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Category Added July 7, 2007


Last Updated January 29. 2018

You will note that there are a lot of pundits who will tell you what you can and cannot do with patterns,   licensed fabrics,   embroidered images,   pictures of products, and descriptions, but none can point you to specific court cases or federal law that supports their claims. We can and we do. And contrary to what our critics assert, we do not only quote court cases that support our position. Our position is based upon court cases and statutes. Not opinion.

What we find particularly galling are the people who make claims such as "designers can put restrictions on use if they want" and "I think if it is actually printed on the fabric, you should respect the copyright wishes of the designer" without considering the legal ramifications. Once the item is sold why should someone be able to control what you do with it? The First Sale Doctrine says they can't. But, there are some logical restrictions. You cannot misrepresent the item when you resell it. We started these web pages in 2001 and we have yet to have anyone provide us with court cases or federal law backing their false claims. And this web site gets more than 100,000 page views a year.

To date, we have not been able to locate a single law suit that has gone to trial where someone has been sued for making and selling items made from patterns. NOT ONE LAWSUIT. Considering the millions of patterns sold in the last 100 years and all of the designers, including the major pattern companies, who claim you cannot use their patterns to make and sell items, NOT ONE has ever filed a law suit that has gone to trial.

It has been our experience that there are a number of crafting web sites, as well as sewing and crafting publications, that do not really have a clue as to what constitutes copyright infringement and trademark infringement. Far too many of these sites and publications keep sending the wrong message about what a copyright holder can and cannot do. One reason for including many of these web sites is the misimpression the "restrictions" create as well as the potential problem that there people actually believe they have the right to restrict the use of their "patterns", "fabric", and other "ideas" in tangible form, and do create problems for legitimate end-users. They call their statements "licenses" but they are not. Angel Polices are bogus and have no legal standing.


These pages are often criticized and described as being inaccurate. We ask our detractors to please show us their court cases that show we are wrong. Most detractors, like the Mis-Information Mavens of Etsy, run and hide rather than respond to our inquiries as to what proof they have to support. The rest never respond.

Google Scholar is an interesting law source. It is located at http://scholar.google.com/. It is a valuable reference site for legal articles and case law. It has been expanding its database year after year. Beginning August 4, 2013, we entered a variety of search criteria, including +"copyrighted fabric", looking for court cases.

We have copied the court cases with descriptions onto one page to prove our point. Only one case of the federal lawsuits dealt with using fabrics to make and sell items. Click here to read the list.


A copyright protects original creative works. The copyright does not extend beyond the work protected. For example, a copyright of a new quilting pattern only protects the actual pattern; the copyright does not extend to items made from the pattern. Licensed fabric is usually copyrighted. However, there are two major misconceptions concerning licensed fabric:
  1. Licensed Fabric means a copyright holder has licensed a fabric manufacturer to make the fabric, for which the copyright holder receives some sort of financial consideration. It does not mean the fabric is sold with any sort of license. There is no provision in state or federal law that gives the manufacturer of a fabric the right, or authority, to dictate how that fabric is used after it is sold.
  2. Copyrighted Fabric means the image, or pattern, on the fabric is copyrighted. The actual fabric is not, nor can it be, copyrighted. Fabric is a useful item and under copyright law fabric cannot be copyrighted. This copyright protection only means the design image on the fabric cannot be duplicated. Nor is the fabric item made from the fabric copyrighted. Clothing cannot be copyrighted. It does not mean the fabric cannot be made into an item and then sold.

Clothing for the most part cannot be copyrighted. In Galiano v Harrah's, 416 F.3d 411 (5th Cir 2005), the court of appeals stated:

...dress designs, which graphically set forth the shape, style, cut, and dimensions for converting fabric into a finished dress or other clothing garment, generally do not have artistic elements that can be separated from the utilitarian use of the garment, and therefore typically do not qualify for copyright protection.

See also Whimsicality v Rubie's Costume Co, 891 F.2d 452 (2nd Cir 1989). A copyright cannot extend to something uncopyrightable.

Patterns are not generally copyrightable. Period. And even if they were, the items made from the patterns would not be covered by the copyright. The Supreme Court confirmed this in Baker v Selden,

"[The pattern's] practical use could only be exemplified in cloth on the tailor's board and under his shears; in other words, by the application of a mechanical operation to the cutting of cloth in certain patterns and forms. Surely the exclusive right to this practical use was not reserved to the publisher by his copyright of the [pattern]."

And, according to the Register of Copyrights, in a 1995 letter:

"The patterns you submitted are not technical drawings, diagrams, or models, nor do they portray the appearance of the objects manufactured. They are the outlines of the component parts used in the manufacture of products. They are intrinsically utilitarian and functional, and thus are not eligible for copyright protection."

This page is not about disagreeing with the opinion of someone else. The people listed here are flat wrong and they are contributing to the manufacturer (and in some cases the designer) misinformation concerning copyright restrictions.

These people do not have the legal right to tell you what you can and cannot do with patterns that you have purchased from them. Period. Even if the pattern has a federally registered copyright, their claims exceed the rights granted under copyright law. Period. They are lying to you. Period. Why are they lying to you? We think some believe what they say. We think some are just plain fools running their mouths. The rest are control freaks. None are correct.

The following web sites and publications are listed here because they willfully and knowingly give out faulty information. They are lying and they know they are lying. And they do not care. They are listed in somewhat alphabetical order.


Apple Laine Yard Company
http://www.applelaine.com/, seems to sell patterns and yarn. Apple Laine appears to be owned and operated by Mark Jackson and Cynthia L. Jackson, cindyco@SPRINT.CA, 279 Eadie Road Russell, Ontario, K4R 1E5, Canada (613 445-5439). As of this page being added to this category, it appears that their patterns come with the following false and misleading restriction,

"This pattern may be used to make items for your own personal use, for gifts or charitable donations. This pattern may not be used to make items for sale or to sell other brands of yarn."

Unless the purchaser agrees to these terms before buying the patterns the terms cannot be enforced. The part claiming other brands of yarn cannot be used is flatly illegal and constitutes copyright misuse under federal law.


Bundles Of Love
http://bundlesoflove.org/, is an all volunteer non-profit organization, incorporated in the state of Minnesota to help infants and their families. While we applaud their efforts, it is our concern that their "restrictions", like the others listed on this page, help create the impression that they have the "right" to impose these illegal "restrictions" which they do not:
  • BabyBoyKnitRomper
  • to be used for personal or charitable purposes only; NOT for sale or to make items for sale


Craft Connection
http://www.craftconn.com/, sells fabric on-line. This web site belongs to Craft Connection, 10221 S Hwy 73, PO Box 762, Conifer, CO 80433. It appears to be administered by a Linda Jones, webmaster@CRAFTCONN.COM (303-816-0356 ).

 

  Our problem with their site is false and misleading statements like these:

  • Category: Mary Engelbreit
    Everyone loves Mary Engelbreit's cheerful homey fabrics. Cherries, teapots, dogs, and all in bright colors.
    Licensed fabrics cannot be used to make items for sale.
  • Beatrix Potter quilt
    Beatrix Potter's wonderful rabbits in a baby quilt panel.
    Licensed fabrics cannot be used to make items for sale.


Cricut and Provo Craft

Cricut, sells the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter is the latest breakthrough in paper crafting. Wow. We are impressed. Their web site is www.cricut.com, and they are located at 151 East 3450 North, Spanish Fork, UT 84660. Cricut appears to also sell items through another entity, Provo Craft. Both appear to be clueless about copyright law and we think they are deliberately lying about their claims.

Our problem is with their bloated and error-filled "Angel Policy" where Cricut pompously "grants" permissions that the purchaser already owns and denies the purchaser rights that are granted under federal law. Cricut has its own web page because we go into detail about their "Angel Policy".


Elizabeth Stewart Clark
http://www.elizabethstewartclark.com/, a web site with something called The Sewing Academy, makes the statement, "You may use these patterns to make items for friends and family, but they are not intended to make items for sale." They are selling and giving away patterns and attempting to restrict their use. Hmmmm. The original thought is fine but there is no legal basis for the restrictions. Elizabeth Stewart Clark, you are wrong, wrong, wrong.


Esty News and Etsy
The Esty News and Etsy have graduated to their own page. Click here to read about them.


Fishsticks Design
Fishsticks Design has the following restrictions on their patterns:
    "By purchasing this pattern, you agree to the following terms: This pattern is for personal use only. Items sewn from this pattern are not to be sold commercially without the express permission of the pattern creator. Reproduction of the pattern is limited to tracings for the use of the individual pattern purchaser. Electronic reproduction of the pattern is prohibited under copyright law."
The problem here is that Fishsticks Design has no legal right to place restrictions of any nature upon their patterns. Every statement is wrong. The lawful owner of the pattern can make an electronic copy for personal use. The lawful owner of the pattern can sell what is made from the pattern. The pattern copyright (if there is one) does not extent to the product. Clothing is not copyrightable. See Galiano v Harrah's, 416 F.3d 411 (5th Cir 2005) and see also Whimsicality v Rubie's Costume Co, 891 F.2d 452 (2nd Cir 1989). Copyright protection cannot extend to something uncopyrightable.


Fun Fabrics

www.funfabrics.com looks like it is owned and operated by James Braet, jb@truelegends.com True Legends Inc. 6202 SE 145 th Ave. Portland, Oregon 97236 (503-760-2677). True Legends makes the following statement,

" All Licensed Fabric is for personal use only, Please do not ask to buy from us if your intention is to make a product for profit."

Interesting statement considering the fact that as of July 7, 2007, they had what appears to an infringing header that looked like a filmstrip containing the images of Elvis, Marylyn Monroe, Betty Boop, I Love Lucy, The Wizard Of Oz, and others. We are willing to bet you didn't get a license to make/or display that filmstrip. You must belong to the Do As I Say, Not As I Do crowd. Either way, your "restriction" is false and misleading and not legally binding upon ANY purchaser.

UPDATE June 14, 2008 - They have replaced their infringing banner with the above logo. We wonder why? Was it pointed out to them they were infringing? Yet they still have the false and misleading statement on their web site. When are they going to change that? Hmmmm?

UPDATE June 16, 2009 - We received an email from James Braet, jb@truelegends.com, protesting the information we have here. Our comments on the email follow. Aside from the fact he infers we will edit his response. One, the header at FunFabrics was changed from the filmstrip to the one above as we stated. We never said the header at True Legends was changed. It appears James Braet failed reading comprehension. Two, the header is not a "series of pictures of the postcards" sold by True Legends but rather a collage of images edited together to look like a filmstrip and it is still infringing. The filmstrip is not an advertisement for postcards but a presentation of images which makes it infringing. We seriously doubt they were taken from post cards. And three, the defense by James Braet of the fabric statement is pure unadulterated crap and we don't believe there is, or ever was, any agreement. We think he is a liar.

James Braet, jb@truelegends.com, responded to our email in a typical and pathetic manner. He calls us "bitter and angry" and feels sorry for us. What a crock. And he doesn't address the issue of the false and misleading statement on their web site. He diverts the issue by calling us names. Those who can debate the issues do; those who cannot debate the issues resort to name calling.

Poor James. We sincerely hope he is a more honest soccer coach than he is a businessman. But since this thread is getting longer, we have more emails from him, we decided to start a separate page devoted to True Legends, James Braet, jb@truelegends.com, or his fifteen minutes of fame. Click Here to read the on-going saga of Poor James as he makes more of a fool of himself.


Go Make Something
  • http://www.gomakesomething.com/, seems to be a crafting web site. It seems to be owned and operated by Lisa Vollrath, 400 E. Fuller Drive, Euless, Texas 76039. (817) 545-1864 and lisavollrath@yahoo.com. One of their FAQs:
    • Am I allowed to use instructions on Go Make Something to make items for sale?
    • No. Instructions posted on this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Please develop your own techniques and ideas if you are making items for sale.
    Wrong, yarn breath. Again, you have no legal right to impose restrictions upon the use of your instructions. Our problem with these beliefs you entertain is that one day you might foolishly try to enforce your "non-rights" and hurt someone who wasn't infringing.

  • J & O Fabrics
    www.jandofabrics.com sells a variety of fabrics on-line. JandO Fabrics appears to belong to Stanley Safady (jandofabrics@comcast.net) (856-663-2121), 9401 U.S. Hwy Route 130, Pennsauken, NJ 08110. Some jerk from their office posted this false and misleading statement on a blog:

    "We sell NFL Fabrics on our website www.jandofabrics.com so I have the breakdown on what you can do with the NFL Team fabrics. You can make anything you want with the fabric for you personal use but you cannot making anything to resell. If you want to Make licensed NFL Products you need to call the NFL License department and then obtain a permit to make the fabric and then make the products. The NFL fabric that is sold in stores is not for making products to resell. In order to make items with NFL Fabrics you need to have your own fabric manufactured and licensed by the NFL. If you have any questions please email us jandofabrics@comcast.net"

    WRONG. In order to make your own "licensed products" you need a license. Having purchased "licensed fabric", the license being held by the fabric manufacturer, you may make and sell items. However, we always suggest you use a Tabberone Disclaimer and word the description so there is no possible confusion as to the item being licensed as opposed to having been made from licensed fabric. You are not making a licensed product; you are making products from licensed fabric. We have been in federal court with Disney, M&M/Mars, Major League Baseball, Sanrio (Hello Kitty), United Media (Peanuts), and others, over the use of license fabric, and every one of them settled with us rather than fight the issue.


    Laura Marsh Designs
    LauraMarshDesigns.com is situated in the UK but it does not stop Laura Marsh from making false statements about copyright law in general. In an error-filled article she makes on false statement after another. Why? Because Laura Marsh makes and sells patterns so she lies about what can and cannot be done with them.

    Added June 10, 2010


    Lazy Girl Designs
    http://www.LazyGirlDesigns.com/ has the usual FAQ page. They falsely answer the age old question:

    Can I sell items made from Lazy Girl patterns?
    Making items from our patterns for sale violates our copyright policy. In order to protect our business, we don't grant permission for our designs to be made for sale.

    The copyright policy of Lazy Girl isn't enforceable or legal. Copyright "rights" are defined by federal statute and the copyright owner cannot expand those rights to suit them or their desires. Anytime someone refers to their "copyright policy" you can bet money they are stuck on stupid.

    Lazy Girl appears to be owned and operated by Joan Hawley, 437 Maplebrooke Drive East Westerville, OH 43082, patterns@lazygirldesigns.com And, it appears she can't take criticism. Click Here for more details. Even her lawyer, one Michael S. Sherrill, Esq, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, is an ass as well.

    Added September 3, 2008


    LDS Fabric

    LDS Fabric, web site http://ldsfabric.com/, is located in Vacouver, Washington. It appears to be owned by Tom Jensen. Our problem with them is their claims on their blog page, http://ldsfabric.com/ourblog/, "The word “licensed” means in part that the manufacturer doesn’t allow private parties (you and I) to produce products with these licensed fabrics and sell them commercially. It has to do with copyright infringement and trademark branding."

    This statement is used in conjunction with fabric manufactured by Sykel Fabrics and is flat wrong. Licensed fabric means fabric that has been licensed by the rights owner to be manufactured and sold. It does not mean the fabric is being sold with a license. Disney licenses Springs Industries to manufacture, distribute and sell fabric that contain images of the Disney characters. That is where the term "licensed fabric" originates. For something to be sold with a license there has to be agreement between the seller and the buyer concerning the terms of the sale. Even though the selvage may make a statement that the fabric is for "non-commercial home use only", that "restriction" is not enforceable primarily because the purchaser does not have agree to the terms before purchase.

    We're guessing LDS Fabric is just kissing Sykel's ass on this issue. But in doing so, they are lying to their potential customers and the public in general.
    Added February 17, 2009


    Needlework Retailer
    Needlework Retailer, web site http://needleworkretailer.com/, is located at 117 Alexander Avenue PO Box 2438, Ames, Iowa 50010. They were added to these pages for publishing a god-awful article. Click Here to read about it. More of the self-serving tripe spread by those with their agenda of protecting their business by spreading falsehoods and feeding on misconceptions.
    Added September 1, 2008


    New Conceptions Patterns

    "The below pictures of a recent example of copyright infringement of a New Conceptions Pattern. Proper notification has been issued, as usual and required by law, to the person involved. Several times a year I have to deal with situations involving copyright infringement and in most cases, it's an honest mistake due to ignorance of copyright laws and all that they imply. Only once have I had to take legal action, thank heavens."

    What rot! This was taken from the web page at http://www.newconceptions.com/copyright.htm. New Conceptions appears to be run by someone named Kimberly "Kimi" Thomas, located at Box 2564, Oakland CA 94614 or at P.O. Box 2155, Alameda, CA 94501, if you want to believe her web site. We wouldn't believe her considering her flippant comments about copyright infringement. Kimberly "Kimi" Thomas is another self-appointed whack-job who thinks she can control what can be made from her patterns. As for her claim of having taken legal action, shown us the court case Kimberly "Kimi" Thomas. We think you are a liar. Prove us wrong.

    Added July 4, 2008.


    Oliver + S
    Oliver + S has what they call the The Oliver + S Boutique Sewer Program whereby, individuals can "make and sell unique, handcrafted garments from our copyright patterns." They have developed what we would call a unique approach to controlling their "copyrights" but it still is outside the protections provided by the copyright laws and therefore what they are doing is copyright abuse.

    "Purchasing a license on the website grants a boutique sewer the right to sell one garment made from an Oliver + S pattern. With each license purchased, Oliver + S will provide a tag to be sewn into the finished garment.

    These attractively designed tags state that the garment was individually crafted by a boutique sewer from an official Oliver + S pattern and that the garment is being sold with permission of the design's copyright holder."

    What makes this worse, almost criminal in our opinion, is some whack job named Todd Gibson at Oliver + S is actually trolling internet sales sites looking for end products made from Oliver + S patterns and checking to see if the seller has purchased the "required license" and then sending them a threatening email if they have not. Where do these people get their interpretations on copyright law? From inside a fortune cookie? There is absolutely NOTHING in the copyright laws that empowers the manufacturer of a pattern to control its use or the subsequent sale of the end product. Welcome to Tabberone's Trademark and Copyright Abusers' Hall of Shame to Oliver + S.

    Added June 26, 2008.


    Paragon Patterns
    http://www.paragonpatterns.com/ proudly states, "Our patterns may not be used for manufacturing". On their company policy page, they state, "These patterns are for personal use only, and may not be used for commercial purposes in any way, shape, or form without the express written permission of ADS-Paragon Patterns" and "If you wish to sell the items made with our patterns, or use them for business purposes, you MUST sign a licensing agreement with ADS-Paragon Patterns." What self-righteous crap. There is no legal basis for these statements.
    We almost gave Paragon Patterns their very own Hall of Shame page because of their stupidity. But we didn't, and then we changed our minds. Paragon Patterns has their very own Hall of Shame page.

    Susan Wigley is listed as a designer. She also wrote a very self-serving and what we would characterize as a lie-filled article about patterns and their use, and her follow-up article about licensed fabrics and embroidery design was worse. Her articles were so full of self-serving misinformation we almost gagged when we read it. Virtually EVERY paragraph, in both articles, contains bad, bad, bad information.

    How does a moron like Susan Wigley even walk around unsupervised? Generally, patterns are not copyrightable. Even if patterns are copyrighted, the end product is not covered by the copyright. But Susan, you don't really care because you work for a pattern company and it is in the best interests of your company that people believe the misinformation you spread. Susan, that's called lying. You are pathetic and you are an idiot.

    Added April 5, 2008


    pcCrafter
    www.pccrafter.com has a lengthy copyright policy that is so full of shit they should be selling manure to the Utah farmers. What pcCrafter doesn't understand, or doesn't want to understand, is that the rights that a copyright holder has are defined by federal law not some long, drawn-out, error-filled copyright policy. There are so many lies and falsehood we won't go into them. We call them lies and falsehoods because this copyright policy appears to obviously been drawn up by someone with a wish list, not with knowledge of the law.

    Their "limits" are unenforceable and beyond the scope of a copyright.


    Purple Kitty Yarn www.PurpleKittyYarn.com has a lengthy copyright info page that is so full of bad informstion and lies we could not ignore adding this site and giving it its own page.


    Quilt dot Com a.k.a.
    World Wide Quilting Page
    http://www.quilt.com/ offers the following incorrect information:

    "It is also legal to make items for sale as long as you purchase a pattern each time so that they buyer (sic) is buying the pattern and paying you to sew it."

            The sentence structure makes this a little fuzzy but it appears they are telling people that they must purchase one pattern for every item they want to make. Again, false and misleading information. Not only can you make a copy of the pattern for personal use but you can make as many items from the pattern as you wish, whether for personal use or for sale. There is no legal basis for any claims to the contrary.


    Ribbon Haven and
    Tabby Wabby

    Ribbon Heaven and its sister web site, Tabby Wabby, join the Tabberone Trademark & Copyright Abusers' Hall Of Shame in a rare twin induction. Ribbon Heaven has absurd use rules on its ribbons while blatantly selling counterfeit ribbon. What a combo.


    Rosie's Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop
    Rosie's Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop is located at 7151 El Cajon Blvd. Suite F , San Diego, CA 92115. Phone: 619-697-5758. They were added to these pages for having on their web site the god-awful article by Needle Retailer who is also on these pages. More of the self-serving tripe spread by those with their agenda of protecting their business by spreading falsehoods and feeding on misconceptions.
    Added September 1, 2008


    Sense and Sensibility Patterns

    Sense and Sensibility Patterns, web site is http://sensibility.com/, appears to run by one Jennie Chancey, who also runs a web site named Ladies Against Feminism (this is not a joke) located at http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/author/admin/. Sense and Sensibility Patterns has a "forum" where members can talk about sewing and such. On April 3, 2012, after just two posts, Tabberone was banned from the "forums", no explanation, but apparently for disagreeing with two of the divas on the thread.

    Banned? For posting the truth? We go into detail on our PATTERNS page about the lies told by pattern designers and pattern manufacturers. We cite statutes, court cases and copyright office letters and circulars to support our statements. None of which matters to the Sense and Sensibility patterns administrators. They can't handle the truth. Click here for more information and details of what was said, and what was deleted from the thread by Sense and Sensibility administrators.

    Added April 8, 2012


    Sew Forum
    http://sewforum.com/ tries to set some rules at their page "SewForum Members Sign-On Rules", located at http://sewforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=82726, but they fall short. Very short. They don't appear to wish to debate copyrights any more, declaring, "We will no longer debate the copyright issue. It is our rule. We are not lawyers here but we are allowed to have rules." From their tone, they have had problems with bloggers in the past and appear to have lost control somewhere along the line. Or perhaps it is those voices in their head that are confusing them?

    Towards the end of their rant, thinly disguised as "Sign-on Rules", they refer to "information from a Disney representative" as though this information were the Ten Commandments and not to be challenged. Wrong. We have already been in court with Disney Enterprises over their legal analysis of the use of their licensed fabrics and they settled in our favor. Disney stills spouts the corporate line to keep the uninformed masses in line with their thinking. The issue of lawfully purchased embroidery designs for sale is still in the early stages. Disney claims about "illegal sites" is suspect at best. Anyway, SewForum's stand on these sites seems misplaced.

    SewForum ends with this statement:

    "Coloring Books have an Intended Use Copyright. Meaning you can color them and that is all. Therefore changing the format is a copyright violation."

    There is absolutely NOTHING in US Copyright Law about "intended use". Nothing. Nada, zilch, zero. That is a total fabrication. How does one change the "format" of a coloring book? This is one of the stupidest statements we have ever heard. What if your four year-old son colors a picture of Barney in blue instead of purple? Is that copyright infringement? It appears that, according to SewForum, it is! And, what if, after coloring the Barney character the wrong color, he tears it out of the coloring book and gives it to Grandma who proudly displays the page by hanging it from the refrigerator? Is he guilty of copyright infringement by removing it (changing the format) from the coloring book and is Granny guilty of copyright infringement by displaying it on her fridge? It appears that, according to SewForum, they are! If you own the coloring book you can do whatever you want with it.

    Absurd! Must Granny fear the Coloring Book Police coming after her? It appears that, again according to SewForum, she must! Why? Because, according the SewForum, coloring books have an "Intended Use Copyright". What the hell is that? There is no such thing in copyright law. Attention to all morons at SewForum! There is no such thing in copyright law as an "Intended Use Copyright"! It does not exist anywhere in federal law. What are you people smoking in the back room? You're either high on some controlled substance or you're too stupid to be allowed to reproduce. It's misinformation like this that perpetuates the myths that we are trying to dispel. Sew Forum, you are jerks. Why don't you list your names so we will know what towns are missing their idiots?

    Added April 5, 2008


    Sew News
    Sew News
    &
    Editor Marla Stefanelli

    We add Editor Marla Stefanelli and her eMagazine, Sew News, for two reasons. First is an article she wrote for the magazine answering someone's question about patterns in January 2006. In this article she made a number of very flawed claims like:
    "Patterns are published for personal use, and you'd be violating the copyright if you made more than one item and sold them. Technically, you need to purchase a pattern for each time you make an item if the items are for different people."
    This simply is not true. When editors perpetuate the myths they are more responsible for spreading lies than those who believe them because of their credibility. Editor Marla Stefanelli also says: "You also can't use fabric with licensed images on it for commercial use."
    We have been in federal court with M&M/Mars, Disney, Sanrio, Major League Baseball, and United Media (Peanuts) over the use of their licensed fabrics for commercial purposes. Guess what? EVERY ONE of them wanted to settle rather than fight the issue in court even though we did not have a lawyer. Another myth spread by those who should know better.

    On March 1, 2006, we emailed Editor Marla Stefanelli pointing out to her where she was wrong. Not only did we not receive a reply, surprise, surprise, but the faulty article is still posted on her web site at http://www.sewnews.com/resources/qa/qa0106c/index.html.

    Added October 23, 2008.


    Sew Anne's Fabrics
    http://www.sewzannesfabrics.com/, sells fabric on-line. Under the category Heather Ross, the web site makes the following false and misleading statement:
    "The Munki Munki™ fabrics are not to be used in commercial manufacturing for resale, and are only for personal sewing projects."

    "Sewzanne's thanks you for understanding and respecting the designer's resale policy."

    Except, there is no legal basis for the "designer's" resale policy and it is not legally enforceable, and as stated, is false and misleading. (We have not been able to locate further information about Sewzanne's Fabrics.)


    Studio Kat Designs
    http://www.StudioKatDesigns.com/, sells patterns on-line. Under the category of Copyright, Cheryl Weiderspahn makes the following false and misleading statement:

      "When you purchase a StudioKat Designs pattern, you are entitled to make as many bags as you like for your personal use, or as gifts. If you desire to make bags to sell, you must purchase a StudioKat Designs Pattern License."

    ' "If you didn't write it or create it, you do not own the right to copy it or distribute it!" Susan Levin'

    Nice try but no cigar. The copyright is on the pattern and not the item created. Selling the pattern transfers the right of subsequent sale of the item regardless of the design. The web site goes on to quote some dodo named Cheryl Weiderspahn (Pattern Designer, Homestead Specialties Pattern Co.) who wrote a lengthy piece titled, COPYRIGHTS AND COPYWRONGS, which is reproduced on her web page as well. When a pattern whack-job expert begins a piece using "plagiarism" in the first sentence, we know it is going to be a long and biased piece. Also read Copyrights And Copywrongs - Rebuttal, our deconstruction of the self-rightous and self-serving load of propaganda article by Cheryl Weiderspahn.

    Cheryl Weiderspahn closes her lengthy piece by reciting a tale about a Connie Spurlock who after discovering a "major pattern company" had copied her pattern and she "settled out of court for a tidy sum of money!" We seriously doubt the authenticity of this fable. A search of the internet yields only one source for this tale and that is the article by Cheryl Weiderspahn. Contrived to give her piece credibility? We think so.

    ~ ~ StudioKat Designs update - January 29, 2018 ~ ~

    Our darling StudioKat Designs recently declined to sell her designs to an on-line buyer accusing the buyer of "abuse" on social media. It seems the sin committed by the purchaser was to quote these pages. StudioKat claimed "shaming" was a form of abuse. It's not shaming if it is true.

    Kitten, (may we call you Kitten?), get over it. When you try to extort money from people claiming rights you do not have, that is shameful. Do shameful things and you are going to get "shamed". FYI - these many, many pages have been posted for over ten years and at no time has an attorney or company come after us for the content on trademarks and copyrights. We cite court cases and legal authorities to support our claims. All you do is whine. Kitty want some chesse with that wine? Meow!


    Sundrop Designs
    www.SundropDesigns.com appears to sell and give away patterns. However, Sundrop Designs has attached restrictions on the use of these patterns.

    "What you choose to do with the project you make using my free patterns, whether it be a quilt, a tote bag, a sweatshirt, or whatever, is your choice as long as you are not producing projects for the purpose of selling them (this generally excludes charity raffles)."

    Again our problem with this sort of "restriction" is that designers actually believe they have the legal right to impose, and subsequently enforce, restrictions of this nature. That simply is not true. Making making this claim, whether the designer intends to claim infringement later or not, perpetuates the myth that copyright holders have such rights. They do not; nor have they ever had this right. Even with "freebies". Sandra Harris, saharra@att.net, Sundrop Designs, P.O. Box 322 Cottage Grove, OR 97424 (541-942-7066).
    "I'm giving you the right to make 2 items with a free pattern."
    How gracious of you, Sandra. However, you don't have the "right" to give. A pompous assumption on your part.

    "When you purchase most of my patterns, you get permission to use it to make up to 20 projects per pattern for the purpose of selling those projects for your own profit (craft fairs, website, custom orders, etc.). Some patterns have a lower limit."

    No, they don't. The designer, or copyright holder, has absolutely no legal right to impose, or attempt to enforce, limitations upon the use of their patterns (or any other product). It doesn't matter if the patterns were free or purchased.

    "These are the rights I'm selling with my patterns - please don't assume that other designers are offering the same rights."
    Wrong. You are not selling any rights with your patterns; you are only selling the patterns. Copyright law does not give you the right to place limits upon the use of your patterns before or after the sale. Only a signed contract with the buyer might be enforceable. And, your demand you be given credit on items sold is also beyond the scope of a copyright. You were correct when you said you didn't understand copyright law.


    National NeedleArts Association

    While Lying About Copyright

    The National NeedleArts Association puts out a brochure titled "Don't Copy Wrong ... Respect Copyright!", that is chocked full of misinformation and lies about copyrights. That is why they grace these pages.
    Added February 6, 2010


    Web Goddess
    http://www.web-goddess.org/, has some sort of personal web site that covers whatever. She posts her misunderstandings on other web blogs, compounding the problem.

    "Mom was admonishing me for even mentioning selling the quilt because the fabric had apparently come with a big warning that you weren't allowed to use it in products for resale."

      Her posting on http://ask.metafilter.com/46943/Copyright-laws-for-selling-homemade-clothes gives the false impression she knows something about what she is posting, which she does not. She is spreading misinformation. Web-Goddess appears to be Kristine Howard, located at 9/3 Erskineville Road, Newtwon, NSW, Australia 2042 or located at 1/4 Moorgate Street, Chippendale, NSW, Australia 2008. We don't know which. KHoward@yahoo.com seems to be her email.


    You're Sew Special
    Located at http://www.youresewspecial.biz/ is a quilting web site that markets University Quilt Sets. Ohio State University appears to be one of their favorites and You're Sew Special also appears to have a licensing agreement with OSU. Site lists Barb Sills as the Owner. You're Sew Special was added to this list on November 30, 2007.

    From their web site:

    You're Sew Special™ is your Central Ohio source for Ohio State and Ohio University Licensed Quilt kits. Products on this website are "Collegiate Licensed Products".
    We don't have a problem with this statement or what she manufactures and distributes. Our problem is this statement from her web site:
    Please be aware that at this time, these are the only shops carrying the officially licensed products shown on this website, designed by You're Sew Special, and licensed by The Ohio State University. If a similar product does not display the "Officially Licensed Product" sticker or our company name, it is in violation of our licensing agreement with OSU and our copyright.
    You're Sew Special doesn't have a copyright claim on this Quilt Set page at issue that we can see. Your quilt kit doesn't qualify for copyright protection nor does the end product. So what gives with the phony copyright claim? And, what someone else does with OSU fabric isn't covered under YOUR licensing agreement with OSU. Read contract law 101. Other companies sell OSU fabric so this sweeping, false, and self-serving claim is bogus and deliberately misleading.


    Y2 Knit
    http://www.y2knit.net/, sells patterns and yarn. Owner and operator seems to be Susan Wolcott, swolcott@erols.com, 3024 White Birch Court, Fairfax, VA 22031 (703) 362-7424. Their patterns appear to all come with restrictions such as this" "This pattern is for personal use by the purchaser and may not be used to make items for sale except with explicit written permission."

    While trying not to repeat ourselves, this is not true, not true, not true..

     

     

    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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