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Selling Handmade Goods

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This probably isn't the right place to put this but I wasn't sure where to start.


My mum has a number of knitting patterns and she makes the characters (for example her latest one is a nativity set). She wanted to try & sell these, not necessarily for loads of profit but to cover her costs to let her carry on making this.


She emailed one of the publishers of one of the patterns and they have told her that she can’t because of copyright. Are they allowed to stop her from doing this? Are there anyways around it? Would some other pattern printers allow her to do what she wants with the characters once they are made up?


Any help or advice would be great!



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I've seen loads of those sort of things on Ebay - I can't imagine why she shouldn't be able to sell the items.

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Because I don't know how to knit it's difficult to comment.


If I buy a wooly jumper and sell it, the jumper manufacturer can't stop me I don't think, even if I buy and sell thousands.


If you buy wool, and knit it into something else, then it's yours to do with as you please. You are adding value to their product and selling it on.

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It's nothing like buying something wholesale and then selling it,

Nor is it anything like taking a material and making just anything.


In fact, if they were just taking wool, following their own pattern and selling it that'd be perfectly fine to sell.


It's because the characters created in the patterns and the designs belong to the publisher. and are copyrighted.


If she were knitting a Mickey Mouse you, you wouldn't even think twice about asking the question. it's be so obviously illegal to sell someone else's design (either knitted, or tracing a picture and selling it as art.) why should it be different for a generic thing like a wise man? (no, you can't copyright wise man toy, just as story writers can't copyright boy meets girl plots. but you can copyright the specific work. and derivatives, I.e if I make a pattern of a wise man toy, I'm fully within my rights to stop you using that pattern to create toys for your profit.)


Yes they can stop you, and they do stop you.


I can't find it now but I recall a thread on a different forum where someone had bought an electronic embroidery machine, and a card of winnie the pooh patters, they proceeded to make and sell winnie the pooh embroidered hanker chiefs, which seemed like a brilliant idea until they were sent cease and desist notices for copyright infringement.


The patterns are provided, (much like the license granted when you buy a CD) for you to use that CD for your own enjoyment, or to give as a gift. or in this case to follow the pattern to create items for yourself, or to give as gifts.

you're not allowed to copy and sell copies (of CD's or the knitting patterns). and you can't follow the designs to make products for sale without permission of the rights holder of the pattern...


The only thing that I really have to suggest is. (as someone who can knit myself)...

Why not search the internet for a pattern that's provided without limitations? many patterns do exist that are provided on-line for free and people are allowed to "do what they like" with what they create following the patterns. (including sell). -that's either patterns that are out of copyright, or that people have created specifically to be shared without limitations.


the other alternative would of course be to just create your own patterns, (that sounds harder than it actually is -it's actually quite simple to create patterns.)


if you just didn't care about what they said, then go ahead and sell, wait for either a cease and desist type notice, or wait until the designer does try to take action against you.

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