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Topic: Anybody know anything about copyrighting a quilt?  (Read 1702 times)
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athenamat
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« on: April 08, 2008 02:26:23 PM »

Apparently you can, as says this:

http://www.lostquilt.com/CopyrightYourQuilt.html

This quilter, Tracey, has all of these patterns copyrighted: http://www.traceybrookshier.com/patterns.html

Some of them are rather elementary and I don't understand how nobody else could write up instructions to make such a quilt either.  [She complained of copyright infringement for my bento pattern; I took it down but I am genuinely intrigued.  My ip speciality is patents, not copyright, but I still can't get my mind around what she can actually do.  Could she really prevent pple from making this quilt?  Could I sue people for making a quilt that I designed?  This seems ridiculous to me as I am pro-open source crafting.]
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whoopdedoo_5
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008 03:01:59 PM »

I've honestly never heard such a thing. I could understand the copyrighting if it was an extremely original piece sorta like it would be if someone copyrighted a painting, but as for those simple patterns that are more common it seems a bit absurd to me. If I made a great quilt I would want to share the pattern with other quilters...I guess some people are just more protective...anyways I am anxious to hear what other people say.
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MissDisney
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008 03:26:13 PM »

i guess its legal? i mean she has the copyright am i correct?

i know as far as im concerned, i will almost never use patterns to begin with, and i genuinely just look at the fabric i have and make a block sketch and then sew

if she even TRIED to tell me i couldnt use or post it cos its similiar to hers, i would have a lawyer all up her ass, and she would have to PROVE i copied her

did you use her pattern to make your quilt? can she prove you did? almost all of the patterns i saw on the site (i only half glanced) seemed like the kinda thing and intermidiate or higher quilter would and could come up with on their own.

she doesnt own quilting!

can you tell it bothers me? i dont like people restricting other people's creativity on the chance they might make a buck off of it. prove i stole from you, or suck it (wow i get juvenile when im ticked. also, high,back spasms+painkillers=less classy word usage)
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coryjo
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008 03:37:58 PM »

I look at a lot of quilt books and basically once it's published under a certain name it is the author's pattern.  So basically, athenamat, if you had called your quilt something besides a bento pattern you might not have had anyone say anything. Bear in mind, of course, that all this is based on guessing.  I don't really know anything about copywrite law.  Kind of reminds me of the whole Jessica Seinfeld cookbook thing  Tongue

Anyway if any of you are looking for cute free patterns you could try www.quilterscache.com.  She has tons of free patterns, and there are terms of use that especially pertain to her original patterns, but it's nothing onerous.
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athenamat
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008 04:59:57 PM »

It's not that I made the quilt, it's that I posted a tutorial on how to make the quilt (that I made up just eyeballing it, because it is an easy quilt; but again, it's my own coloring).

She turned out to be very nice about it, complimented my blog, etc. but still.

I'm not making money off it, I believe firmly in open source crafting, but she was just upset because of the chance it would restrict her making money off it. Hmm.

I do think I should have called it something different, but honestly, I didn't realize that one woman had "invented" it.  I thought it was like Ohio Star, just a name that pple know for a common enough block.
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Cealy
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008 05:43:24 AM »

I think in most cases people who design quilt blocks openly allow other crafters to use them.  Like you said blocks like the Ohio Star have been around for decades without these kinds of issues.

I would think the issue is the fact you called it by the same name, and didnt make any changes to make it 'yours'. 

They say you are not to make profit off of patterns that are copyrighted but how many people sell finished quilts?  Maybe if you had put her name on the tutorial she wouldn't have had an issue with it.

Next time, make a few changes to make it yours, block size, binding style, etc.

Good luck-I love the things I've seen of yours, keep them coming!
C
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sewwolf
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008 10:56:16 AM »

Just jumping in here, new to this site hi all it's a really nice site. I don't believe you can copyright a particular pattern but you can copyright a book using that pattern if you write all the directions  for a particlar quilt. There are hundreds of patterns that people have been using for a century. There was a big stink about the Dear Jane quilt if anyone of you are familiar with it.  Some one made one and was selling it on ebay and the woman who put the book together cried foul but it wasn't her original design either but she had the copyright on the book used to make the quilt. I mean if you draw up a block yourself and it happens to look like a copyrighted on so what. It came out of your mind. It's really kinda of a grey area. Copyright issues have really dogged us quilters and machine embroiders as stuff is so easy to copy now. Most of us are making quilts for own use or friends we aren't selling them. And even if we wanted to at a craft fair etc. if it's changed a little bit I don't see what difference it makes.
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Patrick_Craftrick
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2008 03:09:46 PM »

The latest issue of Craft magazine has some good explanations on this. 

My two bits are as follows:

Don't let people push you around.  Just because you are doing something similar to what someone else has done, does not make it copyright infringement.  Anyone can send a threatening letter, that does not mean that they have a legal leg to stand on.  It sounds like this person was fairly nice about the whole thing, so thats a plus, but don't be afraid to push back.  Ask for proof, demand satisfaction, ect... 

Above all else- Don't let people stop you from doing what you love.

*Off Topic Bonus* This site gets another mention in the latest Craft magazine.
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lissaw70
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008 06:46:28 PM »

 Undecided ............Dear.........have you actually really read the things in this link?  And I quote:

Quote
What can not be copyrighted?

You cannot copyright a thought or idea. You cannot copyright a technique or method. You cannot copyright a title, name, short phrases, or familiar symbols.

You may want to register for a copyright if you intend to publicly show your quilt on a regular basis

Registering your original quilt makes a public claim to the design. If your design is copied by someone, you still have certain rights even without officially registering it but you will have to register for a copyright before you can file an infringement suit.


To me.......this is no different than anyone taking a duffel bag they saw at the store.......and reconstructing a similar bag.................. Undecided .............As long as all I did was do my OWN version of it..........with my OWN instructions........I think I'd post my stuff back up..........and tell her I'm sorry........but she'll have to prove her case.   Roll Eyes
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athenamat
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008 07:53:52 PM »

I am a third year law student, I graduate in two weeks so I am familiar with the law.  I just wondered if anyone had actual experience with it.  To me it wasn't worth the hassle even if it was an empty threat.
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I'm looking to send my Step-Sister's Choice quilt to a new home.  If you're interested in swapping for fabric/scrapbooking supplies, send me a PM.
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