Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Can We Talk?

I enjoyed a bit of online shopping yesterday.  I bought some solar thread and also some glow-in-the-dark thread from allthreads.com; I visited patternworks.com and purchased their last seven crochet hook charms and some zippered plastic bags to keep some of my completed projects in. 

I then ventured over to
Annie'sAttic and felt like I hit crochet lotto with the many sale items they had featured -- such as getting the $22.95 book, Crochet Your Way, that I keep borrowing from my local library, for $6.49! (see page 13 of their sale; there's only 3 left)  I ordered their "roll hooks" for .99 cents each; the Cro-Tat Master Hook set for $3.99; the book, 101 Easy Tunisian Stitches ... and well, you get my point.  I had fun shopping!  Now I await for all my goodies to arrive!  :)

However, one thing that upset me quite a bit yesterday was discovering a website offering copyrighted patterns free for the taking.  From cover to cover, page for page.  Patterns from Leisure Arts, Annies Attic, Kustom Krafts and so on.  Many of which I recognize the designer's names.  But no where was a single word about IF permission was granted to post these works, just a pledge that more will be posted in the future.  I figure, based on what I spent at the various online sites I shopped at yesterday, that the violating website had THOUSANDS of dollars worth of patterns posted.  THOUSANDS.  (No, I will not share the URL.  It has been turned over to those  owning the copyrights.  As of this moment, all the illegal posted patterns have been removed from the website.  I would not want to be in that person's shoes as there may be HUGE financial repercussions!) bonnie.dollteck.com

And this really has me questioning if I should go ahead with my plans of self-publishing the patterns I've been working on.  I have to question if it's worth all the hard work.  What's to stop other unscrupulous people from taking my patterns and openly publishing them without my permission on the Internet?  I'd have to figure out what resources I would have to have to go after violators; would I be able to without financially hurting my family?   Since I'm not a big publishing company -- I'm a Mom trying to work around my children's school hours to help pay the bills -- I'd have to decide if it's worth it.   What about my time? Do I want to spend my time policing my patterns or do I want to spend it watching my children grow up?  I'm sure you can see why I'm a bit disheartened.  Maybe it's best I keep my focus on having my work published by the big companies with the resources -- but then again, if folks keep stealing from the publishing companies then they're less apt to publish more materials because they won't be able to meet their bills; their payrolls.  It's a vicious cycle where everyone loses.

There are many legitimately free patterns available on the Internet, on yarn labels, and as tear sheets in the craft stores.  There are libraries with pattern books available for loan.  We need to get the message out; we need to do the right thing.  The honorable thing.  If we want more patterns, then we need to do as I did -- buy them, or borrow them.  Not steal them!


Anonymous said...

Copyright is so frustrating! I worry sometimes about the free patterns what if someone claims them as there own then sells them :(  

Why oh why did I go to the Annies Sale???? I got some of the cro-tat hooks and the book as well so it's down to two books now.  I also got the tunisan book. I need more hours in the day.

Anonymous said...

I think that you have to go ahead and do what you want to do and not worry about the rip off things. There will always be those that tke advantage no matter how many precautions you put up. But the majority of people are good and honest and you will be rewarded with there support and you can deal with any of the negative if and when they come along.
Fay Lynn