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April 9th, 2013 at 08:55 am

The Ethical Dilemma of Pattern Derivatives

It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest and seemingly most straight forward of situations can evolve into an ethical dilemma.

In this case. someone is searching for a pattern.
It is in an out of print book
Someone else, who probably had the best of intentions,
but with no clue to the intended consequences of their actions…
Reverse engineers the pattern –
An “okay’ thing IF their own use – not distribution
Not when that derivative pattern is “shared” in many places.
(a blatant violation of copyright in ALL the countries involved Japan, USA, UK)
So now, abetted by the services posting/hosting the “Free Download” violated international law, The Geneva Convention.

And the moral dilemma, well, should I also abet the IP Violation by tell the searcher how to find the improperly shared patterns – justifying with “well then they will like me”
or rationalizing “The damage is already done, so why not”

Or, like our parents always said, “If they were going to jump off a bridge, would you do that just because they already had”.

So I really want to know,
What Would You Do?
How would you handle the situation
and why would you choose that method.

I look forward to your thoughts here, or on Like: FaceBook

Enjoy The Making

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  • 1

    I would not share the site. If it’s out there then they can spend the time searching for it. I don’t think we should promote the copyright infringement. Just because the one person did and shared it doesn’t mean we should continue it. I for one would not like to see Kim and all the other designers quit because people were stealing their stuff! I love all of the “free” patterns, don’t get me wrong. However, if it’s something I really want, I pay for it!

    Patty Sack on April 9th, 2013
  • 2

    No, I wouldn’t share the site. I refused to up load an out of print machine knit manual for this very reason.To me this is the same as stealing and it brakes one of God’s commandments Thou shall not steal.

    Jayla on April 9th, 2013
  • 3

    I wouldn’t share the site. Also if someone else did, I would gently mention the copyright violation so no one unwittingly breaks the law.

    However, I have a further question. What should you do if you want to purchase a book or pattern that is out of print and you can’t find it legally? Do you write a letter to the publisher requesting a reprint? Do you send a check to the publisher and tell them you found an illegal copy? Or do you just accept that you can’t have everything you want and say, “Oh well.”

    Anne on April 9th, 2013
  • 4

    I have a couple of comments on this issue:

    I would not knowingly copy and distribute the pattern. But if it’s posted as an original pattern, how can I know that the person who posted it copied it or re-engineered it. Unless they say something to that end, or unless I had previously searched for the original pattern, or they are blatantly distributing copies of the original, I may pass on the link without knowing I have violated copyright laws.

    Now, I’m not sure I agree with the re-engineering bit though. If I see a crocheted something that I like and I use my own knowledge of stitches and skills as a experienced crocheter to create a lookalike something, then I write down how I did it in my own words, using my own pictures, diagrams and graphics; that is MY document. I do not think that is a violation of copyright. If their is something in the pattern that is trademarked, that would be a different issue.

    Judy R on April 9th, 2013
  • 5

    In this case, each of those involved in the “sharing” have made it clear what book it is from.

    If you, using a photo or foreign language text or both as is apparently the case here, write it for your own use – that is one thing – a derivative work, and subject to all the restrictions on use and distribution

    If you then distribute that, on a blog, or a free pattern site, or within a pattern sharing group, or even if you make a copy and give it to a friend… that is not the same thing.

    Trademark would likely not be involved in this issue (nor is it in most copyright problems.)

    It is good that you would not knowingly mis-use the work of another.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    wheat on April 9th, 2013
  • 6

    My lawyer would say, “accept” and move on.

    I can’t really tell you what to do, nor do I want to. What we are comfortable with is something each of us must decide.

    wheat on April 9th, 2013
  • 7

    No, I would not pass it on unless I did so not knowing that it was breaking the copyright laws. But I would not knowingly pass it on. I once saw a lovely pattern on a site and was going to download it and print it out, then found out that it was a copyrighted pattern and should not have been on that site. So I did not print it out. I guess we are all just old-fashioned when it comes to things like this, but we just won’t/don’t want to break the law and aid others in doing so. Lots of crafty hugs to all Essie form Oz

    Essie from Oz on April 9th, 2013


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