In the past, I have had people borrow a book and not return it. So, I now simply say no. Many of my books are out of print and irreplaceable. I use them as a resource for my students to look through and loosing such books would impact them as much as me.
So, what about just copying a pattern from one of my books or single patterns?
The answer is still no.
What about out of print patterns and books that you can't get hold of? Well, they are covered by copyright.
Now here is my disclaimer about what I'm going to say next.
NAL - I am Not A Lawyer. I'm someone who respects UK copyright and am offering suggestions below as to resources that may help others. I am specifically discussing UK law here, however, if the book or pattern was published in the UK, or you are based in the UK, then UK law takes precedent. So, if your home country says that the law is more lax, unfortunately, the higher rules in the UK trump your home laws. As with anything pertaining to the law, if in doubt, seek advices from a professional.
For any book or pattern published in the UK or sold in the UK, then copyright extends for the life of the author plus 75 years.
But I just want a copy of one pattern
Doesn't matter. If it's covered by copyright then making a copy and giving it you breaks copyright. You are stealing the intellectual property of the person who designed it.
But you can copy up to 10% without breaking copyright
No you can't. That is a common quote that people say that has no basis in copyright law. If copying is permitted, it is stated in the UK and US for example as 'fair usage' which is commonly taken to mean no more than 10% but I fact this refers to quoting a book in academic work.
But you are allowed to copy the patterns from a book to make them yourself, why can't you make a copy for me?
The designer grants the book owner permission to copy the patterns for personal use, so that you can make the lace. It would be rather difficult to buy a book of patterns and not be able to copy them and make prickings.
What the designer did not give permission for, is for you or me to copy the patterns and give them away to other people.
I'm not charging anyone for the copy so that's ok then?
No it's not. Paying or not, it doesn't matter. You are prohibited from passing on copies. Just because you don't profit from the copy doesn't make it ok. You are still effectively stealing someone else's intellectual property by passing on unlawful copies
I can't get the pattern I want, but I've got a great photograph of it so I'll just make my own pattern by working the photo or creating my own pricking and it will then be my pricking.
You can and you can't.
Working from the design to learn the pattern .. That's ok, you are allowed to do that under educational purposes, however you cannot share the pattern you have created or sell the lace you have made because they are covered by the copyright of the original pattern. The pattern and the images of that pattern are covered by copyright. You can't just go and nick someone else's work. It is stealing!
If I change 10% of the pattern, then I'm not breaking copyright and it's now my new pattern
That would be a nope, nope, nope. This 10% thing is terrible and keeps being rolled out. There is nothing that says changing a bit revokes copyright.
So, here is a quick summary of the top ten myths on copyright