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  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
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Amy Butler
Art of the Midwest

Hall Of Shame Member


Last Updated - December 10, 2009

Update - March 24, 2009
As of this date, a search of the on-line copyright records for the U.S. Copyright office shows five (that's correct - 5) copyrights on file for Amy Butler.; all from 2003 and 2004 and all for book collections of patterns. Not one copyright for a pattern. Why do you suppose that is? Yet, Amy Butler claims all of her patterns are copyrighted which gives the impression they are registered and they are not. A copyright that has not neen registered with the US Copyright Office cannot be enforced in court.

As of this date, a search of the on-line copyright records for the U.S. Copyright office shows seven (that's correct -7) copyrights on file for Art of the Midwest; one is for postcard reproductions, a "chore" book, a book by David Butler, and four for doll patterns.

Click here for the new and slightly improved Amy Butler FAQ page, with our comments of course.


Update - July 2, 2007
On July 2, 2007, we received an email telling us Amy Butler had modified her copyright position. We checked, and in fact she has for the use of her fabric, but not concerning the use of her patterns. Amy, your copyright on your patterns only covers the physical pattern purchased, not the end product. The copyright protection applies ONLY to the pattern. You, as the copyright owner, have only those rights assigned under copyright law. Your expanded copyright statement does not bestow rights upon your product just because you say so. The Tabberone Trademark & Copyright Abusers' Hall Of Shame is where Amy Butler belongs.


Amy Butler appears to make patterns and fabric along with a copious amount of manure. Her web pages are loaded with misinformation about her precious patterns and her not-so-precious fabrics.

Their website, www.amybutlerdesign.com, gives their address as : Amy Butler, Art of the Midwest Studio, 218 Mount Parnassus, Granville OH 43023 USA

Amy Butler has an inflated opinion of herself and a very wrong opinion about her rights under the law. Unlike what she claims, buying her product does not include a license to use. There is no provision in state or federal law that grants a seller a right to license except for those specifically cited and they are the manufacturers of computer software and motion pictures. Amy Butler's claim she is allowing the sale only on her terms is not enforceable and misleading and typical corporate lawyer weasel-wording.

Amy Butler is also mistaken, we believe purposely, as to what a copyright covers. Her copyright only covers the pattern (or fabric) she is selling; not what is made from it. The end product is a useful item made from fabric and therefore uncopyrightable under US Copyright Law. Making a fabric product from her pattern and then selling it is perfectly permissible and not protected by her copyright as Amy Butler purposely represents. Amy Butler also cannot bind someone into jurisdiction in Ohio as she believes. Amy, federal law sets the standards for jurisdiction, not you. Your pompous "copyright statement" is an example of blowhard gone amuck.

Copying the pattern itself and selling the copy, or giving the copy away, is illegal and covered by any copyright.

By the way, Amy, a copyright statement is defined in copyright law. Making unlawful claims and setting illegal limitation is an example of copyright misuse by Amy Butler. Her "copyright statement" below does not conform to the federal statute which states specifically what is contained in a copyright statement. From the Amy Butler website under f.a.q.:

our copyright notice
All designs Amy Butler - Art of the Midwest, LLC
Your use of this pattern is conditioned upon your acceptance of the following terms. The written instructions, illustrations, photos, and patterns herein are intended for personal use only and are protected by copyright law. You are not buying the product or pattern design, but are only purchasing the license to use the pattern for personal use. Projects are not to be produced for commercial sale nor are they to be sold to any person or business. Reproduction of this pattern for sale is also strictly forbidden by United States and international copyright law. No part of this pattern may be reproduced in print or electronically. By using this pattern, you agree that the laws of the State of Ohio, without regard to the conflict of laws, will apply to all matters relating to use of this pattern. You also submit to the personal jurisdiction of Ohio and the venue of the state and federal Courts of Ohio. - Art of the Midwest, LLC

Wordy and very inaccurate. There is no federal or state law that allows Amy Butler, or anyone else, to attach conditions on the use or distribution to the lawful sale of a product released into the general stream of commerce. Earth to Amy! Once you offer it for sale you relinquish future control over how your product is used or re-sold.

Also from the Amy Butler website:

Is it okay for me to buy finished versions of your bags on Ebay or any other web site?
No. It is actually illegal. You are in essence purchasing illegal or "pirated" goods. The manufacture of such items is illegal under International copyright law. No vendor, large or small, has negotiated a manufacturing license with Amy Butler Design. So if you find finished bags on Ebay or any other site for sale, don't purchase them. As an American Small Business advocate, we'd appreciate a note from you if you find such sites.

Again, wrong. It is not illegal. They are not pirated or illegal if the maker did not mislead the buyer into believing the products were licensed products. Stating the bag was made using an Amy Butler pattern is perfectly legal and fair use under trademark law. International trademark law is cited to confuse and mislead. In "essence" Amy Butler, you and your bottom-feeding corporate lawyers are lying to the American public as well as the rest of the world.

More from her website:

What we find is people don't understand how they could affect a business like ours. Well, we are an American Small Business. Amy has spent years and thousands of dollars, countless hours, and economic risk to build her creative venture into a business that is self-sustaining. Now that it is stable, we constantly find people who want to use her hard-earned brand popularity for their own benefit, by using her name, and using her designs as their own, to make money. It's sad, because Amy is a very honest and fair business person, and a very giving artist. We donate proceeds from our sales to local food shelters and family advocacy/women's shelters.

When people take Amy's patterns and make them into finished goods, in essence, Amy is being cut out of her own recurring sales. She is the designer, the bag sells because of the design (and often her name) and yet, she makes nothing from it aside from the sale of one pattern (a profit, after considering the cost of manufacture, design, writing, distribution, marketing, advertising, of about 52). Not to mention, the equity of Amy's high-quality brand can be jeopardized when folks make fast products and use her name. Or, if the bags are made poorly, people might think it's because of the patterns, and not the third party seamstress. It's complicated. We've actually received calls from people unhappy with online purchases of "Amy Bags" although we have nothing to do with this illegal practice.

Amy, would you like some cheese with that whine? If you don't want people making items from your patterns for sale then stop selling the patterns. What did you expect? People are going to use patterns that are popular to make saleable items. It's good business sense. They are not using your name: you are selling your name. There's a difference. Donating proceeds is admirable but hardly a decent defense to lying about what is protected by copyrights.

The whole tone of your statement is basically a plea for people to be nice and do what you want because you know you have no legal authority to force compliance. Small business? Google returns 3,240,000 hits for the phrase "Amy Butler". Plead poverty sweetheart but don't insult us by claiming to be a "small business".

Amy Butler is not being cut out of recurring sales. A lot of people don't sew. They buy from people who do. Amy got her income from the sale of the pattern or the fabric. The false statement about the "third party seamstress" is smoke and mirrors. Only an idiot buys a poorly made bag and then blames a third party. People like Amy Butler like to exaggerate in order to pad their indignation.

Someone who is making products and passing them off as Amy Butler products is indeed infringing. It happens, even to the really big companies. But using Amy Butler fabrics to make a product for sale, or using an Amy Butler pattern to make same, is not infringing just because Amy Butler says so. The seller has to mislead the buyer as to the origin of the product before it becomes infringement.

Amy, you're in the Tabberone Hall Of Shame because you have a bad-itude.

As of march 24, 2009, we have noticed Amy Butler's reworded copyright statement:

All designs Amy Butler 2000-2007 - Art of the Midwest, LLC
This pattern is for personal home use. Projects are not to be produced for commercial purposes, nor are they to be made into items for sale. This pattern is copyright protected and reproduction of it is not permitted.
More to the point but still a lie.

 

 

Rebuttals

In an effort to provide a balanced view, we make the following offer to anyone who feels they have been wrongly accused on this web site.

If you, or your company, have been referenced on these pages, and you would like the chance to post a rebuttal, we will post your rebuttal (provided it is in good taste) so others can read it. The rebuttal must be submitted in a format that can easily be converted into HTML. We reserve the right to alter the rebuttal to make it more readable. However, we will not alter the content (unless there is offensive material to be removed). We also reserve the right to comment on any rebuttal received. Emails protesting the content of this web site may be treated as rebuttals by us at our discretion.

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