year), please send us an email at copyright@interweave.com and we'll do our best to answer them if they are not already addressed in this edition. Thanks again for all your feedback -- the conversation has been lively but it's been good for us all. Stay crafty. All the best, Jaime Guthals, PR Director, Interweave 

on May 3, 2012 3:44 PM

Still not corrected??  It seems that 3 days is surely enough time to update your false information.

Audrey5432 wrote
on May 3, 2012 10:29 AM

I'm suprised that the incorrect version has not been replaced. I understand that removing the link to download would remove this forum thread, but that would be far better than spreading false information.

Here is a link to help those who are looking for answers:

http://www.uspto.gov/patents/resources/general_info_concerning_patents.pdf

Scroll to page 2. (What is Copyright) It's only 2 small paragraph. Very simple to understand.

 

phindingphun wrote
on May 3, 2012 9:02 AM

The document is STILL not corrected.

Anyone that downloads this document should note that it contains fraudlent information.

Interweave should know that I'll be critiquing this document on my blog if this information isn't corrected with 48 hours.  At that time I also intend to contact my lawyer to discuss a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all the crafters that Interweave has attempted to defraud by publishing this document and the other related "Copyright 101" documents.

phindingphun wrote
on May 2, 2012 7:34 AM


The document is still not corrected.  And, again, I ask, what is the intent of this publication?

emmakay wrote
on May 1, 2012 12:49 PM

Dear Jaime,

Thank you for your response, but if Interweave owns rights (other than copyright) to its patterns, it would be helpful if those patterns were identified in the publication. I couldn't possibly identify them myself, so chose the antique patterns in Piecework as examples. I am sorry if that was not clear.

Copyright does not limit our right to sell what we own, and I would ask that Interweave respect that right.

 

 

JaimeG wrote
on May 1, 2012 12:42 PM

Dear Biddie, At the bottom of page two of the eBook we write, "Copyright is honored across international borders in the 164 countries that have signed the Berne Convention. The details in this article pertain specifically to copyright in the United States. Refer to government copyright offices for details about copyright law in other countries." But that's a good suggestion that we move this statement to page one in future editions so it's immediately clear to our international readers.

JaimeG wrote
on May 1, 2012 12:27 PM

Dear Linda Jo, Thanks for your concern. We are doing our best to have the revised eBook, with corrections to the Q&A on page 6, posted by the end of the day here on Knitting Daily, and subsequently in all our online communities. If we took down this version it would delete this forum thread, which we wouldn't want to do. We appreciate your patience.

JaimeG wrote
on May 1, 2012 12:18 PM

Dear emmaykay, Thanks for your questions regarding the patterns published in PieceWork magazine. Interweave does not claim any right to patterns and project instructions that are in the public domain. As we explain in our eBook, in most countries that recognize copyright as a personal-property right, copyright expires after a fixed amount of time, often a period measured by the life of the author and 50 or 70 years after the author’s death. In the United States, copyright terms for works created after January 1, 1978, currently last for 70 years after the author’s death, or 95 years from the date of publication/120 years after the date of creation (whichever is shorter) if the copyright holder is not a recognizable individual (for example, an anonymous author or a corporation). Works published before 1923 are almost always in the public domain.

Republishing old materials that are in the public domain does not put them back under copyright, and we do not claim ownership of these kinds of materials when we publish them. However, any new content we add, such as re-written instructions, new charts, and such, are protected.

To look at some specific examples in recent PieceWork publications, in the January/February 2012 issue of PieceWork, there is an article about a Victorian Pineapple Purse. That article provides the original pattern directions from 1846 (no claim of copyright by Interweave) and also a modern adaptation of the vintage pattern by knitwear designer Donna Druchunas (which is protected by copyright).

In the November/December 2011 issue of PieceWork, instructions are given to recreate a sock used in Egypt 1500 years ago. Interweave makes no claim to the sock per se, but does claim copyright to the instructions designer Charlotte Booth wrote to make one.

Finally, in the March/April 2012 issue of PieceWork, on page 25, the instructions to make flowers to decorate a purse or bag are given from a 1924 magazine that is now in the public domain (no claim of copyright by Interweave). Beneath those instructions are instructions for a completely different kind of flower ornamentation designed by an Interweave employee (which is protected by copyright).

Users can do anything they like with works in the public domain, including creating derivative works or republishing them for commercial use. It should be clear when our magazines reprint materials that are in the public domain, and when we're publishing new, protected content—please let us know if you ever have questions about a specific PieceWork pattern. 

Sincerely,

Jaime Guthals
PR Director
Interweave

 

on May 1, 2012 10:32 AM

I have a question. Since the book is clearly incorrect and a corrected version is forthcoming, why haven't you disabled the download capability until the correct version is available? Incorrect information is still being disseminated.

biddie wrote
on May 1, 2012 8:13 AM

Q: Can I make and sell projects I found in a book or magazine? Generally, no. This infringes on the copyright holder’s right to benefit from and control the work. Some copyright holders make a note that small-scale production and selling of projects based on their works is okay; when in doubt, check with the copyright holder.

 

 I do not see that this has actually been changed in the booklet I just downloaded.  Also, while you refer the Berne Convention, it might be helpful for you to inform those reading your "booklet", that you follow the Copyright Laws of the Country in which you reside.

phindingphun wrote
on May 1, 2012 7:33 AM

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What is the purpose of this document?  If it is, as it says, "a guide for knitters," I really do NOT believe that your correction goes far enough - it still appears to be an (illegal) attempt to tell knitters what they can do with finished objects made from Interweave patterns (copyright misuse). 

If, on the other hand, it is an opinion piece about what Interweave would like knitters to do with items knitted from their patterns, then the whole "Copyright 101" premise is a sham and the document should be renamed or completely retracted.

I do appreciate the attempt to appease both sides, but you're going to need to choose - do you placate your designers (who likely DO NOT BUY your products) and LIE to/confuse/guilt your customers into doing what the designers want? or do you tell your CUSTOMERS the truth -  that neither you nor the designers hold ANY RIGHT to dictate what we do with things we made with our own yarn/time/needles.

I'm glad to see that the legal mumbo-jumbo is now technically accurate, although it does *still* attempt to exert more control over your customers actions than you have the right to do (which, again, is copyright misuse - an illegal activity).  We now know that you now know the facts, so if you continue to perpetuate technically correct information that is written in a way that is meant to deceive, we will also have proof of a willful desire to mislead knitters who use your patterns.  *tisk, tisk*

emmakay wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 7:17 PM

That should be Capital Records v ReDigi.

emmakay wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 7:16 PM

You should also consider revising your remarks about digital products, since there is a case still before the courts, Capitol Products v ReDigi.

 

on Apr 30, 2012 5:47 PM

Thank you for correcting the mistake. I greatly appreciate the respect and concern you have just shown your customers.

emmakay wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 5:14 PM

The update is a step in the right direction, but it is not quite enough to assure me that Interweave does not intend to sue its customers for knitting items for which it has published patterns. What is the meaning of the phrase "intended for personal use and inspiration only -- not for commercial purposes"? Respect for the rights of your customers would suggest that you clarify your meaning.

In Piecework, for example, Interweave publishes patterns, instructions, or suggestions for replicating very old items. Does Interweave claim to own rights not only to its own text and graphics, but to the original items themselves? How do Interweave's patterns differ from other knitting patterns that are available without these restrictions?

 

AlisonM wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 5:04 PM

May I suggest the following amendment to your proposed amendment -

REVISED Q&A, Know Your Rights: Copyright 101 (page 6):

Q: Can I make and sell projects I found in a book or magazine?

A: Yes. However, The projects instructions we publish at Interweave are intended for personal use and inspiration only – not for commercial purposes.

Please remember to also update the crochet ebook, not just the knitting version.

ruthhr wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 5:04 PM

I am very glad that you have taken the response to this publication on board and corrected it to reflect the true meaning of the current copyright legislation.

Given that this same eBook has been published in your associated publications, Crochet Me, for example, I hope you will review and correct each which require it.

I add my thanks to those who have already expressed them - it is gratifying to see that our concerns are important to you and that you take the responsibility to provide accurate information seriously. Well done.

Mary@355 wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 4:54 PM

Thank you for reviewing your copyright information and updating the ebook to reflect the rights covered by copyright and those not covered.  I for one appreciate you willingness to buck the trend in the craft world of expanding IP rights beyond what the law permits.

Livvygirl wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 4:43 PM

Interweave, you've got me back!  I have no problem at all with designers requesting certain things, and I have no problem with Interweave supporting their wishes.  My objection was the misrepresentation being made that sale of FOs is forbidden under the law, when it is not.  THANK YOU for respecting your readers as well as your designers.  THANK YOU for being honest.  WELL DONE.

JaimeG wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 4:34 PM

Dear Knitting Daily Readers,

 

We appreciate your feedback on our recently published copyright eBook, in particular your passionate response to the question of whether readers can make and sell finished objects from instructions found in books and magazines. We never take for granted the commitment we’ve made to provide our readers with accurate information. Our eBook was developed directly from the text of U.S. copyright law and was vetted and approved by our Intellectual Property attorney before we made it available to the public. However, even our attorney says there are many gray areas around copyright law and its interpretation, and to provide further clarification we have revised the Q&A from page 6—see the update below. We'll be replacing the downloadable eBook file with an updated version as soon as possible.

 

We anticipate updating this eBook at least once a year to address our readers’ questions and welcome your feedback. You can always leave a question here in this forum thread or email us at copyright@interweave.com. While we can't answer questions pertaining to individual cases or take the place of a consultation with an IP attorney, we will incorporate the most frequently-asked questions into future editions. 

 

Sincerely,

Jaime Guthals

 

Director of Public Relations

Interweave

 

REVISED Q&A, Know Your Rights: Copyright 101 (page 6):

 

Q: Can I make and sell projects I found in a book or magazine?

The projects instructions we publish at Interweave are intended for personal use and inspiration only – not for commercial purposes. 


In the United States, copyright protections do not extend to the utilitarian aspects of "useful articles," such as clothing or other functional items. This means that only the artful authorship that can be identified separately from the functional aspects of such articles may be copyrightable: the specific ornamentation, for example, on a dress, sweater, or quilt, and not design constrained by the item's function as a dress, sweater, or quilt. In general, designs for items that have any intrinsic utilitarian aspects are very difficult to copyright, and copyright infringement claims over similar-looking or even clearly derivative works are not likely to succeed. 

 

What is always copyrightable are the specific words, images, diagrams, and other materials published as a part of articles and project instructions. At Interweave, we ask that you respect the intended usage of the materials we publish. 

phindingphun wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 3:36 PM

How much do I know about copyright?  Apparently, more than Interweave, because I know I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO SELL ANY "USEFUL OBJECT" I MAKE, even if I use a pattern to create it.

Please retract this terrible publication and apologize to your customers for misleading them (whether it was intentional or not).

This is the sort of organized spread of misinformation that would make some consider looking into the extent of copyright misuse (which is very much an illegal practice) that Interweave has engaged in.

Kate@120 wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 3:30 PM

ETA: Not that I am saying it is not okay to sell used items. Playing devil's advocate here.

Kate@120 wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 3:23 PM

In response to Natalie F and the others who think selling finished objects is wrong: HYPOCRITES!!!

If you have ever sold a used book, dvd, or cd you have purchased, you are being hypocritical. When you buy a used item, like a Disney DVD, unless you or the seller of the used item turns around and gives a percentage of what you paid for it to Disney, you are CHEATING THEM OUT OF A SALE! Because otherwise, you would be buying a copy of the DVD direct from Disney, right?

PEOPLE WHO BUY FINISHED OBJECTS ARE NOT KNITTERS. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BUY YOUR PATTERN.

No one here is saying it's okay to copy and sell, or even give away copies of a designer's pattern. No one is saying it is okay to copy dvds or cds and sell them. However, you feel well within your rights to buy and sell used books, cds, and dvds, and you didn't even spend hours of your time, money, and energy buying needles and yarn, and knitting the finished object. YOU ARE SIMPLY SELLING SOMETHING SOMEONE ELSE MADE WITHOUT GIVING THEM ANY MONEY AFTER YOU HAVE BENEFITTED FROM THE SALE OF THEIR HARD WORK.

And don't say anything about resale value because plenty of used items sell for more than they were bought for originally, if they are out of print or rare. Knit items don't tend to be sold for what they are worth, not to mention, if you want to sell more copies of one pattern, you can sell e-copies or just print more copies, which does take ink and paper, admittedly. A person selling finished objects has to knit a whole new item, everytime. 

EX: IF YOU SELL A USED COPY OF HARRY POTTER WITHOUT SENDING SOME OF THE MONEY YOU GET TO J.K. ROWLING, YOU ARE CHEATING HER OUT OF SOME OF HER INCOME.

Without designers, knitters would have nothing to knit. Without knitters, designers would have no one to pay for their patterns. WE NEED EACH OTHER.

Mary@355 wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 3:10 PM

not at you, a prior poster

on Apr 30, 2012 3:04 PM

@Mary I hope that wasn't directed at me...if so you might want to reread my "thanks" ;)

Mary@355 wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 2:58 PM

How can anyone thank the Interweave staff for this piece of disinformation?  The mere fact that a publication well known in the craft industry would put this out with such glaring errors in fact in amazing--almost as amazing as a few people actually believing that they can control the finished objects made using patterns for useful objects (or an even more egregious error, attempting to explain that they are "allowing" their readers to keep their own property through a one-sided "license"). Copyright law is not contract law, you cannot use it in place of patent law, it has its own regulations that are pretty clearly defined in US law--and not as outlined by the so called experts here

on Apr 30, 2012 2:56 PM

Oh yes, thank you for this very informative eBook!  I'm so grateful to have been informed as to how little respect you have for your customers (and the law for that matter).    You have surely done me a huge favor, as I will save a lot of money now that I will no longer be purchasing your publications.  

emmakay wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 1:56 PM

Let me add a comment on the ethics of the situation. I started my first scarf in, oh, maybe, 1950. I was eight years old and somehow never managed to finish it -- all I knew how to do was garter stitch, so it didn’t look the way I thought knitting should.

I took it up again in in college, then off and on through the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1970s we all made things and sold them in bazaars and craft fairs, and never until the mid-90s did I see any designer claim rights to the finished object. It strikes as a violation of privacy -- how can anyone reach into my home and lay claim to something I own?

Please publish a correction to this misleading article.

 

 

Becky in VT wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 12:29 PM

Thanks to Interweave and their legal department for putting this together! It's too bad that this becomes such a contentious issue when there are, in reality, very few people who make their living selling knitted items that aren't their own designs.

JanetH wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 9:59 AM

I'd like to know thesource of the information contained in this article, and the name of the author and their qualifications to give legal advice.  As many other commenters have pointed out, copyright law grants no protection to the finished object made with a copyrighted pattern.  I'd like to see your sources for the information you have presented as gospel.

ruthhr wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 8:21 AM

Yes, it's so good of Interweave to 'inform' us of what they'd like the law to be, rather than what it actually is.

Yes, thank you so much, Interweave, for 'informing' us regarding the research skills you use when producing these guides (non-existent), of whose interests you are more concerned about protecting (designers whose egocentrism appears to know no bounds), of your feelings about the crafters whom you claim to be trying to 'educate' (contempt) and of how you feel the law should apply in this subject (any way said designers want it to, regardless of what it actually says).

Bravo! At least now you have 'informed' me of all of this (and it is so very 'informative') I can make an 'informed' decision to take my business elsewhere, as I suspect many others will do unless you make even some attempt to correct the mis'information' you seem to be trying to pass off as a representation of the actual current legislation. In the current iteration, this guide contradicts current copyright legislation in the US, UK and Canada, each of which have an easily accessible website with the correct information whch I urge all crafters who wish to sell their finished objects to go and read.

Given that the correct information is so easily and readily accessible, it appears that whoever wrote this guide is too lazy to perform even the most basic research (seriously, just plug 'copyright' and the appropriate country into Google) or that this is a cynical attempt by Interweave to mislead their customers that the law is what they and their designers want it to be, rather than what it is. If you want to take them at their word, go ahead - but it's YOUR rights they're trampling on and bear in mind that misusing copyright legislation in the way they are trying to is actually illegal. Not very 'ethical', huh?

 

EleanorL wrote
on Apr 30, 2012 2:34 AM

Thanks for this Interweave. Very informative.

annlg wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 3:58 PM

Looking at patterns purchased from Interweave Knits, the most recent being the Belted Wrap Jacket purchased on February 11th of this year, I am curious as to why your patterns state "Not to be reprinted"  "All rights reserved"  after the copyright mark, with no mention of the need to obtain permission to sell items made from the patterns?  You have room for advertising, you have room to print the copyright statement on all seven pages of the pattern, you have room to print instructions for three different types of cast on, yet you don't manage to print anywhere in seven pages that if I dislike the finished jacket and decide to sell it on ebay I'm breaking the law according to you?

Tell you what, if I do decide I don't like it, since you're claiming rights to it,  I'll send it to you, with an invoice for the yarn and my time.

ruthhr wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 3:56 PM

Well, I would really like if you could outline for us why you feel that selling FOs is ethically wrong. I'd really like to understand your reasoning. You say it is 'clearly' so, but I'm genuine when I say I don't see the ethical dimension of this issue.

Laws tend to be based upon what is ethically and morally acceptable to the majority of the population to whom they apply. And if you don't like the law, branding people who act within it as 'unethical' is simply a minority view which will be rejected by most others.

I am saying this from the point of view of a designer. I don't feel there is anything 'unethical' about people selling the FOs they make from my patterns. I'm more than happy for them to do so - immensely flattered if they did, in actual fact - but even if I wasn't, I understand that the law permits it so I would consider it ehtically questionable to try to prevent them from doing something they are entitled to do by misrepresenting the law and questioning their ethical and/or moral stance.

So I would be interested in your reasons for feeling it is 'clearly' wrong. It is not at all 'clear' to me and many others, so I would be grateful if you could explain your point of view. "Because the designer doesn't want you to" is not a good enough answer unless they can also explain to me their reasons for not wanting you to. If you cannot explain your reasons, or outline why it is 'wrong' or 'unethical', then the only conclusion I can draw is that when this argument is used, its proponents are resorting to bullying and insults to attempt to achieve what they cannot by using sound reasoning and legal recourse.

I also agree with the poster who pointed out that this was not originally about 'ethics' - it was about empirical facts which have been presented incorrectly, a bit like saying 2+2=5. It is interesting to note that very few people attempt to challenge the law any more; it appears that that battle is won. Instead, we see morals and ethics dragged in, with no clear and reasoned explanation attached. This makes it a spurious and offensive argument which does nothing to improve peoples' opinions of the designers who use this approach.

 

on Apr 29, 2012 2:56 PM

Just because you CAN lie about the law and spread misinformation to suit your convenience, does that mean you should?

NatalieF@3 wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 2:53 PM

I'm not a designer.

Never have been, I don't have those skills. 

Just because you CAN have an affair with a married man, does that mean you should?

Just because you CAN avoid telling the sales clerk she gave you too much change, does that mean you should?

Just because you CAN drop litter when no-one is looking, does than mean it doesn't matter?

 

Maybe your ethical stance is different from mine. That's OK. I would rather be me.

on Apr 29, 2012 2:39 PM

This isn't about ethics; the document purports to be an explanation of copyright and it is inaccurate.  These are very objective facts.  However, if you'd like to talk about ethics, I have a question for you.  Do you think it is ethical to lie about the law just because you don't like what it says?

ruthhr wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 2:35 PM

With reference to the comment below from NatalieF, who I presume is a designer.

How is it in any way 'unethical' to do something that is legal?

And please ask yourself, how 'ethical' is it to lie to your customers regarding their rights, to defraud them buy selling them 'licenses' they don't require, and to bully and harrass them when they do something they are perfectly entitled to do, just because you don't like it?

How does a crafter selling their FO hurt your income or IP? They buyer is buying an FO, NOT a pattern. You haven't lost a sale. Your income stream is not damaged. It will be damaged, however, by repeated attempts to subvert current legislation to suit your own agenda, as more and more crafters are electing to buy from designers who do not display this attitude. If it's simply because someone else is making money, I still fail to see the problem. It's legal - so no ethical difficulty there. Oh, wait, is it because they might, one day, eventually, if they keep at it, make more than you? Do I hear "It's not fair?" Tough. Grow up. If you don't think you make enough money from your patterns, charge more or change professions, but don't *** about someone earning money legally being 'unethical'. As I said before, many designers earn money by selling 'licenses' which people don't require. Ethical? I don't think so.

When you make a career choice, you have to accept the laws as they stand pertaining to that career choice. You have chosen to be a designer. The law allows people to sell the items they create from your designs. If you don't like it, again, go and do something else.

To quote: "Just because you can, does it mean that you should?" Well, you can try to persuade people you have rights you don't using copyright legislation, but as to whether you 'should' - the law is quite clear on this. Misuse of copyright legislation is an offence. And accusing people of being 'unethical' when you've run out of other arguments is offensive.

The only people who should examine their 'ethics' in this situation are the designers who continue to try to convince the crafting world that the law doesn't apply to them, or applies differently. It doesn't. The law is what it is, not what they want it to be and the sooner they accept this and move on, the sooner all this unpleasantness can be forgotten and we can all get back to doing the crafts we love without such a nasty taste being left in our mouths.

NatalieF@3 wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 2:12 PM

I am a bit disturbed that the commenters are so concerned about what is legal, and not so concerned about whether knitting from a pattern and selling the item is ethical

I don't know enough about US law to know the technical legalities, but I do know that regardless of whether the law says you can use a designer's pattern to make items for sale or not, it's just not right. 

Do we really need to resort to legal definitions and precedents to excuse what is questionable behaviour?

Just because you can, does it mean that you should

Curvyjax wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 1:56 PM

Thanks for publishing this - it gives a clear stance on rights in different situations. Although copyright law differs between countries this has clarified what the expectations are in the USA. It's very useful to me as both a user of patterns by American designers and a knitting pattern designer - especially as my first UK magazine patterns are about to be released for me to sell. I realise there is some debate in the comments, but it has clarified my understanding a little more.

on Apr 29, 2012 1:03 PM

I'm very disappointed that Interweave believes it is appropriate to lie to its customers regarding the legality of selling finished objects.  I find this to be a highly unethical business practice.  I hope this is simly an oversight and that a correction and will be published so that I can continue to purchase Interweave products without feeling guilty for supporting a company that perpetuates misinformation.  An apology wouldn't hurt either.  

AnnKingstone wrote
on Apr 29, 2012 11:44 AM

Nice, clear, easy and quick read. Well done Interweave! :o)

BettyW@27 wrote
on Apr 28, 2012 7:27 PM

It surprises me to learn that Interweave considers my purchase of their publications a license as I was not informed prior to purchase nor did I sign a contract accepting any licensing terms. Licenses are contracts, which require both parties to accept whatever terms are agreed upon. They cannot be issued unilaterally.

dmandy wrote
on Apr 28, 2012 7:20 PM
This is on page 6 of the download. Q: Can I make and sell projects I found in a book or magazine? Generally, no. This infringes on the copyright holder’s right to benefit from and control the work. Some copyright holders make a note that small-scale production and selling of projects based on their works is okay; when in doubt, check with the copyright holder. so they do give the wrong information about copyright.
on Apr 28, 2012 7:09 PM

Umm, no. I can't believe you started this book with wrong information. Copyright does NOT include the FO.  It only covers the pattern itself. The  knitter has every right to sell whatever they make from a pattern.

"Question via email to the U.S. Copyright Office: I want to sell a knitting pattern I wrote complete with step-by-step instructions and a photo of the finished project. I understand that my written work and photo cannot be reproduced or distributed without my consent. My question regards the finished product produced by the individual who made it using my pattern: Do I have any claim to what is done with that finished product such as how it can be used or if it can be sold for profit?

Response via email from the U.S. Copyright Office: Copyright in a pattern normally pertains to the pattern itself, not to the object that you construct from the pattern. If the pattern, however, includes original artwork that would be incorporated into the work you make, then you may need permission to use it commercially. An example of that would be a needlework pattern depicting original artwork.An example of the opposite would be a dress pattern: the dress you make from the pattern is not subject to copyright protection. ********************************************* U.S. Copyright Office Library of Congress 101 Independence Ave SE Washington DC 20559 (202) 707-3000 www.copyright.gov"

 

In addition, clothing is not copyrightable in the United States of America because it is a useful item.

I am disappointed in Knitting Daily for not doing do dilegence on researching this information and instead are choosing to perpetuate misinformation circulating in the knitting world. Highly unethical of you to try and convince knitters they don't have rights that they do. Shame on you!

ruthhr wrote
on Apr 28, 2012 1:11 PM

 

I've just downloaded this pdf, and would like to let you know that you're wrong, on the first page no less.

You do not need the permission of the designer or the copyright holder to sell the items you make using a pattern you have legally acquired. You do not require any form of license either. Copyright legislation does not extend to encompass the finished item made from the pattern, over which neither the pattern's designer, nor the pattern's copyright holder, has any control or right of ownership. The ownership of the finished item rests solely with the person who makes it and as such it is their right to dispose of it in any way they wish, including selling it.

It would be appropriate for you to amend the information you have provided, in order that knitters are accurately informed of their rights.

It is also an offence to misuse copyright legislation to attempt to assign to youself and enforce rights which you do not hold.

I hope that you will take this on board, and make the necessary corrections.