Copyright laws were something I really had NO clue about until I got into a Facebook cross stitch group. But I became educated on it real quick! Below is a link that was shared to me by a very respected cross stitch designer, Joan Elliott, that explains copyright laws in respects to the cross stitch hobby:
It is never okay to make a copy of an original pattern to give to someone else. In doing so, you are hurting the pockets of the wonderful designers who spend many hours making these designs and not earning a lot for them in the first place.
If you want to sell or give an original pattern away after you have stitched it, that is not illegal. However, just take into consideration that you are still kind of hurting the designer by doing so because that is now a pattern that person you gave it to will not buy (the exception to this would be if the pattern is no longer printed). It is NEVER okay to make a copy of a PDF to give or sell to someone.
When buying patterns from places other than a local needleshop or reputable online retailers, be very mindful to look for signs that indicate a pattern is not legal and violates copyright laws. It is our duty and responsibility to be aware of these things and to try to support the designers of this industry so that they keep feeding our addiction…errr..I mean hobby!
Here is an article that is very interesting and informative and talks about how you can spot these illegal patterns:
Many designers have quit designing because they get tired of people stealing and selling their designs. When their designs are stolen and sold for someone else’s profit, it no longer is profitable for them to keep designing cross stitch patterns.