Copyright Issues

Copyright is a ‘hot topic’ at the moment. Many, many years ago (although, it still pops up here and there today) there was a lot of controversy about using images that were not your own on websitesblogs. This brought about numerous discussions on what constitutes ‘fair use’ (as well as numerous cease and desist letters for many of us). While that dust has settled, new sites and issues have popped up that surround copyright issues. Most recently? Pinterest who changed some of their policies on ‘pinning’ photoswebsitesworksetc. and the Kate Spain and C&T Publishing quilt bookeco tote bag issue. Both parties weigh in on the issue and other designers have shared their thoughts and further cleared up the topic of what is ‘fair use’ in the fabricsewing community. Of course, no one address the fair use of ‘copyrighted fabric’ (a good example would be Disney or collegiate prints) – I am guessing because they don’t have any knowledge about this area.

So what are your thoughts about fabric copyright?

3 thoughts on “Copyright Issues

  1. Beth

    I do know there have been some issues with people buying a pattern, then using it to create items for sale. Our local quilt shop is careful to make clear that some popular patterns, such as for a cupcake shaped pot holder, is not to be made for sale. I’ve started seeing patterns in blogs marked as to whether it’s for personal use or if you can make it for sale … but need to credit the pattern maker. Digital scrapbooking sites too are being more careful to make it difficult to take their work without payment.

    1. Jen

      Copyright law is very clear — a pattern author cannot limit in any way what someone does with items made from his or her pattern. Putting verbiage on the pattern suggesting otherwise (“Items made from this pattern cannot be sold” or something like that) is a false claim and is unenforceable. The copyright applies to the pattern itself, not items made from it. The quilt shop can tell people whatever they want but if someone was to purchase the pattern and then make 1000 cupcake pot holders to sell on Etsy there would be nothing that the shop could do about it.

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