It’s A Free Pattern, What Do You Mean I Can’t Sell The Item?

That cool little shrug pattern you downloaded three months ago sure sold hot at the Farmer’s Market this winter.  You got the pattern from somewhere of the world wide web for free.  You slaved long and hard over those 32 knitted shrugs in 32 different colors and 16 different patterns.  But did you read the whole pattern before you printed it off that neat little web site or from your favorite yarn brand’s website’s Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditional Use of Site?

Well, if you haven’t read one in a long time, I suggest you do.  I was under the impression that most of the free patterns off Name Brand product sites could be made and the item sold.  Wrong!  I can print the pattern out, make the item and use it for “personal use” only.  That means that I may make as many of them as I want and give them away.  I was reading the comments on a blog today when I was searching for a pattern for dishcloths and potholders.  Somehow I got off on a side search for elephant patterns, sewn, knitted, etc.  Anyway, I wish I had kept that blog up because one of the commentators said they thought you could make the patterns and sell the items you get off the Red Heart website.

This is not true, I went to the Red Heart website to make sure that I could use their patterns for projects and then be able to sell those projects.  Under their Policy, Terms and Conditional Use of the Site in section 1.1 it clearly states (and I copied and pasted the exact words) “1.1 Copyright.

You may not use the Site, or the materials available on the Site, in a manner that constitutes an infringement of our rights or that has not been authorized by us. Unless explicitly authorized in these Terms and Conditions of Site Use or otherwise in writing by the owner of these materials, YOU MAY NOT MODIFY, COPY, REPRODUCE, REPUBLISH, UPLOAD, POST, TRANSMIT, SELL, CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS OF, EXPLOIT OR DISTRIBUTE, IN ANY MANNER, THE MATERIAL ON THE SITE, INCLUDING TEXT, GRAPHICS, CODE AND/OR SOFTWARE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF COATS & CLARK. However, you may print and/or download individual pages of the Site solely for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that (a) you do not modify any page or change or delete any copyright or proprietary notices from the materials on any such page within the Site, and (b) these Terms and Conditions of Site Use and any notices in such pages regarding use or ownership are included with reproduced or stored pages.”

Oops, I have made a very common mistake for several years apparently.  Well there is no way I can go back over the years and remember all the patterns, projects, and those that sold and what they sold for so I guess the next best thing to do is, stop using their patterns, and start reading through the entire pattern/blog post and site to see if I have permission to use that awesome legwarmer knit pattern I just printed out thinking I can use it.

I mostly will run a search for pattern’s in the public domain once I find out what is popular, do I have an interest in making popular items, or is there a project that is kind of forgotten about that fits in with today’s idea of what is cool, trendy, bitch’n, dandy or whatever the buzz words are for I just got to have it.  Before you make your umpteenth thing-a-ma-whooie for the Spring Farmer’s Market or that Easter Craft Show, do yourself a favor and read the fine print.  I doubt if you would get caught, but into days world with everyone on the internet and all of us go under pen-names, it just might be your neighbor’s pattern that you are trying to sell in a booth just three or four away from them.

Keep On Crafting Montana!

%d bloggers like this: