I just need to address this situation.
I never spent much time on Etsy except to look at yarn bowls. And I never used Pinterest. Until recently, that is. I found it to be an extensive resource for free crochet patterns. But I also found it made me aware of something troubling.
I recently found a pin of a photo of a pattern that I recognized. The reason I recognized it is because I made the same garment (for Sydney when she was a couple years old). It was the same photo as in the pattern book that the pattern was originally printed in. I own the book so I went to my personal library, looked it up and confirmed it was the same pattern. Then I followed the link to an Etsy shop where the owner was selling copies of the pattern for $5 a piece! And there were 2 other patterns from the same book she was offering for sale. First I was shocked....then I was livid. I found out who published the book the pattern was printed in and I shot off an e-mail to them to alert them. Then I reported the Etsy shop for copyright infringement. In less than a day, the shop was gone.
But I was curious. So I began perusing through Etsy looking at crochet patterns. I was floored as to how many people are scanning patterns, creating PDF's of them and selling them! Even patterns I have found online for FREE are being sold! I can believe that some people may be ignorant of the law....but not all of them. A lot of them know they are doing something illegal, but they are getting away with it...and have been for YEARS. And are making decent money at it. Doesn't Etsy realize what's going on? Or are they simply turning a blind eye until someone reports a shop? I couldn't report EVERY shop doing this...would take me forever. Many of these shops try to cover themselves by selling copies of "vintage" patterns from the 50's, 60's and up...like that makes a difference. They are still copyrighted....even if they are out of print. One woman made me laugh....she retyped her copies so you can see the text better and cleaned up the photos....and she has the NERVE to put at the bottom of her listing that her copies are COPYRIGHTED because she retyped them! WTF???
Now I know there are a lot of nice, vintage patterns out there and lots of people would like to make them...me included. But you don't break the law just because you WANT something. It may seem like a victimless crime but its not. If you crochet...or knit...imagine how you would feel if you put work into creating a pattern and some person came along and started selling digital copies of it....stealing YOUR work. I bet you would be pretty mad. I have to say that I have literally HUNDREDS of patterns I have purchased over the 45+ years I have been crocheting. If I opened a shop and started selling copies of them, I could make a pretty good income. But I would be committing a crime...and I am not a criminal. And that's what these people are.
So I ask you all.....please....make sure when you purchase a pattern its from the designer of the pattern OR its an ORIGINAL hard copy that has to be sent through the mail or buy the book or booklet its published in. Don't give these thieves any of your money. Seek out the original pattern (I find a lot of them on E-bay) or even check vintage pattern sites online....some very old patterns from the beginning of the last century are no longer copyright protected and are available for free. And if you still can't find it, move on....there are a LOT of gorgeous patterns out there....you will find another you can legitimately purchase.
Thanks for reading and, as always,