Everyone knows that copying a pattern is a no-no. Designers who create these awesome fashions deserve to be paid for their time and their efforts in the form of crafters buying their products. When a pattern is copied, the designer is cheated out of that money.
But, did you know that every individual designer has a slightly different take on just exactly what pattern copyright means?
For example, some designers are basic and simple as in: “Don’t copy my pattern in any way shape or form, but after you make it, you can do whatever you want with it”. These patterns are widely used as bazaar items, for charity… you can make and sell, make and give away, make and distribute anything you create from this pattern as long as you don’t copy the pattern itself.
Some are a bit more finicky, “Not only can you not copy the pattern, you also are restricted in what you do with the finished items”. The best course of action? Email and ask.
The Girl From Auntie has an excellent guide to copyright laws, you can find that here: http://www.girlfromauntie.com/copyright/index-guide.asp . Another great resource is Purple Kitty Yarns, here: http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/info/copyright.html
For a more complete guide, you can go to the US Copyright Office here: http://www.copyright.gov/