Knitters take it to the web

When knitters and the USOC collide.

The problem with having summers off of work is rabbit holes.  

I mean the kind one falls into when one belongs to too many social media networks.  While reading my Twitter feed this morning, I came across this story involving an online knitting community and the United States Olympic Committee.  In case you didn't click the link and read the story for yourself, the summation is basically this: On the knitting social network site Ravelry, within the forums, a group of knitters have created a knitting competition called the Ravelympics.  It corresponds to the summer olympics this year and it is a time when knitters set personal challenges to knit or crochet things that must be started and finished during the 2012 Olympic games.  We are getting in to the Olympic spirit and supporting our athletes.  I participate in this, and it's lots of fun. The USOC decided that this was an infringement of their copyright and sent a Cease and Desist letter to one of the co-founders of the website. Rarely do Internet dust ups affect me personally but this one hits me close to where I live. I spend a lot of time on Ravelry and so I've been following this story as it develops all day long.  The knitters are very upset with the USOC and have taken their greivances to Twitter and Facebook and the story was picked up by NPR  

Personally, I think we could have worked around the copyright infringement issues, as I think they had some legitimate claims against some designers who were using coprighted images in their designs and selling them. However, the dismissive tone used in their letter, accusing us of "denigrat(ing) the true nature of the Olympic Games" is pretty insulting.  

I'm hoping this will blow over soon and we'll be able to keep the word Ravelympics for our knitting competition.  The Ravtheletes (Ravelympic competitors) will be participating in a 'mass cast on' during the opening ceremonies.  I think it is so cool that literally thousands of knitters around the world will be unified by this activity.  

I don't think this 'denigrates' anyone. Just the opposite is true.  Like the Olympics itself, the Ravelympics brings people of all nations together to share their passion for fiber arts and sport at the same time.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sandy Richards June 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM
The USOC has updated their apology: http://www.teamusa.org/News/2012/June/21/statement-from-usoc-spokesperson-patrick-sandusky.aspx


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