Selling huh? Not a usual Amiguruthi topic. I wasn’t sure what to post about today. I’ve been working on two patterns plus an experiment for Mad Crochet Lab, so I’ve nothing concrete to post, and I was going to put it off a couple of days, until I saw a discussion on Facebook that I have to weigh in on.
The discussion revolved around selling items made from someone else’s free pattern. Now, my opinion is that if I designed the pattern and let you have it either for free or for a fee, what you make is still yours to do as you wish with. As long as appropriate credit is given to me as the designer, and you’re not selling the pattern itself, then why shouldn’t you profit from your talent? I’m glad to help you on your way to a little financial gain, be it cost of materials or a way over priced piece – if someone will offer you money for it then take it and enjoy the buzz of a job well done. Let me know its happened so I can link you up on here and enjoy your buzz vicariously too!
I know other crochet pattern designers who have the opposite response – they’ve designed it therefore only they can sell the finish piece. Which is fine too. It’s personal opinion and if they intend on selling then why should they let you set up as rival to them? It’s just business sense (I never INTEND to sell, which is why I don’t have this rule – if I did then I might revoke the privilege). Even if they don’t intend on selling, then it’s still their wish and should still be respected.
Anyway, the argument being had was that it was wrong for one designer to tell someone to not sell finished products made from their design, a wish that was clearly posted on the blog with the pattern. The fact the designer was incredibly rude to the person they were contacting to take down their Etsy listing didn’t help, and I agree was NOT the way to go about it. A polite email might have meant the issue never came up.
The people commenting on the thread (which was the seller asking if it was legal to sell from a free pattern against the designers wishes) were being incredibly rude too, ranting about how it’s illegal to try and stop someone selling their version and how the designer had ‘no right’ to stop her, and making hurtful comments in response.
Now hang on. I’m pretty sure if I tried to sell items I’d made from patterns in a published book that specifically stated not to sell them, then I’d be in the wrong. As a lot of the books do – or at least they limit the amount you can make and sell. Why is it different for a home crafter, self publishing on their blog? If it were my wish then I’d expect that to be respected, as I would respect the wishes of other designers. Just because a pattern is offered for free does not make it suddenly nothing to do with the designer. And if you disagree with that, then find a pattern you can sell, or take the opportunity to learn to design your own patterns. At the very least, restrict your selling to friends you know off line, and only take the cost of materials. Don’t put plough ahead anyway, stick it on Etsy, and get offended when you’re caught.
Mostly though? I was ashamed of my community. And that’s sad. The crochet community is the coolest community ever, the most accepting and the most generous, and it contains some freaking amazing people in it (yes reader I’m talking about YOU. You rock). it’s even better than the Brony community, which is saying something. But tonight? Instead of the polite, well mannered, respectful girls and guys that I’m used to, all I saw were petty, hateful people, ragging on someone trying to make a living from something they love and taking pride in their own work. And NO-ONE has the right to take that away from them, no matter how rudely they expressed themselves, and regardless of some unclear legality.
Aaand, end rant. Feel free to discuss and argue in the comments, but don’t make it hurtful or personal. Amiguruthi’s usual updates of silly critters and less seriousness will resume soon. In the mean time, here’s a cat image that makes my boyfriend giggle like a three year old.