Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Poncho Question

It's been a busy week without a lot of knitting going on, just some afghan squares I have been working on while watching tv.

I can't believe the hubbub about The Poncho. First Bernat posts a pattern, then Lion Brand announces that they will be posting one. My first reaction was this:

What about the woman who created it in the first place? Has anyone talked to her? Give her credit! Have the woman write up her pattern in her own words and pay her for it for crying out loud! Deposit some cash into her prison account so she can buy more yarn! Heck, give her a lifetime supply of yarn! Sheesh!

We hear all the time about copyright. Give credit where credit is due and all that. As knitters, we all enjoy free patterns on the web. We all know it's wrong to post someone else's pattern on the web, especially commercial patterns. If anyone posts a pattern from a pattern company they can expect all kinds of nastiness from the company's legal department.

I have heard arguments that the woman who created the poncho pattern is a criminal and shouldn't profit from it. I say hogwash. Criminals are not allowed to profit from their crimes, and the poncho has nothing to do with her crime. Everyone has the right to their intellectual property, even prisoners. Besides, whatever happened to rehabilitation? If people enjoy her designs, should she not be able to profit from them?

Since then, Lion Brand has posted their crochet and knit versions of the pattern and Interweave has posted one as well. Interweave is giving credit to the original designer and donating books and magazine subscriptions to the women at the prison. Bravo!

I certainly have not heard all the news about how these companies are dealing with the poncho maker. I do hope they are all doing what's right and respecting her copyright the same way they want the rest of us to respect theirs.

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