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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure I am going to get yelled at here. I always do when I bring up this subject. LOL

I am not a lawyer and give all my patterns away for free. I think of it as Karma... payback for all the hundreds of patterns I have downloaded and used that others have shared for free. Just makes sense to me. Plus, I don't want the hassle of selling patterns, people contacting me asking questions, etc. My own bag.

I recently visited my LYS and saw a beautiful giant cowl that had been knitted by the shop owner. I asked about the pattern and she said it was available free with purchase of the yarn ONLY. I loved it so much that I didn't blink at paying $75.00 for a small yardage of yarn to make the cowl and happily went home with pattern in hand.

As I was knitting the cowl, I made a couple of minor modifications.

As I knew I would be posting on KP I also searched the internet for the pattern as I knew inevitably someone on here may ask where it came from and could they buy it. I cannot find it anywhere. There is no copyright information on the pattern, so I contacted the shop owner and she said that she received the pattern from someone else and didn't feel comfortable "selling" the pattern but did offer it free with the yarn.

The pattern is called Chunky Neck Warmer and has "Polder Knits" printed at the top. The pattern is partially hand-written and partially typed. There are also notes (assumably made by the shop owner as she knit it) hand written on the edges.

This copyright situation is never cut and dry for some reason. While I would never want to take money out of the hands of designers who WANT to make a profit from their designs.... a couple of comments from "those in the know" would be greatly appreciated.

BTW... I also did some research on the internet about this and the "gist" is that there must be some copyright information on the article or pattern as well as the author or designer's identifying information for it not to be "public domain". Who really knows? Not me!

Please don't scold me when I ask the question.... Can I share this or my slightly modified version of this cowl? Obviously the person who wrote the pattern (which appears to already have been modified at least twice) is not concerned about people profiting from it.... it appears not to be for SALE anywhere that I can find.

Signed..... Trying to do the right thing.
 

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It seems that this pattern has been shared and modified more than once already and that you've made your best efforts to discover if this is a published, copyright pattern. I agree with your LYS that it doesn't feel right to sell the pattern but that sharing it is ok in these circumstances -- but I also tend to give most of my patterns away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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AmyKnits said:
galaxycraft said:
This is what I found so far:
http://www.knit-purl.com/store/pc/Brick-Road-Cowl-Pattern-9p7946.htm#details

This cowl is designed by "Polder Knits".
Under additional details it states the designer.

Still searching some more.
Thanks for the help. I found the one you linked, also. It is not even close to the one that I made though. There is also someone named Polder on ravelry, but NOT Polder knits and no cowls. Frustrating.
Was just posting that link to show there was indeed a designer by that name.
The only one I found.
Yah, I am not finding anything else by Polder Knits.
I am now thinking that maybe the pattern you have was a prototype of hers/his/theirs for future consideration.
Where thoughts were being put on paper and revised from there.
Maybe even never came about.

You have done everything humanly possible to track it down.
So..I don't see a problem with posting your version.
BTW, I like the way yours turned out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
galaxycraft said:
AmyKnits said:
galaxycraft said:
This is what I found so far:
http://www.knit-purl.com/store/pc/Brick-Road-Cowl-Pattern-9p7946.htm#details

This cowl is designed by "Polder Knits".
Under additional details it states the designer.

Still searching some more.
Thanks for the help. I found the one you linked, also. It is not even close to the one that I made though. There is also someone named Polder on ravelry, but NOT Polder knits and no cowls. Frustrating.
Was just posting that link to show there was indeed a designer by that name.
I only found one other design of hers/his/theirs.

Yah, I am not finding anything else by Polder Knits.
I am now thinking that maybe the pattern you have was a prototype of hers for future consideration.
Her thoughts being put on paper and revised from there.
Maybe even never came about.

You have done everything humanly possible to track it down.
So..I don't see a problem with posting your version.
BTW, I like the way yours turned out.
Thank you so much for your efforts and for helping me out with this one. I hadn't considered it was just a prototype.

In any event, mine IS a variation of the pattern, so I felt comfortable sharing. Just wanted some "moral support" before I did.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Just ignore anybody who comes on yelling at you. It seems to me you've done your best to find the designer and you've modified so much it's yours now. You'll find plenty moral support from those who are familiar with your posts :)
 

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Quote: there is NO PHOTO included with the pattern, so I can't do an image search! Ugh!

Can you go to the little yarn shop and take a picture of that one?
 

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AmyKnits said:
galaxycraft said:
This is what I found so far:
http://www.knit-purl.com/store/pc/Brick-Road-Cowl-Pattern-9p7946.htm#details

This cowl is designed by "Polder Knits".
Under additional details it states the designer.

Still searching some more.
Thanks for the help. I found the one you linked, also. It is not even close to the one that I made though. There is also someone named Polder on ravelry, but NOT Polder knits and no cowls. Frustrating.
Nor am I a lawyer, but as an artist I know that anything I don't sign with my name, the copyright symbol, and the date is legally open to copy, although there's a small clause that also states artists have automatic copyright. Still, if it doesn't have that name, symbol and date, I'm more open to having it stolen without recourse. BUT you have changed it so now it is not that same pattern and you are not legally or morally bound by the copyright law anyway. The change is the key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Norma B. said:
AmyKnits said:
galaxycraft said:
This is what I found so far:
http://www.knit-purl.com/store/pc/Brick-Road-Cowl-Pattern-9p7946.htm#details

This cowl is designed by "Polder Knits".
Under additional details it states the designer.

Still searching some more.
Thanks for the help. I found the one you linked, also. It is not even close to the one that I made though. There is also someone named Polder on ravelry, but NOT Polder knits and no cowls. Frustrating.
Nor am I a lawyer, but as an artist I know that anything I don't sign with my name, the copyright symbol, and the date is legally open to copy, although there's a small clause that also states artists have automatic copyright. Still, if it doesn't have that name, symbol and date, I'm more open to having it stolen without recourse. BUT you have changed it so now it is not that same pattern and you are not legally or morally bound by the copyright law anyway. The change is the key.
Thank you, Norma. Nice to have you here as I have seen you "around" on several posts since you have joined us a few weeks ago.
 

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AmyKnits said:
BTW... I also did some research on the internet about this and the "gist" is that there must be some copyright information on the article or pattern as well as the author or designer's identifying information for it not to be "public domain".
Absolutely not. A pattern (or other copyrightable work) does NOT need to carry the copyright symbol or other indicator for it to be copyrighted, which happens automatically under U.S. copyright law. From Wikipedia:

**** In all countries where the Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic, and need not be obtained through official registration with any government office. Once an idea has been reduced to tangible form, for example by securing it in a fixed medium (such as a drawing, sheet music, photograph, a videotape, or a computer file), the copyright holder is entitled to enforce his or her exclusive rights.[10] However, while registration isn't needed to exercise copyright, in jurisdictions where the laws provide for registration, it serves as prima facie evidence of a valid copyright and enables the copyright holder to seek statutory damages and attorney's fees. (In the USA, registering after an infringement only enables one to receive actual damages and lost profits.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law#Obtaining_and_enforcing_copyright ****

I would contact the designer and ask her what her wishes are and if you can modify it and share it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Knitry said:
AmyKnits said:
BTW... I also did some research on the internet about this and the "gist" is that there must be some copyright information on the article or pattern as well as the author or designer's identifying information for it not to be "public domain".
Absolutely not. A pattern (or other copyrightable work) does NOT need to carry the copyright symbol or other indicator for it to be copyrighted, which happens automatically under U.S. copyright law. From Wikipedia:

**** In all countries where the Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic, and need not be obtained through official registration with any government office. Once an idea has been reduced to tangible form, for example by securing it in a fixed medium (such as a drawing, sheet music, photograph, a videotape, or a computer file), the copyright holder is entitled to enforce his or her exclusive rights.[10] However, while registration isn't needed to exercise copyright, in jurisdictions where the laws provide for registration, it serves as prima facie evidence of a valid copyright and enables the copyright holder to seek statutory damages and attorney's fees. (In the USA, registering after an infringement only enables one to receive actual damages and lost profits.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law#Obtaining_and_enforcing_copyright ****

I would contact the designer and ask her what her wishes are and if you can modify it and share it.
That is precisely what I tried to do. There is no "author" listed anywhere on the pattern. As I said previously, it is simply a part hand-written instruction, partly typed. Looks as if it has been altered, cut and pasted together. No copyright information, no designer information. I have looked on the internet and cannot find any record of this pattern nor any author.

I contacted the store where I was given the pattern free with the purchase of yarn and she has no information on the source of the pattern nor the author.

There is no photo WITH the pattern, so I cannot even do an image search.

I would LOVE to contact the designer, but have no clue WHOM the designer would be, in this case.

This is the frustrating part. The designer has not put her name or any contact info on the pattern. Nor does he/she have any contact info on the internet. How would you suggest I go about "contacting the designer" for permission?
 

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Norma B. said:
Nor am I a lawyer, but as an artist I know that anything I don't sign with my name, the copyright symbol, and the date is legally open to copy, although there's a small clause that also states artists have automatic copyright. Still, if it doesn't have that name, symbol and date, I'm more open to having it stolen without recourse. BUT you have changed it so now it is not that same pattern and you are not legally or morally bound by the copyright law anyway. The change is the key.
No, not LEGALLY "open" to be copied. Not at all. Having the copyright symbol or other markings is merely a reminder, not the mechanism for the denial of someone else's right to your work.

As for her modification, if she's modifying it for purely her own use, no problem. If she's modifying it to "share" (whether for free or fee), that is probably already a copyright viiolation. You wouldn't want someone "modifying" one of your works so they could then consider themsvles "legally and morally" free to get away with copyright infringement.

One of the "bundle of rights" that is copyright law is about who has the right to MODIFY the original work (create derivative works), and only the copyright holder has that right. Another is who has the right to distribute it. And several others -- see the rest of the list at the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law#Obtaining_and_enforcing_copyright
 

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AmyKnits said:
This is the frustrating part. The designer has not put her name or any contact info on the pattern. Nor does he/she have any contact info on the internet. How would you suggest I go about "contacting the designer" for permission?
Two things. One, the source where you originally got the pattern. She may or may not know.

Second, every website is OWNED by someone, and those someones have names (as a rule, sometimes business names) and addresses. Whois.com lets you do a search for that very info:

http://www.whois.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As I have stated... the pattern, nor the name of the pattern is no where to be found on the internet.

I DID contact the store and the owner does NOT know the source of the pattern.

As I have said, I have done a google, yahoo and bing search for the pattern and come up empty.

I have also done a whois search (as per recommendation) and the name comes up available. In other words, it belongs to no one. There is no one out there using the name Polder Knits (the name on the pattern) on the net.

IF there is anything else I can or should do, let me know, but I feel I have exhausted all options.

I have already posted my version of the (mysterious) pattern here on another thread. I seriously doubt whomever owns the pattern is very concerned, so neither am I.

Thanks for all your help.
 

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Amy, I went to good old Ravelry and put variations in the search box of: fold over, turtle, turtleneck, double, etc, of neck warmer or cowl, or whatever other variation I could come up with.

In 10 minutes I found over 200 of them, either exactly or almost exactly like yours. I suspect there is nothing new in cowl-land, and trying to sue for copyright violation would be a suit only an extremely bored attorney would file.

Go for it! I can't imagine any designer could claim the design as her own.
Vicki
 

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Amy, it seems to me you did everything you could to find the pattern designer. IF (a very big IF, here) and when you ever hear from the designer, it seems you have yourself covered. The LYS owner is giving the pattern away with a yarn purchase--so the pattern is being distributed. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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AmyKnits said:
As I have stated... the pattern, nor the name of the pattern is no where to be found on the internet.

I DID contact the store and the owner does NOT know the source of the pattern.

As I have said, I have done a google, yahoo and bing search for the pattern and come up empty.

I have also done a whois search (as per recommendation) and the name comes up available. In other words, it belongs to no one. There is no one out there using the name Polder Knits (the name on the pattern) on the net.

IF there is anything else I can or should do, let me know, but I feel I have exhausted all options.

I have already posted my version of the (mysterious) pattern here on another thread. I seriously doubt whomever owns the pattern is very concerned, so neither am I.

Thanks for all your help.
Good for you! Now I wouldn't lose any sleep over the copyright police, or the knitting police or the mattress police (oh, that was another post) coming to break down your door and take you away in handcuffs. Just keep being your generous sweet self.
 
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