Lots of us "share" patterns with each other, and there is no harm if we do it only for personal use and not for selling or posting..
On email lists and bulletin boards, many crafters write about patterns still under copyright protection (even newly published) "Do you share?"
Can you "share" copies of patterns (this includes scanning, photocopies, emailing, posting to Bulletin Boards, any manner whatsoever)? The answer is NO if the pattern is still under copyright protection. [that means anything 1978 till now] The designer has the exclusive right to say how his/her patterns are distributed.
You should never distribute any pattern that's still under copyright protection in any way without the designer/publisher's written permission (crediting the designer doesn't make it all right for you to distribute those patterns without permission - you have to have the designers or publishers written permission.
Of course if the pattern is your own design or no longer under copyright protection then you can share with others...
How can you tell if a pattern is under copyright protection or not? These guidelines will help:
- Anything that is written 1978 or later -
- After 1978 - A work is copyright protected from the moment it is created, whether a copyright notice appears on it or not. Always remember that you shouldn't assume that a work is up for grabs just because there is no copyright stated.
- Very important to know is that if a pattern was created after January 1, 1978, the copy right protection lasts for designer's lifetime plus an additional 70 years after designer's death. Wow....
- Statutory copyright period has expired on works first published in the United States before the year 1923, placing these in the public domain, so it's ok to make copies of those works and share them. That is why you see so many "Vintage" patterns on the net for sale. I know I have bought several...:)