In Which the Pirate Knits Where She Should Have Purled.

The great thing about having SnB at Cosi is that they serve wine. I had a glass of a pretty good Shiraz with my sock knitting last night. Now, I’m not sure if it was the wine or if it was the talking and not paying attention to my knitting, but I came around to the ribbed portion of my sock and noticed that I’d knit right across two purl stitches on the round before. It was getting towards the end of the evening, so I put the whole thing away. I’ve learned that I can’t fix stitches at SnB, but I can do it just fine at home the next day when I stop being angry at them for being backwards.

We did have a bit of a sour note to the SnB, unfortunately. The subject of photocopying patterns came up. Not just borrowing a book from the library and making a copy for yourself, but making lots of copies for friends from a pattern you bought. Some people believed that it was okay to make a copy of a friend’s pattern, because there’s nothing wrong with borrowing the friend’s book. Some people said that they would copy a friend’s pattern, but not a friend’s CD. Where is the line drawn? Anyway, there was a big disagreement and eventually (I hope) it was settled that there was an official condemnation of the practice, but obviously whatever people do on their own time away from the SnB is their own business, legal or not.

I’m in the process of working out a deal with an indie yarn-dyer, in which she would provide me with sock yarn and I would design patterns which she would sell on her website and give me 50% of the profits from the sales. I’d retain copyright and could sell the patterns on my own as well. Sounds good to me! Now I just have to come up with some design ideas.

There are two pieces of news on the home front. One is that our offer has been submitted but no one has gotten back to us either way, and we got a pretty darned good rate on a mortgage app. We knew the process would take a while, so we’re just being patient. The other piece of news is that my grandma (Dad’s mom) is having abdominal surgery tomorrow to repair a previous hernia operation’s failure. They expect her to come through just fine, so I’m not very worried, but it’s on my mind.

I hate to end an entry on a downer, so I will say this: THANKSGIVING. I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday of all time. I can’t wait to see (most of) my family, catch up with everyone, throw a football around in the street, drink beer with my cousins and scotch with my uncles, eat food until I explode, and fall asleep surrounded by people I love. Of course I will be bringing the sock along with me. It’s funny, when I was a kid I always brought a stuffed animal on trips. Now I bring socks. There’s little difference, really!

P.S. Wow, 35 people have queued up my armwarmers!

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4 Responses

  1. Pirate Husband says:

    You do not condone photocopying of patterns, yet you do not have the same issues sharing music… I have to ask why is one ok but not the other?

  2. NiteOwl says:

    The problem with copyright laws is that there is a gray area. “Fair use”, particularly for an SnB group that teaches beginning knitters, makes this grayer still. There is some flexibility extended for educational purposes provided you abide by certain guidelines, including but not limited to ‘no profit’ based on the pattern. If one distributes a copy of the modifications made to the original pattern is that an infringement or a new pattern or merely notes? If one takes a unique, documented stitch pattern and publishes that as a design swatch without giving credit, is that an infringement? There are numerous examples of that on the shelve of every bookstore. How much of a significant change qualifies as a new pattern? Do you violate copyright if the basis of one pattern is the springboard of a new one (ie using ‘wheels’ to construct a ‘cart’)? Although many would believe this is a black and white issue, the amount of litigation makes it clear that it is not. It may boil down to intent and that isn’t clear here.

    I don’t copy patterns for friends from books. I do lend the books because I know many are out of print, hard to find, or expensive. Rather than a copy of a CD…what springs to mind as a closer comparison is a copy of recipe out of a book. How often do people do that? Is it yours if you substitute carrots for green beans in a soup or modify the spices? If nothing could be dispersed without owning a copy, how bland would our diets be…which is why education gets the nod and the rules are not black and white so we as a community and society can move forward. I don’t have an answer to this. I personally believe that “respect” should be the guiding rule both for the intellectual property and the people involved.

  3. Lissa says:

    “I don’t copy patterns for friends from books. I do lend the books”

    Good. The law says you can do that. I never said the entire set of copyright laws make sense – they just are what they are. And people can argue and come up with comparisons forever. Doesn’t change the law, which states clearly, (paraphrasing, of course) “You want it? Buy it or borrow it from the library or a friend.” None of the many exceptions applies to informal knitting groups.

    Unfortunately, “society” these days is “if I want it, I take it,” which is why I’m unsubtle about making the “no stealing patterns” policy clear in my group, nor can I participate in a group where that isn’t made clear, especially since patterns have already been copied and distributed illegally in that group and I was the only person to speak up.

  1. November 26, 2007

    […] wrote, “You do not condone photocopying of patterns, yet you do not have the same issues sharing […]

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