In the last several months, I have been made aware of the dark side of crochet. I’m not talking about crocheting of intimate or controversial items. No, I’m talking about the underbelly, the seedy and shady side!
When I began my crochet journey, I never would have guessed that this was a problem! I shouldn’t be flabbergasted, but I am. So many business type crocheters and websites are made on this issue. And it’s time to end it.
I have gotten to know some fantastic designers and have seen the hard work they put into each and every pattern. I have tested patterns for designers before release. I may not be fantastic at it, but enjoy working with them. These ladies (and I’m sure there are some gents out there as well) have an idea and work for weeks and sometimes months to nail out the pattern and write it down. Then they go to people they know and trust and ask them to work the pattern to make sure that it is legible, understandable, followable (not a word, I know), clear-able 😉 and some other things that don’t follow my “able” flow.. basically just an all around good pattern. This also takes time and sometimes, they have to rework aspects of the pattern.
There is just a ton of work that goes into it. I love my designers! They work so very hard. As I’ve said, I have seen it.
Here’s what I am getting at. Lately, there has been a rash of pattern thievery and piracy. People who lack respect, ethics and talent and claim a pattern as their own; but it isn’t. The photo’s they use are even the original patterns. Some don’t even bother to claim it as their own, but in facebook groups and other forums sharing a picture of a fantastic work they have finished and announcing that if anyone wants the pattern they will email them the pattern.
Now, designers may not be able to afford to take any legal action on this. The pattern is copyright protected. We don’t get to share their hard work.
How can this adversely affect the crochet world? I know of 2 pattern designers in the last several weeks that have just closed down shop. Due to so many thieves out there, even the “upright” have chosen to go to the “free” sites and download patterns that should not be there. Boomer Babies, for example. A fantastic designer, adorable and original items all listed on free sites and the poor girl just could not keep up with fighting these pages. Now all of her patterns, sadly, are free. Not because she wants them to be, but because others listed them as free and she had no choice. I watched this happen and it was so very heartbreakingly sad.
If you are a part of a pattern sharing group or one of those “pay so many token” groups… please think it through. Sure, you are getting a deal now (at the detriment of the designer) you may even be on this side of the law, but what will our crochet world look like if all of our hard working designers close shop? These pattern pirates will have nothing to steal. We will have nothing but old patterns to work on because the designers just give up. How can they keep spending time on their work- the work they love? They have families and bills they need to take care of first.
Please, if you can’t afford a pattern… save for it. Follow them on facebook and watch for specials, deals, and giveaways. All of these happen all of the time. They want to keep you happy. They want to design for you. They want to see what you’ve done with their work. They are pleased, excited and proud when they see that we hookers took the time to make their pattern. Let’s give them the credit they deserve, the respect they deserve and the encouragement they deserve.