Most of the vintage tatting pattern books have been scanned and added to the Antique Pattern Library where they may be downloaded for FREE.
Anyone looking to complete their collection of books should check out what is available, as new books are added regularly as people have the time to scan the books for inclusion in the library. All of these works are vintage and in the public domain.
Recently the tatting community has become aware of a web site which is SELLING these same patterns. This web site: Tatting Patterns
http://www.timelesstattingpatterns.com/ sells the patterns for $37.00 which is extremely expensive when you consider they are available for FREE. There is nothing illegal about selling these patterns as they are in the public domain and if someone puts together an electronic compilation and sells them they are not breaking any laws. However it is important for all tatters to know that they should not BUY the electronic book, they should instead go the the Antique Pattern Library where they can download all of these patterns and more. In fact, it would be much more beneficial to donate the $37. to the Antique Pattern Library which is a non profit organization trying to archive all of the old patterns for posterity, not only in tatting but also in knitting, crochet and embroidery, than to buy this publication.
One of the more objectionable things about the web site at: http://www.timelesstattingpatterns.com/
is the Gallery which has numerous pictures and captions of beautiful and colourful tatting which has been harvested from various web sites, blogs, and photo albums. Some of the pictures are things which tatters have made from these vintage patterns, and the colourful pieces are certainly more eye catching that the black and white drawings in the old books.
Other pictures are for things from other publications not in the public domain and a few of the pictures are of original, one of a kind designs, which people were working on and posted to their blogs. These pictures along with captions that went with them form other people's pages imply that the tatting belongs to Timeless Tatting Patterns and that "Timeless" will be producing the patterns for them.
All of which means that "Timeless" is benefitting from the work tatters have put into creating the laces and putting the pictures of them on their own web sites. Taking pictures from web sites without the owner's permission is a copyright violation. Using those pictures to help sell an electronic publication of public domain material appears to be a form of false advertising. Now, the "Timeless" web page doesn't say that these colourful pictures of tatting represent things in their publication. It just posts them in their Gallery, but why post them at all if not to mislead? They don't really have anything to do with what is being sold.
So if you're a tatter, avoid the "Timeless" web page, except to check for purloined pictures.
Additional Note: Posting similar information on your own blog or web site will help to get the information out to a wider audience. The more people aware of the situation, the sooner it will stop. The gallery has been down for maintenance and back up and as of this posting is down again. Continued pressure on the web site owner and the server will help to keep the gallery closed. Pressure on the gallery owner in the form of polite emails from everyone concerned requesting the removal of the images, and pressure on the server from people with purloined pictures requesting the same. There is more information on what to do and how to do it on the 25 Motif Challenge blog in the "Tatters Unite" posting.