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Topic: Copyright questions  (Read 571 times)
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robinredbelly
« on: February 18, 2014 10:37:26 AM »

I searched the forums for this type of discussion but didn't find exactly what I'm looking for so I'm going to start a new thread in hopes with is not redundant in the forum. I'm going to explain my issues and I hope there will be fellow crafters who might have some ideas for me:
I craft a lot but have never sold anything. I have a stockpile of things I've made and have decided I should sell my items in a local craft fair. I wanted to add some toys to my craft table and I bought a book of patterns off the internet. I read everything I could about the book before I bought it and when it came in the mail I searched the book inside and out and there was no mention of selling items made from the patterns. Great. It is not my intention to trick my buyers into thinking I designed the pattern & sewed the pieces. So, I was going to add a tag to each item stating who the patterns was made by. Then, I decided to try to find the author on-line to make sure I was giving credit the proper way and to see if she had any other patterns I liked. I found her website that sells indivudual pdf patterns and in small print it says not to sell items made from her patterns. Wait...what? I spent a lot of money on this book of patterns, alot of time sewing, cost of meterials, etc. How can this be allowed? I started searching the internet for answers and have found a mess of answers.....but it sounds like I can do what I want with my items, because it's the patterns that are under copyright, not the pieces made. Ok, so I really think this is right. Even if the pattern maker can't do anything to me legally, she can still be mad with me and that is the part that bothers me. I'm actually a really nice soft spoken lady who doesn't have enemies and I don't want anyone mad with me. So why haven't I just dropped the whole thing? I need to use patterns because I'm new to sewing and have no idea now to make my own items or patterns, I already bought this expensive book, I have already made the items for my craft sale, I really like these toys and think the designer did a great job making them.
In my search for answers I have found a few other pattern makers who give permission for items to be sold if you add a tag with their name/website on it. I want to give credit but if I do then it just leads to a website that says not to sell items made with her patterns. This makes me look bad even if she is technically not allowed to impose those restrictions on crafters. If I don't add a tag, then I will be trying to trick my customers? Is there a way to sell my items without upsetting anyone?
p.s. this patterns maker does not mention a Cottage Industry License on her website (or else I would probably just buy it)
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Chris in VT
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014 03:42:04 AM »

If the book you bought says nothing about selling from the patterns, you're in the clear.

If you want to be on the safe side, if anyone should ask if you designed the pieces, simply say they are from patterns.

Copyright infringement is really a gray area here. Just do NOT do anything by Disney! They do not care how big or small you are. They will come after you. We have a saying in the crafts business: "Don't mess with the mouse!"

But patterns from the book? Go ahead, and have fun.
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There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
www.shadypinestudio s.com
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014 06:41:04 AM »

Yes, I agree with Chris. I had a similar question a while ago and actually got legal advice. Lucky me, I have a lawyer in the family, so I did not have to pay for this advice!
The advice was this:
If you make things from her pattern, you can sell them as long as you do not specifically claim the design is yours. Therefore you can carry on as you are, and as Chris says, if anyone does ask, you simply state that the item is made from a pattern. The silly thing is that because the designer has stated not to sell things from her patterns (which she cannot legally do) she now misses out on the chance to get credit for those designs.
You can't sell copies of her patterns even if you give credit, but I'm sure you knew that anyway.
Make the things you enjoy making and selling.
One interesting note. If you make 'substantive changes' of 10% or more, then you are deemed to have created a new design. Just don't ask me what constitutes a substantive change or how much is 10%...
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the_bees_knees
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014 09:42:58 AM »

This is a really interesting and informative topic! I'm very curious about this, too, both from the standpoint of a pattern designer and as someone who likes to make things from patterns. Is there any sort of protection in place for a pattern designer so that her designs can't be stolen by a large corporation, say Target, and mass produced? I'm planning to meet with an intellectual property lawyer this summer to get some answers on these things, and I'm trying to get a list of intelligent questions, since I will be paying for this advice.  Smiley
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shadojake
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014 05:49:50 PM »

If you make things from her pattern, you can sell them as long as you do not specifically claim the design is yours. Therefore you can carry on as you are, ......

Well, I found out today you cannot always carry on as you are.  Our neighbor at a craft show makes quality children's clothes from patterns to sell to the public.  She sells some at craft shows and has some in a consignment store.  She said she has been rejected from shows because her clothing is made from patterns!  Go figure, she is trying to get a uniform look and sell at a reasonable price for hand crafted but juries reject her for using a pattern.  If I had a kid that still fit in her stuff I'd surely buy a least a dress or two.
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God Bless,
Cindy

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
Chris in VT
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014 04:17:02 AM »

There is a level of craft shows where commercial patterns, kits, molds, etc are not allowed.
Every design must be an original by the exhibitor at the show. The exhibitor may make a pattern of her own designs for continuity, but commercial patterns are not allowed.

That's pretty much the type of show I do.

There's another level where purchased embellishments are not allowed. Jewelers must make their own findings, tumble their own stones as well as drill them, etc. At this level the artists employ professional photographers to take the jury photos.
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There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
www.shadypinestudio s.com
shadojake
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014 05:03:35 PM »

There is a level of craft shows where commercial patterns, kits, molds, etc are not allowed.
Every design must be an original by the exhibitor at the show. The exhibitor may make a pattern of her own designs for continuity, but commercial patterns are not allowed.

That's pretty much the type of show I do.

There's another level where purchased embellishments are not allowed. Jewelers must make their own findings, tumble their own stones as well as drill them, etc. At this level the artists employ professional photographers to take the jury photos.

Just recently I have begun reading about these type shows.  I have not yet applied to one like that.  I have been doing shows within an hour or two of home here in Louisiana and none of them have had those requirements.  I am not sure my work would hold up to the jury process.  However, I have been quite happy with how I've done at the "bigger" shows I've done here.

Out of curiosity, do you know of any of the shows you describe in Louisiana?
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God Bless,
Cindy

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
Chris in VT
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014 04:05:55 AM »

I'm really unfamiliar with anything outside of the Northeast. So I did a Bing search for craft fairs in Louisiana. Below is what I found.

http://www.artscraftsshowbusiness.com/shows.aspx?state=LA

There seems to be some fairly larger shows buried in there like the Shrimp and petroleum festival.

Another site I frequent regularly is
http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum
This is a site for the pros. Lurk there for a few days and then ask about LA shows. I'm sure there are artists/craftsmen who do shows there.

I learn something every day from the people there. You can get some great info about the business without posting if that's what you want.
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There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
www.shadypinestudio s.com
shadojake
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014 06:22:55 AM »

Chris,

I have found that site and a couple others like it.  I have found a few that I planned on checking out.  This week one of my goals is to get some apps off for shows in the fall.

About the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival .... it is funny.  That is actually in my home town, about 40 minutes away.  However I won't go.  It is free, a bunch of "lookie lou's" and it is the middle of the most active part of hurricane season and it's held outdoors.  I wouldn't mind the outdoors so much if it wasn't hurricane season.  Down here, as in most places I guess, no refunds are given even in the event of a hurricane.  I don't know if they'd transfer it to the next show but then that $$ is tied up for a year till the next one.

I have found some of the other forums you have mentioned and I noticed you are a member and have posted on at least one.  On the one I am talking about I am CoasterGirl.

Thanks a bunch.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

God Bless,
Cindy

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
shadojake
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014 07:26:54 PM »

There seems to be some fairly larger shows buried in there like the Shrimp and petroleum festival.


Here is a link for those interested in the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival ...
http://www.shrimpandpetroleum.org/festivities.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

God Bless,
Cindy

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world!
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