I have known about this for a long time. I shouldn’t let it get to me, but it does. Many of you are probably already aware of this, but for those who aren’t, you should know that some unethical eBay sellers are violating copyright by taking free crochet patterns from the web and selling them.
I’ve seen patterns for sale on eBay from FreePatterns.com, Crochet me, Groovy Crochet, The Smart Yarns, and Coats and Clark. That’s quite a lot and I’m not even much of an eBay surfer. One of the wonderful folks from Crochetville brought to my attention the pattern from Crochet me for sale on eBay, and I appreciate that greatly. I contacted Kim as well as the pattern designer and hopefully eBay will do something about it.
In May of this year, I reported an eBay seller who was selling tons of patterns from FreePatterns.com. Clearly eBay didn’t care because the seller is still at it. If it were CDs or DVDs, I bet they would have been right on it, but I guess crochet patterns aren’t important. *sigh* I even reported the problem to FreePatterns.com by filling out their contact form, but it doesn’t seem they did anything about it either.
If you see an eBay listing that violates copyright, you can report it. Maybe if more of us do so, they will take it seriously. Forget that. Apparently eBay is not responsible for copyright violations and will remove an auction only if the legal copyright owner makes a claim. (Many thanks to Cheryl who did the research to dig up that info!) If you are the copyright holder, you should report it through eBay’s VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) Program.
If you want to protect yourself from buying free patterns, the best thing I can recommend is to familiarize yourself with the patterns that are available on the web. Crochet Pattern Central is a great place to start doing that. It is a wonderful resource with links to thousands of free crochet patterns!