You may see the title of this post and assume that I’m about to tell you a story about my 4-year-old. Sadly, you would be assuming wrong.
Let’s talk a little about one of my biggest pet peeves as a crocheter.
Do you already know where I’m going with this? The crochet community (and all handmade, from what I understand) has been abuzz recently with much talk, and even more confusion about what “copyright” encompasses in the world of handmade goods. I’m going to focus on crochet, because that’s what I’ve familiarized myself with.
Some designers seem to be under the impression that if they write a pattern, it gives them license to determine how things are produced by that pattern, and furthermore, what may become of any items created using it. These designers are either blatantly making up their own ‘laws’, twisting the existing law to suit their purpose, or are simply unaware of the details covered in the actual law. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume it’s the latter.
Please forgive my crude drawing skills 😛
In a nutshell — or read directly from the copyright law website here— the copyright ends with the written pattern. The end. Easy peasy, right?
There is no “for personal use only”. There is no “You may sell after the purchase of a cottage license”. There is no “you may not sell any finished items”. There’s not even a legal “Please link back to my web address”. That is just a common courtesy (that we really all should follow. I mean, really, let’s give credit where it’s due).
This is a pet peeve of mine because we’re all in this together. We all started somewhere. We’ve all taken the time to learn how to crochet the stitches, and read the patterns. I don’t understand where this sense of entitlement came from (MINE!! MINE!! MINE!!). This idea that someone else owns the rights to something I created, essentially from a piece of string, is outrageous. The crochet community is, for the most part, a very tightly knit (no pun intended) group. I guess there are always a few “bad apples”, as they say.
In my opinion, it boils down to this (I literally cut and pasted this from an online discussion I was in earlier today and apologize for any redundancy):