The following is from a web-site I am associated with.
From: Penny Halgren
Date: November 14, 2008 - Friday
It's not a problem until you get a letter from a lawyer or are slapped with a lawsuit. Then, it's a problem, and then it is too late to say "I didn't know."
Quilters are so used to sharing - fabric, thread, rulers, and all kinds of other things - that sometimes it doesn't occur to us that sharing a pattern might lead to trouble.
I'm sure that many of us have made quilts for a charity auction. If you used a pattern to make the quilt, do you know whether it was legal for you to sell the quilt - even for charity?
We probably all know not to copy pages from a book and sell them without permission from the author. But do you know what the circumstances are that you might need permission from the designer of a quilt or pattern maker in order to use their design other than to make a quilt and use it yourself?
Frankly, before I started my business, I hadn't thought about any of those things.
Maybe I got lucky; or maybe I did something I shouldn't have. I guess I'll find out this Thursday when Sylvia Landman Rasmussen is our guest for our Eavesdrop on a Telephone Conversation.
Sylvia is a quilter, business owner and copyright expert. And she will be available for us to pick her brain about coyrights and quilts - so we can sleep at night, knowing that the quilt we made for charity is perfectly legal to sell or raffle away.
It all took place on Thursday, October 23, at 5pm Pacific Time.
Sylvia talked about a wide range of issues relating to copyrights, including:
describing what a copyright is
- what kind of protections a copyright affords the owner
- whether we should register our works and how to go about registering for a coypright
- what our protection is if we don't register
- how we know whether a quilt pattern is copyright protected
- if a pattern is protected how can we use it
- whether there are any limits to copyright protection
- and much more
Listen to a clip from the Conversation as Sylvia answers the question about whether you can copy a commercial pattern to use as a prize in a charity (including quilt guild) auction or raffle: