Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creative Commons Vs. Money

Last December I got an email from someone wanting me to write down one of my old patterns. She even offered to pay for it once I got it written up.

Now, since the very beginning of this blog, I have been a defender of free patterns. But when I look over at Ravelry and all the patterns for sale and all the subsequent sales, it's very tempting to say, "Ooohhh. Money! For knitting!" And so I have an inner battle.

I love Creative Commons. Really. A lot. My inner socialist-free-love-hippie self is all, "Free! Share the knitting love! Everyone should be able to use patterns and knit everything!" There are lots of flowers and rainbows and an elusive unicorn or two.

But then I know the argument on the other side: designers put a lot of work in their patterns. They deserve pay and giving away free patterns devalues their hard work.

What do you think? I'm writing up that requested pattern this week along with designing another and hopefully putting it up next week. I'm leaning towards "free" to appease my inner hippie and because dealing with starting a business and keeping track of income is intimidating. Anyone BTDT?


Angela said...

I love and use free patterns all the time, and I'm glad that there are people that take the time to make them available. The few patterns I have purchased I feel have been worth the price. In general, they have better formatting, or better sizing, or better instructions, or the pattern is just unique enough that I can't get something similar for free. For some designers earning money is an important part of their motivation for designing, and I think that's okay and that without any money the wealth of patterns currently available would be quite diminished. I do get weary of hearing designers complain about the devaluing of knitting patterns, because of the free patterns out there. It is their right to sell their patterns for whatever they wish, but to complain that not enough people are buying them because of other people's generosity comes off as sort of arrogant.

So I say, do what you want. I don't see any moral hazards in either selling or giving away your patterns. They are yours.

Katie said...

I personally give away my patterns for free and sell finished items on Etsy. I don't mind others using my patterns for their own purpose but I do like to receive compensation for my hard work.That being said, I am not making my living off of my creative outlet. Crocheting, sewing, and card making for me are a stress relief that just happens to be a little expensive and I am lucky that there are people willing to pay and take the stuff piling up in my house. My cousins on the other hand (Suddenly It's Real/benfloeter) sell their awesome stuff for a living. It also is of a much higher quality because they are truly artists doing their craft. For me, it is a matter of skill and livelihood. High quality things that require great skill and talent deserve to be paid for.