Friday, November 18, 2011

Stealing Patterns Friday, November 18, 2011


Wendy Johnson, at Wendy Knits, had a very interesting blog post yesterday.  It seems that she found a website that was a source of free knitting patterns.  Now I love free patterns.  I scour Ravelry for good, free, patterns, but I also own a number of knitting books and subscribe to some knitting magazines.  Well, a new website with free patterns is another great source for my knitting.  Or so it would seem.

So what's the problem?  Well, there was one of Wendy's own patterns being "shared" on the website.  Without her permission.  She was, in my opinion, very understandably angry.  It is one thing to donate a piece of creativity.  It is quite another to have your creative product taken without your knowledge, copied, and passed out. 

As you can tell from the little book show at the top of this blog, I am a children's writer.  So I think you can understand that this subject is near and dear to my heart.  It is one thing to borrow a friend's knitting book, or check one out from the library.  It is quite another to then copy patterns from that book, and post them on a website for others to use.

I hope you will go to Wendy's site and read what she has to say about it. 

Also, in the same vein, there is a good blog post about knitting copyright at Samurai Knitter.  I have no idea how  "legal" her post is, but it makes sense to me.  I know from my own writing experience, that the story idea really can't be copyrighted.  For instance, Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl.  Pretty standard.  However, the specific written passages can not be copied.  This seems to be echoed in knitting patterns. 

It becomes a bit more problematic in knitting, because really, how many ways can you describe certain techniques?  For instance, the way to cast on for a TAAT Toes Up Sock? However, every time I have seen this cast on recommended for the starting a pair of toes up socks, the designer thanks Judy Becker and says she was the creator of "Judy's Magic Cast On."  I think that most designers who use this cast on in books, also say that they are explaining it with Judy's permission

This topic came up a lot with all the music sharing sites.  Again, it is one thing to go to some one's house and listen to their CD.  Or borrow their CD.  It is another thing to download that CD to the web and allow anyone and everyone to copy it for free.

Here is a link to yet another discussion of sharing knitting patterns:  Knitting Paradise: A knitting and crochet forum

I don't want to offend anyone reading this blog.  But just don't do it.  It is stealing. 

OK, I'll get down off my soapbox now.

C. A. Losi

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