Argh! I have spent the past day and a half unhappy. I put out free patterns for people to use because I want people to use them for their personal enjoyment. You’ll also notice that there is a very clear copyright notice and statement at the bottom of each page. What part of “personal use ONLY” do people not understand? Crafters who sell their crafts even on a small scale should be aware of what a basic copyright means. Even people who don’t sell, knows. Now, granted the depth of knowledge can vary.
Prompted by a request by someone asking me to grant him permission to sell swifts based on my yarn swift pattern for a very very small royalty for every one he sells, I decided to look on a certain website to see if other people were not so kind and did NOT even bother to request permission. Lo and behold, what did I find?
I found 2 sellers on this not-to-be-named website. One seller just listed this month and has not sold any swifts. This first person has altered the design a little (changed the look of the base), but it still eerily resembles my pattern and the options I discuss and provide in it. The second person, has sold about 20 swifts. I would say about 98% of it looks like the ones in my photos and the construction definitely is a spitting image of my design. The only thing that the second person didn’t do is put in the CD that I used as a stabilizer in Version 1. You actually don’t even need a CD, stabilizer or block spacer if you have nice tools that drill straight, but if you don’t you’ll need one. I think I may have mentioned this in a previous blog post or in the pattern itself.
I’m still on the fence right now about reporting the first seller. (edit 2/14/08, 1:59pm: I should note that the reason is that I was on the fence about it at the time of my blog post although it is similar, I do realize that it is possible that people can come up with similar ideas and designs. When I woke up this morning, I have decided not to do anything about the first seller, because I think the design is different enough that I don’t think that this person used my plans.) However, I just shot off a notice to the second seller to remove all listings, and I reported it to the administrators of the website.
This has thrown me off a little because, though I know logically that there are always people who choose not to care about someones creative right, I chose not to believe it in my heart because I so love the knitting community and most of the people I have met through this community.
I do have some plans to sell swifts from my pattern at some point, but I don’t have the tools or the time right now, especially since Aubrey and I are still working hard at Handicraft Cafe, which should be launched in the beta phase very very soon. We hope to be able to contract with someone to produce the swifts for us to sell. But this is not the reason for me getting upset about these people selling swifts. It’s the fact that they are trying to sell and pass something off as their own design. Now, if they want to design their own easy-to-make, cost-effective and portable swift and then sell it, by all means they should — just come up with their own plans and ideas! The other upsetting part of it is that I spent a lot of time writing and revising it so that people will benefit and be able to use it, and their violation of that is disheartening.
Oh- please be advised that no part of this post may be printed or distributed without my expressed written permission. This post is for your personal and non-commercial use only. 🙂
On a happier and related note, I just reformatted the swift pattern onto pdf in my new layout and included the long-awaited instructions for making it on a Lazy Susan! If you are on Ravelry, here is the link. If you are not, again, I am sorry, you will have to wait. I have plans to reorganize this website and don’t want to have to upload and rearrange it twice later.
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