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