Thursday, February 08, 2007

IP Musings


So as I embarked on the Anemoi Hat adventure, I find myself musing about Intellectual Property Laws and knitting patterns. Am I "ripping off" or "riffing off" when I take Eunny's Anemoi Mittens pattern and translate those swirls and the assymetrical corrugated ribbing into a hat? I'd like to think that this is more like jazz than law, working within a style rather than plagiarism, inspired by spirit but modifying form.

Are there ethical issues with this? Will Eunny view this as a theft of her creative energy? or will she, more true to my perception, see this as a desperate stab at a tribute to her glorious pattern-making (the "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" approach).

Anyhoo, just some thoughts as I plug away at the wonderful but tedious assymetrical corrugated ribbing ...

For your entertainment today, from John at Buttermilk & Molasses, check out onBeing from The Washington Post. As John describes it: "[NPR's] Storycorps on film, minus the maudlin moments. (So far.)"

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11 comments:

LaurieM said...

Why don't you just ask Eunny if she minds? She has a blog and I can speak from experience, she will respond to e-mail and comments.

Liz K. said...

I agree with Laurie. I would certainly contact Eunny.

It seems to me like you are extending her pattern, not personally profiting from it. If you look at Grumperina's blog, for example, she has a lot of links to people who altered her jaywalkers in certain ways (i.e. figured out how to knit them toe-up, for example).

I checked Eunny's blog a bit and did not see a statement about how she licenses or copyrights her patterns. For example, some copyright holders ask that you not knit their pattern for profit/sale.

And remember, you can always ask a copyright holder's permission to use their IP.

Anne-Caroline said...

This is a very interesting question - I hope you will post again if you decide to ask Eunny, and she what she thinks.

How would you feel if it were your pattern? I don't think I know the answer to that (except if it was for-profit, and not just for your own use). You can look around and see a lot of extensions of Kate Gilbert's clapotis, also....

Dorothy B said...

I just went and looked at the copyright notes on the Anemoi and it says that it is for personal non-commercial use only. So if you are making the hat for yourself or for a gift, have at 'er. You won't be breaking the copyright. Of course, Eunny would probably be interested in seeing how the pattern translates into a hat.

HPNY Knits said...

there are obviously some very clear designs, but Eunny also "borrowed" from scores of European designs- and they "borrow' and so forth- and we all borrow from nature!!!
I'd say- modify for your own use- and be happY!

Tina said...

Jeez. I just had one of those moments where ... well, if you go to this link -- http://enchantingjuno.typepad.com/ -- you'll have one of those moments, too, within about six lines into the post. Happened in my troll through favorite blogs, at the end of a long day.

And where the hell is Eunny, anyway?

Great work on the mitts. As usual.

tiennie said...

I agree with the other comments. Ask her. But I also think that if you're using the designs for yourself, creating something new, not selling the pattern and crediting her for the original - I don't see why that would be a problem.

Angelika said...

I agree with all the other suggestions and can't wait to see your translation of the mittens into the hat. Go for it and good luck.

Rachel said...

Assuming you're not planning to sell the hat or the pattern, you should not have a millisecond of concern about this. People modify and adapt patterns all the time. Even if Eunny did object (which I'm SURE she wouldn't), she couldn't do anything about it -- there's nothing remotely illegal about it.

It'll make a great hat! I love the blue and white - very wintry.

The Purloined Letter said...

While everybody is right that you can actually ask her and that I too am intrigued to see what she says, I think it is a fascinating thing just to think about abstractly. I was thinking about making a bag using only two colors and the pattern from her IK sweater. That seems so highly transgressive to her pattern, even though I totally mean it as a simpler way to get to experience the glory that is Eunny. And yes, if I had to guess, I'd say she'd probably say it was totally my right and that she'd likely be even a bit flattered (even if she thought it was a stupid idea). But the question reminds me of the Yarn Harlot's discussion about tradition in the current post.

Karen Shanley said...

Love how you put it-- jazz riff... Perfect!