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Topic: What to do with people selling stuff based on my free pattern?  (Read 877 times)
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« on: December 13, 2010 03:15:20 PM »

Last year I made a pattern for some traditional mittens based on a old pattern my granny used to knit. Itīs free and available on ravelry, because I think itīs gorgeous and what better way to honor my granny than to spread her pattern all over the globe, eh?

And now i see a lady has started selling mittens online based on the pattern.

As I see it I have three ways to go about it
1) Email her and ask her not to sell it
2) Email her and tell her I am aware that she's selling my mittens and ask her to give me credit at least
3) Just ignore it because it was bound to happen, and will surly happen again.

I'm a bit ambivalent about 1. Because knitting a pair of stranded mittens is work-intensive and the knitting itself is absolutely worth the price. And the idea was to spread the pattern. But I feel like itīs rude nonetheless.

As for number 2, it would feel a bit strange, her linking from her shop to my blog (where the pattern is)? And Iīve never been overly concerned about credit, not really...

And 3 - when I put it up on ravelry I know it could happen - because when you put something up on the internet you donīt have control, not really. You can write disclaimers all you want, you still donīt have control and itīs just silly imagining you have. If Iīd want control I wouldnīt have put it up on ravelry. 

So... anyone have any thoughts? What would you do? Iīm not to sure how to go about it, itīs just strange.

I collect the pieces of insight I find on the street and sew them into a quilt of understanding.
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010 06:23:07 AM »

Hi Syrlig, I've seen those mittens and you did a great job designing them! Smiley

However, I hate to be the one that says this, because this is always such a heated arguement, but there is a big misconception regarding copyright of patterns.  Copyright applies to the pattern only, not to any finished garment that comes of it. In my last job, part of my position was to file copyrights and trademarks, so I had to learn a lot about them.  You can email/call and look up the law at copyright.gov if you want to read more.

With that said, I think it is pretty rotten that this person is selling mitts made from your pattern without giving you credit, which she should be doing, because the design is still yours.  If she is claiming that they are her design then you may have legal grounds there.  So I would go with option #2, which seems to be the best way to go.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010 06:32:55 AM by striker923 - Reason: typo » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010 08:06:27 AM »

There's legally nothing you can do, she made them, she has a right to do whatever she wants with them. It would be nice if she credited you for designing the pattern, you can ask her to do that, with or without a link, but she may say no. If she claims it's her pattern, you can contact the site owners/administrator that she's selling them on and see if they can do something about acknowledging you as the designer.

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010 01:36:26 PM »

i'm a writer --and this happens a lot--people quote you, copy things you wrote and post it on their blog --you're torn b/c it's nice to get noticed/read/knitted but you should get credit. i think the best you can hope for is to ask her to put a big asterisk/credit that says "pattern design and written by XX from original work by X grandmother" or whatever you want it to say. If you want blog traffic --ask for a link. if it makes you uncomfortable, don't. sometimes all the internet sharing is annoying....
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010 01:51:32 PM »

Yup, legally she has the option to sell items made from the pattern.  It would be nice if she gave you credit though!  Maybe a nice sounding e-mail to her saying,

hey, great job with these mittens!  i notice they're from my pattern.  I'm so glad you're getting use out of it; would you mind letting people know where the pattern came from?

try the sweet approach first, anyway Smiley

- barbara

Sewing and Crafting Momma to two very sweet kiddos born at home on February 19, 2007 and September 27, 2009.
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