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Thread: copyright questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    copyright questions

    I bought some college fabric I was going to use to make different things to sell..I noticed on the edge it has "For personal use only". Does that mean I can use it to sell??? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Likely not.

    sandy
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Plumtree's Avatar
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    No, you are not suppose to sell it. That being said I have sold a few Texas AM bags and quilts I have made. Worst thing they can is send you a cease and desist letter telling you to remove anything that you are listing for sale on your site with their trademark. IMHO, and I know many will disagree with me, I bought the fabric and I will do what I please with it. If that means making a quilt or bag and making a small, small profit then I will.

  4. #4
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    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    my understanding of copyright is that one is not permitted to copy anothers' original works, to sell, lend, lease or give away, without the owners permission. It covers many things, no doubt including fabric prints, quilting patterns, embroidery designs, computer programs and the list goes on. In most cases, one can use these products to make a small number of items for sale, not mass-produce them, eg making bags or stuffed dollys and toys is ok, as long as you purchase a pattern, or create your own originals, and don't copy someone else's.

    hope this helps

  5. #5
    Senior Member qwkslver's Avatar
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    If it was me I wouldn't worry about selling them word of mouth so to speak but I would worry about getting on line and showing what I have for sale. The law has a long arm, but as the lady stated, they probably would send you a letter telling you to stop.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Do be aware some craft shows will not allow you to sell anything made from "licenced" fabrics.

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    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    What I was told by a fabric rep when I questioned the For Personal Use Only tag: The fabric manufacturer bought the license to print the design on the fabric to be sold to retail customers to use as they want. For personal use only is a rule the manufacturer agreed to add in order to print and sell the fabric. There is no law for the retail customer to follow the rule.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    My understanding - and it is not an expert opinion - is that you are permitted to make and sell anything with this fabric. However you need to make it clear when selling that your item is not licensed or made by the copyright holder of the fabric. (For instance, if it were Mickey Mouse fabric, you would need to make it clear that it's not an official Disney item.) The other thing to be aware of is that even if you are "in the right" you can still be sued for copyright infringement. You should win, but it would be an expensive experience.

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Some things to consider:
    If you try to sell broadly (e.g., on the internet), the trademark holder will find you and request the site to remove your merchandise...which they must do by law. Even if all the trademark holder does is tell you to stop, they have very effectively eliminated your market.

    If you try to sell openly (e.g., craft shows, local shops), the entity may prevent you from doing so in order to protect itself from harm. They, too, must remove items from display if so requested by the trademark holder, and if you are selling within the college area, there will be college reps walking around looking for 'unofficial' products. It's big money to them to stop you.

    If you try to sell quietly (e.g., by word of mouth), chances are you won't be found out, but you likely won't sell much either. The more you sell, the louder the buzz, the closer you are to the college itself, the more apt you are to get noticed...and stopped.

    You could probably lessen the potential "damage" by including a disclaimer that your item does not represent any "official" product, nor does it have the endorsement of 'so-and-so' college, but even before considering the legal/illegal aspects, you need to decide if it's worth the hassle. Best of luck.
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    Seems a shame. You bought the fabric, why can't you do what you want with it?

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Now we must make our own fabric too? that one takes the cake. I've heard of silly things but really! Those fabric makers would be ones I would not buy any longer. When they stop making money, they will most likely wake up! hopefully anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    Now we must make our own fabric too? that one takes the cake. I've heard of silly things but really! Those fabric makers would be ones I would not buy any longer. When they stop making money, they will most likely wake up! hopefully anyway.
    Well, you wouldn't be allowed to make the licensed fabrics anyway, as those designs are trademarked. This fabric is usually college fabric, cartoon characters, etc.

    But I think there is no precedent in law that actually enforces the selvage statement. It's just a matter whether people want to potentially be the one to test it...

  13. #13
    Senior Member IzzysGrammie's Avatar
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    Oh wow! I am not familiar with this kind of fabric but what if ALL fabric designers start placing that clause on all fabrics? That would hurt a lot of people that depend on their sewing for extra income. I think I need to build up my stash!

  14. #14
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You can do what you want with it. The only thing you can't do is claim it's an officially licensed product.

  15. #15
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    Just remember that the reason you are making items from the college fabric is to attract a special buyer. You are infringing on the logo which is copyrighted or trademarked. You are hoping to commercially benefit from someone else's copyright. Personal use does not mean making and selling. Personal use means making yourself a tote bag to take your water bottles to the ball game. Get an opinion from a copyright attorney before you buy a lot of fabric and make a lot of bags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    Just remember that the reason you are making items from the college fabric is to attract a special buyer. You are infringing on the logo which is copyrighted or trademarked. You are hoping to commercially benefit from someone else's copyright. Personal use does not mean making and selling. Personal use means making yourself a tote bag to take your water bottles to the ball game. Get an opinion from a copyright attorney before you buy a lot of fabric and make a lot of bags.
    I agree. Also, stay away from anything Disney, because they are well known to be very aggressive in protecting their copyrights.

  17. #17
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    That certainly is a catch twenty-two! It is in a way personal use, but I don't think it would fly legally.

    Do your project n the colors but with out the copyright.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  18. #18
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misty's Mom View Post
    Seems a shame. You bought the fabric, why can't you do what you want with it?
    My thoughts precisely!
    Country 1

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    It means you can't sell the fabric. After you cut it up for a project you can sell the project made with the fabric. just like when purchasing fabric for quilts. We can't resell the fabric as is but we can use it to make the quilts and then sell the quilts. There is personal use and commercial use.

  20. #20
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    It would do most of you well to read this website, http://www.tabberone.com. These people have been to court on a number of copyright issues and they also have links to numerous court decisions on exactly this sort of thing.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessagin View Post
    It means you can't sell the fabric. After you cut it up for a project you can sell the project made with the fabric. just like when purchasing fabric for quilts. We can't resell the fabric as is but we can use it to make the quilts and then sell the quilts. There is personal use and commercial use.
    I don't believe there would be any problem with reselling the fabric. We sell fabric to each other all the time, lol! Even though you buy a book which is copyrighted, you are permitted to resell it to someone else, or give it away. What you can't do is copy any part of the book (or in this case, fabric).

  22. #22
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    Thanks Scissor Queen your link is very helpful!

  23. #23
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!

  24. #24
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    My fabric, my choice to do what I want with it, if they don't want you to sell anything made from it they should not manufacture it for sale. JMHO
    Sheena

  25. #25
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    We've had so many copyright discussions here, and what I understand is that once you purchase something, you can do anything you want with it. Except copy the design and sell THAT. But are you really going to make enough money selling items from a college fabric to make it worthwhile if someone decides to give you a hard time. You might want to make an item in the appropriate colors for your team instead of using logo fabric. Just sayin'.

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