Knitting Patterns and Copyright Laws may not go together like needles and yarn but they are far from the water and oil that some people believe as well. Many commercial knitting patterns are clearly marked with a copyright but do not specify any restrictions, limitations or even legal ramifications regarding what can or can not be done with the finished products created from these patterns. Thus is it that there needs to be some clarification between knitting patterns (or any arts and crafts patterns for that matter) and copyright law.
This information should be especially relevant to anyone who has ever considered producing and distributing their own knitting patterns. It is equally important as well because, if you are going to be buying patterns and then creating and selling knitted products. Copyright Laws are pretty much established and set in stone but unfortunately, there is no provision for exactly what must be included in the copyright provisions or copyright statement of any given item, Website, pattern or anything else for that matter.
It is up to the individual to include what should and should not be any and all restrictions and applications of the copyright. If you are using someone else's knitting patterns, you may already be aware of the frustrations caused when these limitations and applications are not properly applied or even written. Maybe you have even tried to contact the pattern creator to find out what you can and can not do with both the pattern and the knitted products you created. Maybe you just presumed or even assumed that you knew what they meant when they wrote nothing more than "Copyright 2009" (or whatever year it was) at the bottom of that pattern you love so much.
If you are creating knitting patterns for sale and distribution, please mark your patterns clearly not only with the copyright information but also with detailed information about what the end-user or person who purchases it can and can not do with the knitting pattern and the finished knitted products that they have created. While you may win any copyright battles in a (very expensive) copyright infringement lawsuit, you will not likely win many friends or a very supportive customer base by fulfilling everyone who uses your knitting patterns for anything more than personal use.
If you are purchasing knitting patterns from someone, look for the copyright information and see if it is well-written and inclusive and if it is not, make every reasonable effort to contact the knitting pattern creator and see what their intentions are. If they tell you in an email or even an instant messenger, record and save the conversation and that should cover you should any unforeseen circumstances occur. There are occasionally people who become successful who will sell a knitting Business and the new owner may presume to know about the copyright without knowing what rights have been granted and restricted.
Knitting Patterns and copyright is not going to be so important to you if you just sit at home knitting coasters for your dining room table but seriously, how many people are going to learn how to knit and then keep all of their artistic knitting creations to themselves ? Knitting is and should remain a very popular past time, a great hobby and an excellent opportunity for people to supplement income with knitting crafts. However, whether you are creating new knitting products or creating knitting patterns for fun and for profit, you need to have both aware of or explicate about any copyright information that you read or write regarding knitting work.