Friday Open Crochet Discussion: Copyright Boundaries

For this week’s open crochet discussion, I want to poke at a touchy subject but one that I think is really important to consider in today’s craft-driven web-driven society. That’s the issue of copyright and where we each individually feel that the boundaries are when it comes to reproducing other people’s work as well as sharing other people’s crochet.

Crochet Copyright: Where is the boundary?

I want to talk about what we each individually think crosses the boundary of copyright etiquette. We’re not talking about legal definitions here. We’re just talking about what your own personal, individual feelings are on the topic as a crochet pattern designer, crafter and / or blogger.

So let me pose some scenarios that some people would say cross the copyright line and then you can share your thoughts on these scenarios or any other aspect of this topic in the comments below:

  • Scenario 1: A crochet pattern designer publishes a pattern on Ravelry. I purchase the pattern and start selling it on Etsy, claiming that it’s mine.
  • Scenario 2: A crochet pattern designer puts out a book of patterns. I get it from the library. I copy one of the patterns and put it on my blog. I give credit to the designer but don’t get permission to publish the design.
  • Scenario 3. I see a crochet pattern that I like. I publish a photo of it on my blog along with credit for the designer and a link to the place where the pattern can be viewed or purchased.
  • Scenario 4: I use a crochet pattern to create my own items for sale. I disclose that it’s not my pattern but don’t credit the specific designer. I sell the items on Etsy and/ or at local craft fairs.
  • Scenario 5: I see something crochet-related that I like on someone else’s blog. I copy it and share it on my blog. I don’t link to the original source.
I’m not saying that I personally have done these things (although if you want to guess I’ll admit that I’ve done one, but only one, of these five scenarios). These are just hypotheticals to get the conversation rolling! Now you tell me, what are the boundaries? Where’s the etiquette? What are your true stories about feeling like your copyright has been violated or concerns about how you might have violated someone else’s copyright?

Remember that these weekly open discussions are to generate conversation in the crochet community because your voice matters here. Feel free to say what you want to say on this topic. That said, please be respectful, especially when responding to others thoughts and comments on the blog. I’ll add my two cents in the comments as the day goes on.

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