Welcome to the Quilting Board!
There have been a couple of comments that require comment and clarification. On my web site, I routinely cite statutes and court cases to back my statements. My detractors rarely do. I do not advocate a particular legal position but rather what the law says. Show me where i am wrong and I will change the material on the web site.
Yes, copyright law is controversial but really only on boards such as this. Designers and "artists" want to protect their works beyond the protections provided by copyright law. And that is where I tend to get involved.
Copying and distributing patterns IS WRONG. Period. We are in agreement on this issue. But we are not in agreement with some of your other statements. The "rules" governing fabric use are an "urban myth". It has nothing to do with overseas. When you purchase the fabric, it is yours to use as intended, to sew into an article to use. And as such, that article, like clothing, is considered a useful article and the article is not covered by US Copyright Law. Irregardless of the claims of the pattern designer. Contrary to your claim, the designer and the manufacturing company have already been compensated for their efforts when the fabric is purchased at retail so they suffer no loss by the use of the fabrics.
I have been in federal court, representing myself, with M&M/Mars, Disney, Major League Baseball, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), Debbie Mumm, and United Media (Peanuts), over the use of their licensed fabrics to make and sell articles. EVERY TIME, these companies wanted to settle rather than fight the issue.
Permission is not required. Period.
My website has been out there for 13+ years. Not one lawyer has submitted a court decision contradicting what we are claiming. We are more than willing to alter any information provided we are shown a statute or court decision that contradicts what we are claiming. We have seen NONE.
Yes, one can find themselves entangled in a copyright court case regardless of whether they are in the right or not. However, these cases rarely go to trial because the consequences of losing are very large. Few lawyers are willing to pursue cases that are losers. That is why frivolous cases are few.