copyright question

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  • I would like to start a website and offer free crochet and knitting
    patterns that I have collected over the years from various knitting,
    crochet, books and magazines form the 60's and 70's. So is it against the
    law to post or reprint these when I will not be selling them? If so how would I go about getting permission to do so? Is their some place on the internet where when can find crochet and knitting patterns listed in public domain?
    Thank You!
  • If you make money or not is not really a factor. You would still be depriving the copyright owner of revenue by posting them for free.
    There is a nice website at that explains copyright issues with knitting patterns and what you can or cannot do.
    Also consider that just because a pattern was published in the 1970's it might have been copyrighted before 1923. If so, the pattern is in the public domain. Finding out will take research on your part.
  • I don't think your use would fall under fair use; however, I don't think the knitting copyright website is completely accurate. The author's understanding of the library aspect of copying is a bit off and it generally ignores fair uses besides limited personal use.

    Your question is complicated, since you'd have to check on the copyright status of each magazine and book you've copied from, like LWilliamson mentioned. I'm not sure of a specific resource where you could find whether or not patterns were in the public domain.
  • I am an American living in the Czech Republic. I am trying to help a Czech friend build up resources on parenting for a non-profit Czech family center that she manages. My thought is to review parenting books (written by Americans), write up something between a summary (brief and basic summary of content) and review (how I use it in my parenting, personal experience with the material) that would be 2-3 pages in length. Then have it translated into Czech and posted on the family center website for parents to read. There are not very many parenting books written in Czech and there are few English books that have been translated into Czech. Is this something I can do without asking for permission from the publishers of the books? I am trying to figure out this "fair use" concept and how it applies. From what I can tell (and I am an admitted novice in this!), I would be OK with the purpose, nature, but am unsure of the other 2. The amount of text would be small, but it would hit the heart of the work. The effect questions would be that it would be posted on the web. Any insight you could offer would be great. Sorry this question is so long, I just wanted to be clear.
  • Copyright law gets more complicated in the international context. Generally speaking, as your actions are taking place in the Czech republic, your uses are most likely to be governed under Czech law.

    Under US law, your summary and review would probably be covered by fair use. The "heart of the work" applies to expression- you can probably describe the heart of the work without worrying about infringement if you're not actually copying it. However, the origin of the works themselves isn't what determines what laws apply- it's where the actions take place.

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