Today I wrote a little something for my new blog about an ethical question regarding knitting patterns. My blog link is in my sig if anyone's interested in the whole rambling thing, but here's the basic gist of it:
I came across a pattern yesterday that I'd love to try someday. The sketchy thing about it is that the person who posted the pattern is charging for it, and it's not their original work. It's an admitted copy of someone else's design.
It seems a bit unethical (not to mention illegal) to charge for a pattern that's a knockoff of someone else's design. But at the same time, I don't think an "official" version of this pattern has ever been available for sale. The person put a lot of work into figuring out the pattern, and I'm sure that took a lot of time and effort. On one hand, I don't have a problem with compensating them for the work they put in. But it still feels a bit off to me.
I'm trying to decide if offering the pattern for free would be any better. After all, it's still not their work. But at least if it was free it would seem like they were trying to share something cool that you can't normally find a pattern for, and that they were doing it for love of the item. By selling it (for a price I'd consider high for what it is even for an original design), it seems like they're just trying to make money on someone else's original concept.
I guess I was just wondering what others thought about this. I'm sorry if it's a little vague, but I didn't want to link to the site or name any names because I'm more interested finding out what others think about the concept of designer knockoff patterns than this specific case.