Thursday, 29 January 2015

Can you sell items made from crochet patterns? Know the FACTS!

Oh, the endless debate to this question "can I sell items made from crochet patterns, without the designers permission?"

The short answer is... well there isn't a short answer. Some designers would have you say NO! and some crocheters would have you say YES! What I can say is that the law does fall in favour of the designer, however much people want to ignore this fact, and it certainly isn't about pushy designers having their own way.

So here are some FACTS when dealing with copyright law, taken from the International Berne Convention of which the US, the UK and many other countries are a member of.

So what is the Berne Convention?
The Berne Convention is for the protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and so will apply to crochet patterns/designs and was adopted in 1886 as an international agreement to protect the rights of authors who are nationals of the countries who are members of the convention. You can find the full list of country members here.

So what rights are protected?
An author or designer from any of these countries within the convention is awarded the same rights, of which cannot be carried out without permission, and these include;

  • The exclusive right to reproduce the work, (though some provisions are made under national laws which typically allow limited private and educational use without infringement).
  • The right to authorise translations of the work
  • The right to authorise public performance or broadcast, and the communication of broadcasts and public performances
  • The right to authorise arrangements or other types of adaptation to the work
  • Recitation of the work, (or of a translation of the work)
  • The exclusive right to adapt or alter the work
An author or designer from any of these countries within the convention is also awarded moral rights, of which include;
  • The author has the right to claim authorship
  • The right to object to any treatment of the work which would be ‘prejudicial to his honour or reputation
The last point is an interesting one, because those who argue that their own copyright laws are different, and can do what they like with finished items made from a designer's work, may fall fowl of this moral right. Reproducing work from a design and reproducing it, in what the designer may consider, low quality may have a case that their reputation has been damaged.


There are many myths that circulate the internet from those who wish to profit from designers work, and argue that they can do so regardless but these are often warped viewpoints from wishful thinking, a few of which are;

Everything on the internet is in the 'public domain' and thus free to use.

No, this is a common misunderstanding. A work only falls into the public domain when the copyright expires, typically many years after the author's death. While work published on the Internet may be publicly accessible, it is certainly not in the public domain.

Anything without a copyright notice is not protected

Copyright will apply whether there is a copyright notice or not. In the US, a notice was required to retain copyright on works published before January 1st 1978, but this was the exception not the norm, and is certainly no longer the case. Also, once the US signed up to the Berne convention, US law was amended, and the use of copyright notices became optional on work published from March 1st 1989

Having said this, it is still certainly worth placing a copyright notice on your work. A copyright notice reminds others that copyright exists, and may therefore help to deter infringement, which is to the benefit of the crocheter to not face legal action.

If I change someone else’s work I can claim it as my own

This is restricted. Any adaptation will be legally regarded as a derived work; so if you simply adapt the work of others, it will still be their work, and they have every right to object if publish such a work when they have not given you permission to do so. They are also entitled to reclaim any money you make from selling their work.

So the advice is always to create something unique and original, it can still be inspired by the original work, or seek permission from the rights owner however this may incur a fee or royalties.

I can legally copy 10% without it being infringement

No. Unless it is explicitly allowed under fair use or fair dealing rules, any unauthorised use of copyright work can potentially lead to legal action.

It’s OK to use copy or publish other peoples work if I don't make any money out of it

You may be surprised to know that again, no you cannot except in specific circumstances permitted under fair dealing/fair use rules. Any copying or publication without the consent of the copyright owner is an infringement, and you could face legal action and a claim for damages to reclaim lost revenue and royalties.

It’s hard to prove copyright infringement (so I'll be ok)

This is not the case, copyright law is principally civil not criminal law. Civil law requires a lower burden of proof, actually making it easier to prove infringement. In a criminal case, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. However, in a civil case, the plaintiff must simply convince the court or tribunal that their claim is valid, and that on balance of probability it is likely that the defendant is guilty.

Final points

Ultimately it will come down to the individual circumstances between the plaintiff (the designer) and the guilty party, and the final decision of the judge's rule, and even then many copyright infringements are settled out of court, but it is always advisable to err on the side of caution when reproducing a creator's original work without permission in ANY form.

Some will still argue that creating an item made from a pattern is different and they can do what they like with it, but you may want to check a designer's terms and conditions before setting up shop, as you will have accepted the designer's terms, thus creating an agreement either by registering on their website or simply by downloading it, and even then you still also may fall fowl, like I said before, of being accused of having the designer's honour or reputation impacted, and all it takes is a good lawyer!

So what are HappyBerry's copryight Terms and Conditions

I'm fairly easy going even after reciting all this information, (mainly because I'm sick of the ignorance that circulates the internet). All of my patterns are copyrighted (obviously) and may not be reproduced in any form, including written or via video format without prior permission, but items made from any of my patterns, unless otherwise stated, can be sold in your own stores however. This applies to individuals only and not companies however.

This information has been taken from the UK Copyright Service.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What does CAL, WIP, Frogging and JAYGO mean in Crochet?

If you are new to crocheting, just learning the basic stitches can leave you feeling a little left out of the party, but what about when you come across not just new stitch abbreviations but a new crocheting lingo that you didn't even know existed?

And by this I mean all the strange abbreviations such as WIP or CAL, which can be exhausting to Google and find out what they mean so you don't feel so silly asking the crochet community.

So here is my quick breakdown of the acronyms I have come across over the years, that even befuddled me once upon a time.

WIP is probably the easiest acronym to figure out, especially when it goes along with a certain picture you've seen which says it underneath, and it means 'Work In Progress'. I still have numerous WIPs I know that.

Afghan Baby Throw
Video tutorial available here
Petal Trim Tunic
Free pattern available here
Frogging is a rather strange expression that even to this day I still don't quite understand why it is called frogging, but maybe that's due to me being quite calm when unpicking my projects as I do it so frequently to save on yarn, and that's exactly what it means, 'to undo your project' and start over again. The joke being, that as frogs go 'ribbit ribbit', when you unpick you 'rip it rip it' in frustration. I prefer to just say I undid it but call me boring. ;)

The biggest project I have ever 'frogged' was my Petal Trim Tunic, which became my Afghan Baby Throw not so soon after.

CAL is an acronym that can elude crocheters for quite a while as it is never exactly clear even when seen alongside a certain project, but it is fairly simple and means 'crochet along' and a 'crochet along' is an event that many designers like to run to engage viewers to join them in making something unique, such as an afghan, and different granny squares will be shared at various times so you can crochet the same time as other crocheters or the designer.

So now you know the term, maybe you can enjoy something new! which reminds me, I really must run a CAL at some point. Any suggestions for CAL subjects please feel free to post a comment below with your ideas.

JAYGO is an acronym that is often seen again with CALs or other large on-going projects, and it means 'Join As You Go' so can often relate to afghans that require sewing or crocheting together many squares or shapes.

So now a few strange acronyms and expressions have been demystified, I hope you don't feel so left out of the crochet party and can come in and join the rest of us, because like you us so called lingo experts all started with just that one chain and quite a few frogs! (^-^)

As and when I remember more acronyms or expressions I shall add them to this blog post.
Happy crocheting folks!

Any questions or for more free patterns join me on my various social media channels.


or visit my website at

© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Items made from any of my patterns can be sold in your own stores however. Patterns are not for re-sale. Thank you.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Valentine's Day Crochet Patterns and Tutorials

It is soon approaching to be that time of year again when romance fills the air and many crocheters start looking for some fun heart filled crochet projects to try and we have quite a few to try here at HappyBerry.

Here are just a few crochet tutorials that you may like to try;

Crocheted Heart Bunting

Our heart bunting, crocheted in pastel colours with a white border, give a lovely finish to any room and they don't have to be just for Valentine's Day. Why not crochet them for a summer party or why not use a sparkly yarn for an extra special Christmas treat.

Video tutorial only.

Simple 2D Mini Hearts

Our quick and simple mini hearts are great fun to try, especially if you like using up scraps of yarn. Why not make some and glue them onto card to make extra special greeting cards, or make lots and use them as romantic confetti on a bed.

Video tutorial and written pattern, which can be found here:

Heart Bracelet

Our heart bracelet tutorial gives step by step photo guides via the link below. A fun project for teens or adults to  try. Why not make one and give to a friend this Valentine's Day. A cool alternative to a friendship bracelet.

Written Pattern only, which can be found here:

3D Padded Heart

These hearts were designed in aid of a baby charity, Little Hearts Matter and the pattern comes as a video tutorial. Made in two halves you can either sew them together in a different colour or in the same colour as a complete heart. Perfect as decorations around the house, or as keyrings.

Video tutorial only.

Large Padded Heart

An old pattern but a goodie, and perfect to hang around the house as pretty decorations. Why not fill them with lavender and use them in wardrobes or clothing drawers to give a sweet scent to your clothes.

Written pattern only, which can be found here:

I hope you find something fun to try this Valentine's Day. Any questions or for more free patterns join me on my various social media channels.


or visit my website at

© HappyBerry This pattern can not be reproduced in any way without credit given to HappyBerry. This includes copying and pasting into another blog or website, and filming the pattern for use on YouTube. You can however print it off for personal use or for use in a crochet group. Items made from any of my patterns can be sold in your own stores however. Patterns are not for re-sale. Thank you.