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What’s the deal with copyrights?

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Okay, so, I said in my last post that I had a lot to say about copyrights and copyright infringement. Today I was curious about free patterns & whether or not you could sell what you make from them. I know that many patterns are pretty straight forward and tell you whether the designer is okay with it or not, but some don’t. At this point, I would assume the proper etiquette would be to email the designer and ask their preference on the situation. But anyways…

I came across this discussion on Etsy about copyright infringement and how people [not even the designer/copyright owner] contact people who they think might be infringing. That’s just crazy to me. I guess in my opinion that’s a little too much. How do they know the seller didn’t get permission from the designer? Not cool, not cool at all.

But that’s not the main thing I wanted to talk about. Basically, I really want to open an Etsy shop, but I’m afraid of all this copyright business. I’ve been busy making up my own patterns for some of my favorite things – coffee cozies, headbands/earwarmers, & infinity scarves/cowls – so that I don’t have to worry as much about copyrights, but everything I make is pretty basic and has likely been done before, more than once. My biggest worry & question is: how does that work? Everything has surely been done already, and maybe someone has it copyrighted, but what if I’ve created my own item and honestly created my own pattern but someone thinks I’m infringing? I mean, it’s not hard to be inspired by something and then create your own pattern for it, & people do it all the time. So what happens in that situation?

I’ve done some reading about copyright laws, but I’m no law student, I know basically nothing about laws like that. Anyone have any basic pointers to go by, or websites that give the plain & simple, important things to know about it?

Maybe I’m just stressing excessively about this – but copyright infringement is serious business! Help!


Lazy days turned crafting days.

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Sorry I haven’t posted lately, guys. I’ve honestly been putting if off because I’ve been waiting for pictures of something I made & wanted to put in this post. But, I still don’t have the pictures, so I’ll just have to wait & put them in later. Also, my camera is dying & it’s been SUPER snowy here lately, meaning there’s no way I’ll be able to buy batteries anytime soon. :[ Depressing, since I’ve been so busy crafting lately. So most of the pics I post today were taken with my BlackBerry – & if you’ve ever had a BlackBerry, you know that they take surprisingly crappy pictures.

This weekend was a three day weekend for us because of MLK Jr. Day, but for me it’s a four day weekend since I don’t have class on Tuesday! So I’ve been “busy” doing nothing but being lazy & crafting. Really, I should be spending this time working on school stuff, or grad school stuff, or cleaning my apartment [I recently bought a Swiffer that I’m dying to try out], but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve been having so much fun crafting, and when do I ever have time for that these days? I feel like I have to take serious advantage of it.

Friday was “Band Banquet” at my University. The marching band has a big formal, catered dinner where we watch slideshows of the season, hand out awards, & cry because the seniors won’t be back next year. Since I’m not coming back next year, it was an emotional night. This year I really felt like I stepped out of my comfort zone though, and I got my hair done super fancy by a friend, and I didn’t overly stress about the dress or shoes, etc. Mom & I went shopping for the dress over break & found it and all the jewelry on our first trip out, so that really helped with the stress-free vibe.

Pictures from this night are the reason I was putting off posting, because I actually made a ruffly shrug to wear over my dress, and a clutch to carry my phone & cards, etc. The friend who has the pictures of me with those items though, can’t find her card-reader for her computer, and her card didn’t fit in the reader my computer has. SO, that’s the big exciting stuff I couldn’t wait to show you guys, but we’ll be waiting just a little bit longer.

My best friend Jessica and I are the section leaders of the clarinet section and have been for the past two years. We’re also both Seniors. Last year, our section got us each a bouquet of roses and a card signed by the entire section.

This year, they made us each scrapbooks of our time in the marching band. From Freshman year, with people who haven’t been in the band for years, to last Spring when we got the go to New York City with the men’s basketball team – it was all there. I didn’t cry, but boy I wanted to. What an incredible thing to have, and to be able to show people for the rest of my life. College marching band: the end of an amazing 12 years as a band kid. Thanks so much to the people who made them the best 12 years of my life.

So that was the highlight to an already amazing night an even more amazing Band Banquet. I’ve literally looked at this scrapbook everyday since then. It really gets me in the mood to do some scrapbooking of my own. I’m AWFUL at scrapbooking. I’m way too perfectionist, and in my opinion, it can always be better, so then I want to take the pages I’ve made apart & redo them. I do have some really good scrapbooks, like a mini one I did for the summer after my Freshman year of college, but otherwise I’ve been slacking. I started to do a scrapbook of every year, but I haven’t even finished Freshman year’s yet, & now I’m a Senior, and I have thousands of pictures to wade through. I think what I want to do, is make one big college scrapbook, after I finish my Freshman year one. I also want to add to this marching band one, because they left every other page open for us to do that. When it stops snowing & I can go buy supplies [who knew puff paint was the answer?!] & have the time, I’ll be doing some scrapbooking.

I finished my giant infinity scarf last night. I love it SO MUCH. It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting for so long. It’s so bulky and big around my neck when I double it up, it’s great. It’s really wide [maybe a little too wide…] and really long, but it’s fabulous. I’ll be making more for sure – I’ve actually already started on a brown one that’s 10 stitches less in width.

I also spent a bunch of time last night trying to perfect a coffee cozi pattern. They’re so simple but so hard – I kept making it too long so it was too big for the cup! Originally, I was trying to decrease toward the end & put a button hole in so that it could go around a real coffee mug, but then after two failed attempts at that [which I’m sure I could make work, I just didn’t care enough], I decided just to make cozi’s for hot to-go cups. The pattern is so simple, a double crocheted rectangle and some buttons, really. But they’re so cute & I can’t wait to use them/give them away/sell them. I haven’t decorated them yet, but the last picture shows the potential for that. I also think an oversized flower would look great.

I’m also working on a knitted one, called the Corrugated Coffee Cozy, which I love. I’m making it in this yellow/gold/burnt gold color that looks ugly at first glance, but I think it’s going to make a really great coffee cozy.

I’ve been on a serious baking/cooking kick the last week, which is honestly weird for me. I do love cooking and baking, but I usually just don’t have time for it and, like I think I’ve said in previous posts, I’m really not that good at it & so sometimes it causes me more stress than anything else. Anyways, the night before last, I made lemon pepper marinated pork that I found on Pinterest. THAT was an experience. I have a George Foreman type grill, but I hate using it because the cleanup is such a pain, so I decided I was going to cook these in oil on the stove. Welllll I have a super sensitive smoke detector, and before I knew it my kitchen/apartment was full of smoke because of the hot oil, and I was running around trying to open windows & find a fan to keep the smoke away from the detector – but it still went off. Only once though, which I thought was quite a feat, since there was LOTS of smoke. Either way, the pork turned out great, even if I was totally shaken by the experience – & I have no pictures, probably because I was too busy rerouting smoke to remember to take any.

Last night, I made a lemon pepper shrimp & pasta dish that I also found on Pinterest, which went much better than my pork fiasco the night before [except for having to do some serious cleaning to the stove before cooking, because of the oil that has splattered EVERYWHERE]. It was really good too, easy to make & made the perfect amount for me. I probably could have had some leftovers, but I kept munching on it from the stove after having my first bowl, so there weren’t any, but that’s okay. Super good, & I’ll definitely make this one again.

So that’s what I’ve been up to all weekend. I can’t believe it’s already Monday. I also can’t believe it’s already 3pm on Monday. :/ I haven’t done anything. I didn’t get up til noon and I hate when I let myself do that. What a waste of half my day!

One more thing I wanted to mention in this post but don’t think I’ll go real deep into right now is that I think I’m almost ready to open an Etsy shop but I’m terrified to. Mostly because of Copyright infringement, but I think I’m going to do a blog post just for this topic very soon. Basically, I Googled some information about Copyrights on patterns and ended up in this like 3 year old discussion on Etsy about it, and it just scares the daylights out of me. I have so many questions, and don’t quite understand it all, and I also have some opinions about it too, one of which being that I think some people are a little to crazy and over-the-top when it comes to Copyrights. Just let us craft and sell what we make from it, you know? Gah. But anyways, like I said – I’ll probably do a separate post on that sometime soon because I have a lot to say on the topic, and have a lot of questions that I hope someone will be able to address for me.

Hope everyone who has today off enjoys it! Happy crafting. :]