Monday, April 14, 2008


There's a big bruhaha going on in the Ravelry forum now about Interweave's decision to pull many of their free patterns from the web. I happened to get in early on in the fray and posted several times. But as things played out, it seemed that everything may not have been as it seemed at first. (Isn't life always that way?) For various reasons, I've decided to lay off the forum posting for awhile (and just stick to my FO stalking, which I find extremely enjoyable. Different things, and all that.) I really don't have the energy to argue with twenty-seven thousand people who haven't read the entire 40+ post long thread, so I'm going to post it here. And tell me, can you read between the lines here? Or is it just me? Ok, here we go:
1) IK pulls down free patterns from their site sometime Friday
2) IK's rep on Ravelry confirms the patterns were pulled (less than an hour later) and says that it was because IK re-negotiated contracts with designers.
3) Lots of negative feedback from Ravellers
4) Designer states that IKs first digital rights contract was unfair but second much better. Goes on to say that the original contract gave IK the right to put up a pattern online in perpetuity without getting any consent from the designer.
5) More complaining
6) Designer posts that in pattern publishing the publication rights return to the designer (depending on contract) in 6 months to 2 years.
7) More complaining
8) IK rep posts again and says that under the "new contract" with designers that certain patterns had to be removed from the site by a certain date.
9) IK rep posts again and says they could not make any exceptions, nor could they give warning that the patterns were going because of "legal/contractual issues". Goes on to say that she brought up the issue of notifying the knitting community that the patterns were going and was told she could not because of "legal/contractual issues."
10) IK rep posts again and reiterates that the "new contract" replaces any older contract because of "contractual/legal issues" and that the old contracts were not written with the internet in mind.
11) IK rep posts again and says there was a "very short period of time" between drafting contracts and having to implement them.
12) IK rep posts and says she can't give all the answers and that "Possibly, I have already said too much."
13) Links to a designer's blog where she details the IK contracts. Highlights are: the ORIGINAL (old old?) contract did not give IK rights to distribute patterns on the web.This changed a few years ago (dated by referenced design to post-2004). IK was soliciting designers to sign a new contract (the "old contract" referred to above) giving them (IK) digital rights to distribute previously published patterns with no further compensation to the designer. This was in late Dec. of 2007. Understandably, not many designers signed on. In late January of 2008 IK was still at it, trying to get the designer to accept the agreement for her design to be in the e-book "Best Of" collection as voted by KD readers. Terms were still the same. Late Feb. the new contract comes out that is way more fair, giving designers choices and better compensation, etc. etc.
14) People begin listing patterns that were taken down from the KD site and some of them were originally published by IK in 2000 and 2001.

HMMM. Lets look at all the pieces and mix them up a bit, shall we? What, what could have made IK change the terms of their contract so drastically between Jan. 20 and Feb 20? Sure there was a sort of grass roots organization of designers asking for more rights, and there was that contest going on, but...Look at numbers 6,9,8,10,11,13, and 14 in that order. Does anyone else see what I see? Or is it just me?

1 comment:

Heather said...

So what? Do you think IK was about to get sued for using these patterns in secondary media? Designers about to go on strike? Greedy consumers just want more, more, more for free, free, free?