Another question of pattern copyrights

okay, i was just wondering about something. this pattern is pretty simple. so simple i’m sure many of you could probably figure it out just by looking at it. there’s not much thats all that special about it, which is why i’m wondering why they had it copyrighted, so now i can’t sell them to my friends.

ok so heres the point: if i alter this pattern by using a different yarn weight, making it in the round, and adding a thumb, would i then be able to sell it since it is different from the orginal one’s in the pattern?

I’m certainly not a lawyer, but that pattern could have been made up by anyone. I think you can change it up and make it yours. It’s like making a basic mitten–who’s to say they invented it? :shrug:

that exactly what i was saying, i’ve seen dozens of patterns that look very similar, i just chose this one because it looked the easiest :shrug:

there are ‘formulas’ (for sweaters, for socks, for hats) (generic designs/processes, what ever you want to call them, that are easy to use.

if you use a generic formual, and specify a yarn, gauge, detail, etc, it can be your pattern.

there are copyrighted patterns (in books no less) for scarves that consist of:
cast on X (a number)
Knit every row till scarf measures Y long.

cut X peices of yarn, each Y long, seperate into groups of 3, make into fringe, placing one fringe in every X (every, ever other, every third) stitch.

this generic pattern can look very different, depending on:
yarn, (wool? or Ribbon? or novelty yarn?)
the gauge (Ladder yarn looks totally different when knit on size 7 needle then it does on size 15 needle!–wool looks different than ladder yarn!)
the color. (you’d be amazed how different a solid color looks vs a hand painted yarn)
the width (cast on 10 stitches–on size 15 needles looks different than cast on 40 stitches on size 2 needle!)
the fringe… (long, seperated a bit, and then knotted? or short, closely spaced and fluffy?)

If your starting point is a generic/fomula pattern, you can make your own design.

if your starting point is someone else’s design, and making a few changes, (a different color yarn that is same gauge, same fiber) it is not your design!

You can be inspired by a design, but if you start out with a pattern and just change a word or two, its not your pattern!

hmm, so i’m guessing all of that was a “no”? :?? :shrug:

granted, i’m doing a bit more that just changing the color here. like i said i changed the yarn weight, the way it was made (round instead of flat), adding a thumb, and made it longer.

i think u were talking about more complex patterns, but i think this one is just too basic for someone to call their own :shrug:

So, basically, the only thing in your pattern that’s the same as the original pattern is a ribbed cuff and the fact that they are both fingerless gloves?

Then I think you’re free and clear! :hug:

You know what? There’s no copyright notice on that pattern. do whatever you want to it.

i alter patterns alllll the time to suit my taste. shhhh, don’t call the pattern police :teehee:

there is one on another page of her website:

but, hey–i’m gonna do what i want anyway :happydance:

This is basically a tube with ribbing at each end. While you can’t really copyright a tube, she can copyright her wording for how to make the tube and any photos.

You can make any tube you want, you can’t print out her pattern as she wrote it and sell it, etc. You could write your own that could look almost identical.

For example, I have a free slipper sock pattern on my web page. I call it more a sock recipe, because really… anyone who knows socks very well knows how to build a basic sock on a 32 stitch cast on with a k1, p1 ribbing.

I posted it because some of the people who read my blog saw the ones I made and wanted a written pattern for them. I knit them using basic sock construction. Nothing new, nothing fancy.

If I went around to craft sales and saw a bunch of socks with a 32 cast on cuff and a k1, p1 ribbing, there is NO way I could prove that it was from my pattern, because it’s such a basic “recipe” for sock knitting.

However, if the person used the same yarns and colors scheme (which is a little unusual) I MIGHT have a case, if I even cared :wink: but even then it would be very iffy and rather over the edge for me to try and claim.

So why did I put a copyright notice on my pattern?

Despite is being a very basic sock recipe, I put a fair amount of time into writing it out in a usable manner, proof reading it, and my daughter spent time formatting it to put it up online in an easily readable, printable form.

I WANT people to enjoy and use this pattern. It’s why I went to the trouble of typing it up. It also brings traffic to my blog. I enjoy that. I don’t really care if a knitter makes a ton of them and give, sell whatever…

However, I don’t want to find that some shop is printing the pattern and profiting off my work of putting the pattern in usable manner without asking or anything. I don’t want to find the work I did on someone’s web site claimed as their own. I don’t care if they put a link to the free pattern on my site, in fact I appreciate that.

So I put a copyright notice on it to let people know that I maintain the right to control on how my own photos, instructions, etc are used.

But I have no control (nor do I want to or claim to) over anyone who wants to knit a sock with a 32 stitch cast on in a k1, p1 rib :slight_smile: It’s a very basic recipe used for years before I was even born.

So knit a similar tube to your heart’s content. I really don’t think there is an issue.

As with recipes… the printed form they take, the written directions, can be copyrighted. The ingredients or even mix of ingredients really can’t.

Mama Bear

If you think about it, all patterns evolve from a basic formula. If you adapt that formula and make changes to it, then it’s yours.

I was in my LYS one day sharing a pattern with one of the ladies who worked there and telling her how I had altered it and she suggested I write it down and that most patterns were just simple changes and alterations to other patterns.

A sock pattern is a sock pattern is a sock pattern – the embellishments, colors, yarn weight, etc. are what make it your sock pattern.


Am I justifying an incorrect thinking:

My friend sees a pattern
"will you make this for me", I’ll pay ya?
I say sure, you buy the materials, I charge X or Y for what you want me to make you.
We are both happy.

I thought things are copyright by the author even if they don’t put an explicit copyright notice on it. I’m pretty sure this is true in academia, but I think it’s true all around.

Not that I think you’ll have a problem with this pattern. I mean, like Ingy says, who’s to say who the credit for the original design goes to, it’s so basic.

Here are a couple of more simply fingerless glove/wrist warmer patterns.

You could look at all three to get ideas on gauge/stitch count and come up with the recipe that works for you :slight_smile:

simple wrist warmers with thumb hole

wrist warmers picot edge

Mama Bear

The simple truth is that unless you make an exact copy of a pattern and call it the exact same name, or it’s something very unique, that copyright would be nearly impossible to enforce anyway.

1- written material is copyrighted (even if not explicitate stated)you can’t just treat it as public domain information.

2-Even if a pattern is distributed free of charge, it is still copyrighted, and not to be considered in the public domain.

3–there are public domain patterns that can be use, slightly changed, and made into propriatary (or copyrighted) patterns.

4–Ignoring copyrights will discourage designers from sharing work.
sure, socks are basicly a tube with bend, but there are socks designs (say jaywalkers) that are special–and what makes them special is what the designer has added!

there are scarf patterns that are special. --even simple scarf patterns–and they too can be copyrighted.

to ignore copyrights, is theft. to take a pattern (not an idea, or a finished object)but a pattern and change a few things is not creating a new pattern.

to create a pattern, you have to swatch, and test, and knit…

i have a sock i have designed and made (and won a blue ribbon for in a crafts fair!)
recently made the pattern again–with different yarn, (2 yarns actually) that i worked as stripes, (different gauge too) and to be honest, the second sock is so different than the first, its merits being called a different pattern!

A person can be inspired to make (design) something by a finished object, but to make your own design (and not just rip off the person that designed something) takes original thought.

sure you can justify theft, (theives always do!).

start putting work into designing, and you’ll quickly realize that you don’t like be ripped off either!

On your other post asking for Stash Busters one of the members posted as one of her favorites “Wrist Warmers” from Drops Design. That pattern is the same premis as the ones you are talking about so I think it is only dependent on the imagination of the knitter when making wrist warmers. I am making the ones you posted in cream color cashmere with a blanket stitch trim of brown around the entire piece and I can tell you it looks nothing like the original pattern (will post when I have finished the second one so I can model them). I say go for it.

On your other post asking for Stash Busters one of the members posted as one of her favorites “Wrist Warmers” from Drops Design. That pattern is the same premis as the ones you are talking about so I think it is only dependent on the imagination of the knitter when making wrist warmers. I am making the ones you posted in cream color cashmere with a blanket stitch trim of brown around the entire piece and I can tell you it looks nothing like the original pattern (will post when I have finished the second one so I can model them). I say go for it.

of troy, i can see where u’re going, but i honestly can’t see that i’m a ripping anyone off, and i’m certainly not a thief.

picture this: i post a scarf pattern and it reads “cast on 30 sts, knit all sts in all rows, bind off. (btw, this is a copyrighted pattern)”

that how i see it :shrug:

and madam, you might not be!

you can create a new pattern based on a basic shape (and fingerless gloves are about as basic a shape as you can get!)

but your opening post was ambigous!

if you start out saying [color=red]“how much do i have to change an existing pattern before i call it my own” [/color]it sounds bad.

if you say,[color=green] i say these fingerless gloves, and i liked them, but i though they would look so much better if they had…(this and that and the other)

and i sat down and figure out how to incorporate theses ideas in a simple tube–and they look even better than i expected…[/color]

well one is red (stop!) and one green (GO! for it!) you have to decide for your self which is your method–

There are no new idea, (everything in the world has been created!) but there are new ways of expressing old ideas… and if you have a new expression (of a simple tube) GO for it. that is original design.