First and foremost, I’m going to answer the real question:
Yes, you can sell finished items made from my patterns. Any pattern. But like most designers, I would like credit for my hard work.
As a rule of thumb, you should always put “Pattern by www.hookedbykati.com” (or the name of the designer) on your tags or listings for the finished items. This shows the designer you value their work and that you are not taking credit for the design.
Crediting and linking back to the designer also protects you from accidentally lying by omitting that verbiage. Leaving the designer’s information off of the tag implies that you designed the item, and MAY make you vulnerable to legal action from the designer. It could be argued that you claimed ownership of the pattern itself and are, therefore, selling their intellectual property as your own.
Technically, unless the designer has gone through the extensive process of specifically Copyrighting the finished products, you can sell finished products made by any pattern out there as long as you make it known that you did not design it.
My belief is that the PATTERN belongs to the designer. The ART belongs to the artist.
Give credit to the designer for his/her work. Take credit for your craftsmanship.
Respect the Pattern Designer
You MAY sell the finished items from a pattern you purchased from a designer or found for free on their blog or website.
You MAY NOT copy that pattern and give copies to your friends, make a few changes to the pattern and call it your own, or use it in a class and give away copies of the pattern to students. The written words of the pattern are the intellectual property of the designer and any time they change hands, the designer should see the profit, not you.
You MAY NOT use the designers photography of his/her finished items to sell your finished items. You should represent your product truthfully to your customers, so your photos should be of work YOU completed with your hands. Never use someone else’s work as your example. You are certain to end up with customers who feel you misrepresented the product.
The Best Way To Approach the Designer
Here is a tip for when you do decide to use someone else’s pattern for your craft fair or Etsy shop:
PLEASE SEND THEM A THANK YOU NOTE!
Write a thank you note for the pattern and tell them how much you love it. Mention that you will be adding their credit to the tags at your upcoming local craft fair, or better yet, a link to their website so others can find this great pattern. Share where you are selling it and a little about your business.
A thank you note will prevent the possible knee-jerk reaction when they see their pattern at a craft fair (made by your hook) and feel that itchy possessiveness over it. It feels like it belongs to them, especially if you are great artist and you do it just like they would have. But a thank you will often make seeing the finished product a joy instead of a shock.
It’s Hard To Let Go Of The Pattern
Be understanding of the newer designers who are having a hard time letting go of their perception that they need to have some control over the end product. It is hard to put a piece of your heart out there and hope that people respect you for it and don’t try to take credit for it.
By letting them know you are using their pattern and that you are giving them credit for their idea (or even helping promote their designs), they will be reassured that you are not out to steal their pattern.
Do it to be kind, not because the law requires it.
And, as a designer, I love to hear from people who are selling items made from my patterns! I love to hear how they did at a show, or to see pictures of your finished work. And I would love to know where they are selling, so when I travel, I can watch for them, or better yet, meet you and admire your stitchwork. 🙂
Yarn on, people!
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.