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Thread: Question about copyright

  1. #1
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Question about copyright

    I was hoping someone might be able to help.

    I saw a fairly simple geometric design on the internet and thought it would make a great quilt. I found lots of pictures with the same design but I can't find anything about who might have designed it. I googled copyright free designs and it comes up on numerous sites but you have to pay for the digital copy but it says it is "royalty free".

    Even with my basic art skills LOL I have drawn out the pattern, can I use that design? If I enter my quilt in a show do I put it down as my design? I am fairly new at this and would hate to get this wrong.

    Thanks for your advice
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Good Question. I'm curious to see what others have to say. If you were just going to make a quilt for personal use, i would say there's no problem. I've made quilts where I've drafted the pattern from a quilt I saw online, so I hope this is the case!

    If you were going to market the pattern, or sell the finished quilt, you would probably have issues.

    Don't know about using it in a show.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    A fairly simple geometric design in itself probably can't be copyrighted. Imagine what would happen if somebody had copyrighted a square.

  4. #4
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    Why are you asking for legal advice here? I mean, half of us aren't from the your country, and I can't imagine the other half has a clue? If it's something you're that worried about, you really should be asking a lawyer, right?
    Warning! If someone comes to your door telling you they are from the government and they're checking to see how bad the ticks are in your area, and then tell you to take off your clothes and dance around so they can check for ticks.... DON'T DO IT!!! This is a scam! They just want to see you naked! I wish someone had told me this yesterday, I feel so stupid.
    http://www.quiltdasher.blogspot.com/...bel/long%20arm

  5. #5
    Member masimmons's Avatar
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    If the image is as common as you say and it is located on several different websites for different companies or different things and the diagram does not have a registration mark (r with a circle around it), TM in one of the corners, or some other mark to indicate ownership, then it is not trademarked. In the US, searches can be done by the general public on the federal website. There is bound to be a government entity in your country that issues trademarks and copyrights. I would look there under the FAQs. If you are still uncomfortable after reading the information on these websites, then you may want to check in with a lawyer that is licensed to practice in you country. (My education in law does not reach as far as Australian law)Best of luck!

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    You can use the design in anything you make but can't mass market it or claim it as your own if you use a bought pattern. If you drew your own design that looks the same then say inspired by the designer. I don't fret over copyrights as long as I don't claim the pattern as my own or reproduce the pattern for sale.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be overly concerned about it Woody. In most quilt shows they just want you to give credit if you used someone's pattern. There was a big bru-ha-ha about a year ago with McCalls quilt magazine publishing inaccurate info on copyright issues and entering quilt shows. It cause many shows to go into a tailspin demanding quilters who made a quilt from a pattern they did not design themselves get written permission from pattern designers that they could in fact enter the quilt in competition. In fact it caused untold amounts of grief for poor Bonnie Hunter, she was inundated with requests. She finally put something on her website that anyone is free to exhibit a quilt they made using her patterns and to please quit emailing her as it was completely overloading her in box.

    It later came out that McCalls was dead wrong in their article but I don't think they ever printed a retraction. If you enter a show there with a pattern you drafted yourself but inspired from a picture on the net I think that is ample information to submit with your entry application and it is doubtful you have infringed on anyones copyright.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 04-08-2012 at 06:57 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    I wouldn't be overly concerned about it Woody. In most quilt shows they just want you to give credit if you used someone's pattern. There was a big bru-ha-ha about a year ago with McCalls quilt magazine publishing inaccurate info on copyright issues and entering quilt shows. It cause many shows to go into a tailspin demanding quilters who made a quilt from a pattern they did not design themselves get written permission from pattern designers that they could in fact enter the quilt in competition. In fact it caused untold amounts of grief for poor Bonnie Hunter, she was inundated with requests. She finally put something on her website that anyone is free to exhibit a quilt they made using her patterns and to please quit emailing her as it was completely overloading her in box.

    It later came out that McCalls was dead wrong in their article but I don't think they ever printed a retraction. If you enter a show there with a pattern you drafted yourself but inspired from a picture on the net I think that is ample information to submit with your entry application and it is doubtful you have infringed on anyones copyright.
    And this is precisely why you never ask strangers (or even faaaabulous friends) on quilting board questions that should be sent to an attorney. Those who try to help (with good intentions of course) will most likely be wrong... even McCalls magazine was off their rocker, by a long shot.
    Warning! If someone comes to your door telling you they are from the government and they're checking to see how bad the ticks are in your area, and then tell you to take off your clothes and dance around so they can check for ticks.... DON'T DO IT!!! This is a scam! They just want to see you naked! I wish someone had told me this yesterday, I feel so stupid.
    http://www.quiltdasher.blogspot.com/...bel/long%20arm

  9. #9
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your advice, I think I will just go with it, as it is a geometric design that anyone could draw themselves, I will check with my guild when I finish it if there are any issues with entering it in a show.

    I really don't think I would bother with the expense of asking an attorney for advice like this, when there are so many helpful, friendly and knowledgeable people right here on the quilting board, I did check the design and there is no "R" in a circle, so I should be OK. If not, then I will make myself a quilt that I will love!

    Thanks again everyone!!!!!!
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I think you'd be okay as long as you didn't try to make money from it.

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