If you SEE Something….


I guess it comes as no surprise that the issue of “Copyright” is VERY important to us…and to any designer.

It’s so important to us that we’ve devoted entire posts to this issue in the past, like this one about “When is it OK to Make a Copy“, and we even listed the potential of copyright violations as one of the major reasons that we still do not offer our patterns as pdf downloads.  But here’s the deal… as much as I like to kid myself and say that our customers would never copy our patterns with a view toward “sharing” them with their sewing buddies, the truth is, this type of behavior is more common than ever.

Take for example what happened on a recent Friday afternoon. The work week was winding down and long about 5pm I decided to take one more look at the social media sites and then make my way upstairs to rustle up something for dinner. When I got to my FaceBook page, I noticed that someone (who shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty), had uploaded a picture of a beautiful Boho Baguette she had made and I was thinking that maybe she’d like to enter her bag in our monthly contest when I noticed what she had written in reply to one of the comments under her bag and I heard myself saying…. REALLY????

ShockedFace“Are you KIDDING me???”

It seems that someone posted this question upon seeing her pretty Boho Baguette… “Do you have a pattern for it?’.  To which “our girl” replied….

“Yes, I bought the pattern from the same place as the last bag I made. It was much easier than the other one. I might make another. If I can find a photo copier I’ll get it copied for you?”

I just couldn’t believe my eyes!

Now I didn’t know whether these gals knew each other outside of FaceBook or not. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that “our girl” felt SO comfortable with offering to make copies of our pattern for someone else to enjoy free of charge, that she thought nothing of brazenly making this offer right under my nose.

What did I do?

Well, I defended my copyright immediately and directly which is not only my right, but my obligation. A copyright isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you’re not willing to defend it. And to “our girls” credit, she apologized immediately, and edited her comment which I appreciated, but think about it this way… Just imagine for a second… what if the Boho Baguette had been a downloaded epattern, instead of hard-copy pattern? In this case, ‘our girl” wouldn’t have had to hunt for a suitable photo copier, all it would have taken was a simple click of a mouse for her to have “shared” our epattern illegally with everyone in her address book!  And once something is shared digitally, it’s near impossible to get it back! That’s truly a terrifying thought!

image courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement
image courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement

So… what’s the answer?

Most folks tend to think of copyright infringement (otherwise known as piracy) as a modern day issue, but that’s just not true. This old ad for copyright and patent preparation services from 1906 is proof that its been going on a LOT longer than that. And if you think the only ones affected by piracy are the copyright holders, think again! Copyright infringement, just like any other form of theft, generally results in price increases for the rest of us. For some reason, folks tend to think of piracy as a victimless crime, but I’m here to tell you we ALL pay when copyrights are infringed upon.

So my suggestion is  that we “borrow” a phrase from Homeland Security and start applying it to the piracy issues that have become so commonplace in the publishing industry, whether its music, film, books, patterns or anything else! (unless they’ve copyrighted this phrase, & to my knowledge… they haven’t.)  😉

If you SEE something, SAY something!

By my way of looking at it, we should be using positive peer pressure to educate our friends and relatives. For example-

  • If we see someone in our guild offer to copy & share her pattern with the entire group after show & tell, we should stand up and remind the group to check the back of that pattern. If there’s a copyright notice, then that action is not only forbidden, but against the law. Look at it this way, if that same individual stood up in front of the group and offered to share a load of zippers she had lifted from the local JoAnn’s, would THAT we OK? This situation is absolutely no different. Stealing is stealing.
  • Likewise, if we see someone make an offer such as on one of the many social media sites, we should confront that individual the same way. We should educate them first, giving them the opportunity to retract the offer. But if this methodology doesn’t work them we should shame them… yep that’s right, and then report them to the appropriate source.

I fully understand that MOST people engaging in this type of behavior don’t have a full understanding of the issue, but ignorance is not an excuse, especially if we do nothing to correct that. If you saw someone walking out of your local quilt store with several bolts of fabric they didn’t pay for, would you stand there?… or would you at least SAY something to the owner? And when “our girl” posted this offer on my FaceBook page the other day I can’t help but wonder why she wasn’t challenged by at least one of our 80,000+ readers, or at the very least why no one at least let me know this piracy offer was out there. I recognize that most of you may have been working or otherwise occupied, but I’m willing to bet there were many who DID in fact see it, and did nothing. They froze… or they waited to see if I would do something about it myself. But what we all need to acknowledge, is that when we do nothing, we give tacit approval to this behavior. We do not get the option of looking the other way.

In conclusion… I’ve had several exchanges with “our girl” by now and I know she is genuinely remorseful. I truly believe she made the offer without thinking and I really doubt she’ll ever do something like this again. She told me that the person who commented on her bag was in fact her cousin, who was undergoing a rigorous round of chemotherapy. All she really wanted to do was make her smile. And you know what— I can fully identify with her sentiment, but I do think “our girl” now understands that you just can’t give away something that belongs to someone else, can you?

So… now it’s YOUR turn!

I’ll get off the soapbox now and let YOU have a turn. I am EXTREMELY interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject and look forward to a lively exchange. Please feel free to leave your comments, ideas, suggestions and respectful retorts in the space provided below. I’m looking forward to reading and considering them!

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58 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Excellent post! Glad you spoke up and that all worked out. I work in an IT department and the whole software piracy issue I have had to explain too many times 🙁

    One question – is it legal to lend the original pattern to someone to use, then they give it back to you when they are finished with it?

    • Sue–
      I would like to know the answer also. I have borrowed a pattern from a friend and thought it was okay since I was using the original.

    • This is a grey area isnt it, but how is it any different then giving a piece of software to a friend for them to upload to their computer, then they give it back to you?
      We have WAY less control in this area. I see used patterns being sold on eBay all the time, and i dont like it. I’ve even found my FREE patterns being sold on eBay and that infuriates me. But one thing all of need to remember. And when something is given as a gift, it certainly and probably shouldnt be controlled, however, with that being said… it’s hardly a gift if its given back to us, is it?
      One thing we all have to remember is this. If it feels shady… if its something you wouldn’t do in front of the designer or the artist… then you probably shouldnt do it.
      Please keep in mind… if you like the things that independent artists and designers make and produce, then you should support them. Because in the end, if you don’t…. we just can’t stay in business. It’s that simple.

  2. I agree with everything you said. Stealing is stealing. I work in the public library and I am constantly amazed at the ease with which some people steal. One man checked out a stack of CDs and stood at the check-out desk and smiled as he told the library staff he was going to take them home and put them on his iTunes on his computer–free music! It’s as though someone’s artistic endeavor is fair game, whether copying an entire published book or someone’s bag pattern. And you are absolutely correct when you say that ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you don’t believe me, trying telling the nice police officer that you didn’t know it was a school zone that you just sped through!

  3. When you have worked so hard to build up your business you must have been fuming. This is stealing. I feel do sorry for you. I know this person has apologised but there are others that don’t care. Stand up for your rights if you don’t know one else will.

  4. Hi! I too, like Sue K would like to know if it is ok to LEND a pattern to a friend. I have done this before and oh! If I’m not supposed to do that, I am sorry and I will NOT do it again!!!

    • Hi Linda- (Thanks for commenting and please see my answer to Sue K)
      But in general, lending is just another way of doing an end run around the copyright issue.

  5. Since your bags are the only ones I carry, it’s not unusual for someone to recognize superior design and ask how much I would charge to make one for them. I always explain that, above and beyond materials and labor, they would have to pay for a copy of the pattern or for a commercial license for me to use the pattern in this way. I explain that the artist who created the pattern is, by law and by right, entitled to be paid for their artistry. I have received many odd looks when I explain this and it often seems to make people uncomfortable for some reason. Many people say they want to “think about it” and I never hear from them again. Sometimes I will offer to make a bag, for someone I’m fond of, at no charge, if they provide the materials. I consider this to be a gift to both of us, as I enjoy the sewing.

    As a writer, I know how I would feel if someone was copying and selling or giving away my work and I will not do that to a fellow artist. Stick to your guns, Kathy. I have your back.

    • Actually Diane- we have stopped issuing pattern licenses altogether. Unless someone is going into this professionally, and by that I mean iin a large way with employed sewists, then they are now welcomed to make and sell bags from our designs. So please feel free. (I always appreciate it when a bag is sold with our identifying info as the pattern designer).

      The reason— I found too many …. make that WAY TOO MANY people ignoring this issue and good folks like you were the ones who were penalized. The whole thing was wearing me down and sapping my energy and I just didnt want to deal with it anymore. HOWEVER I will stand firm on the issue illegally copying and sharing our patterns. If I dont, I might as well shut this business down.
      Thanks for your unending support and for standing up and speaking out on this issue! I applaud you!

      • I appreciate that, Kathy. But I will be sticking to the policy of buying a pattern to sell a bag. I have several reasons for this. First and foremost, it feels right. Beyond that, I want all of my creations (and yours) to go to good homes and anyone who doesn’t appreciate the artistry involved in the design, just doesn’t get a bag. You may have noticed that I’ve only bought one duplicate pattern, so I’m pretty fussy about that. And, finally, I don’t ever want creation to turn into work. I once had a friend bring me fabric to make her five wallets (my own design) to give as gifts to her friends. She paid me generously, but the fabric she brought me was so downright ugly that I had to keep getting up and walking away. It took me three or four times as long as it should have to get those done. So now I work with what I like, when I like, and if someone wants to buy it, they must be willing to pay for what it’s worth, and that includes the pattern.

      • I’m so happy to read this post. I am a 62 yr old who has been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. I am still able to sew & I love making bags to carry. I’m on a very limited income & live with my daughter & 2 autistic grandsons. My disability check is our main income. I have been wanting to order 5 of your patterns but haven’t because I knew some of my friends would probably end up wanting one too . I had read your copyright section & would never go against that. I read that I should write & ask you for permission to buy a license but I knew I would never be able to afford that. Thank you for allowing us to sell a bag now if a friend wants one. I will be ordering the patterns as soon as I can . I don’t make much off of making one . It’s the love & joy I receive when I see a friend enjoy something I have made ,knowing it’s something they will have when I am gone. Something to remember me by & know I loved them. Thank you again.

      • Kat,
        I hope I am understanding you correctly about the licensing. I have a whole closet full of the bags I have made and carried over the years and was never able to do anything with them when I moved up to the next style. I have always bought the patterns from you and usually only made one or two copies for myself and once wrote to you to ask if I could sell my own personal ones on etsy or ebay. You explained about your licensing and I then just tucked them away in the closet. So, am I correct in understanding that I now can sell my bags. I will most certainly give you full attribution for the designs because I think that is only proper. So do I have your permission to sell my bags????

        • As I have told several others in this comment section, you are welcomed to sell bags made from my designs. We do appreciate the bags being identified as being made from our patterns , so thanks for that and best wishes.

  6. Kat, first let me mention that the link in your rant to the page “When is it OK to Make a Copy” turns up “Page Not Found.” And next, I didn’t see the wayward post on your FB page (I just get YOUR posts on my own Facebook page – I don’t see what other people post to your page).
    I commented when I recently bought one of your patterns that I wish you had them available as PDF so I wouldn’t have to wait for the mail to get it.There are a lot of software programs available that create PDF files, so the format shouldn’t be an issue (my printer will scan to PDF easy as pie — but don’t worry, I won’t scan and give away your pattern).
    The real issue here is legal, moral and ethical. You know in your heart whether something is right or wrong when you consider it – if you have to start justifying your action, you know it’s wrong – if not legally, then morally or ethically.
    If you really want to share a pattern with someone, buy them one. If you don’t love them enough to spend the dough on them, tell them that there are more available where you bought yours. If someone doesn’t want the pattern enough to spend the money for it, they don’t really want it very bad, so you don’t have to worry about not giving them one.
    I could go on, but then I’d have my own rant… 🙂

    • I agree totally Marty and I appreciate your candor! Thank you. I felt like standing up and shouting “AMEN sista” after i read it! 🙂
      Unfortunately, one of the primary reasons I dont do pdf patterns is that it makes sharing so dadgum EASY. Unfortunate for those like you who would never abuse the right, but an all too disappointing reality.
      And thanks for letting me know about the broken link- I’ll fix that. 🙂

  7. Your last two posts on my FB page are coming up either ‘permission denied’ or ‘page not found’… One of us is broken.

  8. It is surprising how many people think that anything they can find on the internet should be free, and how little credit they give to the creativity and time that goes into designing, writing, producing and distributing the finished products of this enormous talent. These artists make their living selling their ideas, and creations.
    My personal vendetta is people who don’t want to pay a cover charge to hear music performances. You have said that this makes everything more expensive but it can also make everything go away when the artists can no longer support themselves doing what they love.

    • You’re exactly right Lynn. Well said. And while some free commodities are excellent, I generally find that you get what you pay for. 🙂

  9. I feel just as strongly as you do about this issue Kat. I run an online business selling ebooks and courses that I have painstakingly written so this is a big problem for me as well.

    For the first few years it made me absolutely crazy. I had to learn to let it go, which was extremely difficult but necessary for my sanity.

    It was pointed out to me that this is the cost of doing business online and only a small percentage of people are actually doing it… kind of like shoplifting in stores. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to live with it to a certain degree so it doesn’t drive us nuts.

    • Your right about that except for one thing- when we SEE it going on and say nothing, we give tacit approval to the behavior, which not only perpetuates it, but allows the behavior to grow. It’s up to every one of us to say something when we see something, because we are ALL affected by not doing so. 🙂

  10. This happens to me all the time… I vend at quilt shows and a group will pick out one of my patterns… Then they will come up and hand me a couple dollars each, and then tell me that they are gonna ‘share’ the pattern. The newest scam is people opening my patterns and taking pictures of the contents with their phone… Also stealing… Make sure you check on EBay a lot… I’ve found people selling my patterns for 2 dollars each… They’ve obviously made copies…

  11. I have a question that I’ve seen come up before on other forums. Say you buy a pattern. You pay for it, and then you make a purse. People see the purse and like it, and ask you to make one for them and offer to pay you for making it for them. Is that ok? What if you wanted to make purses and sell them at a craft show or on eBay? The reason I’m asking this is that I’ve seen another pattern company say this is strictly forbidden. I’d love feedback on this. Thank you.

    • Good question Sue— But you know what? I can only answer for myself and my patterns, and my answer cannot be applied to anyone elses patterns.
      For us, we have tried the pattern license thing and found so many people circumvented the process that it was too frustrating and annoying to continue, so for now, we do allow folks to make bags from our designs and sell them on a small scale (small craft shows). In the event a person wants to hire staff to make them and sell them on a larger scale, THAT would require a pattern license AND our permission. But remember, other designers might not feel the same, and that is their perogative. 🙂

      • Thank you for the reply. I was curious, I don’t have any plans to make & sell bags…..I make them for myself and occasionally as a gift for my close friends. To make one for someone I don’t know…..well, they would never want to pay me enough. LOL. I appreciate all the time, effort and creativity it takes to make a pattern. I don’t have that talent, and if it wasn’t for people like you I wouldn’t get to make any bags because I sure couldn’t design one myself. 🙂

  12. Hi Kat,
    It is far too easy for any one these days to do what happened to you. For myself I always pay for my patterns and never lend them out. I believe if you do the hard work you deserve the rewards. Thank you for sharing and making us all aware of our obligations. I will endeavour to pass on your comments to others should they breach copyright laws. I also state on my quilts if I haven’t designed it where and who the designer is. So should the person want the pattern they too can get it.

  13. I am married to the copyright cop. Well, he acted in that capacity before he retired, anyway. Corporations send their attorneys and/or their Director of Security to visit people who infringe on their trademarks and copyrights, and in extreme cases where no cooperation is found, the offender is sued for quite large amounts of money, and in some cases, imprisoned, depending on the circumstances. The brand names “Kleenex”, Xerox”, and “Chapstick” have nearly become generic and their companies go to great lengths to protect those names against that very thing. They will prosecute. To steal someone’s design is a violation of the law, and while someone may get away with it for a while, they are still a thief. I designed cutting files for owners of digital cutters for a while, but I quit when I saw my designs used by people who did not buy them. So much time, effort, blood, sweat and often, tears go into a design, as well as money for the supplies, that it is an act of supreme arrogance and a total disregard of the law and respect for the designer to just take a design or accept a gift of one that one knows has not been paid for. It brings down corporations as well as individuals. I know of a corporation whose name you’d know immediately if I wrote it, who sold off an entire division because of product copying! It cost a lot of good people their jobs. It isn’t as innocent or as innocuous as most people believe. I agree – if you see something, say something.

    • I really appreciate your writing this. You offer details and insight into this problem that I can’t explain near as well. Bottomline– we all lose because of this behavior, and it’s not going to change unless we say something when we see it. Thanks so much for sharing

  14. My dad and brother are both attorneys .. I asked them about the copyright matter when I was debating selling one of my bag patterns .. they told me that all I could copyright was my written instructions and photos if I had any, but it was costly and really not worthwhile because people could and would copy my instructions and either share it or sell it as their own, no matter what .. and you can’t keep up with everyone who would do it .. I could see ten bags that people made that look like mine but I can’t prove it .. I chose not to put my pattern out there .. I was free to share it with who I wanted to and if they wanted to share it also, it didn’t matter … I wasn’t losing any money on it .. there is nothing that says you can’t share a free tutorial with someone as they could easily find it themselves anyway … normally I just send them the link … telling someone they can’t make a bag from my pattern and sell it is completely illegal as I don’t have any rights over what they make .. they aren’t violating anything my making one and selling it or making 50 and selling them .. I can’t copy a recipe book and sell it as mine but I can make muffins from the recipe and sell them at a bake sale .. I do however agree with not copying and sharing a purchased pattern .. if you are taking a class, everyone should have their own pattern.

  15. I sure hope epatterns don’t go the way of the Dodo. Living in Canada, the shipping costs have become cost prohibitive. When a $10. pattern costs $12. to ship, who would do that???? There is a very nice pattern out there that is $30 US and shipping is $20. I just can’t justify the cost and I will never have this pattern, so epatterns are a very good choice for me.

    • Epatterns are a very good choice for lots of folks, but I’m sad to say that they are SO easy to share that folks who would never consider doing so with a hardcopy, are prone to sharing an epattern. For this reason, most serious designers dont go this route. Unfortunately as usual, the few spoil it for the majority. 🙁

  16. While it is not okay to COPY something and sell or give it away, if you are not the copyright holder, there is NOTHING in the copyright laws that say you cannot LEND a book, DVD or even a pattern to someone. The copyright holder gives up their right to what happens with the item (in this case a pattern) once they put it into the stream of commerce. The First Sale Doctrine, says that once someone has LEGALLY purchased a copyrighted item, they can do what they want with THAT ONE ITEM, short of copying it. So if I buy books, or DVDs or patterns, and decide I want to lend them to my friend, I am within my LEGAL rights to do so. By lending, I no longer have a COPY of the item to use, while my friend is borrowing it. So no copyright violation has occurred. If I no longer wish to keep the book, DVD or pattern, I can LEGALLY SELL that book, DVD or pattern to someone else. The copyright holder has no say in what I do with MY LEGALLY PURCHASED copy of their copyrighted work. How many people lend a book to a friend, or go to used book stores and think nothing of it? Books are copyrighted, and every time you loan or buy a USED book, the author does not get paid for all the work they did in writing that book. Yet, people think nothing of lending or buying used books or DVDs. You can even LEND your Kindle books to a friend, and there is nothing the author can do about it.
    How do you know if the people selling patterns on eBay haven’t LEGALLY purchased those patterns, from a wholesaler, and are reselling them at a discount. I know someone that has a wholesale account from a certain company, and among some of the things she can purchase at wholesale cost is StudioKat patterns. So who is to say that someone else doesn’t have that same opportunity and decides they want to buy the patterns, and then sell them for less, and hopefully sell more, thus making a profit by selling more than someone else. That is just capitalism at work. If you allow your patterns to be sold wholesale to resellers, you can’t stop them from reselling them on eBay or for selling them for any amount they wish. Unless you can PROVE that they are making copies, and selling the copies, and not legally purchasing your patterns wholesale, and reselling them, then they are not doing anything wrong.

    • You are absolutely right Angel. There is nothing I can do about the lending of pattern copies. I understand that, although i sure am glad that the majority of people do not feel like you do or none of us would be in business for very long. I also know there’s nothing I can do about folks selling patterns on eBay, although I think you misunderstood my previous answer to another comment. If folks have bought their patterns from a distributor or a wholesaler why would I want to stop that. I think you missed the point. This practice is absolutely fine by me because if they buy their patterns thru a distributor or a wholesaler, I get a sale either way and I like to keep my distributors and wholesalers happy if I can.
      HOWEVER— when I see my patterns being sold for $1 or $2 on eBay (and they are claiming they are new and unused and that they have 8 copies available) or even worse, when I see our FREE patterns being sold on eBay, then they are obviously making copies themselves and that I can and will take issue with.

  17. Oh my goodness! This is a very complicated topic, judging from the replies to your post. I am glad that the person you confronted was nice about it. I’m sure that some would not be so nice. I agree with you that copying a pattern is wrong and illegal. I also agree with the person(s) who won’t make a bag for someone without asking them to first purchase a pattern. I always thought that was also the law. But what really bothers me is the idea that one of us should have also commented about the person who wanted to copy the pattern. I didn’t see her remark, nor have I ever seen anything on FB other than the posts that you make. So please don’t feel that your loyal followers are failing you. We just don’t see the same things that you see. I’m sorry about the copyright problems. I can only imagine how frustrating that is for you and others who design patterns. I’m glad you stand up for yourself when you can, and I hope you can let the rest go in order to feel peaceful about what you can’t do anything about. I’m sure the rest of us will say something if we ever do see someone violating the copyrights. Best wishes.

    • OK Beth– Please take a breath. I certainly wasn’t accusing you or anyone else in particular. I am sorry if you took offense although reading back through what i wrote, I clearly said that I understood that MANY people were working or just never saw it. You obviously can’t comment on something you didnt see and this wasn’t meant to be an indictment of any type. I hate you took it that way. My goal is to encourage people to say something if they see something illegal (like this). When ANY of us lets a comment like this go by uncorrected (and it was posted on my FaceBook page for an entire afternoon), we perpetuate the problem and copyright issues really do eventually affect ALL of us.

      • Oh no, Kat, I didn’t personally take offense at all. I just didn’t explain myself very well in my comment. Please don’t worry about it.

  18. May be she was like me. I had no idea there were copy rights on patterns. I thought once you purchased it, it was yours to do as you please. Now mind you, I did not have the said pattern. My first grandson was due, and I saw a picture on one of the sights. The picture included the dimensions. So, I went to work with just a little 3″ x 5″ picture and redrew it. Thought nothing of it. I then posted it on a sight saying I could not remember where I had seen the picture. Well, It was from the sight I posted my picture on. I was immediately E-Mailed by the sight owner. She wasn’t very nice about it.I was literally dragged threw the gutter by several of her patrons. This deeply affected me to the point of almost burning the quilt. I did have a few people on my side. One even offered to pay her the money for the pattern. I was mortified to say the least. I was in tears. I returned her E-Mail being very apologetic, and she did accept the apology. I was in tears and never have been back on that sight again. Just saying, some of us have no idea about this, and I am on a very limited amount of money and can’t always afford a pattern. So, I do what I can. Never with any thought of being a criminal, that’s for sure. Hard lesson learned. But, Now I know.

    • There’s a right and a wrong way of handling it, thats for sure, and it sounds like this other designer certainly over-reacted. She certainly should have been willing to accept an apology because people do make honest mistakes. “Our girl” in fact, also made an honest mistake. She wrote without thinking. However, having said that, a copyright is not worth the paper its written on if you’re not ready and willing to defend it, and I think if folks don’t understand how serious the subject of copyright is, then it’s our job to educate them, but it certainly should be done without totally crushing someone as was done to you. 🙁 I’m sorry it was handled that way with you.

  19. This has been a problem since print began. I don’t think it will ever be stopped but we can all do our bit to nip it in the bud when we see it occurring. I was in the decorative painting field for many years and it was a serious problem there also. Usually a artist would say that an item could be painted for fun and profit but not mass produced or electronically copied. The pattern could be hand drawn to use in a teaching studio with one hand drawn copy for each student. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone on the receiving end said no thanks that is a copy righted pattern and it would be wrong to accept a photo copy. Thanks for the offer.

  20. I like to have the original pattern in my hand. I do not like e patterns or e magazines or for that matter ebooks. I am also printer inept and like full size patterns.

  21. Have you considered selling packs of labels with StudioKats Designs printed on them? That way they could be added to the bags many of us have been asked to make for others.

    • Never mind. I see your notions site has them. I didn’t see them before. I’ll be ordering some soon.

  22. I was directed to your blog by a facebook friend who also buys my patterns. I applaud you for making a stand. I’ve seen a couple instances of people doing the same thing to my work. I was warned by a few people that whatever I posted on facebook was ‘fair game’ to be copied. It made me sad. I love to be able to show what I’m working on, in progress shots etc, but in sharing, I have to be aware that everytime I do so, I’m getting ripped off.

    • I think MORE of us need to speak out and encourage everyone we know to do the same. If people find that they are being called out in public maybe they will change their ways. I’m not sure why the public is so quick to correct and reprimand what seems like the littlest thing on the internet, but here’s an issue that’s absolutely against the law, and folks are silent. Maybe its because they don’t want to have to get after their friends, but we all lose when we allow this type of behavior to continue. Thanks for writing.

  23. I am always amazed by people who ask for copies of patterns, in the quilting world its just common practice and I HATE it! I’ve had people ask me for copies of various patterns a few times, and I tell them that is stealing….they give me huff-gruff and walk away, because they know its wrong and don’t seem to care. My Hubbies business deals with copyright issues all they time, so I also tell people if I gave them a copy of a pattern it would make me a hyprocrite, besides the stealing thing!

  24. Wow. Just read the whole post. I’m wishing I’d known to buy a couple of your sew in labels or zipper pulls when I bought the patterns back in 2012. It’s taken me so long to finally make the Quattro as I had to get more confidence in my abilities first.

    Now I am going to make one for my sister as her birthday present (and as she is a cat lover the cat would have been a welcome addition) so I’m relieved that I won’t be breaking any laws to do so.

    I don’t think anyone expects these bags to be “handmade” as they all look so professional, thanks to your excellent design and instructions. People are really surprised when I say I made it myself. I would be proud to have a label that said “Handmade from/with a Studio Kat Designs Pattern” as it would showcase your design and my pride in the results!

    I would certainly let you know if I saw any of your designs being sold cheap or without acknowledgement to you. As you know, I encouraged my local patchwork shop here in the u.k. to sell your patterns, and now if anyone says they would like one like mine I tell them they can go there and buy the pattern for themselves!

  25. I totally support you on the copyright issue. Although I’m not a pattern writer, I always try to do what’s right. I have in the past had people ask me for a copy or offer me a copy of a pattern. When asked, I just tell them, “I’m so sorry this is a copyrighted pattern & I would be breaking the law by copying it for you. But I’d be happy to get you the info so you can buy a pattern/copy if you would like to get one”. If someone offers to me, “thanks for the offer, but it’s probably copyrighted and don’t want to take something I didn’t buy myself! Where did you purchase/do you know the pattern name? I’ll try to find it and buy it!”
    Granted there a some patterns out there that are free, but I always try to find and download myself so I can be sure that I can say I got it from a website.

  26. KAT, what about old patterns no longer in print? Would receiving or buying one second-hand still be unlawful? How long do copyrights last? If I buy older patterns at a yard sale or “junque” shop, am I violating a copyright?
    Label me: confused.

    • Hi Sue- These are all valid questions and i’ll be the first to tell you that i am no lawyer. But having said that here’s my big beef with 2nd hand patterns…
      They almost always are missing instruction pages or one of the small pieces, which the buyer somehow feels i should supply for free in the mail. Even worse, they often say they received it this way from a store which I know cannot be since they insist they are only missing this one piece, which i know for fact was on a pattern sheet with 5 other items…. so if they are missing that item, they should also by extension be missing everything that was on that page, right?
      So… by my way of looking at it, folks who buy at “junque sales” should expect to get just that. Sorry but that my take on it. 🙂