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Thread: What is Copyrightable

  1. #1
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    I wish someone with the knowledge would address this issue from the side of what is copyrightable. Or, look at one of the traditional designs in a quilt magazine and analyze and say what was copyrightable about the design - other than the instructions. I go to my usual example. There was a Lone Star quilt in the McCalls magazine that had he first article about copyright. What is or was opyrightable about that specific design because it has been in public domaine for 100+ years. A copyright attorney told me you can't copyright an arrangement of squares and rectangles, and I know the law says when I draw it it that it is covered. There is a space between here that is not being discussed. A simple tote bag is just that.....what makes it copyrightable.

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    it has been discussed over and over and over and over and over again.

    it has been discussed in agonizing, excrutiating detail.

    original work is copyrightable.

    a unique design is copyrightable.

    derivatives (taking somebody else's design and changing it) are not copyrightable because they are not original. they are based on somebody else's work.

    taking a block from the public domain and changing it a little does not make it copyrightable. again ... not wholly original.

    the instructions in a pattern are always protected by copyright.

    if the design is based on something in the public domain, it is not.

    all you have to do is go to the government website and read the information there. it isn't complicated.

    the discussions are made complicated by people who find the law inconvenient. they seek desperately for loopholes and obfuscation so they can rationalize and justify breaking the law.

    if it's your idea; if it doesn't exist anywhere else; if it's truly unique and original you can protect it.

    if you didn't design it; if you didn't write it yourself, then it isn't yours. make sure your copy is obtained legally. don't make and share copies of it.

    it really is that simple.

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Very nice summary. Thanks Patrice!

  4. #4
    Senior Member kwilter's Avatar
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    Can you direct us to the correct gov't site? I have been fishing around for the topic with no luck. (I assume you refer to the FEDERAL gov't?) Thanks a bunch.

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwilter
    Can you direct us to the correct gov't site? I have been fishing around for the topic with no luck. (I assume you refer to the FEDERAL gov't?) Thanks a bunch.
    I just put the word copyright into my search engine and the government page came right up.

    http://www.copyright.gov/

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwilter
    Can you direct us to the correct gov't site? I have been fishing around for the topic with no luck. (I assume you refer to the FEDERAL gov't?) Thanks a bunch.
    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/ for the law itself
    Please note the disclaimer at the top that states the web version does not yet reflect changes made by the enactment of the Copyright Cleanup, Clarification and Corrections Act of 2010 that was signed on December 9, 2010.
    The final text of that bill can be found at:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:5:./temp/~c111mH2ciW::

  7. #7
    Senior Member kwilter's Avatar
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    Many thanks! No wonder I couldn't find it...I was on the wrong planet!

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    it has been discussed over and over and over and over and over again.

    it has been discussed in agonizing, excrutiating detail.

    original work is copyrightable.

    a unique design is copyrightable.

    derivatives (taking somebody else's design and changing it) are not copyrightable because they are not original. they are based on somebody else's work.

    taking a block from the public domain and changing it a little does not make it copyrightable. again ... not wholly original.

    the instructions in a pattern are always protected by copyright.

    if the design is based on something in the public domain, it is not.

    all you have to do is go to the government website and read the information there. it isn't complicated.

    the discussions are made complicated by people who find the law inconvenient. they seek desperately for loopholes and obfuscation so they can rationalize and justify breaking the law.

    if it's your idea; if it doesn't exist anywhere else; if it's truly unique and original you can protect it.

    if you didn't design it; if you didn't write it yourself, then it isn't yours. make sure your copy is obtained legally. don't make and share copies of it.

    it really is that simple.

    There are numerous threads on this subject here...use the search feature and you will find many people that have researched this issue almost ad nauseam....

    Patrice's explanation is right on and her bullet points are perfect. I just don't get all the continual confusion about this issue.

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