Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Queen's Work.

Now then, would anyone like to make Laracroft really and truly angry? It's not easy, but if you have what it takes, I will show you how. Are you armed with righteous fervor? Have you girded your loins with disciplinary zeal? Are you wielding your rod, and not afraid to use it? Then come along, for there is the Queen's work to be done.
Where are we going, you ask? To PicasaWeb, also sometimes referred to as a Den of Vermin.
And here we are, at the page of , insert name in Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Ukrainian Korean Chinese Greek or whatever. And oho, what do we have here? Why, dozens of magazines with patterns, scanned and posted - for free, no less! - on this vile person's page. They are in Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, etc (see above). No matter, for as we well know, this is Illegal. They are long off the stands and long out of print. No matter, it is still Illegal. Anybody who thinks that spending hours scanning unavailable magazines to share with the rest of the world is a Good Deed, is about to learn the error of her ways. It is not a good deed. It is a Violation of Copyright.
Simply click on the button reading "Report Inappropriate Content". Snap! No more page, no more unavailable crochet magazines for the other Vermin to read. With a little practice, I'm sure you could turn the offender to stone like Tumnus.

See how easy it was? To make Laracroft truly angry? Since this just happened to 2 of my favourite pages in one day, I just can't contain myself.

PicasaWeb is not about getting patterns for free. It's about access. Pattern magazines should not be printed on paper and sold in newsstands. For the obvious reason that we are running out of trees, but also because we crocheters would buy them if we could. Publishers could make a fortune: printing costs would not exist, and individual patterns could be sold online for the price of the whole magazine.

I have a pattern published in Interweave Crochet. Once that issue is no longer available, that's the end: nobody can legally make my pattern ever again. Woe betide me if I dare to make a copy of it for a friend. So, unless one of those morally reprehensible insurgents dares to post it on their Picasa page(which they won't: even they are not so foolish as to post an American magazine!), it will be dead and buried. And I as a designer should be happy about this?

A while back on Ravelry, a whole group of indignant, politically correct ladies resolved to make a habit of visiting PicasaWeb pages for the sole purpose of shutting them down.

Making Laracoft truly angry.


Jane said...

Do you retain copyright on your own patterns when they are published? If you don't you might want to rethink your agreement with any magazine. Or look into something like

jcompeau at tblusa dot org

Pushka said...

Mare meva, qué vènen els almogàvers!!

Gryphon said...

You know after one (or two, depending on your contract) years, your non-compete with Interweave expires and you can publish the pattern yourself, provided you use your own pictures, formatting, and tech-editing. Then you can sell it or give it away as you please.

Ketutar said...

I wonder if you would adjust your opinion when you know that it's not just some obscure languages and out of print magazines... those usually may stay. But I have seen the newest Interweave Knits (Yes, summer 2009, the one that came out three weeks ago), I have seen all of Nicky Epstein's books, I have seen Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia and Estonian Lace, I have seen patterns from a crochet toy designer who offers the patterns for free on her website, her only condition is that you ask her, and I have seen patterns from a crochet toy designer who is currently selling the patterns on her webshop...

I don't much care if they violate the copyright for the Russian Moda, or the Portuguese towel edgings or 1001 knitting stitches in Italian, or even some fashion magazines from 80's and 90's. I would love to find out of print curiosities, that costs hundreds of dollars at ebay, which never was the writer's/designer's wish, and she doesn't get one penny of those - scanned and put up there, but Nicky Epstein's books that are still available? My sense of copyleft doesn't quite reach that far.

Yes, I am really sad to find that one of my favorite Picasa albums have been shut down because it violates the rules... but I also understand and it doesn't make me angry, only sad. It also feels like the correct police goes a bit too far if they go there with intention of closing down the albums... after all, I doubt that causes that much harm to the designers and companies. In fact, I bought Loop-d-loop because I saw the scan in Picasa..(Yes, the scan was good enough to be vacuumed from the album.)

To comfort you, I can tell you that there was a Chinese site as well, from where the Portuguese/Russian/Chinese/add nationality of your choice came from to Picasa and they took their scans with them... Most of the scans are multiplied in several Picasa accounts and when one site is closed, 10 others are born... You will find your favorites again, if you look...

P.S. I have found a scan of Interweave Crochet summer 2006. I suppose I'll find yours too. :-)