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Question About Designing


ArtMama

Question

I've only been crocheting for less than a year. I've gotten down the mechanics of a few things and still have a lot to learn.

 

I was making a hat one day, just a typical beanie...and towards the end I got a little creative. I was working from one particular pattern, but it was just just typical hat increasing...then when I got down to the creative part that was where the pattern got unique, I did something a little different.

 

How do you know, when you design something, that it's original...and not something that has been designed before?

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generally, if you make something up out of your head, you've designed something original. It has been known to happen that two completely unrelated people have come up with extremely similar designs, even close to the same time. In some ways, there is a limit to the variations or designs. (A hat is a hat is a hat, and all that) But creativity is limitless, and I think it would be fair to say that you designed at least part of that hat.

 

there are plenty of threads on here that discuss copyright, design, and so on, that may help you even more. As a rule of thumb, a stitch in and of itself cannot be copyrighted, though the particular way of writing it can be, particularly a complex stitch. Also a basic idea (ie purse, hat, etc) cannot be copywritten. How you apply the mechanics and stitches you've learned, and what you do with them, can be entirely unique to you, and therefore, your original design.

 

 

I hope that helps answer your question.

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"How do you know, when you design something, that it's original...and not something that has been designed before? "

 

There's actually 2 questions here. If it's original you know - you made it up by yourself.

 

You don't know if it's been designed before. Most likely - it probably has in some form. With the sheer amount of patterns that are out there even the most original pattern that came entirely out of your head probably has something out there that's similar to it.

 

Does that mean you shouldn't? Of course not. Do what you love.

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Well I don't think I'm really experienced enough to design anything. I'm just curious. I'm a really creative person and I would like to get to that stage of expertise, some day. I'm like that with my music. I wrote poetry my whole life and took lessons in piano and guitar...but it took a really long time to come up with something original, musically, and I was in collaboration with someone else. But I was challenged and it was fun.

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How do you know, when you design something, that it's original...

 

Caveat: I am not an IP Attorney I have just spent many hours becoming educated on its nuances and then re-education by several of the best at this particularly confusing area of international & US law.

 

You are the ORIGINAL AUTHOR =

 

When you start with yarn, hook, blank paper and pencil (or computer or pen you get the idea)

 

Elements of the project might not be completely original, i.e, use of a stitch motif, or conventions such as commonly accepted standard abbreviations, and here is when it gets a bit tricky, use of a utilitarian term such as Hat, scarf, shawl, cardigan, pullover, v-neck. Those words by themselves can be used by anyone,

 

However if you gave the pattern you author a title like:

ArtMama's Nifty Noro Beanie

that IP may well be suitable for copyright protections.

 

For the situation you described, because you did not write the basic instruction, it would be considered a derivative work.

 

It is BOTH the way you develop the instructions and how you present your information that determines if it infringes or is suitable for copyright protection.

 

As to the second part of your question, the term used to describe two unrelated people who come up with the same design is "Parallel Development"

 

At the end of the day, if doubt, consult an attorney versed in Intellectual Property as it applies to COPYRIGHT - Service Marks, Trade Marks, Patents etc are each their own speciality.

 

DO enjoy your version, talk about it as inspired by, or using the basic instruction in the pattern authored by Whom Ever (give them props for helping) and ONLY give details about the part YOU created.

 

Most importantly

 

Enjoy The Making

 

Wheat

Edited by wheat
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It's also partially a personal thing - because the way you learned how to crochet a hat comes from making many hats from other people's patterns, so when you go to design your own hat you'll naturally take bits from all those patterns & end up with your own idea. But my personal general rule of thumb? If you have to ask, it's not original (enough) to waste my time on writing it up.

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