Sunday, 12 July 2015

But It's Free? How Copying Free Patterns Hurts the Designer (and You)

How copying free patterns hurts the designer (and you)

We all know that it's wrong to copy paid patterns, right? Most of us also realise that it's also wrong to copy patterns from magazines, but what about free patterns? Surely it's OK to copy those and hand them out? It's not like anybody is getting paid for it.

I'm here to give you a different perspective. No, I'm not going to rap you over the knuckles and tell you how naughty you are. I would just like to give you a few points to think about next time you're hitting that photocopy button.

I write free patterns and tutorials for a few reasons:
  • To give people the opportunity to learn new skills without fear of 'wasting money';
  • To thank you for your continual support of my blog and Facebook page;
  • To give you a taster of my writing skills, making you feel more comfortable about purchasing my patterns in the future:
  • To increase my exposure.
Sure, my patterns have my details on them so even a photocopy will direct people to my page. The problem is, I don't see the numbers. What is 10,000 downloads could very well be 15,000, 20,000, 100,000 for all that I know. People with copies may not be seeing my other patterns, tutorials, ramblings on my blog (and nobody wants to miss those!).

"How is this my problem?" I hear you ask. Without your support and assistance, designers will be unable to continue to provide free patterns and tutorials. Many of us rely on our freebies for blog views or downloads, which subsequently turn into sponsorship, sales or other opportunities. Without those, the blog will survive for only so long. The blogger too, for that matter. It takes a lot of time and effort to create patterns and tutorials. Design, images/diagrams, writing, testing, advertising. This doesn't even include monetary costs such as materials, computer software, blog costs etc. Without some form of compensation, be it financial or otherwise, freebies simply become 'not worth it'.

I'm here to ask that next time you're about to email a PDF, email the link to the download instead. If you're given a copy of a free PDF, visit the blog/page and download your own version. The added benefit to this is that you know you will also have the absolute latest version of the pattern.

Share this post and spread the word. Support designers so we can continue to support you.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that! I appreciate all the work that goes into patterns, and love that some are free. It's great to hear the why and how!

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm glad you enjoyed the post 😃

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  2. Thank you! This is so important for people to understand. I'll be sharing this around!

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    1. Thanks Alyce 😀 It is so easy very people to overlook the freebies when it comes to copyright and general appreciation. I'm really glad you liked the post.

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  3. Well said. I'm going to share this blog post. I have struggled to explain it to others. You wrote it so well. Protect the designers & protect the designs.

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    1. Thanks so much Debra. I'm glad you liked the post. It's been in my head for a while. I'm glad I finally took the time to write it :)

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  4. Yeah it can become so frustrating. Also the amount of people not willing to spend $4 on something they really want and take for free. It's about balance

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    1. Oh I love the 'I'm not spending $3 on that' comments. I mean, let's face it, with that three dollars I'm clearly just profiting....not doubt putting it towards another Ferrari hahaha.

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  5. Yeah it can become so frustrating. Also the amount of people not willing to spend $4 on something they really want and take for free. It's about balance

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