Copying Patterns

Is it okay to photo copy a pattern from a library book? Or are you not supposed to do that? I’m confused. I know people do this all the time, but what is legality of it???

Or is it one of those gray areas?

Thanks,

Patty

It’s legal to copy from a library book if it’s for your own use. You can’t publish it anywhere else, of course, but from a library considered public domain or something like that.

I made copies for personal use. After all you can still do the pattern from the book so I figured it was fine. I won’t give them to anyone though.

I do the same thing: make a copy for my own use, but direct anyone else interested in a specific pattern to the book it came from. Half of the time I make a copy of patterns in my own books anyway so I can write on them while working without marking up my books, so I figure copying from a library book is not so different. This is assuming that you are only talking about one or two patterns in a book - if you want most of them you should probably go buy the book as copying the majority of it probably does get into copyright grey area.

I believe I read a librarian post something like copying more than 60% of a book (any book) violates copyright. I think it’s on the knittyboard, if anyone wants to search for the post.

sue

Thanks for the info. I didn’t want to copy 60% of any book, just one or two patterns. I know I can make copies of my own patterns from books that I own, for my own use, but the rest I wasn’t sure about.

Patty

I often made copies from library knitting books. Often there are only one or two patterns for me in the book and the others are :noway:

And then I should buy the whole book? No.
In Germany it is not different than in all other countries: money does not grow on trees :lol:

And if I make my copies and use them only for me, who cares and - the most important question - who knows it???

I worked in libraries for many years and I can tell you that in the US copying a few pages from a library book for your personal use falls under what is called the “Fair Use” provision of the Copyright Law.

One of the criteria of determining fair use is, does it deprive the author or publisher of royalties? So if you can honestly say that you would not have bought the book to get the pages you are copying from the library book then it is considered fair use.

However, if you go in to a library and copy a substantial section of the book to avoid buying the book if it is in print then technically you are violating copyright law. There is actually no percentage that is ok to copy under the copyright law, certainly not 60%. I don’t know where that person got that figure but if you are just talking a few pages you are ok. The law in other countries may be different. For instance, Canada has more strigent restrictions on what is considered fair use.

There was an article in in the Winter 2005/2006 Vogue Knitting on Copyright Law and knitting written by an attorney that covers this in more detail.

However, if you go in to a library and copy a substantial section of the book to avoid buying the book if it is in print then technically you are violating copyright law. There is actually no percentage that is ok to copy under the copyright law, certainly not 60%. I don’t know where that person got that figure but if you are just talking a few pages you are ok. The law in other countries may be different. For instance, Canada has more strigent restrictions on what is considered fair use.

I read a post in the knittyboard from a librarian who wrote essentially the same thing. She may have have given 60% just as an example, I’m not sure.

<goes to search knittyboard>
Okay, I found the thread, and she actually wrote this: “Never copy more than a chapter and/or beyond about 60 pages give or take.”

sue

I believe that if the book is out of print you can ask the library to make a copy for you, for your personal use. Can anyone confirm that? TIA!

If I go to the library and take a book from there to my home, the next day I go to a copy-shop and make x copies or I make the copies at home - who will know it???

And who will forbid me to learn something (or the whole book, if the brain works fine g) by heart? Or who will forbid me to transcribe the book if I have plenty of time? Only for private use, of course.

Yes, copyright law is not easy…but to make copies for my private use from library books does not have an effect on my sleep and doesn’t bother me :wink:

she actually wrote this: “Never copy more than a chapter and/or beyond about 60 pages give or take.”

Ok, that is more consistent with my experience in libraries also. Usually the rule of thumb is one chapter from a book or one article from a magazine is allowed under fair use. 60 pages seems a bit excessive unless it was from a very long book however. Some universities will tell faculty that they may not photocopy more than 10% of a book for student use:

http://www.store.cornell.edu/text/cpub/tbcpcopyrightinfo.html

60 pages would be a substantial part of the book for many knitting books so I doubt that would be allowed.

As for books that are out of print, libraries will usually make copies of the book so long as it can be determined that a copy cannot be obtained at a fair price (this is stipulated in the Copyright Law):

http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectualproperty/l-108de.htm

However, in the article I mentioned above that appeared in Vogue Knitting, the author mentioned a court case in which the judge found merit in the argument that people should be required to pay “permission fees” to the publisher for photocopies of out of print books. This was not a legal ruling but may indicate the direction in which the law may go in the future.

Thanks for the info & clarifications!