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 Selling photocopies of patterns
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1857 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2012 :  6:37:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yesterday I went to an LYS that I usually don't go to, but I was in the neighborhood.

I expressed interest in a pattern for which there was a sample hanging on the wall. I was told that if I bought yarn for it, they would photocopy the pattern for me for free. I didn't have the means to buy the yarn, but I wanted the pattern. They would photocopy it for me for $4.

Obviously, the operative (and bothersome) word is "photocopy". Is the designer seeing any of that money?

I told the woman (one of the owners, I presume) that if I was going to pay $4, I want the pattern on good paper (card stock, in fact). She said she would order it, and took my name. Why she didn't bother to sell me that one copy on the spot when she was ordering more anyway is beyond me.

Anyway, I am wondering if this is even ethical. (I'm a published author, and find this very bothersome.) Or do pattern designers permit this kind of thing at a percentage? It is good for all of us knitters to know. I have just written to the pattern company expressing my concerns. I'm smelling a rat here.....

Your thoughts?


Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.

noallatin
Chatty Knitter

286 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2012 :  11:54:47 AM  Show Profile Send noallatin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ceil,
That's something I also wondered about. I had the same thing happen at a rather well-known store I visit occasionally. It's been a year since that happened and I never got a "real" copy of the pattern even though the store took my name and address and promised to send it to me.

What makes it more ironic is that this store has the "We don't copy patterns, so don't ask." message hanging around the store.
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NutmegOwl
Gabber Extraordinaire

582 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2012 :  12:07:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit NutmegOwl's Homepage Send NutmegOwl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Anytime I have seen this done, it has been utterly unethical and patently illegal. In fact, there is a LYS here where I have declined a standing invitation to teach because they are giving out photocopies of patterns as class materials without designers' permission.

Interestingly, there was one shawl project from a discontinued hardcover book that I wanted to teach a few years back; I reached out to the designer (Selma Miriam) who was delighted to give permission to copy it and have it taught. There were eight very happy students and one happy instructor -- all for the minimal effort involved in a phone call and an email.

-----
Nutmeg Owl
Quaecumque sunt vera
http://www.owlwaysknitting.wordpress.com
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noallatin
Chatty Knitter

286 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2012 :  1:58:26 PM  Show Profile Send noallatin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, since I have never used the pattern, I chalk up the 5.00 paid to well-known yarn store as a learning experience and I bought the pattern through Ravelry since it is something I was planning on doing at some point.
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One Stitch at a Time
Chatty Knitter

300 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2012 :  07:20:23 AM  Show Profile Send One Stitch at a Time a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's always interesting to me that a small LYS owner who "gives" a free copy of a pattern with yarn purchase doesn't care that a designer is also a small business owner, with similar struggles and concerns.

Last year, I received an email from a LYS offering a free pattern (from a very well know designer) with it's yarn purchase. Knowing the pattern and it's cost, I contacted the designer through Ravelry. Very quickly, I received a lovely email of thanks from the designer, telling me that he reached out to the LYS owner. I have no doubt that his reaching out to her was far more effective than had I approached her with my concern.

I no longer shop at that LYS. Having discovered other LYS (quite a bit further away)and wonderful Online Indies, I have chosen to spend my hard earned dollars, happily, elsewhere.

Nanci
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
554 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2012 :  1:24:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This brings to mind a question of even making copies of FREE patterns intended for personal use only (never for sale, etc.), and I become really confused.

A few years ago I found online a .pdf of some really good instructions with clear illustrations for doing the long-tail CO. There was a note that the piece could be printed for personal use but not for distribution without permission from the author. I really wanted to use that as a handout for several senior citizens in my knitting class (free) at my church, but I knew most of them did not have access to a home computer and printer. So I did contact the author and she graciously gave me permission to print up to 10 copies for that class.

We now are talking about making the Wingspan scarf as a class KAL. I took my copy of the free pattern I downloaded from Ravelry to the class to show them. There is a copyright notice that states, "Intended for personal use only" and "Do not distribute copies of this pattern, or reproduce in any format."

I certainly do want to abide by copyrights, and perhaps I'm making this too hard, but what is the difference in my printing a copy of this FREE pattern (without permission from the designer) for each of three other knitters or having them come to my home to personally print it out themselves on my printer?

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2012 :  04:14:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The difference might be that there's some advertisement on the site which the site owner would like to be seen by as many users as possible. If you print out the pattern for others, only you see the ads, if everybody prints out their own pattern, everybody sees them. That's the theory, at least (we had that discussion some time ago, don't remember whether it was here or on Ravelry - some LYS owners apparantly keep a PC online in their store for customers to go to pattern collections and print out free patterns).

Now in practice I have to say that I couldn't tell what ads are currently on top of Knitter's Review Forum (is it one or sevaral?) to save my life. I've trained myself to completely block out everything on the page but what I'm looking for. There's very few instances where I even notice ads...

Bye, Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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Lynne604
Warming Up

USA
55 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2012 :  5:56:15 PM  Show Profile Send Lynne604 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is a lot of information about copyright laws on Ravelry. It's something not a lot of people think about until the issue comes up. My LYS owner will not make an illegal copy.

When I first started knitting, a woman in the group was making a beautiful felted bag. I asked if I could have a copy of the pattern -- and whoooeeeee, I got set straight. "That would be stealing from the designer!" I was so embarrassed.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1857 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2012 :  9:03:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't feel embarrassed. I have to say I am GLAD that the woman spoke up. It means that many of us are aware of the important work all designers do. Think of how much fun we would NOT have without their ingenuity!

Btw, I waited and waited for that pattern, and never heard from the knitting shop (not one I frequent, and now we all know why!), so I finally gave up on having the pattern on nice paper and ordered it online from the company's web site. The knitting shop lost a sale, and a customer.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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noallatin
Chatty Knitter

286 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2012 :  05:41:51 AM  Show Profile Send noallatin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My experience was different. During the summer, the yarn store communicated with me, asking if I still wanted the pattern. I explained that since such a long time had passed, I had bought the pattern from the designer's web site. The store rep apologized for the delay (a supplier issue) and refunded the money I paid for the pattern,
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1857 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2012 :  5:29:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You were lucky that the yarn store communicated with you. Operative words! That didn't happen here.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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