My name is Sarah. Some of you may be familiar with my patterns; some of you are new. I sincerely hope you read this before you begin projects with any of my patterns.
I created some basic crochet patterns between September 2010-December 2012. Nothing fancy, just little things that I thought I would share with others. I placed these patterns for free on my personal blog,
"nothing's creative anymore" (previously located at osuraccoon.blogspot.com), and the response was overwhelming. I had tons of people from Ravelry and other sources using my patterns and thanking me for them. I didn't expect much traffic at all, and I was taken by surprise.
Because I lived on student loans for years, I totally understood the desire for free patterns. I gladly offered mine for free, with the only request that the patterns were not republished anywhere or distributed as someone else's without credit, that my photos were not used anywhere, and that the products made with my patterns were not sold for profit.
Unfortunately, I was tipped off by some people via Facebook and Ravelry that there were some very dishonest people doing the following: 1) selling products made from my patterns on Etsy, 2) using my photos without credit and cropping out my watermark (sometimes even passing it off as something THEY made themselves!), and 3) the most egregious offense, selling my pattern as their own!! Without credit to me and for full profit!
Around December 2012, I pulled all of my free patterns from my blog. I would like to say that a few people ruined it for everyone, which is true, but it is more than that. My Penguin Coasters pattern (along with another pattern I created to complement them that was never put on the blog) was pending publication in a national magazine, and upon discovery of the person trying to sell MY pattern as their own, complete with MY photos, the magazine rescinded their offer to me.
To mitigate my damages, I took all patterns down. I am an attorney specializing in patent law, therefore I am a fervent protector of (and knowledgeable about the laws surrounding) intellectual property. My patterns and photos are my intellectual property and protected under US copyright law. Unfortunately these people did not seem to understand that, nor did they seem to think that the laws apply to them.
Over the past year I've received a lot of mail expressing sadness and disappointment that my more popular patterns were pulled. Therefore, for a period of time, I'm once again offering some of my patterns for free. Not all of them; only the ones most requested to me or the ones that have the most projects on Ravelry. I've also moved them over to this new URL just to keep things easier for me.
You may notice that my photos now contain both a black URL as well as a really ugly watermark. I sincerely apologize for that. However, like I stated earlier, people were cropping off my old watermark to pass off their photos as their own. Therefore I made a watermark, which is MUCH harder to get rid of. I know it may detract from the pictures some, but I feel it puts more people effectively on notice as to the copyright ownership of these photos.
So, thank you for understanding. I hope that I do not have these problems again in the future. Thank you also to those who helped me previously sniff out those dishonest people who were stealing my intellectual property!