Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The Bubble and Brew is serving up Pumpkin Lattes if you are craving one.

Bubble and Brew

One more bit of handwork I've had going.  It's one of Crabapple Hill's very fun embroidery patterns.  I love so many of their creations!

Bubble and Brew

I also just found this - starts October 24th!

I have a good amount of the creepy family with a plan to make a Halloween quilt for myself. Can't wait to see what everybody else comes up with for them!

Now a topic that is a bit frightening and goes with the Boo! Or perhaps it's just me that is a bit frightening as I rant for a moment.



For sure a contentious topic among any crafting community. But what brings on my rant is a book that the UPS guy just thunked onto my stoop a half hour ago. Always eager to look at MORE quit inspiration (hence the mile long Google Reader subscription list) I dove into the pages as soon as I could depackage the book.

cute - cute - oooh, cool - seen it - seen it - cool - just a square, huh - cathedral windows (did my own bake shop tutorial on that one) - whoa, amazing curved piecing - oops, the editor missed that mislabel - that would make an amazing quilt all on it's own

At first annoyed by stuff that I have seen a ton of times before, then thinking how not everybody surfs quilt blogs and flicker with their morning oatmeal, I was ok with finding super simple squares and even the wonderfully old cathedral window pattern looking new and modern. It may be the first time a new, modern quilter has seen some of them.

Then the title page caught my eye opposite the index (which I LOVE by the way - little pictures by every entry). And what does the copyright statement say? Your standard crafter's : "These designs may be used to make items only for personal use or donation to nonprofit groups for sale or for display only at events, provided the following credit is included on a conspicuous label:....." I could see applying this rule very literally to several wonderfully unique items in this book, and not remotely in any context to others.

In no way to I have a suggested solution to the whole creative property issue.  But I just had to rant a little bit about it today.  Thoughts?

Gotta run.  I'm off to DQ really quickly to use a free Blizzard coupon before the kids get home.  Ha!


Jessy said...

Copyright and creative usage is something that is needlessly complicated and irritating. I've been doing a lot of reading regarding it and have yet to come up with a really clear answer to all of it. I have two points that I find interesting. The first being the patterns you were referring to that are beautiful recreations of old patterns. How can you place a copyright on the pattern that you didn't write, but just re-interpreted in a fresher palette?
The second has to do with the legality of placing specific restrictions on the use of a pattern that is covered by a general copyright. From what I understand (please someone correct me if I am wrong!) the copyright can only legally be applied to the physical pattern and pieces. Therefore, it is illegal to reproduce or distribute the pattern and pieces (whether electronically or physically). That also means that the copyright does not cover the work produced from the pattern. Meaning, once an item has been created by the person who purchased the pattern, the owner of the copyright no longer has a say as to what happens to that pattern.
The way I have been reading into this seems to be that most pattern creators are actually aware of this but put that "copyright statement" in their books or patterns to discourage people from using it in a way that they do not want but have no legal recourse to enforce. Most people aren't aware of that, so they follow the statement.
I truly appreciate the work that people put into their patterns, so I'm not sure that it's fair to the content creators that they have no legal recourse, but it also seems that if they had full control over what happens to the product of their patterns there would be a ton of lawsuits because people would do things like sue over the re imagination of an old and well known pattern such as a cathedral window.
Phew, thus ends my lengthy philosophizing on copyright.

Michele said...

I love your handwork! Such fun :-) Interesting thoughts on copyrights. It is tricky.

Leslie said...

hmmm...i am not sure about all that creative copyright stuff. seems like the crafting public should be a little more generous. lots of the things people are making and calling "theirs" really are just a spin on something else old or someone elses idea...inspiration. it sure does make me grumble a little to think about it.

love the embroidery!!! great job.

Anonymous said...

Cute stitches and I'm holding onto my calorie binge for eggnog lattes.

Techniques belong to us all...the rest is complicated.

Always interested on hearing what others have to say on this topic.

Cory C said...

One of my favorite hobby topics :). There is some great discussion of it on the Tabberone website, and if you want to search, go to where patterns and copyright have been discussed to death.

Basically, I agree with Jessy, for the most part. My understanding from everything I've read is that designers can copyright their actual patterns. They have no legal right to restrict what people do with things made from their patterns.

However, I don't think that most pattern designers are aware that they have no legal right to restrict the items made using their patterns.

Other aspects of this that have been addressed on sewingmamas and tabberone are use of character fabric (mfr can't legally restrict you selling stuff made from logo/character fabric) and the digitizing or copying via applique of pattern designs or logos or recognizable characters (not legal).

I think that what these crafter's copyright statements have led to, in my mind at least, is a sort of community-accepted code of ethics that isn't necessarily based on the law. Yeah, it would be legal for me to make and sell a quilt based on supercoolblogger X's tutorial that she has a copyright statement on, but it would be uber frowned upon by the blogging community.

I am getting long winded here, but I believe that reasonable expectations under copyright law (that doesn't cover clothing design at least and I am less familiar with craft/quilt design rules) would be that it is illegal for someone to sell a copy of the pattern that I wrote, but legal for them to make the quilt from that pattern and sell it.

Vicki said...

haha, oops that last comment was made by me, not my husband Cory.

Elizabeth said...

If you're selling a pattern, an 'original' design (and let's face it, 'original' is a relative term; we all feed off each other's ideas), you've made your profit and you shouldn't dictate what goes on from there.

In the case of your magazine, they absolutely do not hold a copyright on Cathedral Windows. I mean, how long has that been around? And those simple, old blocks you've seen before? They magazine editors/contributors did not come up with those. Limiting what you can do with them is ridiculous.