Saturday, March 31, 2012

Had this fear for a long time

Many months ago I was on Quilter's blog and thought I had better get off of it. Part of it was the SPAM and part of it was I didn't want to step on toes. I am a pretty private person and my sewing habits were placed on a blog for my own reference to my accomplishments. I enjoy reading other blogs and also enjoy the ideas so many of you have and then I think why didn't I think of that. I read about new techniques and also challenges others have and thinking to myself I wish I could be teaching a class. Well that idea is all going by the way side. This is my book shelf full of quilting magazines and instruction books. I enjoy reading all that others have done and see the potential of things I could do. Now I wonder if I should have bought them or should keep them. Big question is am I copying someone? Yes this issue is all over the blogs and has played out in the courts.
I question the legal ramifications of EQ7 and all programs like it. I question the purchase of patterns and the freebies off of the web. Who is right who is wrong?
Several have addressed the copyright issue in recent postings and many have a very definite opinion. Some feel the way I do and some are on the other side.
Copyright is a good thing if not pushed to extremes. Yes it is a tool that has been stretched to the length of the meaning of what a copyright is. Assuming is another issue that plays into the use of the copyright and the interpretation of the copyright laws is a fine line to hold us accountable. I am not a copyright attorney or a student of the law, but am I harming some one by sewing and making quilts? Some may question this issue and yet I want to make quilts for my own use and for gifts.
I wanted to make quilted items and sell them, but not now. I can't afford a law suit against me and also I don't want to be accused of showing something on a blog that will step on any ones toes. The question is do I blog, do I sew or do I ignore all the rumblings and threats and move forward?
I have scraps I work with most of the time. I do not always remember who's fabric lines they are and I have been given scraps that I used from other's without a label on them. Am I wrong to take pictures and show you my progress? Maybe I am boastful to think any one really cares anyway. Yes comments are wonderful to receive and I do comment on others of how much I enjoy looking at their projects. Is it wrong? Some in the quilting and legal worlds think it is.
If in fact I have stepped on any toes I am sorry.
What is a quilter to do? I want to show pictures and I like doing it, but am I setting myself up for a major problem?
I do not understand the laws to see where if you purchase a pattern or fabric that it becomes yours that you cannot use it with out a law suit coming into play. Ownership of a car after the sale doesn't make it belong to the manufacturer. To me, but who am I? The purchase of an item is my choice what I do with the item should be up to me. Most don't render a pattern exactly as it is in the book or on the printed page. So who is right and who is wrong? Are the Attorney's chasing quilters and are quilters being selfish?
There are copyright free patterns, but I don't want to make 4 patch quilts all the time. Is this what our fore sisters wanted when they created a quilt? Lawsuits are nasty and costly so maybe my quilts from now on will be 4 patches. How do you feel? Chris


Katie M. said...

If an author gives you the dimensions and templates/ shapes/ instructions to create something that appeared in their book, then I think one must assume that that author is giving you the right to recreate that which they are publishing. If they do not want you to recreate that item, then they should publish the picture, no instructions, etc... and simply state "not to be copied......" And... all quilts are made by the same basic shapes - it's geometry (or something like that)... and there is no copyright on that. I feel the same way with those who design fabrics - if they don't want us to buy and use their fabrics, why are they creating them and receiving a profit????? I think of these authors and designers failed at their expectations and now are trying for a different sort of 'fame'. So sad for them. That all said, I will continue on as I have. I will create quilts or whatever, with fabric I've legally purchased, from directions I have legally purchased and I will publish photos as I see fit. I will not, however, take credit for a design that is not of my own making. I will give credit where credit is due. If, while 'playing' in EQ, I come up with a block/quilt design that someone else has published, well I am not trying to make a profit from said design, I was playing with shapes and if there is a similarity, it was completely coincidental..... My opinions and these sue happy fools will not take the joy out of what I do.

Sewing Junkie said...

Katie, I agree with your feelings. I will try and be a good girl and give those credit that need credit. Glad you voiced your opinion. Thank Chris

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I was following that stuff on line, too. I have decided to go on as I have been. I give credit when I can and I am not going to sweat it if I can't...

I sew and quilt because I love it. I will continue to love it and not let the craziness of this world remove the joy I get from it.