Monday, April 13, 2009

Intellectual Property Rights being Violated Left, Right, and Centre

Today I read a couple blog posts that surprised me a little and saddened me a lot. Please go read from their stories: Kate from Zeitgeist Yarns and Pam of FlintKnits both tell it better than I can.

There is an epidemic in the knitting world: many Local Yarn Stores (LYSs) and knitters alike are using free (as in no cost) patterns as if they weren't copyrighted, and weren't the intellectual property of someone else!

What do I mean by this? I mean, LYSs and knitters alike are making money off of free patterns where the designers have all stated (some with more legaleese than others) that their patterns were free, to be freely shared - as long as the Designer was attributed AND, their work was not to be used for commercial purposes.

In my head this translates to:

I made this. I'm sharing it freely. So if you share it don't take credit for my work, give credit where credit is due. I'm not making any money off of this, so you sure as hell can't.

Seems pretty damn simple, doesn't it?

Yet LYSs everywhere and knitters too really, because who else is doing this but knitters? Are ignoring the rights of Designers, making profit and taking credit for work that isn't their own. Honestly, how hard is it to just email the Designer and ask if you can use their design for a class? How hard is it to give credit, say where you got the pattern, whose it is, and where other can go to get it for themselves?

Even in the knitting world there are jerks. It's sad but true. BUT just because individual designers don't have the money or clout of big cororations/institutions does NOT mean it's okay to infringe on their rights and use their intellectual property however you see fit.

Shame on you knitters and LYSs that do this sort of thing! Shame! I've never seen it at my LYS, and thank goodness, but if I did, I'd say something! If you do speak up! Honestly, business big or little, the only way they can know we care how they conduct business is if we tell them. The more people telling them, the more they will realise it will effect their bottom line. Because I know I'm not going to give a business money that can't respect the intellectual rights of others. For me, it says something about how they treat people in general, and in times when I have less money to spend, I sure as hell am picky about where I spend it!

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