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Thread: More discusion about copyright issues

  1. #26
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    >>>Intellectual property law is intellectual property law regardless of whether you are referring to watermelons or grapes/quilts or paintings. There is no difference in the copyright process of protecting an art design pattern or a quilting design pattern ( if you read my last post again you will see that I was referring to design instructional packets in both instances) <<<

    QUOTE=ghostrider;5138756]With all due respect, JMCDA, you are comparing watermelon and grapes. There is a world of difference between the copyright of a painting and the copyright of a pattern. True, neither can be duplicated beyond personal use, for profit or otherwise, but in the case of the pattern, it is only the written instructions that are copyright protected, not the resulting items made by following those instructions.

    >>>It is the written instructions AND the patterns (line drawings) that are copyright protected. The owner of the original design has every right within the law to control the intended use of the design and if they say that the design is to be used for personal use only then that is all that can be done with their design both patterns and intstructions.<<<

    Look at it this way. If you published a book of "How to Draw Crickets", you would have full copyright protection on the book. No one could copy your book and sell it...or even give it away for that matter. You would not, however, have any right at all to prevent legal purchasers of your book from drawing crickets just like you taught them and then selling those drawings however and whenever they wanted within the limits of reason (i.e., not setting up a factory in China to mass produce them).

    >>>If I were to publish a book on painting and drawing "crickets" and then found a painting that was a COPY of one of the crickets in my book, meaning that they had taken the PATTERN from my book (or a tracing or recognizable rendition) and placed it in their painting...even if they had changed the surroundings, flipped the cricket over, ripped off one of its legs or painted it purple...I would have every right to protect my intellectual property.<<<

    >>>However if they used the knowledge (just the knowledge, not the patterns) that they gleaned from my book to draw and paint their own "Cricket" paintings and proceed to sell them, then good for them - they are creating their own intellectual property and deserve all compensation<<<.

    The full intention of a set of instructions (aka, a pattern), is to teach someone how to make something. You cannot turn around and deny them the right to make it. The creator of the instructions has no claim over what is done with the resulting items. None. They received their compensation when the instructions were sold.[/QUOTE]

    >>>No one is denying anyone the right to make an item for which they have paid for the pattern - I certainly did not say that you could not make the item from a pattern that you have lawfully purchased. I also said that if you make an item and decide it doesn't suit you or you don't like it or whatever....then you can go ahead and sell that one item without impunity.

    ...however, if you purchase a pattern packet containing a pattern and written instructions with the intent or motivation to sell the item or items and proceed to go ahead and do so then you are infringing on the copyright of the owner if they have stated that the pattern is for personal, non-commercial use. It is actually pretty easy with just a few questions to tell if someone is selling for personal reasons or if they had the intention right off the bat of making money from the pattern.
    and yes, if you are infringing on someone elses copyright they can and do claim/seize/demand the offending items be turned over to them for disposal as well as receive monetary award and damages.

    >>> My daughter gifted me a couple of quilting books this past Christmas and I went and looked at what the copyright statement in both of them said which was "items made from these patterns are intended for personal, non-commerical use"
    seems pretty clear to me...personal use is intending to use the pattern for your own personal use and enjoyment. Commercial use is intending to use the patterns and instructions for the purpose of making money.

  2. #27
    Member happysteve's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to sharing the joys of life with others? Seems many are just in it to make a profit. . what a shame.

  3. #28
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    Copyright aside, did you really think a designer that's selling an item would actually give permission for somebody to sell the same item? If she really doesn't want somebody making and selling her item then she shouldn't have sold the pattern. Once the pattern is sold she relinquishes all control over any product made from the pattern she sold. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Our "opinions" will not likely stand up in COURT...I once made a raffle quilt for a non-profit and before I used the pattern , I emailed the designer and asked her for permission to do so. She was quite gracious and gave her approval to do so. She asked that I giver her credit for the pattern design and add her website to the label...happily! SO...when in doubt, just get in touch with the pattern designer first and ask for permission. I would not risk a lawsuit. The sewing and craft world is a small one esp with the internet. I would not risk it. Get permission or accept the answer you get. IMHO
    sandy
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  4. #29
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    Just ask anyone who tries to sell a Jane Stickle replica quilt by the name Dear Jane!
    You may not be able to sell it as a "Dear Jane" quilt, but you can sell the quilt under another name.

    There was a quilter on another board who listed a Dear Jane, the author of the books went after her, and ended up losing the battle. The quilter was allowed to sell the quilt, just not call the quilt "Dear Jane."

    Janet

  5. #30
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    "Dear Jane" is a trademarked name registered by Brenda Papadakis, the author of the book. It's a different legal standard than copyright.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  6. #31
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    I posed this question a few yeas ago to an Intellectual Property Attorney and this was her response:

    ****
    This is my question can I purchase a pattern any pattern and make that product for resale.

    Update 3/15/10: I called an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer this morning and she said that what you make from patterns is not protected under copyright. All that is protected is the pattern itself. Sew forth and multiply.
    *****

    Unless the design is unique rather than common there are so many variations of the finished product the designer cannot make this statement. Think patchwork pattern, the "basic black dress", shorts or tank top patterns, child's sundress pattern. They all follow the same fundamentals but the outcome is different.
    Nancy

    Just keep going!

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by happysteve View Post
    Whatever happened to sharing the joys of life with others? Seems many are just in it to make a profit. . what a shame.
    you can still share, just don't print anything, nor sell anything that you did not design! Quilting entered the "industry" back in the 1980's, by the mid 1990's it was in full bloom and was a no man's land...everything was up for grabs, and she with the most $$$ to get things published, produced won the largest slice of the industry pie. Thus allowing "her/him" to make the rules/guidelines for the rest to follow!

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland View Post
    You may not be able to sell it as a "Dear Jane" quilt, but you can sell the quilt under another name.

    There was a quilter on another board who listed a Dear Jane, the author of the books went after her, and ended up losing the battle. The quilter was allowed to sell the quilt, just not call the quilt "Dear Jane."

    Janet
    Brenda did NOT lose...she won when the lady had to change the name of the quilt!

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    "Dear Jane" is a trademarked name registered by Brenda Papadakis, the author of the book. It's a different legal standard than copyright.
    as I mentioned!

  10. #35
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    How does a person obtain a copyright? Is it done on each pattern/design? I would think there is some type of paperwork or something they have to do to get the copyright.

    How do we know if there is truly a legal copyright on a design/pattern or if someone is just stating they have a copyright.

  11. #36
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    I am all for protecting the designer from the big companys coming in and mass producing their product or design with out any compensation, but lets get real for a minute. What threat is the average quilter to the designer when they want to sell a few purses at a craft fair to make a littke money to be able to buy more patterns and material, or the guild who made a quilt to raffle off to support their charity work. I feel every quilter should do the honorable thing and never photocopy a friends pattern. Go buy the pattern. Not only are you supporting the designer, but also your local quilt store, who is also trying to keep her doors open. I think copying patterns is the real problem! I spent close to 50 dollars on a "block of the month" pattern that I had been eyeing for a long time but did not have the cash to buy it right away. I could not believe it when someone asked me if they could get a copy of it. Really? When I teach an adult ed quilt class, I always have each participant buy a pattern, and I give the designer credit.

  12. #37
    Senior Member dixie_fried's Avatar
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    If one were to read and understand the government copyright website (and I have read it...), one would come to know that utilitarian items such as quilts and clothing are not eligible for copyright protection. They are not considered by our governing bodies to be works of art, so comparing the two is moot. This is not to imply that we, as quilters should not love and cherish our own quilts as artistic...it just means the government sees them as simple utilitarian items.

    "Designs" as mentioned in the government copyright website only apply to the designs of ship hulls. The fashion and clothing/accessory industries lobbied to get their items covered under copyright protection, and it was the opinion of the Supreme court that allowing fashion designers protection under the law was not feasible. This is why it's commonplace to be able to buy a knock-off red carpet dress the day after it's seen on television.

    Here is the issue I challenged during the last great copyright debate, and it still stands:
    "And if you can find citation of a court case where someone was actually held accountable for selling an item made from a pattern that they bought, I will eat this laptop, piece by piece."
    "And I guess I might have made a few mistakes.
    But maybe that's exactly what it takes.
    To get a little happy in this big sad world..."
    ​One Line Wonder, The Avett Brothers

  13. #38
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    Brenda did NOT lose...she won when the lady had to change the name of the quilt!
    She was trying to block the sale, and did not. She managed to preserve her trademark of the name, but she had no control over the end product.

    Janet

  14. #39
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    Food for thought from Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Project entitled Copyright Terrorism:

    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...terrorism.html

  15. #40
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    this is all so interesting as I do not understand why you cannot sell it I know I kaap refering back to this and no one ever answers but Bethany Reynolds came out with a book called Stack and whack was very popular I took a class and made several then I don't remember her name came out with a book called one block wonder I also took the class the only difference a slight change in cutting and set different but everything else basically the same another one is twister a total spinoff of a book called Square Dance and I have been seeing several others of these now so if they can do this and have books or patterns published why oh why can you not sell your quilt I for one would love to have an answer to this

  16. #41
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    Why get someone in trouble.
    Quote Originally Posted by kathleenq View Post
    Copyright is very technical and very tricky. I like to stay completely on safe side. I think you did the right thing.
    One time in surfing the net, I ran across a finished quilt that was for sale on a private website. It was an exact replica of a famous designer(Nancy) in her Landscape Book. I wrote to Sewing with Nancy and gave her the website. She wrote back and said it was violation of copyright, and thanked me. The private website, removed the Replica Quilt.

    Traditional Quilt blocks are not copyrighted, to my knowledge, so they can be created and sold, at least this is my understanding.

  17. #42
    Senior Member dixie_fried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chay View Post
    Food for thought from Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Project entitled Copyright Terrorism:

    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...terrorism.html
    Great link, Chay! Thanks for adding it.
    "And I guess I might have made a few mistakes.
    But maybe that's exactly what it takes.
    To get a little happy in this big sad world..."
    ​One Line Wonder, The Avett Brothers

  18. #43
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMCDA View Post
    It is the written instructions AND the patterns (line drawings) that are copyright protected. The owner of the original design has every right within the law to control the intended use of the design and if they say that the design is to be used for personal use only then that is all that can be done with their design both patterns and intstructions.
    I suspect the differences between what you claim is the case (the resulting constructed items are covered by copyright) and what many others believe to be the case (those items are not covered by copyright) can be explained very simply. You are referring to Canadian copyright law and we are talking about US copyright law. There are multiple significant differences and the US law generally provides more freedoms for users of copyrighted material (e.g., Canada has Moral Rights, the US doesn't; the US has Fair Use exceptions, Canada doesn't).
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    thanks for the link! Very interesting. I also looked up "federal copyright laws" and read some of it( who can understand "legal ease"). My limited understanding of all of this info is that the PATTERN is copyrighted, PATTERN can not be copied for resale, not valid if "distinguishable variation" of original pattern, can not copyright "common names" ie COKE or basic patterns ie: bowtuck ( has now become name for certain style ), not valid if not know (not printed). I now think that designers just put such statements such as " only for person use or charitable contribution" to scare you into into not making item for sale/profit. Contact your local patent attorney for more info!

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts View Post
    I always read the copyright BEFORE I buy any pattern or book.... and never buy any with copyright that is restrictive--can't sell items at craft fairs, etc.... Another set of patterns to avoid are the Atkinson's.... can't make and sell these either....

    If your pattern came from somebody else's pattern you saw it is still theirs--is the way I understand it. The IDEA came from 'their hard work....' or that is the way I understand it...
    I have heard that Fons & Porter are very restrictive in their copyrighted patterns too......

  21. #46
    Super Member onaemtnest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chay View Post
    Food for thought from Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Project entitled Copyright Terrorism:

    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...terrorism.html
    What a GREAT link!!!!! I particularly liked the response from Kate Spain in the comments section and then the rebuttal...

    I guess if I break a law, a rule here in little old rural Idaho and the big guns want to come and get me, I'll face it then. I shall make quilts to gift with fabric that have selvedges that forbid certain uses after I purchased it and let the chips fall where they may!

    I find most of this so very confusing, if not down right ridiculous for the average quilter.... and if someone should sue me, they can have half of the nothing worth grabbing I possess. Except my DH and fur babies! :0) JMHO
    Smiles from Idaho,
    Onalee

    "What if you woke up today with only the things you had thanked God for yesterday?" ~ Michael Hyatt

  22. #47
    Senior Member dixie_fried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherokeerose View Post
    How does a person obtain a copyright? Is it done on each pattern/design? I would think there is some type of paperwork or something they have to do to get the copyright.

    How do we know if there is truly a legal copyright on a design/pattern or if someone is just stating they have a copyright.
    This section of the copyright law discusses how a copyright/registration is obtained: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap4.pdf

    It is generally accepted that anytime someone creates something, it is protected under copyright (providing it is an original work). It is their intellectual property, and no part of the WORDS OR IMAGES may be reproduced for sale without their written permission. Whatever other wording a designer/author adds beyond that is just posturing on their part.

    If infringement is suspected, the designer has to register their work with the copyright office in order to seek legal damages.
    "And I guess I might have made a few mistakes.
    But maybe that's exactly what it takes.
    To get a little happy in this big sad world..."
    ​One Line Wonder, The Avett Brothers

  23. #48
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    Thanks, Ghostrider, for good sense. These discussions drive me crazy because, while it is clear that people who buy quilt patterns cannot legally copy those patterns and sell or give them away, the creator of the pattern could not possibly retain control over the items made using the pattern. Suppose he/she stipulated that the item could only be used to cover a bed and not a couch, for a dog bed and not a cat bed, and so on ad infinitum. Of course the designer should be compensated for his/her intellectual property; no one is contesting that, but to say that the person who buys supplies to make an item using that pattern, puts in hours of labor, uses capital goods over which he/she has effective control (sewing machine, cutting mat, scissors, rotary cutters, etc.) has no right to profit from his/her investment is absurd. People get their pay for their intellectual creativity when they sell their pattern. Here's another thing--most patterns I buy come from a third party, i.e., a quilt shop that has already paid the pattern creator or his/her agent. Does that give the retailer a proprietary right in the pattern so that if I am going to use the pattern I have to buy fabric and other supplies from that quilt shop? Give me a break! Use a little sense! froggyintexas


    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    With all due respect, JMCDA, you are comparing watermelon and grapes. There is a world of difference between the copyright of a painting and the copyright of a pattern. True, neither can be duplicated beyond personal use, for profit or otherwise, but in the case of the pattern, it is only the written instructions that are copyright protected, not the resulting items made by following those instructions.

    Look at it this way. If you published a book of "How to Draw Crickets", you would have full copyright protection on the book. No one could copy your book and sell it...or even give it away for that matter. You would not, however, have any right at all to prevent legal purchasers of your book from drawing crickets just like you taught them and then selling those drawings however and whenever they wanted within the limits of reason (i.e., not setting up a factory in China to mass produce them).

    The full intention of a set of instructions (aka, a pattern), is to teach someone how to make something. You cannot turn around and deny them the right to make it. The creator of the instructions has no claim over what is done with the resulting items. None. They received their compensation when the instructions were sold.

  24. #49
    Member tabberone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMCDA View Post
    I have more than a few friends who have spent years in court fighting infringement claims against companies that thought they could make and sell items with the artwork of the artist on it without permission - every time the big company lost. (think cute snowmen on gift items and a big national store) I have many times had studios teach my designs without permission and without even purchasing the patterns for each student in the class - each time I have found out about this I have confronted them and been compensated for my lost income.
    None of what you claimed in the above quote has anything to do with patterns and their use to make and sell articles. Nor does 30 years experience as an artist, etc.

    The US Supreme Court stated in 1879 that copyright protection in a pattern does not extend to a dress made from that copyrighted pattern. Then, in 1908, the US Supreme Court stated that a copyright owner cannot invoke restrictions on use of a copyrighted article by printing those restrictions on the article, it required a contract between the parties. A contract requires agreement between the parties before the transaction. And the federal courts have long maintained that the owner of a copyrighted article loses control over that particular copy once it has been sold or given away.

    No permission is needed to make and sell articles. Only ONE copy of a pattern is needed to make more than one article. And the copyright protection that is automatic under the law is the protection of ownership, not enforcement of the copyright. A copyright MUST be registered with the copyright office before any civil action can be initiated. The exclusive rights provided under copyright law do not become effective until after it is registered because if it cannot be enforced in court then there are no rights simply upon fixation.

    We have researched thousands of federal court cases. There are no federal court cases that have gone to trial over the use of a pattern to make and sell articles. The closest one was from the 1930s where a designer had copyrighted a drawing of a dress. The designer then tried to sue someone who making copies of the dress to sell. The federal court in New York rejected the claims saying that it was the drawing of the dress that was copyrighted, not the dress itself. And that is consistent with federal decisions on other copyright matters.

  25. #50
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    I was inspired by a design I saw on a set of dishes. I did not copy the design exactly but it is very similar to the design that inspired me. Is it a copywrite issue to be inspired by a design and then made into an entirely new medium? In this case, dishware design to fabric quilt. I have no intention of selling this quilt but I may display it at a fair.

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