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Thread: copyright laws

  1. #1
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I am curious as to how the copyright law applies to quilts. For instance if you purchase a magazine and there is a quilt in it that you like, and you duplicate it and later sell it, is that an infringement on copyright laws?

    I am thinking of selling lap quilts and/or baby quilts once I retire and don't want to get my hand slapped or worst becaus of this. There is a farmers market in Yancey Co, NC that you can sell veggies and/or hoomemade items and maybe I could get a couple of hundred for a baby quilt. I don't know and won't know until I move up there permanently and try to sell them.

  2. #2
    Suz
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    Vicki,

    I am wondering the same thing. I want to make a baby item and take same to hospital gift shops, etc and if they are interested, I'll go thru the process of getting a license, etc. Some of the designs I'd like to use are from commercial patterns and am wondering about the infringement issues also. Even with a little tweeking, is this infringement??

    I have looked at my patterns and there is no statement of infringement. I plan to look at the big pattern books and check there also for some kind of statement.

    Anyone out there with expertise in this area?

    Thanks, Suzanne

  3. #3
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I did a google search and according to one website, even if you change it around a little, its still not good enough. According to what I have been reading, there are some patterns that ae public domain and some aren't. How on earth you figure that out is what I am confused about. I thought if you purchased a magazine or pattern, then it was okay. But this web site said you could be fined up to $25,000 plus attorney fees.So my question is, are all these people out there getting written permission or are they just not worrying about it?
    Anybody else have a theory or answer, cause I am confused.

  4. #4
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    A friend of mine runs a quilt shop in Omaha and here is what she said at one of our guild meetings:

    Whenever you purchase a pattern or a magazine with a pattern in it, it is meant for the purchaser to make said pattern for personal use or as a gift. Copyright permission is usually granted for free if asked if you are going to teach a class regarding the pattern or use that pattern in some form of class. It is against the copyright laws to purchase a pattern and then make a quilt to sell it. The only time it is okay to make a non-original quilt design and sell it is if you are using a traditional pattern that' been around forever.

    I would be extremely careful when making a quilt to sell. It is really treacherous waters out there....

    Melissa

  5. #5
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    That is basically what I read yesterday, but how do you determine which patterns are public domain and which aren't. That is the quandry. I know Sunbonnet sue is and maybe log cabin and the huse block, but I don't know how to reseach that part.

  6. #6

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    I'm no expert but I would think the traditional blocks would be ok to use. Who's gonna sue when they were created hundreds of years ago. I think what some are concerned about is the positioning. Newer creations are the old block in a new position. I don't think it's right altogether. Look at the paisley design. Do you think EVERY manufacturer of fabric has to get permission from whoever first created that design. I think not.

  7. #7
    Carla P's Avatar
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    I am no copyright expert, but the advertising firm I work for regularly purchases photographs to include on product labels, web pages, etc. They purchase them and the rights to use them as often as needed. This is a bit more expensive than purchasing a one-time use certificate, but it is a necessary evil of advertidsing. (For example, the pecan pie on the Karo syrup bottle, that one cost the firm $900. Add in the exclusivity certificate- they can no longer sell it to anyone else- for an additional $1,500, & you can see, it wasn't cheap to obtain the rights to that one picture, but we can use it whenever and however we want or need to. I won't even get into the cost of the pics of the babies on the Huggies packages.) My point is, if there is a quilt you really want to make and sell, contact the owner of the copyright & ask them how much they would charge you for the rights to do so. I don't see where the exclusivity would be necessary, but I'm sure you could work out something with them on usage rights. I didn't mention the prices above to scare anyone, I have no idea how much it would cost you, only to point out that most people are willing to sell you the rights for a fee. (They would rather make some money off of it than prosecute anyone.)

  8. #8
    Norah's Avatar
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    Read this link. It will help some.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/807.page

  9. #9
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Norah: Thanks for the info. That was a good article. It explains it much better than any of the other web sites that I had found. I appreciate it.

  10. #10
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Norah,

    I finally had a chance to read those articles...they were excellent. At first, with the wording I thought it would be clear as mud, but it was very informative.

    Melissa

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