Selling products made with other people's patterns?
So I joined a knitting group in my neighborhood and am all jazzed to really get into it. In the past I've only made scarves and hats as presents. However, what's the MO on using other ppl's patterns to sell on a site like etsy? Do I need to get their permission? I feel like it's a little sort of stealing from them.
The patterns I got were free, from a knitting blog so I am also inclined to think that since they're out there, they're fair game.
02-23-2009 02:17 PM
I think that would depend in part on whether they are copyrighted. If they are then as far a I know you have to have the express permission of the "designer".
How hard is it to use the basic pattern but make an alteration and put a little bit of yourself in it? That way you're safe! If you practice that you'll be really making your own designs soon, even if they're still based on what you learned from others. But after all, all these patterns are often based on basics that once have been invented by someone.
In general the best thing you can do is contact the designer and ask them for their permission. Sometimes you can look up the details of their copyright on their website to find out if they have open source patterns, creative commons, or a full copyright.
The gray area is when you find a pattern you like that is really basic - like for an A-line skirt or a simple tote. In that case, you really need to make it your own. The standard of copyright is to change something by 70% or more. Whether that is the concept, materials, or design. Your best choice is to do a combo of the three.
I always recommend that you push yourself, that you make your own designs to sell.
Personally I really just feel it''s not right to make a profit off someone else''s ideas and hard work - pattern writing is hard and even if a pattern seems "easy" or "basic" many times it''s the pattern writer''s experience at their craft that makes it so. You have to ask yourself, would you really be able to make the item as well if they hadn''t written a pattern for it?