Looking for a bit of advice

I have maybe a weird question and need a bit of advice. The other day I got a Ravelry notification that someone making one of my designs had added a photo. I was super excited because it seems that a lot of the people purchasing my patterns don’t really use Ravelry to keep track of projects. I went to look at the photos, which show the lovely beginnings of a project but the knitting chart is clearly visible in two photos.

My heart immediately sank. My first thought was how to go about asking her to crop her photos or blur out the chart. But I’ve let it stew in my brain too long and now I’m not sure what to do. Knitting patterns are my primary income source, and I’d like to believe most people wouldn’t take her photos and try and use the chart, but I know some might – I probably would.

Is there a kind way to go about bringing this to her attention? It’s probably not an intentional thing, and they are lovely snapshots of her work. I would hate upset this person or lose business from people using her image in place of a purchased pattern. Or is this not a big deal at all?

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Why not send a direct message on Ravelry and tell her how lovely her work is and how happy you are that she’s putting up photos but ask her if she would mind blurring the pattern. I wouldn’t be the least bit upset if a designer asked me. Good luck.
Maybe in the future you could put a request on your pattern that people not have the pattern visible in their photos. I recently bought a pattern with this request on it.

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Let’s see… where do I start with this? I also have patterns available on Ravelry and I also use other people’s patterns available on Ravelry. I use Ravelry to show off my work on other people’s patterns (I guess to take them seriously we’d call them “designers” but, nowadays, need we take them seriously? The Internet has made anybody a potential designers. My point number 1 in this long pause between brackets: you’re a designer by virtue of technological mass communication, now). When a designer wishes to use one of my lovely photos of a completed example of their design, they have to ask me permission to use it as a “featured photo.” I have several “featured photos” of my finished projects that designers have push-buttoned me to request. Mind you, none of these designers have ever sent me a personal note saying, “I love what you did with my pattern!” or “You took such a nice photo of your FO you got from following my pattern! Thanks so much!” Nononono, all on the contrary. These designers just pushed a button stupidly and requested in automated, impersonal fashion to request using my good photo to be featured on their pattern page. So, given what you said in your post about how people don’t often talk about or photograph their FOs following your patterns, the VERY FACT that someone bothered to photograph their FO following your pattern and to create a project page crediting your pattern should make you feel GRATEFUL ENOUGH that you wouldn’t be talking about how you want their photo to be better, cropped, or some other picky other way. When someone follows a pattern of mine and takes the time to talk about it on ravelry, I am grateful, I leave them a note about, because that is how I would want to be treated a a Ravelry user who shelled out the cash to buy a pattern from another designer, however other designers have never bothered to do that for me, and on top of all that have shamelessly push-buttoned requested to use my good user photos to market their patterns. Do you see why your thinking out loud is a bit… shameless now? Rethink your marketing strategy and don’t say these things out loud, because the way designers use Ravelry is sort of wrong. And please don’t say you don’t have time to personally send a message to a crafter that used your pattern because they have an excellent photo of the FO. You would have the time if you realized that 1) you won a loyal customer tickled to death you sent a personal note 2) they’re tickled to death you liked their photo so much it’s going to appear on your pattern page. To summarize: count your blessings and let people do what they wish with their cameras. If you want to enslave their photos because they’re good, maybe add some sort of extra quick note as an added touch, you might sell more patterns or become more popular as a designer that way.

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I could not disagree more with this! Should artists be grateful that people want to use their work and not expect to be respected? I think Kristen is absolutely entitled to contact a knitter and ask that the patterns be blurred. And to say that we shouldn’t take designers seriouslt or even call them designers because anyone can onlish things on the net seriously undermines the skill and effort it takes to design and release a knitting pattern. That pattern is Kristen’s intellectual property. It should not be publicised regardless of the intentions of the user.

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If you feel this way you have probably chosen the wrong media (the Internet) to circulate your patterns. A pattern is just instructions to make something and in the crafting world it is mostly interpreted, meaning the person following it will alter it to suit their needs. The person who bought your pattern is free to use different yarn, different colors, etc. This also means is free to photograph their completed item any way they wish. There is no legal prohibition on this and there isn’t much you can do except not feature their photos on your pattern page.

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If you believe that the person is violating copyright law by putting your chart on their photo you don’t need to be nice, then! Threaten with legal action or take legal action against the person. Done. I did not understand your post very well and I actually find it surprising now that you want to find a nice way to resolve it. If I caught anyone violating my copyright I’d sue them or at least chastise them, and I wouldn’t be nice, because wouldn’t have to be. Good luck with this and sorry I misunderstood you!

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The world is ugly and nasty enough without adding to it. Frankly, you’ve been condescending and rude to me and all of the people commenting on this post. I appreciate your apology but in the future remember that you are in fact speaking to real people on the internet. Further behavior like this on this blog will not be tolerated. Have a lovely day.

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I have not been ugly and nasty. I have answered your question. I misunderstood your post. I sincerely believe that you should take legal action against someone who is violating your copyright and that is in fact your right. I have not been ugly and nasty, quite the reverse, you’re the one being ugly and nasty, and now your following has one less person because I have no interest whatsoever in your blog. There has been nothing condescending about anything I’ve written. If you had ever bothered to interact with my blog, you would notice that I’m quite friendly. I have interacted with your blog and tried to be helpful and also I’ve reacted to what you’ve written. That’s what the blogging world is all about. And now, if you excuse me, I’ll never interact with your content EVER again. Thanks for wasting my time.

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I think it’s a breach of copyright law & not ok at all for the person to have put up photos of your chart. I would suggest sending them a brief private message stating nicely that you really love their pictures and are flattered by their work, but please could they take the charts down as this could affect your income in business. It might be helpful to write a short note about how little money knitting designers make and keep a copy of it so that you can use it in future. Please value your work comma I think as women we are often socialized to sell ourselves short and actually you have spent time and energy making something beautiful and deserve an income for this. If they don’t take it down within 5 days or so I would suggest contacting ravelry and asking them to take the photos down, mentioning copyright law. You how to protect your income and business, and it is hard to see how anybody could blame you for holding a kind but clear boundary. I’m sorry this happened to you, that sounds awful, but hopefully the user in question was just thought this and will respond appropriately when they get your message. Good luck, pink

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Apologies for typos in reply above-used voicetext. Should have said ‘you have to protect..’ and ‘ the user in question was just thoughtless’- hope those make more sense! Versaciknits on ravelry has a pattern called ‘vandre’- a brioche crewneck. In the ‘comments’ section of the page the first comment attacks the price of the pattern. The designer’s reply is really good and thoughtful , she holds a boundary and states some pertinent facts while being respectful of the other person’s beliefs. I found it a really helpful comment and lovely to see someone handling themselves so assertively and gracefully. It might be worth having a look if you’re interested. Warm wishes pink

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Pink, thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words of encouragement and the very needed reminder to stand up for my work and it’s worth – something that’s all to easy to forget sometimes. 🙂

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This isn’t about photographing the chart. She’s complaining about photos of a finished object, not of the pattern.

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