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Topic: Anybody know anything about copyrighting a quilt?  (Read 1458 times)
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stargazersewer
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008 10:06:57 PM »

This is totally an empty threat.  But look at it this way, if she she has done this to you, she could do this to someone who doesn't have the knowledge/backup that you do and totally scare them away from quilting or whatever.  I would put my post back up, at least that way she doesn't think she won this one and bully other people. 
Shawna
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rainylakechick
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008 10:34:49 AM »

I don't know anything about copyright law, but I can see that if she has a copyright to instructions FOR that quilt design, it might be against the law for you to ALSO write instructions to the same quilt design. 

I can't believe she "owns" the copyright to Bento Box!  That's a hot quilt design! 

Personally, I look at that pattern and its so simple to me, I could write a tutorial in two hours how to make it.  Of course, I might not be using the quickest, fastest, or use the most fabric-saving method.  Those tutorials are more patentable, aren't they, athenamat?  (Since you are specializing in patent law.)

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lissaw70
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008 12:48:15 PM »

 Smiley .......I understand.  I'm not in the profession.........I just was one of those kids whose dad's made sure I read and UNDERSTOOD what I was reading......... Grin .........the only time I've had a problem with this type of thing........was when I opened my salon..............seemed the former 'owner' thought I shouldn't use the name (which I made sure was included in a clause in the written agreement before signing the contract that he conveniently failed to remember........ Roll Eyes )..........I called his bluff........and he decided that since HE'D have to prove his case........it wouldn't be worth it to him......... (he'd "lost" his copy of the agreement..........I even offered him a copy from my lawyer's office that was notarized )   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008 01:04:48 PM »

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! DO NOT RELY ON IT!

Quilt designs would almost certainly not be patentable.  There are two requirements for patents that would invalidate a patent -- (1) the invention must be useful -- quilt designs while pretty are not useful in the sense used in the patent statutes and (2) the Bento Box design, for example, is not novel -- it is an obvious combination of prior designs and I would be willing to bet it's not the first time that the design was ever created.

I agree that it is a very easy design to duplicate.  This is what I did.  I also made substantial changes in that I did my very own color combo which definitely changed the look.  After making the quilt, I figured out exactly how much fabric was needed, etc.

I certainly could not post her exact pattern (like a copy) and distribute that as per copywrite law.  She wasn't alleging that tho.  She argued that I couldn't post my own directions for that design because it was hers.  Honestly when she first emailed me I was completely surprised as I had never heard of copywriting a quilt.  Indeed you can and I wondered who had any experience with it.

Your salon story is a great example of why you have to keep all agreements and read them also before you sign them ;P

I also agree it would be worth standing up to her if she was trying to stop me from making the quilt.  She hasn't done this.  She was objecting to my posting the pattern that I wrote based on eyeballing her design.  If she had objected to me selling the quilt based on me eyeballing her design, that would be more like the situation you are afraid of.  Apparently this happened with the Baby Jane pattern.  I do not think that such a claim would prevail if you didn't use the pattern and would also probably not prevail if you did (but I am ignorant about that area of the law; would have to spend some serious time researching before I was certain).
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rainylakechick
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008 01:35:03 PM »

For patents, I meant that if you came up with an original or unique method to create a quilt, it could potentially be patentable.  Hard to do, since quilting has been around for so long, but possible. 

I've seen your bento box tutorial and I find the finished product much different than her design.  But you used the copyrighted name, thus making her point valid.  Unfortunate for the rest of us!  The tutorial would have been handy!  Smiley 

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lissaw70
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008 01:59:44 PM »

According to this.......you can't even copyright the name........... Wink


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.

My thing about all this is that if you used your OWN method,  fabrics ,  and technique ..........and DIDN'T post her instructions..........(as you OBVIOUSLY wouldn't since you "eyeballed" it and did your own thing)  ........then she shouldn't have grounds for copyright. 

Two things would have to be existent for her to prosecute:

1.  She would have had to actually register with the copyright office........

and the hardest:

2.  She'd have to PROVE you "infringed"..........

If your instructions and photos were unique to YOU ..........she would have a very hard time indeed proving that. 

I would think that if you posted that you saw this item......and attempted to recreate it..........there are NO grounds.  I've seen this same thing posted on most of the quilting sites that I've visited.........and ONE particular site that's VERY POPULAR. 

My guess is that she was "muscling" you............because your item MAY affect her sales........... Roll Eyes .............Her sales loss though is HER concern...........and it's "free enterprise" to create similar popular items..........otherwise we wouldn't have the important question of "Pepsi............or Coke?"
 Grin
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smudgycat
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008 10:20:48 PM »

It was an awesome tutorial.  Is there any way it could be resurrected as 'Fast Food Bag'?
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sactownsue
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008 10:58:29 PM »

smudgycat  - Yeah! Or "Bag It!" Lady! Or "entoBay oxBay" I know that's not enough... "Box Lunch"

Disclaimer: This is my understanding of how things work. Blah, blah, blah, lawyer-speak, blah, blah, blah.

I remember with tole painting that there was usually something in the book about making 10 reproductions or reproductions that weren't for sale. But they were teaching from the books in the classes.
I've also read references to "angel policy" with rubber stamps. So most of these ppl didn't want you making a lot of money. Just buy the book or the stamp and have some fun with gifts type of stuff. If someone has a distinct style with painting or rubber stamp and you copied it then you could have problems. Draw a cartoon mouse but don't name it Mickey or Minnie and careful with how you draw the ears and all.
With most quilting there isn't a much new or different, as some of you have said. I did not see your tutorial. But if you said I was inspired by "this" and used it as a jumping off point to create my own design, colorway, style... you would probably be ok. That happens a lot in art and crafting. Kansas City Star published lots of quilt designs. I pretty sure they don't own the designs but you would have to have their permission to reprint their article. You could say I used this pattern from the Kansas City Star to create this and here is how I did it...
Did you ask the Craftster ppl? They probably have a lawyer on retainer or should and it is their website and if they don't have a problem with it then why should we. If Craftster says it has to be removed they will probably tell you to do it or do it themselves.
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Lothruin
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2008 12:34:28 PM »

The website linked to above specifically says that you can't copyright a common quilt block, only the designs.  The "bento box" and others, like "Sudoku", which is nothing more than a nine-patch with a bit of a border between the blocks... they aren't unique and new.  They aren't copyrightable.  Even if she claims copyright, before she could even try to prove infringement, she'd have to first prove the tihngs were copyrightable, and I think she'd fall on her face there.

She has every right to claim copyright on HER written instructions.  But if the block itself is not copyrightable, then she has no rights at all to stop someone else from writing instructions for the same, or a similar, block.
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sactownsue
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2008 03:13:11 PM »

Thanks for the clarification.
So as I understand it, athenamat and craftster were not in violation of any copyright and athenamat could repost.
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MAKE: something of yourself
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
"Everything is deeply intertwingled." - Ted Nelson, ca 1974
wists-fulness - http://wists.com/SacTownSue/

Rarely online these days. Will respond to PM when I notice them. AT&T SNAFU!
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