Ok, I won’t go on about photo copying except to say don’t screen gab (it’s illegal) share a link (so other people can find the thing you like so much you want to share it).
But today I will tell you a tale of pattern sharing., where do you draw the line?
“I’m only sharing it with my friend,”, well, OK, that one pattern won’t affect the designer’s sails figures THAT much, I mean your friend might not like the pattern enough to actually pay for it right?
“I only printed out five for the crocheters in my craft group.”, weeeel at £4 a pattern average for accessories that only £20 the designer can’t need the money THAT badly, right?
“I posted a photo of the pattern in my facebook craft group, they don’t have to use it.”, OK it’s only a small group, only 100 members, if half of them use the photo of the pattern rather than buying it that’s only £200, hmmmm this is adding up here
“But it’s a big pattern sharing site, if it was wrong they wouldn’t be allowed on the internet.”, they have millions of members, you have to share patterns or buy “coins” to use the patterns, the website make money but the designer doesn’t, they are usually in countries with lax copyright laws. There are no internet police.
“Honestly I intended to pay the designers once I knew how many sales there were.”, this is one of the responses that an online yarn club owner used when it came to light that he had been sending patterns out to 100s of customers that he had bought just the one copy of, not only just the one copy he bought a lot of them using Ravelry’s in store sales option which left the designer with only a fraction of the cost of one pattern never mind the 100s he was payed for.
This man made money off the backs of designers for over 2 years, when we was found out (he did not come forward and confess, he was found out) he claimed he didn’t know how many people had used each pattern, but every subscriber had access to all of the patterns, even if they didn’t use them they could have. If we think of that like a library then there are two choices as to how those designers should be payed, a set fee per pattern, paying more than one pattern but not having to track how many actual downloads there were or per download, UK libraries do this and pay 7.82 pence each time a book is checked out.
What this man did was avoid answering emails and messages, he didn’t contact the designers off his own back, and seems to have only responded to the most vocal designers. When he did start paying designers it seems that he lied about the number of downloads to some. There has been no public comment from this man addressing these thefts (because that’s exactly what they are) he posted a vague apology on his facebook page with no mention of what he actually did wrong or how he planned to make it right.
So where do you draw the line with regards to copyright? If you don’t want to pay for a pattern there are plenty of free ones out there, just remember to link to the designer’s pattern not post a screen grab of the pattern.
Oh, before I go and speaking of free patterns, don’t forget to join the pattern testing facebook group.