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Thread: Copyright laws regarding quilts

  1. #1
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    This is in replay to an earlier conversation about copyrighting. The article I was looking for is in American Quilter (AQS), Fall of 2006. 'Copyright Meets Quilter'. An interesting article about using patterns and showing quilts.
    I think this is an issue that will always have questions around it. Best answer is to always ask permmission first. On the publishers page in the front of all my magazines is a small statement that gives permission to use the patterns for personal use only and NO reproduction for resale or manufacture is allowed. The article does say entering a 'small local show might fall within the implied permissions granted by a published pattern'. I think a problem might arise if you enter a big show that has a big money award.

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    People who quilt only to make award winning quilts know the rules of the business of winning nationally. The rest of us quilters (the ones that keeps the quilt market a billion dollar industry) should follow the no stealing for profit or recognition and chill.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    People who quilt only to make award winning quilts know the rules of the business of winning nationally. The rest of us quilters (the ones that keeps the quilt market a billion dollar industry) should follow the no stealing for profit or recognition and chill.

    That's a good way to put it.

  4. #4
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    Consult a lawyer who specializes in Intellectual Law. Anybody can say anything on the web (no one checks for truthfulness on the web, there is no oversight), so I would not trust that info. unless you really trusted the source of the info. I still think it is best to consult a lawyer. I know the legal profession gets kicked around alot, but they do know the law. Just a thought. And no, I am not a lawyer and no one in my family is.

  5. #5
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    People who quilt only to make award winning quilts know the rules of the business of winning nationally. The rest of us quilters (the ones that keeps the quilt market a billion dollar industry) should follow the no stealing for profit or recognition and chill.
    I agree 100%

  6. #6
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luv Quilts and Cats
    Consult a lawyer who specializes in Intellectual Law. Anybody can say anything on the web (no one checks for truthfulness on the web, there is no oversight), so I would not trust that info. unless you really trusted the source of the info. I still think it is best to consult a lawyer. I know the legal profession gets kicked around alot, but they do know the law. Just a thought. And no, I am not a lawyer and no one in my family is.
    I don't think I understand your response to my info. Where does the lawyer come into the picture? I would just e-mail anyone who has a pattern published that you would like to use and ask them for permission to use it. All I 'm doing is giving you one more piece of info to read. It can't hurt and there may be something to learn! And beautiful pictures of examples of copyrighted stuff!

  7. #7

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    Keep in mind that even lawyers don't always know the law.

  8. #8
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    This is from another Board regarding Copyright. I think it would also apply to quilting patterns. Hope this helps.

    Question via email to the U.S. Copyright Office:
    I want to sell a knitting pattern I wrote complete with step-by-step instructions and a photo of the finished project. I understand that my written work and photo cannot be reproduced or distributed without my consent. My question regards the finished product produced by the individual who made it using my pattern: Do I have any claim to what is done with that finished product such as how it can be used or if it can be sold for profit?

    Response via email from the U.S. Copyright Office:
    Copyright in a pattern normally pertains to the pattern itself, not to the object that you construct from the pattern. If the pattern, however, includes original artwork that would be incorporated into the work you make, then you may need permission to use it commercially. An example of that would be a needlework pattern depicting original artwork. An example of the opposite would be a dress pattern: the dress you make from the pattern is not subject to copyright protection.
    *********************************************
    U.S. Copyright Office
    Library of Congress
    101 Independence Ave SE
    Washington DC 20559
    (202) 707-3000
    www.copyright.gov

  9. #9
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    I design my own so I don't have to worry about copyright infringement. :oops: When I have used a pattern, they were gifts.

  10. #10
    Marquilt's Avatar
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    I've been following all the copyright discussions with interest. There is one question that comes to mind which I don't think has been discussed. What about technique?

    Take for example, bargello quilts, since I see that many of us are making quilts of this kind. I got into these things some ten years ago, and used a book by Marilyn Dohenny as my guide, though what I produced didn't look much like any of her examples. I just had to mess with it. *g*

    Now there are tons of bargello books out there. So if any of us who are working with this form want to show or sell our quilts, is this a copyright violation? And of whom would we ask permission? Every bargello book author out there?

    Or what about watercolor quilts? Remember those? How many people wrote books on how to make those?

    I'm sure there are many other methods which do not involve actual patterns to which this question would apply. What say the rest of you?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mary M's Avatar
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    This is the correct information and should be used. Thank you for the info. It is the pattern that should not be sold or copied without permission not the product of the pattern. No different from making a dress from a pattern....the dress can be sold without any infringment on copyright. I think those magazines are out of line IF they say you can't sell the product made from a pattern.
    Quote Originally Posted by burnsk
    This is from another Board regarding Copyright. I think it would also apply to quilting patterns. Hope this helps.

    Question via email to the U.S. Copyright Office:
    I want to sell a knitting pattern I wrote complete with step-by-step instructions and a photo of the finished project. I understand that my written work and photo cannot be reproduced or distributed without my consent. My question regards the finished product produced by the individual who made it using my pattern: Do I have any claim to what is done with that finished product such as how it can be used or if it can be sold for profit?

    Response via email from the U.S. Copyright Office:
    Copyright in a pattern normally pertains to the pattern itself, not to the object that you construct from the pattern. If the pattern, however, includes original artwork that would be incorporated into the work you make, then you may need permission to use it commercially. An example of that would be a needlework pattern depicting original artwork. An example of the opposite would be a dress pattern: the dress you make from the pattern is not subject to copyright protection.
    *********************************************
    U.S. Copyright Office
    Library of Congress
    101 Independence Ave SE
    Washington DC 20559
    (202) 707-3000
    www.copyright.gov

  12. #12
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    How to make useful items cannot be copyrighted. Now what is considered a useful item is the key word. Usually it's something needed for purpose like an apron, a shirt, gloves. A quilt for show isn't the same as a quilt to keep a body warm but still a quilt and listed as a useful item from when quilt had a useful purpose. That's why the how to make a design of the quilt can not be copyrighted. Actually the picture of the design on the pattern is the actual thing that is copyrighted, like the Simplicity or McCalls patterns. It's amazing what is buried in a copyright law. I don't care anymore. Someone else will have to buy the pretty pattern packages. EQ7 has 5000 copyright free block patterns.

  13. #13
    JJs
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    I'm going to say one more thing about all this copyright stuff and then no more.

    First of all, I resent it when some on here say something about "stealing from designers" to show a quilt without permission - how is it stealing when you PAY FOR THE PATTERN/MAGAZINE/BOOK.

    Secondly, and I think most importantly, the quilting community has always been one of SHARING. Women who were isolated by their circumstances shared patterns in rare letters, got together and quilted while they exchanged news and gossip. Freely shared the patterns they created. And now we have these so-called special designers who negate that whole community. I have no problem whatsoever with a designer being compensated and receive credit for a quilt design, a book of instruction and patterns, a new technique, etc. My problem is their wanting to control the resulting quilt that someone makes. I also think they are on a power trip when they make someone who PAYS MONEY FOR A PATTERN in good faith take an extra step to ask permission (which may or may not be granted) to show the finished quilt.

    A friend of mine wrote to a designer and asked about this very thing - the designer wrote back "You do not need my permission to put a quilt you made with my design in a show." She also said that it was not necessary to put her info on the quilt but she would appreciate it. And that lady has some fantastic designs!

    I've put quilts in one show something like 20 years ago - and even back then they were my own designs - so no problem for me to give credit where due - yea rah me....
    I may or may not (probably not) ever put quilts in a show again - our guild keeps talking about having a show - and any quilts I would put in a show would be my own design. So it's a moot point to me all this hoopla over the copyright stuff. I use public domain blocks in my own arrangements, with my own color schemes, and my own fabric choices.

    And I'll be my own 'designer' using EQ!

    And I'll have tons of fun while the other designers worry about whether or not they've wrung every last ounce of credit and praise and whatever else it is they are looking for/expecting out of the patterns they oh-so-graciously "make available"...

    And I will make it a point to only use patterns that GIVE PERMISSION beforehand IF I decided to use someone else's pattern. And I have used patterns in the past - Blooming 9 patch is one (great pattern by the way) but won't put that quilt in a show - too much hassle to track somebody down and ask permission.
    yea yea, I know, designers say oh it's easy to ask - just email - what about people without internet, or just call - I'm sure the designer will love to get collect calls, or write, ok, track down an address, write, go to post office.... yuk

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