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Is this considered an 'original design'?

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I recently discovered a wonderful seller on Etsy who sells crochet patterns, http://www.etsy.com/shop/hollanddesigns?ref=shop_sugg


and on her site, she specifically says that one can sell items made by her designs through one's own Etsy shop, so this specific situation is besides the point, but I wondered:


If I were to take a stitch design from one pattern and use it in the patterns for another design, is that considered original? For instance, I used the shell pattern in her drawstring halter top, and used it to make her Empire Cardigan. It came out so beautifully for my little niece that I plan on making one for myself.


If I were to ever sell them (working on setting up my own shop) I would definitely give credit where it's due but I'm just wondering how the mixing and matching of stitches and patterns is looked upon. Thoughts? Even though I would give credit where I found it, I don't want to do anything that goes against the Crocheter's Code.

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That get's into the gray areas of copyright.


Stitch patterns are not covered under copyright. If you see a shell pattern that you like you can use it to create anything you like with it.


The entire design industry is based on copying designs. If you like the shape of a specific sweater and create your own not using another persons pattern - that's fine.


If you are using her pattern for a basis then it falls into derivative works. The original copyright holder has the rights to the derivative works.


Now - here's the thing - 'useful items' such as clothing and blankets and anything else that isn't art for the sake of it being art isn't actually covered. What is covered are the exact words and pictures included in the pattern.


Ideas such as the basic shape of a sweater or blanket aren't covered under copyrights. A lot of people don't seem to understand that.


It comes down to a moral decision. Do you want to be known as a designer who copies other's work. Technically, it's legal.


Cville guidelines are stricter than actual copyright law. If you create a design copied from someone elses work it's against the guidelines to post it. Amy can give you a fuller explanation.


Here's an article I wrote that explains a lot about copyrights - maybe you can find something helpful in it. http://rosereddesigns.blogspot.com/p/explaining-copyright-terms-of-use.html


A really good rule of thumb - if you have to ask if it's considered original - it's usually not.

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I would contact the designer and let her know you want to sell items made by melding 2 of her patterns, ask her if she objects to the idea.


personally i don't think that qualifies as "original", but in this case i think the designer"s feelings are the important consideration, since if i understand correctly you are not talking about writing up a pattern and distributing it, only about selling the finished items.

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Yes, I would never dream of writing up a pattern, as that is way over my skill and creativity level. I would. Not think of passing anything off as my own, but this was more of a general question. I see stitch patterns everywhere that can be made into simple.cardigans. I was asking more as a guideline of where I should stop rather than as a guideline of what I could claim.


And on a side note, I absolutely love her designs as she writes many of her patterns in a way that that can be sized for larger than indicated on her patterns.

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I think everyone else has done a good job of discussing the issues. There are two separate issues: modifying an existing pattern to use a different stitch pattern to 1) sell the finished item and 2) publish your own version of the pattern. I know the original poster didn't intend to write a pattern, but I'm going to discuss the general issues for the benefit of anyone reading.


Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, so please don't take this as legal advice. Anyone who actually wants to do something like this should read copyright law for themselves (http://www.copyright.gov) and determine if they believe they should seek the advice of an attorney specializing in intellectual property law.


1) Since useful items (including clothing) cannot be copyrighted (other than someone's exact wording and photos and layout used in a pattern), you would most likely be okay to sell your finished item, with or without credit to the original designer.


2) Because useful items cannot be copyrighted, it might in some circumstances be legal under copyright law to take a pattern, change the stitch pattern, rewrite everything in your own words, and then sell the pattern yourself. However, while doing something like that might result in sales to customers, you'd quickly get a pretty negative name for yourself.


Caveat to 2): There is a difference between pretty much copying an existing design with the minor difference in stitch pattern and referencing the original design as you work as opposed to using the original design as a springboard too come up with your own concept, design, and pattern, with no further close reference to the original. The first is copying, which won't be taken well by other designers. The second is being inspired by something, which is okay. It's sort of a matter of common sense of being able to find the separation line between the two.

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