Monday, January 17, 2011

Copyright Guide

Copyright is a major concern in the quilting world. This is not intended to include all information you will need to determine if you are violating or someone has violated your copyright.  It is to help you better understand a general outline.

·         "Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts and schemes. Rather, it protects the manner in which the idea or information is expressed".
·          Copyright does not protect techniques, thus, while you may verbally share with your friends what you did in a workshop, photocopy the notes for friends is infringement of copyright.
·         Craft work which is on temporary display may not be photographed without permission from the copyright owner. Taking photos of quilts without permission is an infringement of copyright
o   The fact that there is no sign does not necessarily mean you have permission.
o    It may be permitted if the exhibition organizers have asked exhibitors to allow photography as part of the conditions of entering the show, as many guilds do.
o    Always check with the organizers, or ask specific permission of the quilt maker.
§  You may have to explain why you want the photographs - some may allow photography for personal use, but not commercial use (such as a publication in a magazine.
·         Publication of a pattern usually implies that the reader is allowed to user the pattern for their own personal use.
o   Many quilting books and magazines will contain a statement to this effect.
o   Copying the pattern yourself rather than photocopying it is still copying, but is allowable for personal use.
o   Photocopying a whole book is an infringement of copyright.
o   Libraries post signs over the copies stating the copyright laws permit copying of up to one chapter or 10% of a book for personal or research needs. It probably holds true elsewhere.
·         Photocopying and submitting a design from another publication
o   Is an infringement of copyright.
o   It would be permissible to redraw the pattern yourself,  but only if it is a design already in the public domain, such as the Ohio Star, or one of the many traditional block designs.
o   If the pattern is original to a particular person, then permission from the designer is necessary for it to be published.
·         Copying a quilt would be an infringement.
o   Ideas cannot be copyrighted. It is acceptable to see another quilt for ideas.
o   Just acknowledgement of another person’s work does not give permission to use it. It is generally accepted that there is a moral right to acknowledge, and in some countries that moral right is a legal obligation.
o   To comply with copyright law, you should ask permission of the copyright owners, the quilt makers, Organizers of a show or display, do not control the copyright and cannot give permission.
o   As part of "fair dealing" in copyright, the use of a work in reviews or for criticism is permissible. It is OK for you to go ahead and photograph the quilts for the purpose of a review, however, it would be a courtesy to tell the quilt show organizers and the quilt maker but it is not strictly necessary to do these things.
o   You cannot take a class from a teacher and then teach a class.  Basing your work on the ideas of others is permissible, but you must do all your own notes, samples, etc. We all learn from each other, so is not realistic to think we are not all influenced by the works we see and the teachers that we meet.
o   "Copyright protection is automatic." "There is no requirement of registration or any other formal procedure".
§  You do not need to apply for copyright protection.
§  However, marking the copyright sign, your name and the date is a reminder to people that copyright exists and therefore is a good idea, although not legally required in Australia.
o   There is no copyright in a title
·         "Copyright generally lasts for 50 years after the end of the year the author died".
o   Outside this time, the work is often said to be "in the public domain".
o   Copyright is something owned, and therefore can be assigned to someone else, or inherited.
I hope you have found this information to be helpful.  Check back again to see new posts regarding quilt shows across the USA & Canada.