How much does one need to change an existing pattern in order to be within bounds to sell the finished item? I took a Zimmermann pattern, changed the number of stitches and some details about the shaping and such. The finished product looks almost nothing like the illustration in the book, yet I bet a knitter would recognize the essence of the item as being from that pattern. Is that sufficiently novel?
How about using an unusual technique? I love PGR's short rows for socks -- if I knit socks using her heels and toes, but make up everything in between, and sell the finished product, is that kosher?
EDIT: Sorry, I thought it was clear that I'm aware of the existence of copyright law. :) My question is one of opinion: how much do YOU think it takes to convert an object from a "slightly modified version of the original pattern" to an "original work" in its own right?
Ideally one would design from the ground up, but for very simple garments it's pretty hard to re-invent the wheel.
That was a great discussion yesterday, thanks so much. :)
To illustrate the conversation, here's the pants I knit:
And here are a couple of pairs knit exactly according to the pattern I was loosely referencing:
And here is the Flickr tag for longies, to compare what is out there! http://flickr.com/search/?q=longies
I think my plan of attack is to work on a more original pattern for my next pair of longies. If that works, and is unique, and I still like knitting them, THEN I'll think about pursuing a niche in the glutted market of knitted diaper covers. :)