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Thread: If a fabric says for personal use only not for commercial use...

  1. #26
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    Disney fabrics have this on the selvage. Yeah, you can use it anyway you want as it says in sissorqueen's link, but are you willing to pay the price in the courts if they start to go after us little guys? If I can't use it any way I want then I just don't support that company/designer. Maybe if more did that then they would stop being selfish....

  2. #27
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts View Post
    Disney fabrics have this on the selvage. Yeah, you can use it anyway you want as it says in sissorqueen's link, but are you willing to pay the price in the courts if they start to go after us little guys? If I can't use it any way I want then I just don't support that company/designer. Maybe if more did that then they would stop being selfish....
    If it actually got to court their claim wouldn't hold up anyway. You can actually go to court without a lawyer and win too. Read the tabberone site and you'll find that they've gone to court numerous times.

  3. #28
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    The words "court", "lawsuit", and "subpoena" often strike fear into the hearts of many people. But if one can change their reaction to such terms, and see them as merely actions that a person can take -- like the action of waiting for a credit return to show up on your credit card, or a bill to arrive in the mail at month's end, or the action of applying for a driver's license (or any other license), or registering a birth, car, trademark, etc. -- one will find that it is merely a process of law and not really intimidating at all.

    I was sued by my attorney, once years ago following a divorce, for not paying his bill in full immediately. The fool had written my financial statement for the divorce so he KNEW I had virtually nothing with which to pay him in full. He appeared in court in full 3-piece business suit (probably cost him $750 at the time!) with HIS attorney dressed the same way. They pompously stood at one podium before the judge, while little old me stood alone with no representation, properly but inexpensively dressed, at another podium. Ultimately I had to believe in the system because there was nothing else I COULD do. The judge, who MUST have seen how unbalanced this situation appeared, cut the attorney's charge in half and gave me time to pay it!

    So the money wouldn't appear to come from my checking account, I went to my attorney's attorney's office with a check written on a friend's checking account for about half the amount the judge had ordered. I presented the check and said I had no more money and only a part-time job. The attorneys took the check as payment in full......ultimately 1/4 of the original charge!!

    My point is, if I had quaked in fear of being sued, I would have dragged yet another attorney to court with me after being sued, and ended up with not only the first charge, but a second hefty one as well.

    Often it is much easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

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  4. #29
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    I would think that refers to big commercial product runs using the fabric.

    My personal opinion: If I buy fabric, I own that fabric. I never signed a license agreement with the manufacturer.
    I just bought yardage and as the new owner I am free to do whatever I want with it. I can make a hat, a superhero cape, or a quilt. And if I decide that I want to sell it, I can do so.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    Any use you have is personal... any attempts to restrict your use can not be enforced. You bought it and paid what the seller asked ... what you do with it after purchase is your business.
    I think we should boycott these fabrics, actually that is what I am going to do.....that is really silly that they would even have such limits on this fabric ! Once you paid for it it should be yours to do as you wish.....

  6. #31
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I don't pay it no mind.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Weisberg View Post
    I think we should boycott these fabrics, actually that is what I am going to do.....that is really silly that they would even have such limits on this fabric ! Once you paid for it it should be yours to do as you wish.....
    Since it IS yours to do with as you wish, boycotting only punishes you and not them. They will not miss your purchase one little bit while you deny yourself full freedom of choice in all available fabrics. You're free to not buy whatever you choose, but it won't make any difference to anyone but you.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  8. #33
    Senior Member smockingRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskira View Post
    This is another scenario where they can say it but can't enforce. Nor do they really have a right to say it, but they try anyways. If they don't want a copyrighted image used in that way their only true recourse is to not sell it in the first place. Once the item belongs to you then it's yours to do with what you want, short of copying it and selling reproductions.
    Well said! I am so tired of designers and publisher who SELL their stuff, and then attempt to tell the purchaser how it may be used!

  9. #34
    Super Member debbieoh's Avatar
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    Oh come on!! this is too much. I for one will never buy a fabric that dictates what I am ALLOWED to use it for.

  10. #35
    Senior Member smockingRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnye View Post
    Thanks, Scissor Queen! Great article.
    I agree with y'all! Tabberone is a great site

  11. #36
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    I don't think I'd even buy fabric then that said that. I don't sell my quilts but I still want the freedom to do what I want with what I make out of a fabrics.
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  12. #37
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    This makes me wonder why they would market the fabric iin the first place, since alot of fabric is used on items that will be made and sold. This would make more sales for thier product, why would they want to limit it for "personal use only" ? So silly to me.

  13. #38
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    This subject was discussed to death either on this forum or another quilting forum some time back. I can't remember the details but basically the licensing is between the fabric company and the retailer selling it. When we buy it, we aren't signing an agreement and we can do anything we want with the fabric. There have been lawsuits against Disney and some other companies by people making things and selling them online (such as on ebay). The companies have settled out of court and the crafters are still selling those items. I really wouldn't worry about it!! I know here in Kentucky, the University of Kentucky is very aggressive about their copyright. People buy UK fabric and make purses, quilts, etc. and sell them at craft shows with no problem. And trust me! If UK could stop it, they would!!
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  14. #39
    Senior Member kountrykreation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    The words "court", "lawsuit", and "subpoena" often strike fear into the hearts of many people. But if one can change their reaction to such terms, and see them as merely actions that a person can take -- like the action of waiting for a credit return to show up on your credit card, or a bill to arrive in the mail at month's end, or the action of applying for a driver's license (or any other license), or registering a birth, car, trademark, etc. -- one will find that it is merely a process of law and not really intimidating at all.

    I was sued by my attorney, once years ago following a divorce, for not paying his bill in full immediately. The fool had written my financial statement for the divorce so he KNEW I had virtually nothing with which to pay him in full. He appeared in court in full 3-piece business suit (probably cost him $750 at the time!) with HIS attorney dressed the same way. They pompously stood at one podium before the judge, while little old me stood alone with no representation, properly but inexpensively dressed, at another podium. Ultimately I had to believe in the system because there was nothing else I COULD do. The judge, who MUST have seen how unbalanced this situation appeared, cut the attorney's charge in half and gave me time to pay it!

    So the money wouldn't appear to come from my checking account, I went to my attorney's attorney's office with a check written on a friend's checking account for about half the amount the judge had ordered. I presented the check and said I had no more money and only a part-time job. The attorneys took the check as payment in full......ultimately 1/4 of the original charge!!

    My point is, if I had quaked in fear of being sued, I would have dragged yet another attorney to court with me after being sued, and ended up with not only the first charge, but a second hefty one as well.

    Often it is much easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. The vision of this 'dog and pony' show gave me a chuckle this morning. I applaud your tenacity and victory! I agree with protecting an individual's copyrighted assets, BUT agree 100% with the majority on this thread... if I pay good money for fabric, I'm going to use it as I see fit. It's hard to comprehend how it could be enforced? Possibly, I purchased the fabric from an individual who had removed the salvage, before I purchased it, and I just never knew of it's specific restrictions. If the fabric police ever show up on my doorstep, I might change my perspective, but til then...

  15. #40
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I wouldn't buy it. Let them deal with a limited market.

  16. #41
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    Fabric could be labeled for us to understand. Change the wording. We can't copy the fabric design and sell it, but we can make anything we want with it and sell what we make. We can also sell the fabric in a garage sale if we choose to not to use it. Basic and simple to change the selvage to state we cannot copy the design on that fabric and sell it as our own. The design is licensed or copyrighted. And for those that use the wording 'human consumption' on fabric- it is just plain funny. The word is correct, but that is not what we think of when we read it. We can use the fabric until we no longer need it, then we can sell it off or get rid of it how we choose to.
    All that said, the wording is all used (licensed, consumption, etc.) so we aren't spending our time reading selvages instead of cutting and sewing.
    Here's another thought: Is it the 'wave' of fabric manufacturing to place those 'notices' on the fabric about licensing, etc.? Will all fabrics have those selvages with warnings and copyright notices? If we stop using those designers, will we eventually have no fabric to use in the future, or will be resigned to giving in? Are we merely misinformed and/or misguided about a misunderstood controversy?
    Last edited by NanaCsews2; 07-18-2012 at 05:56 AM.

  17. #42
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I think that the wording on the fabrics about "personal use" etc. is there in part to protect the fabric manufacturers from being sued by the owner of the design/license (such as Disney, MLB etc.) ... this is a lawsuit-happy society that we live in and as result, we get things like this happening.

    As to those cease-and-desist letters, I've received three so far. Two related to selling fabric, and one for an item that I sewed.

    Who am I, and what do I do? I sell fabric on the internet. And I sell appliance covers that I've sewn from fabric.

    The first two cease-and-desist letters related to "red hat fabric". You may remember a few years back there were a bunch of "red hat" fabrics for sale. It seemed every fabric company made a collection that year, and none of them were named "Red Hat". Betcha they got the same cease-and-desist letters I received!

    Basically, I got one in writing (by mail) and the other arrived as a middle-of-the-night e-mail. One was from the "Red Hat Society" and the other from the "Red Hat Ladies". Both alleged trademark infringement, and demanded that I stop selling the "red hat" fabrics that I'd already purchased. However, trademarks are issued only for a specific set of products or purposes, not as a blanket-covers-all. Both groups had trademark status ONLY as social groups. Neither had been granted trademark status for ANY products, of any kind, at all. So they were just blowing a lot of hot air. But I didn't know that, at the time. And so I researched, and also came across the Tabberone website. And I'm so glad they posted all the information for us to read!

    The other cease-and-desist letter was because I was making covers for George Foreman grills. Interesting, the letter did not come from the George Foreman company! It came from an individual, who alleged that I was making a knockoff of his idea for a "protective and decorative" cover that was designed to look like a beanie or cap. This letter had about a dozen clauses describing his cover... and my covers differed from his, in EVERY clause. So clearly they were entirely different than his covers (which were not even in production). I showed this letter to my attorney (yes, I had to pay to do that!) and he said that the whole thing was an attempt to find someone to produce the covers for them, because the letter included an offer for me to license with them. Gee... what a scummy way to find a manufacturer! Obviously I did not partner with them!

    Live and learn...

  18. #43
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    Thanks Scissor queen for the article as have always wondered what this meant

  19. #44
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    My guess, which is only that, is that it was intended for the personal fabric market, as opposed to use in mass production. I don't see how a purchase of less than multiple bolts of the same fabric could be construed as anything other than personal use. Now if you got a truckload of it. . .
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  20. #45
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    Jan in VA - Good for you! Your lawyer sounds awful, especially considering it was his fault you were so bad off! Bravo to you for being such a gutsy gal!

    Scissor Queen, your article is most informative and I am grateful to have read it and know we do not have to give a second thought to those ridiculous statements sometimes found in selvages!

    Nan - that is really low what those people tried to pull on you! Thank you for sharing because it can serve all of us to know that a lot of times those cease and desist letters are just posturing and hot air!
    Last edited by BuzzinBumble; 07-18-2012 at 07:01 AM.

  21. #46
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    I don't believe this is true for fabric. They cannot enforce that. What they can enforce is the copying of patterns and selling those (if copyrighted). You can share a pattern with someone, though, for personal use.

  22. #47
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    Scissor Queen, thanks for the link, very informative, will not search other information there.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    Basically it doesn't mean a thing. See; http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/.../Selvage.shtml
    I agree. I've researched this too since I do sell items that I've made. At local craft shows, I doubt that's a issue but I found a disclaimer I'm putting on my etsy items to cover myself from any legal actions. Disclaimers will protect your right to use their fabric. If they push the issue, we will simply stop buying fabric and then what would they do?
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  24. #49
    Senior Member Elaine433's Avatar
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    I have seen that marked on patterns but I have never seen it marked on fabric.
    I wouldn't worry about it. It is not like you are making 100 of these to sell.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti25314 View Post
    I've used some of the Eric Carle fabric, and it's marked like that I think. Anyway, I assumed that it meant I could use the product or make it a gift -- but no selling.


    That just doesn't seem right. If you're buying the fabric they are making money so what's the problem?

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