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Topic: selling items made from a book  (Read 2322 times)
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catdaddytn
« on: July 15, 2009 07:36:32 AM »

hi,  I've read several thoughts on selling items, based on jewelry books.  What do you think?  One thought is if it's been published, it's fair game for selling.  I've thought this also with the idea that I paid for the right to use the book.

One of my books has a note, for personal use only and not to be sold, without permission.  Well, permission must be hard to come by.  I looked and looked for the author's contact info.  I sent an email to an address that might get to the author.  Hopefully, this will work.

How does the permission thing work if the item is not exactly like the one in the book?

Thanks for any comments. 
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catdaddytn
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009 08:40:56 AM »

Here are some useful articles from Firemountain Gems on copyright and using other peoples patterns / ideas / etc.:

Ethics in Beadland

Where would we be without Copyrights?

In general, if you change somthing significant about the design, it becomes your unique creation, and you can sell it. If you were significantly inspired by particular book or design, it might be nice to acknowledge that inspiration [for example, I noted when showing my hardware jewelry designs on Craftster that I was inspired by a particular book - though none of my designs are direct copies of anything in the book].

In fact, many jewelry business articles suggest taking pictures of [or saving pictures from magazines] of designs you like - as inspiration. Changing something in the design will make it all your own.

Hope this helps.

Bekka
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Be sure to get your FREE Daily PUBLIC DOMAIN image(s) on my blog The Schizoid Mouse.
Diane B.
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009 08:57:59 AM »

It gets a little complicated in that even things like rubberstamps have restrictions on how many items using them may be sold --who knew?  "Angel" stamp companies otoh have no restrictions.

Books with projects though also usually have restrictions, though they may not be prominently displayed.  And it can be hard to "get permission."  Many publishers won't go after small sales, or ones that take place out of the larger public view though, but it's risky.  And to make those changes to qualify as not breaking copyright (or trademark), the differences have to be pretty strong changes not just a few tweaks or changing the colors, etc.  (You can purchase an item though, then use it in a piece to sell.  But you can't necessarily make a "copy" --of just the image or of a real item-- and sell multiples of it even often for projects.  The projects/designs/etc are usually intended for "hobby" use, not for business/profit use.)

There's more info on copyrights and selling in general on this page, if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/owning_copyrights.htm
...click especially on Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009 10:15:41 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
catdaddytn
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009 08:48:03 PM »

gee, it's so hard!  I have been influenced by many artists in so many ways.  I often will be inspired to create a piece of jewelry and don't even know where the inspiration came from.  I don't intend to steal anyone's work and am well aware of things like plagiarism.

So, I"m guessing that tweaking a design from a published source is not OK to sale for a profit.  How does one go about asking for permission?  I"ve tried to contact an author with no response, so far.

I don't mean to sound like a spoiled sport, but I've always thought that if one buys a design that it's open for use, even in sales.

thanks for hte links.
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catdaddytn
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009 06:27:18 AM »

It is okay to be inspired by lots of different sources.

Also, making major changes in a published design will certainly make it your own. Or simply using it as a jumping off point for your 'own thing'.

Example: You see earrings made with jet beads and silver. You love the color combination. You make earrings of jet and silver, but with completely different shaped beads and/or layout. You have not stolen anything copyrighted. Color / stone combinations cannot be copyrighted even if the exact design is.

Example: You see a tutorial for chain-maille bracelet done if 4-in-1 weave. That weave is so common it is not copyrighted. Someone's tutorial on how to make it is, but not the weave. Make it in colored aluminum jumprings, or [like me] incorporate washers. No copyright infringement, though crediting where you learned the weave would be nice.

Example: You see a rosary made of washers and nuts [heh, my design...]. You make a necklace of washers and nuts, with a different pattern to how the washers and nuts alternate, and a different pendant, and a no large center washer. Those are enough changes to make it your own.

The point is the difference between using a technique or liking a combination of stones, etc. and wholesale swiping a design or pattern. You have to make sure you aren't just making copies of someone else's finished product. Just changing the colors of the crystals in a design, for example, is still copying. Seeing a lariat necklace and making a lariat necklace of completely different colors, stones, pattern the stones are strung, etc. is not - if it was, only one person could make lariat style necklaces.

Don't be discouraged. It isn't that hard to come up with jewelry designs of your own. Get a notebook. Doodle in it. Look at fabrics and their color combinations. Do you like it? Think about what stones or crystals you could use to make something with that color combination. Maybe put a swatch of the fabric in your notebook. Cut out pictures of jewelry that you like from fashion magazines or print them out from the web. Make notes as to what you like about the piece [the color of the stones or crystals? the metal [silver, gold, copper]? the fact that the necklace is long enough to hang to your navel?] and what you don't [are the stones WAY too huge? do you not like chokers?].

All this will help you find your own style. Then you can use books to show you how to make a pendant from a large stone, make wrapped loops, wire wrap a stone, etc. but you will be making your own designs.

Hope this helps,
Bekka
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Unique collage supplies for mixed media art, card making, and scrapbooking.

Be sure to get your FREE Daily PUBLIC DOMAIN image(s) on my blog The Schizoid Mouse.
Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009 09:53:18 AM »

Quote
gee, it's so hard!  I have been influenced by many artists in so many ways.

Yes of course!... and in many ways there really also is "nothing new" under the sun.  

If people weren't inspired by things they see/hear (including things in nature, etc**) and "copy" them in some sort of way, there wouldn't be any art.  
And "artists" have to learn how to use tools and at least some techniques used in a field by "copying" them from someone or something else before they can run with them in new directions (at least new directions to them).  Many artists now and in the past are instructed to "copy" pieces from the Old Masters or other artists to do that.  
(There are ways of using new mediums though, but again inspired by something else.)  
And of course, there are many ways to be inspired and many ways people can come upon new ideas that are new to them (in that relative sense) or they don't remember seeing before, etc.

But all that can usually be differentiated from what happens and is legal in the type of society we live in where people have to "earn money" and are in a "competitive market" structure, when they simply copy something more or less directly without evolution of ideas, etc.

Quote
I don't mean to sound like a spoiled sport, but I've always thought that if one buys a design that it's open for use, even in sales. . . . if it's been published, it's fair game for selling.  I've thought this also with the idea that I paid for the right to use the book.

It would seem like that, but unfortunately the laws protecting the rights of the inventors or publishers of designs/ideas/etc. are what we use in this society.  I think most people have to learn that... it's not self-evident.  (So when you buy a design or a project or a book, you really aren't purchasing the right to sell things made after reading the book... you're only buying the one instance of the instructions, pictures, the physical book, etc... that's just the way our law is set up.).

**If the inspiration comes from something you've seen in nature, etc, that's usually legal to copy... but if that "thing you see" is something that someone else has done, it's usually not legal.  Your brain won't necessarily differentiate where the input came from, but our law does.  
If the inspiration comes from something farther afield that you see which then creates a connection of similarity in your brain, that's usually okay too (for example, seeing a pattern in clothing or a weave which inspires you to create something based on that in another medium--i.e., "cross-fertilization," which is very common in art, science, and the rest of human endeavors since that's one way humans "learn" and express the human ability to be creative).

Quote
How does one go about asking for permission?  I"ve tried to contact an author with no response, so far.

I think you'd try to contact the maker (using an address found in the book or by googling, etc.) though s/he may be hard to get an answer from, or contact the publisher if there is one since generally it's the publisher who "owns" the rights to the stuff anyway once they've "bought" the rights from the maker.


Kinda rambly, but HTH,

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009 10:25:09 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
catdaddytn
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2009 12:11:42 PM »

thanks for all of you for your thoughtful replies.  Sometimes, I have a hard time distinguishing my levels of inspiration.  Was it from a book, a tut on craftster or what?  For me, it's  hard to be completely original.

All of you are so right!  Our inspirations come from everywhere, maybe a color or just looking at jewelry pieces, in a store.  Designs may come from experience and trying different techniques or reading a craftster posting.

Someone associated with my book in question got back with me and wished me well with utilizing the designs.  I'll be doing some "tweaking" and going forward.

Speaking of "tweaking" ... another book ... another design - The guage of wire called for just didn't seem right.  My fav beading store folks helped me develop the design in a way that I can use.  This is a bracelet and it was wiggly and just would not wear right.  This piece has 2 side pieces and a donut in the middle.  With some help, I think I can go forward with a design.  Yeah for local bead stores!

thanks.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2009 08:41:04 PM »

 Sometimes, I have a hard time distinguishing my levels of inspiration.  Was it from a book, a tut on craftster or what?

This is where keeping a design journal helped me. I would put a photo/printout/xerox copy of a piece of jewelry that inspired me and make a note of where it was. [What book? What store window? What magazine?] For tutorials on places, I would print out a picture and write down the web address. Then I would make notes about what I liked or didn't like about it. And there is nothing wrong with making one piece straight from a tut or book FOR YOURSELF, to see how it is put together, and to get ideas on changing it.

But then I would also put in swatches of cool colored fabric, pictures of things in magazines [a tree-lined lane was one, dresses from the fashion mags another], etc. and write down what inspired me about them - was it the color combination? Was it the geometric cut of a dress? Sometimes it was the models hair - blunt cut and bright red! I wasn't so specific about these pictures because I wasn't putting in a picture of a piece of jewelry - thus I was not worried about swiping a design illegally. [You can't copyright the color of a dress... Smiley ].

And don't be afraid to color in your journal. Get some inexpensive colored pencils and use them when doodling your designs.

For me, it's  hard to be completely original.

You know, I used to think that also, but once I just let my mind play with things - many of which I never made - it got easier to make my own designs. Trust me, get some cheap notebooks and start making design journals. You'll be surprised how creative you can be.

Bekka
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009 08:43:21 PM by Tidbits_Trinkets » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Bekka K., owner
Tidbits Trinkets
Unique collage supplies for mixed media art, card making, and scrapbooking.

Be sure to get your FREE Daily PUBLIC DOMAIN image(s) on my blog The Schizoid Mouse.
Diane B.
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009 06:56:27 AM »

Quote
This is where keeping a design journal helped me. I would put a photo/printout/xerox copy of a piece of jewelry that inspired me and make a note of where it was. . .  Then I would make notes about what I liked or didn't like about it. And there is nothing wrong with making one piece straight from a tut or book FOR YOURSELF, to see how it is put together, and to get ideas on changing it.
But then I would also put in swatches of cool colored fabric, pictures of things in magazines [a tree-lined lane was one, dresses from the fashion mags another], etc. and write down what inspired me about them - was it the color combination? Was it the geometric cut of a dress? . . . Sometimes it was the models hair - blunt cut and bright red!

Good explanation of that idea!  I'll add it to my Creativity & Inspiration page too... credited to you, of course!  Grin

Quote
You know, I used to think that also (that it's hard to be completely original), but once I just let my mind play with things - many of which I never made - it got easier to make my own designs. Trust me, get some cheap notebooks and start making design journals. You'll be surprised how creative you can be.

How true, how true!  Some people are naturals genetically (or rebels or extremely focused on creating the "new"--and sometimes not as aware of other things), but we all have the ability to get there.  If you ever begin to figure out some of the metaphors in your dreams, as an example, you'll never deny the incredible creativity of your brain again... then it's just learning to access that.

Diane B.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009 06:56:56 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
Tidbits_Trinkets
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2009 10:50:56 AM »

If you think my description of a design journal is useful, please feel free to use it if you want. Smiley All I know is that it works for me!

Bekka
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Bekka K., owner
Tidbits Trinkets
Unique collage supplies for mixed media art, card making, and scrapbooking.

Be sure to get your FREE Daily PUBLIC DOMAIN image(s) on my blog The Schizoid Mouse.
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