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Source:
McCall's Quilting Magazine Novt/Dec 2010 Issue, page 46.

November 24, 2010 - Content has not been altered except to add numbers to the paragrapd (in red) for reference. This article has been re-formatted from the magazine multi-columns format into a single column format.

From the Editors

People Are Talking

From the Editors

¶ 1
A wealth of reader mail was prompted by the article "Know Your Rights (and Wrongs)" by Janet Jo Smith in the September/October issue of Mcall's Quilting. Positive responses included numerous notes like these from readers in New Hampshire and California:
"I recently purchased the Sept/Oct 2010 issue because of the Copyright Law lead-in on the front cover. Thank you for printing this information and clearing up some misconceptions."

"I found your article very informative. As a member of four quilt guilds I see these laws broken and abused every day. I think most of my fellow quilters are ignorant of exactly what the copyright laws allow, and your article answers all of the questions."

¶ 2
Unfortunately, some readers also reached alarming conclusions in response to the basic information presented in the article, as we saw in this reader email:
"After reading the article, I feel I can no longer give my Godchild a quilt as a baby present. What if his Mom used it to cover his infant carrier and went to the market? My belief, upon reading the article, is that copyright will kill the quilting craze."
¶ 3
We disagree. Quilting is by far strong enough to survive the few, but important, limitations imposed by copyright law. While we apologize for any undue alarm raised by the article, this is a vital topic, and one we believe all quilters need information about in order to protect their rights and respect those of other quilters.

¶ 4
The information available to the public about copyright law can be confusing and seemingly conrtadictory. The American Quilter's Society has several very helpful articles available on their website, americanquilter.com (acess them by clicking on Quilt World Connections and then News on their home page navigation bar). We are also pleased to present further information from Janet Jo Smith (at right) about the top three concerns raised in reader mail.

¶ 5
A Final Note
Beginning with our next issue, we will be including a blanket permission statement in all McCall's Quilting publications granting the reader the right to publicly exhibit a quilt made using any McCall's Quilting pattern as long as proper credit is given to the designer(s) and McCall's Quilting. We believe this is a first in the quilting world, and hope it sets into motion further productive discussion of the important topic of copyright law in relation to quilting.

Article is Copyright © 2010 New Track Media

 
Rebuttal

To read the original article, "Know Your Rights (and Wrongs)", with our rebuttal, click here.

¶ 1
The many responses should have been expected considering the wealth of misinformation presented in the article. And instead of McCall's Quilting and its pseudo-lawyer, Janet Jo Smith, analyzing what created the responses and looking to see what was said that was incorrect, McCall's Quilting and Janet Jo Smith do the best they can to cover their tracks.

The article focused on the "exclusive rights" of the copyright owner, while ignoring "exclusions" to those exclusive rights, such as the right of the owner of a "copy" to publicly display that copy. Janet Jo Smith made the claim at least five times that "permission" must be sought from the copyright owner for public display but 17 U.S.C. 109 (c) directly refutes that claim.

The pandering examples of emails are pathetic. It just goes to show how many people want to believe the garbage presented by McCall's Quilting.




¶ 2
The information presented was not basic. The article was subtitled A Copyright Primer for Quilters, By Janet Jo Smith, B.A., J.D., and was directly stating what were claimed to be copyright facts when they were more accurately the beliefs and desires of the author. Of the 18 paragraphs in the article, we point out misrepresentations and distortions in 16 of the paragraphs. No wonder readers reached alarming conclusions.

The alarming conclusion in the third email is an accurate conclusion by that reader based upon the faulty advice given by Janet Jo Smith. In the second article Smith backtracks on her claims but the damage has been done.


¶ 3
Perhaps the problem that McCall's Quilting has is its belief that "the few, but important, limitations imposed by copyright law" apply to quilting, as divined by Janet Jo Smith, rather than the opposite, how quilting falls under copyright law. The former is the application of the law as pattern designers would like it to be while the latter is how the law deals with patterns and quilts. For such a "vital topic", why did McCall's Quilting rely upon a quilter and designer for legal expertise? Considering her self-serving misinterpretation of copyright law we can see why she is not making a living as an attorney.

¶ 4
The information available to the public about copyright law is confusing and seemingly contradictory because it is often presented to the public as to what designers would like the law to be while logic and court cases show otherwise. The American Quilter's Society is nothing more than a mirror for the crap printed about copyrights in McCall's Quilting. While the AQS is free to set whatever rules they wish for their contests and shows, claiming that those rules reflect copyright law is just wrong.

For example, Janet Jo Smith gives an incorrect description of a derivative probably to bolster her flawed claim that a buyer is limited to only making one item from a purchased pattern and that item cannot be sold. This is repeated several times and each time what is lacking is a legal basis for this claim. We refute her claims with quotes from statutes and federal court decisions.

¶ 5
McCall's Quilting is going to grant permission to its buyers to do what the law already allows the buyer to do? That is, provided the buyer jumps through hoops that the copyright law does not say are required?

McCall's Quilting is not being magnanimous. McCall's Quilting does not have the right to prohibit public display of a quilt one makes from any pattern published in the magazine. If McCall's Quilting does not have the right then how can they grant the right to buyers? They cannot.


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Know Your Rights (and Wrongs)

People Are Talking - from the Author

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