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Thread: Copyright issues

  1. #1
    Junior Member GMarie's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone! I have my computer set up in my new quilt room so I can keep in touch with you all! :D

    I have a question about selling quilts. If I got the pattern out of a book, can I sell the quilt without running into any copyright issues?

  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    A quick e-mail to the publisher/owner should answer that. Technically, the patterns you buy are for your personal use, not for profit. If you use classic block patterns, there should be no problems.

    Use the SEARCH function above, and you'll uncover some very informative threads on the subject.

  3. #3
    Junior Member GMarie's Avatar
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    Clear as mud. :roll:

  4. #4
    Junior Member GMarie's Avatar
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    Wow... that *looked* kind of crabby... sorry!! :oops:

    I guess it's just very confusing... and very disheartening. I mean, any one of us could sit down and play with shapes and designs and I'll bet you anything come up with something we thought was "original" and it probably was done by someone already. Then what? Quilt police? I just think that something that is REALLY unique should be copywrited, but a design many people could come up with... it's just a stretch I think.

    Ok, down off the soapbox I come...

  5. #5

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    It's not a matter of being "quilt police." And it's not even primarily the quilt itself (although sometimes it could be). It's about the pattern. When someone writes a pattern, having done all the work of drafting and the math to figure yardage and cutting instructions, writing clear assembly directions, etc., they have the legal right to "own" those instructions. Some authors will give you permission to use it for selling purposes, especially if you are making just one or two of them. Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick, and Vogue all have this pattern copyright protection, too. I can't buy a Simplicity pattern and use it to make a lot of dresses to sell. I'm not even sure that I can make ONE dress from it to sell, unless I buy one pattern per dress, on behalf of my client, and specifically clarify that I am providing the labor rather than the product. It gets dicey!

    If you make your own pattern, on the other hand, you can do whatever you like with it. This is your safest option if you want to do the right thing.

  6. #6
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    Don't forget the issue with the FABRIC also....
    some fabrics (esp licensed - for instance a college) say right on the selvage something about not making anything for resale.... or cartoon characters, or Precious Moments (if you really want to get snagged use something by PM)

    I see people at craft shows selling a LOT of college stuff and I really wonder if they have actually paid the licensing fee to do that... as soon as I tried to sell a pocket comb holder I'd be caught in two seconds flat! 8) :shock:

    I know there was all kinds of brou ha ha in the embroidery community several years ago what with stolen designs and licensing fees etc - another reason I don't even want to get into selling anything.

    I don't use "boughten" patterns - I try to use the old 'generic' patterns and fancy materials - I don't think I have any that say that I can't sell the finished product - looks like the fabric makers KNOW that when they make material specifically for the quilting community that some fabrics will be used for quilts to be sold - but who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of manufacturers :D

    I don't want to have to worry about it - whether it's a quilt or something embroidered (or both) - I'd rather use something that I KNOW is 'safe'....

    You have the same thing come up in graphic design - like the card shop programs, and the graphics packages - there are things in the 'public domain' and then the ones that have the teeny print about how you can't actually use this design that you paid for - usually that's buried somewhere you won't find it until AFTER you've paid for it and gotten it home and you find out it's for personal use only - which means you might could use it on a birthday card that you give to someone, but you can't make a pile of cards and sell them - for instance - as a set.....

    Yet, as I said, I see this stuff at craft shows everywhere..... so who knows

  7. #7
    Junior Member GMarie's Avatar
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    I see all the points you are making - in this thread and the others. And I'm not looking to open a shop or make millions... just thinking that if someone wants to buy a baby quilt from me or others that they may see I have given to someone. I totally understand when you use the layout, the cutting instructions, the quilting pattern... etc. It's obviously a copy then. I tend to take a quilt (in a book for instance) and make some changes to make it "my own". At any rate... I do want to do things right and appreciate all of the valuable feedback from everyone!!

  8. #8
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    ok, I typed in "licensed fabric" into Google search and came up with a bunch of websites...

    Here are just a few of the 'rules'.... research is a good thing ... 8)

    The college team fabrics are not suitable for childrens's sleepwear. All patterns have been licensed by the colleges and are for individual consumption only. Any other use of the college fabric is prohibited and illegal.
    All Betty Boop patterns are licensed and are for individual consumption only.
    Those are from the following website:
    http://www.jandofabrics.com/categories.asp?id=4

    Where they have tons of licensed (and other) materials.. I didn't read all the info on everything.

    One lady fought against the big guys and won - I think....
    I'm old and don't want to mess with that kind of stuff..
    I've used licensed materials but only to make stuff for my grandkids - not anything that would be sold, same with the Disney stuff on my embroidery machine...
    I have seen people who DO use the Disney designs on stuff and they DO sell the stuff... I've even asked one woman about it and her answer was that tired thing people like to trot out about how 'they changed it a little so now it's different and it's not a copyright thing'...

    well, yes it is, but if people want to take the chance they can - I don't :roll:

    I don't want anybody snarfing my pictures or the designs I've done or claiming one of my paintings, so I like to think I grant others the same courtesy....

    It's a fine line....

    apparently there's a type of thing that let's people into the US if they are talented or something...
    There's an artist in Mobile who has her artwork on a website (nice stuff)...
    and somehow she found out that some illegal alien was CLAIMING her artwork as theirs as basis for getting into the country... they weren't using her name but they had sent in pictures of HER ART as 'proof' of their talent...
    some people have a LOT of gall..

  9. #9
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    I'm with you, Janeen. When someone uses your original work and "makes changes to make it their own", it's still covered by your copyright. The copyright gives the owner exclusive rights, including the right to make new versions of the original work. It's called derivative works. You can't make a quilt of the Mona Lisa in a halter top and pigtails smoking a cigarette for instance. I can make a quilt of the design of one of my own prints, but not one of someone else's without their prior approval, not even those of other family members.

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