Copyright Infringement 101

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Paper Dolls Shawlette | free crochet pattern from

Yesterday, I posted a new free crochet pattern to my website for the Paper Dolls Shawlette. Because some people had purchased it from me, I really felt like I needed to explain why I had to make it available for free. I didn’t want there to be any hard feelings. You can read more about that HERE.

What I didn’t expect was the outpouring of love and support from all of you. I have the BEST blog readers ever!

Many of you picked up the free pattern. Some of you didn’t want to pick it up because you felt badly about it. Some of you wanted me to put up a donate button. One person has even suggested that September 30 be known as “Support Your Independent (Indie) Designer Day!”

I design and write crochet patterns because I like to make pretty things and I like to teach others to make pretty things. Not using the pattern because you feel badly about what happened to me doesn’t spread the beauty. If you like this design, please feel good about stitching it up and keeping it for yourself, giving it as a gift or even selling the finished project! *THAT* is what will make me happy.


Copyright: yayayoy / 123RF Stock Photo Used with permission.

If you want to help the crochet industry, you can buy a book or buy a pattern. Go to your local library and request crochet books that interest you. Go to websites of independent designers and share links of their work with others. Spread the word! It’s not about me. It’s about the entire industry. Support what you love!

There are many, many independent designers being affected by copyright piracy every single day. Even entire books from publishers are posted on the internet, sometimes the same week they are released. We have to pull together ourselves to make a change.

Some of you had questions about the actual piracy site I mentioned. And, I’m going to show you a screen print for one of them so that you understand.


You can click it to see a bigger view.

There are actually several websites like this on the internet. If you look at the page, you can see that the Paper Dolls Shawlette is available as a PDF. You can see the advertisement on the right which is used by the website to make money from my pattern. And, at the bottom left, you can see the “price”. The price for this particular pattern is “5 Diamonds.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but we don’t use “diamonds” as a form of currency in this country. This is a clear indication that the website is a piracy site.

In order to get this pattern, you have to have diamonds for currency. In order to get the diamonds, you have to post some copyright-protected patterns as well. For every one that you post, you collect diamonds so you can get more. There’s the snag and where you need to be concerned. The site sets everyone up. If you use the site, you are now liable. You will also be in trouble when the website owner is finally taken down.

Since these are the worst offenders on the internet, be alert and be wary. If they use tokens, coins, diamonds or anything else, it’s an obvious piracy site. There are others, but they are not as organized and they’re very easy to remove. This one is big and therefore will fall the hardest when it eventually falls.

Have a look at what happened to one owner of a big piracy site.

Rest assured that I have done everything I can do at this point, but the bulk of the legal work will have to be done by publishers who have house attorneys to handle this kind of thing. And, they will. It just can’t come soon enough.

Again, thank you all! Love ya. 🙂


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  • I hate piracy and I don’t like people buying patterns and giving them to everyone in the world it seems. I buy as much as I can and support those whose work I love. Huggles.

  • Hi Kim

    I’m sorry that you have to deal with all this. You are such a patient and generous teacher. I am awaiting the arrival of my order of your Tunisian Stitches guide, Tunisian Cables to Crochet book and your Learn to Tunisian Crochet DVD. Enjoy a burger ;)!

    Stay inspired!

  • Carol D

    Thanks, Kim. This is an important article….I hope you don’t mind, I have posted on a couple of crochet group Facebook pages – I posted the link to your page, and included your name…I believe that is acceptable to you and does NOT violate any copyright issues.
    LOVE your patterns and tutorials and help. When I grow up (I’m nearing 70) I want to be able to crochet almost as well as you do. :>)
    Can only afford to use free patterns right now (Social Security is not a great income), but hoping I can work a couple of your paid patterns into budget after Christmas is over…You are awesome and you DO give back. That’s what it’s all about! THANK YOU!

  • Morte

    that’s a beautiful design. So sorry it was stolen. At least this article (and the link to it in Google+) introduced me to your designs! 🙂

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  • Patricia

    Thank you for writing about this issue. I have bought a few patterns online, have a healthy crafting library, and make the most of my library’s crafting section.

    However, you opened my eyes to the world of independent designers as well as the world of less scrupulous people. Thank you for educating me in this arena. You and the other independent designers are such talented people. Not only that, you trustingly share your gift with the world. Thank you!

    One last note, what goes around, comes around – to all of us.

    Take good care!

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  • Lynne N

    I enjoy free crochet patterns that are offered by others with kind hearts. However, I was distressed to hear of your experience with piracy. So I just went to your shop and bought one from you. This is my way in helping fight the problem. Keep on designing and spreading the joy of your craft.

  • Sonia

    Knowing that people suffer because their work is essentially stolen should not really be a surprise, however this really brings it home to me. I will gratefully pay for patterns because I know that I’m contributing to a small business. Thanks for your beautiful work.

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