Thursday, January 19, 2012

May I Have Your Permission?

I've had quite a few people asking me lately if they could have my permission to sell items they have made from my patterns. Here's what I'm thinking (and is my policy):

I don't have a problem with people selling items they make from my patterns as long as they don't try and tell people that they are the designer. I give my permission to sell items made from my patterns at local craft fairs and local boutiques, etc. The only exception I take to this is that I have an Etsy store and being that these are my original creations, I ask that you not sell items you make from my patterns online in any fashion or on any platform. That puts you in direct competition with me and my store and I don't want to have to compete with you for sales on MY designs. Does that make sense?

I am all for the entrepreneurial spirit of America to rise up and be successful. I am all for helping to provide for your families needs. Heck, that's what I'm doing. I feel like it would be remiss of me to tell you that you cannot charge someone for the time you put into something and the material it took you to make it. Ok, so the 'idea' or the 'pattern' didn't come from you.....whoopety doo! Not everyone can write down a pattern. Those of us that are blessed enough to be able to or have the time to do it...should. And if you have to sell it to feel like you are getting something out of it...then do that too.

I know that I've been outspoken about sharing patterns before. I know that I may have ruffled some feathers concerning the fact that I am proud of the fact that I give my patterns away for free. It's not because I somehow feel like I'm better than someone else because I do. Everyone has their own personal reasons for doing what they do. What I find irritating, both as a free pattern user and a free pattern creator, is when someone puts the stipulation that this item is for your personal use only and that you cannot sell any product made from that pattern. Here's why I don't like that. With that stipulation you are telling people that they cannot recuperate any of the costs that it took them to make it. I am all for donating. I am all for giving gifts away. Believe me, that's how all of my patterns came about. But, for me to tell you that in your private life when someone wants to purchase an item that you have the ability to create and they don't; and they want to bless you by purchasing it from you instead of just expecting you to do all that work for nothing.....and you CAN'T?? To me, that is wrong. There should be intellectual rights for a pattern, you bet. No one should be able to claim a pattern that is not theirs. And no one should be able to take a pattern and mass produce an item to create an empire out of it. But, there is no harm in someone having the ability to work a craft fair or two. Or sell to a local boutique or two. If the designer asks you not to sell in a certain place, then by all means respect that, but to say that NOTHING you make from that pattern is saleable.....yeah, well, you know what I think.

And when I come across patterns I like that cost money or they tell me I can't sell what I make from it.....I respect their intellectual rights and/or free pattern and I don't even copy it off or look at their instructions. I look at the picture and make it up for myself. Then it is mine and I can sell it if I want to.

So, tell me what you think. I'm not looking for people to necessarily agree with me, I want to know what you really think. Be advised, all of your posts get reviewed by me before they show up so if you get nasty, your comment won't be posted. I know intellectual rights, copyrights, etc can be a hot button topic for designers. Let's have a talk about this!