Archive for October, 2004

what\’s this all about?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2004

Copyright lite aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, and some of the most popular arguments, about sharing crafting patterns on the Internet.

Some crafty Internet users scan patterns they\’ve purchased and upload them to file-sharing groups, and call this \”sharing\”… the problem is, not everybody understands that most of this activity is illegal. It\’s an infringement of copyright, and anyone who infringes copyright may be liable for damages in a civil court, or, if the infringment is treated as an offence, the punishments include steep fines and jail time.

Some people insist on infringing copyright anyway. But often, a lot of people just don\’t understand what copyright means, and when they ask their fellow pattern-sharers for information about the law, all they get is misinformation.

For example, some people believe that if you use a disclaimer that the pattern you\’re sharing is to be used \”for educational purposes only, not for resale\”, then that makes sharing okay. That\’s simply not true: see question 14 for the real answer. Or to take another example, some people believe that as long as you don\’t claim you designed the pattern yourself, it\’s okay to give copies to your friends. That\’s not correct, either: see question 3 to learn the truth.

Hopefully copyright lite will address some of the common questions and misconceptions about copyright, so that all crafters will have a clearer understanding. If you\’d like more information, try the knitter\’s guide to copyright copyright basics or copyright faq, which has detailed explanations and many more questions and answers (it isn\’t just for knitters!).