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Did your Finnish grandmother pirate your scarf?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 25 Nov 2011 5:29 User comments (13)

Did your Finnish grandmother pirate your scarf? Finnish NPTO on design protection.
Did your grandmother ever make clothes for you as a kid? Such as a scarf or socks for example? In many cases, the designs on those items of clothing came from weaving magazines or guides for enthusiasts. I bet your grandmother never thought it would be considered a crime to give you such a nice gift?

In Finland, that may actually be the case. The National Patent and Trademark Office (NPTO) has explained that if the designs in such magazines are protected, then you can only use the instructions/guide to craft a product for your own personal use, even taking into account that the designs could be published in a magazine for knitting / weaving enthusiasts.

The NPTO explained that deciding where to apply limits is difficult, because design protection doesn't only apply to commercial use.

"Design protection forbids commercial and professional abuse, but you can make one product [using the guide] for your own personal use. The limit where those rights end is a shady line. One must consider that more you make, the closer the [professionalism] line is. It isn't really for your own use if you make gifts for wider circle", says Tapio Priia from NPTO.

Breaching this protection could result in a fine, and carries the prospect of paying damages to the owner of the design.

- Information and direct quotes translated from Finnish source. (

Tags: Finland
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13 user comments

125.11.2011 9:25

time to rethink patent and copyright laws. These were only intended to motivate people to help improve or enrich Society. They weren't intended to stultify Society or put it into servitude to patent/copyright owners.

225.11.2011 13:18

Where did this come from.

This has been the norm in craft books for many decades.

What they do is have a line saying you can photocopy this page for your use and make items as you see fit on the page this has been the norm in these books since the 70's or 80's.

I take this writer has never looked at the craft book?

325.11.2011 14:05

This is just plain silly for 3 very big reasons:
- Just because yer granny makes scarves for the entire family DOES NOT make her some kind of professional. In fact, the very definition of the term "professional" implies payment for the products/services produced.
- It's simply not possible to enforce this. Any unenforceable law isn't just silly, it's counterproductive to the intent of that law itself. Who's going to listen to an obviously inane law..? Answer: no one. Witness "blue laws" in the US.
- The Terms of Use contained just inside the front cover of every one of those magazines - that I've ever seen - contains verbiage offering, essentially, unlimited NON-commercial use of the designs within, which is *cough* WHY PEOPLE BUY THE CRAFT BOOKS!

Trying to enforce this will only kill the craft magazine industry in Finland. Intense fail on the part of Finland's NPTO.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Nov 2011 @ 14:06

425.11.2011 14:10

I think they clearly misunderstood what was to be protected in the magazine; in this case it'd be wording, pictures, quotes and so forth. If another magazine maker took the same article to assist a different group of people, and didn't quote the original source or have permission than that is infringement. Clearly NPTO doesn't understand what it means to violate said law.

By their definition what would happen with cook books? You make a big dinner and you get charged because you fed it to your family? Like what the heck. By their definition the food serve wasn't for personal use. It was given to family members. So they should be fined too.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Nov 2011 @ 14:11

525.11.2011 20:22

Ok...ok....ok.........WTF!? This can't be serious Finland....This I didn't even expect these Copyright Nazi to ever pull,making items from a step by step book...Illegal,THIS IS COMPLETELY NUTS

625.11.2011 22:32

Living in higher altitudes affects the brain thru lack of oxygen you can see the result of those effects by the article

726.11.2011 0:55

They actually have it perfectly correct. Given current overgeneralized copyright laws, copying anything is illegal without express permission...even if the copy is not exact or not for sale. Anyway, who is to say grandma doesn't get paid? She gets a hug or a thank you, that is a form of payment, plus she doesn't have to spend the money to go out and buy some crummy birthday gift if she makes a crummy birthday gift herself.

I say we lock up all the Finnish grandmothers until the laws are fixed.

826.11.2011 2:59

Nope. Because the books STATE that you have permission for unlimited, noncommercial use, at least in every fabric pattern book I'VE ever seen, so their argument is completely moot. It's really that simple. Any publisher is certainly allowed to waive any or all of their full copyright powers in just about every country, and many do so, for obvious reasons; it's not like trademark law.

I'd be very surprised if one or more publishers of these magazines don't start fighting this themselves; grannies are their fkn bread-and-butter, and they damn well know it.

926.11.2011 3:52

Don't forget, corporations are allowed to issue actions against people who distribute content that isn't owned by them, even if the owner allows distribution. Just look at youtube; WB pulls videos posted by the full owners all the time.

1027.11.2011 2:37

And WB pulling that content was NOT legal, and that's causing a huge stink. I don't see your point, KillerBug.

The amusing thing about this is that it will have no effect, other than wasting a ton of Finnish taxpayers' money. Or are YOU going to turn in your grandma, for knitting you a scarf? Did anyone even ever check where granny got the pattern in the 1st place?! LOL

An unenforceable law, just like any unenforceable order, is idiocy and folly, and does nothing but waste time, money, and (in the military) potentially lives.

111.12.2011 18:28

Yes, it's mine but I am letting my grandson borrow it.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Dec 2011 @ 0:06

1214.12.2011 12:31

This ish is getting out of hand. It just shows how greedy everyone is.

Someone told me once that theres a right and wrong, and that punishment would come to those
who dare to cross the line.
But it must not be true for jerk-offs like you.
Maybe it takes longer to catch a total asshole.

1314.12.2011 23:42

my great grandmother invented them knitting patterns herself.the people of finland stole her knitting patterns published and copyrighted them can i sue them???

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

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