For The Love Of Ravelry?

22 March 2008

I didn’t really see much point in Ravelry but joined after pressure from my knitting friends.  And it’s great! 

For those of you not familiar with it, it’s been called “Facebook for Knitters and Crocheters” but it’s much more than that.  Have a pattern and you’re not sure what yarn would look good?  Look in Ravelry at other knitters’ interpretations of that pattern.  Have some yarn and don’t know what to knit with it?  Ravelry will show you what others have used it for.  There are forums for discussing any topic, groups for every kind of interest and so much more.  And today Ravelry reached 100,000 members!!

But there are a few things that REALLY annoy me and I’ve decided to post here rather than on Ravelry as I don’t really want the abuse.  (I’m taking a leaf out of Petunia’s book!) 

I’ll just mention the one today and revert to the subject later in the week.

I’m sick to death of the “discussions” about copyright.  And I put the word in inverted commas deliberately.  I’ve read so much abuse and witnessed what I imagine to be major foot-stamping as soon as the issue is raised.

I realise that Ravelry originated in the USA and that the majority of Ravellers are probably American.  BUT it’s an INTERNATIONAL FORUM.

Every time the subject of copyright or any other legal matter arises, we’re inundated with barrack-room lawyers telling us what the law is.  The AMERICAN law.  It really doesn’t seem to occur to these people that Australians living in Australia, or Scots living in Scotland are NOT subject to American law.  It doesn’t even occur to them that maybe laws are different around the world.  At this moment in history, American Law is NOT World Law.

You can shout out your rules as loud as you want, and be as abusive as you want to anyone who disagrees with you.  But YOUR rules are YOUR rules. 

If we ever reach the stage where Australian law originates in Washington, you can be sure I’ll be blogging about it.

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  1. Anyone looking for info on australian law should check out http://www.ipfashionrules.gov.au/site/home.php lots of info!

  2. I would contend that Ravelry is not international. It is overwhelmingly dominated by members in the USA as the statistics at http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/for-the-love-of-ravelry/98696/101-125#109 demonstrate (my apologies to those who cannot access the link – essentially more than 75% of members are in the USA). You could argue that as a website that can be visited by anyone in any country it must be international, but I think the nature of a community will be determined by the people who make up the community, thus it is American and we are very, very much in the minority (even the Canadians are outnumbered 10 to 1). There is, of course, the issue that so many people in America can’t see beyond their own country, but I don’t know how to fix that. Thankfully I have the pleasure of knowing several Americans with a far less insular knowledge of the world.

  3. I’m from the US, and you’re right.

    I guess that people here do need to realize that other countries and cultures have different rules and different ways of handling things. It would perhaps help if they named the threads with a “Copyright Laws of the US discussed here” topic; at least those who chose to ignore the whole section can do so, and it would show some recognition to the fact that there are others on this planet with us. I’m ashamed that we forget that at times. Odd, too, when you figure that much of my country are only 3 generations or less from foreign-born, OR are knitting a Scandinavian sweater or Estonian mittens.

    What I enjoy most about Ravelry is my ability, while sitting here at home, to “see” what everyone else in the WORLD is making, and with what, and how it’s coming along, and the different ways things are done. What a diverse community we knitters are, and I’d hate to see that lost to Ravelry.

    If fact, I’d like to see Ravelry do more, sponsor more that recognizes world-wide participation (rather than just US) in their great website. Officially feature a country a week or something. Learn about new ways. It’s that sort of sharing and learning that it’s all about.

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