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Beth Pitard

question about paid patterns

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If I pay for a pattern, does the designer have the right to tell me that I have to give her contact information to the person I give the finished item to? 

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I've seen many patterns that have asked to be sourced as to who created the pattern.  I don't have a problem with a small tag on an item I've made saying I made something and who the pattern is created by.  Most people who would buy something don't want to spend the time to make it anyway.  

 

Not sure how anyone could ever enforce it...

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NO! You can give the item to anyone you please!

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No.  It's the same as if she self-published a novel, you bought a copy, and she demanded to know if you let anybody else read it.

 

She only has the rights to the words in her pattern.   Copyright:  she has the right to control the initial sale of each printed copy of her pattern.  But once she's sold 1 copy, she can't control the resale of that 1 copy (if printed - I'm pretty sure you can't sell an electronic copy).  The only thing she can legally stop you from doing is making duplicate copies of the pattern and selling them (or even giving them away). She has no rights over the product that you make from it.

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Thank you all! There is someone with a beautiful afghan pattern for sale (here on Crochetville) but I won't buy it now simply because of what she wrote at the end. I wasn't sure if maybe the rules had changed regarding this since the majority of what I do is for charity and I never really purchase patterns OR sell anything I make. Here is what she wrote:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Feel free to make as many of these as you like for local craft fairs/auctions/raffles/bazaars, but please
do not sell finished items online. If making for charity, please let me know the name of the charity & include my contact info with the item (email address and website removed). If you have any questions or comments or just want to join like-minded souls, please join my Ravelry group at (ravelry group removed). Thanks!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Technically, that falls under Terms of Use - not Copyright.

 

A clause like that is only legal if you are able to read it prior to purchasing the pattern.  It's no different than saying 'local sales are fine but don't sell finished items online'.  The designer can add anything they want to the Terms of Use section of the Copyright notice.  If you have the ability to read it prior to purchase - your purchase constitutes agreeing to the terms.

 

If you don't agree with it then either don't purchase or use (it counts for free patterns as well) or go ahead and do it anyway.  There's no one out there that's going to enforce it.

 

I'm actually curious why she wants the name of the charity and her contact info given to them.  Have you asked her?  I would if I was interested in the pattern.  We can sit around all day and wonder why she says it.  Who knows - she may have a valid reason.

 

I wrote an article on my blog about the difference between copyrights and terms of use.  http://rosereddesigns.blogspot.com/p/explaining-copyright-terms-of-use.html

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The Pattern Author does have the right to limit the commercial use of their pattern and there are many cases for this precident.

 

As RoseRed correctly points out, this limitation on the terms of use  has to be available to the buyer prior to purchase and clearly that is the case here.

 

How many times you use the pattern to create gifts, charitable donations OTHER THAN TO AN AUCTION or any other situation where money will change hands, may also depend on the cirumstances when it comes to FINISHED items from the pattern. and each situation would need to be reviewed by competent council to see if your plan fall into fair use or would be judged a derivitive. 

 

I suspect the Pattern Author was addressing.  You make an item, donate it to an auction for sale.  She has reasonably requested that you provide the buyer with her contact details, 

 

It also "sounds like" s/he is selling finished items from this pattern on line and the terms of use  s/he has would not allow you to do so.

It also sounds like s/he is not objecting if you wish to use the pattern to make finished goods for sale at say a local craft show or farmer's market etc.

 

And, given the amount of work that goes into producing a good pattern, I have never understood why anyone would object to giving credit.  Even if you choose colors and yarns etc,  what is the big deal about a line that reads "based on an original pattern from MaryTheDesigner for more information visit MaryTheDesigner.com" 

 

Now I have to read RoseRed's blog

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Actually, not a one of us who puts a pattern out in the public, for sale or for free, can control what people do with the items they make from it. We may want something made for charity only, or may want to limit people to making 1 item, but we can't. That is not part of the copyright law. People don't want to believe it, but almost nothing we make is covered by copyright. The way we write it out is covered ~ that's it! The idea is not covered. Title is not covered. Item is not covered, unless maybe it can be proven to be original artwork. If it is useful it's not covered. You might get lucky and your diagrams, pictures or graphs might be covered. Your intention of what you want people to do with it is not covered. If you didn't register it with the Copyright Office and it isn't quite intricate, forget it.

 

The Tabberone site below is by 2 lawers. This is a long read, but very enlightening. The pattern manufacturers they use the most as examples are for clothing patterns for cloth, but includes crochet, knit, etc.

 

Patterns And How They Are Affected By

Copyright Law or, Debunking The Lies

Told By Pattern Manufacturers

Karen Dudnikov & Michael Meadors ~ © 1999-2012

Tabber’s Temptations

Tabberone DOT com / Trademarks / CopyrightLaw / Patterns DOT shtml

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I just read RoseRed's article. Very good! She is so right that a lot of the problems around copyright is moral. We think things should be "thus" and feel hurt and betrayed if people don't do things how we want it.

 

You have to think long and hard before putting patterns out there. If you don't want people to sell items they make from your pattern, there WILL be someone who will. There WILL be someone who will barely change your pattern and claim it as their own. Sometimes someone will sell your pattern when you give it out free. You've got to figure out how to deal with these people, because you will probably not be able to do a thing by saying your work is under copyright. And can you afford to take them to court?

 

A lot of what goes on with our patterns, is that we are really on the honor system, and we expect others to honor our wishes. Luckily, most crafters are kind and seem to be honest, because they do honor our wishes without it having to be backed by legalities.

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As RoseRed has made clear in her article, Terms of Use are not part of copyrights - except as it pertains to derivitive work.  If, as it seems likely, the pattern author is also selling completed items and therfore has terms of use that include limitation on selling finished items, they could enforce those terms of use and likely bring elements of copyright into the case.

 

And yes many of us are aware of the opinion sites that claim to debunk - the problem is they never support their claims with in context information from their home country, the Geneva Convention or other reliable source.

 

Yes it is a moral issue as well.  Perhaps that is why every major religious text, Quor'n, New and Old Testements, Torah, teachings of Budha and more all include some version of the "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors good"

 

My advice, if someone is concerned they are harming another, maybe they need to rethink. 

 

And with that in mind, I am "dropping out" of the conversation and will apologize to Donna & Amy for failing to follow CV Guidelines.

 

 

 

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Discussions about copyright issues are allowed here, as long as no one posts anything that appears to be giving legal advice to another person AND the comments are polite, respectful, yada yada yada.

 

There is debate about whether additional Terms of Use can be applied to crochet patterns in an attempt to place restrictions on use that are not allowable under copyright law.

 

I'm part of a group of crochet designers who are working with an attorney to get a document written that will specifically address many copyright issues, with document authorship accredited to this attorney who specializes in copyright/trademark AND as related to creative arts industries. I will go check our document to make sure the Terms of Use issue will be addressed.

 

In general, for Terms of Use to be legally binding, they must be readily apparent to the consumer before purchase AND there must be a separate, clickable opt-in mechanism at the time of purchase. Crochetville's Terms of Use for pattern purchase do not provide for any specific restrictions (other than you cannot resell any electronic patterns you purchase, since they're always available in your account for you to redownload). There is no separate opt-in mechanism available for use by individual designers.

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