Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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August 30th, 2007 at 10:14 am

Respecting Teachers

I was pleased to read Carol Ventura’s recent blog-a-mentary detailing on her view of “Free” patterns and information.

Carol’s commentary opens the door to an important discussion and I would hope one that helps us all to understand the difference between that which an author/teacher choose to gift to Stitchers and that which is taken with only the most base of rationalizations.

So what is the issue?

It is about the MIS_USE of Complimentary Patterns, Charts, & Instructions

And, how often, almost innocently damage is done by that Mis-Use through a desire to “help”

Usually not realizing, but all to often simply not caring, if by helping some, you are hurting others.

It does not matter what the craft, but for today, it’s Crochet.

At the core of the discussion has to be and is the shared basic belief of the importance of “passing on the traditions”

To name just a few others, and in no particular order other than alphabetical by first name
Darla Fanton, Janet Rehfeldt, Jean Leinhauser, and
Kim Guzman

All of the above, like Carol, give of their time and expertise not just thru their publishing and teaching, but by their participation “on line” helping others to “learn the craft” and by offering help in a dozen other ways.

Aside from excellence in teaching and a dedication to producing quality patterns another thing all of above share is that they have been victimized by those who improperly share their work, both what is for sale and what is offered via the web on a complimentary basis.

When an author or publisher offers knowledge on their website, in a “group” or through “A-Longs” on their blog for your personal use, that is truly wonderful and you should take advantage of that offering for your personal use.

We need to distinguish what and how we can ethically share the information and knowledge offered for so tiny a price as to be considered free.

First, Personal Use does not grant you right to copy and distribute

Second, “Education” does not, unless you are a licensed educational institution, permit copying and distribution.

This means:

It is NOT OKAY to duplicate and distribute it without specific permission of the author.

It is not okay for another teacher to take that and share it
by using it in their own classes without specific permission.

It is not okay for a shop owner to download and print out patterns – with or without charge

What is OKAY is to provide a link and then the “Personal User” will be obtaining the information in a fair and ethical manner.

Why, because as Carol so correctly pointed out in her blog

Back to reality. Free patterns are part of my answer to (gaining) increased visibility – and it’s working. My books are not flying off the shelves, but they are slowly making their way into loving homes.

The very small price these sharing individuals are asking is that the individual visit their websites, groups and blogs to obtain their gift to you the stitcher. They sincerely hope you will find the information and instruction they share for your personal use is helpful.

It is also, as Carol pointed out, their hope that as a result of that visit you will find their style and presentation will lead to your investing in one of their publications or taking a class with them.

Don’t we owe each of these sharing individuals that iota of courtesy and respect?

Shouldn’t we be willing to pay the tiny price of a moment of our time for all the instruction and inspiration they freely offer to us?

P.S. My thanks to Carol for raising this issue, and more importantly for that class at South East Fiber Forum so many years ago that taught me Tapestry Crochet – I happily recommend all of her books.


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