Monday, September 17, 2012

On intellectual property and plagiarism

I got a very nice email this week that got me thinking.

Almost six years ago, I published a free sock pattern for socks with arch shaping that, because it's knit on the bias, hugs your foot in an amazing way.

I figured out the pattern myself, inspired by a stranded-knitting sock pattern I didn't own and didn't know anything about. I think Grumperina knitted those. Or maybe it was Lene. Whatever; I saw the pictures, I made my sock. I started out wanting to knit a stranded, arched sock in Fall 2006 Vogue Knitting. The pattern was such a mess I gave up after several attempts and made my own pattern (you can read the history of my struggles on this blog). I pulled math out from between my toes and put together a sock that was initially very ugly.

I bugged my friends to test-knit, I went to forums and friends to have it tech edited. People loved it. I gave it away. It was translated into German and a couple of other languages, and the whole thing made me very, very happy. People found mistakes and helped me correct them. The hundreds of people out there who have made my socks could not make me any more grateful to them.

Enter the email this week...someone telling me about a pattern, for sale, that is more or less a copy of mine.

Here's what got me thinking: intellectual property is a serious thing. The fact that someone is selling something i give away for free? Not cool. It's entirely possible the person came up the pattern on their own...but looking at the pictures, it's doubtful. It's much more likely that someone simply stole from me.

I don't have time or resources to do anything about it, but I hope if you are knitting socks with arch shaping you'll use my free pattern before you'll pay for someone else's.

And I'm glad, down deep in my heart, that someone cared enough to tell me, even though I am all but absent from the knitting community these days.

Knitters, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, community, and goodness. I appreciate your care and concern so much, and like the email said, "we all know you are the author of this pattern." I miss you all and I miss my yarn and needles.

Love you. xo


Blogger A A said...

Wow - that's pretty low. Hopefully this is just a coincidence, but yeah... :-/

8:16 AM  

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