Lily and I headed out both Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 am for a walk. It was such a beautiful weekend. Nice temps and much needed rain. I am trying to start walking daily, however I took this morning off. Since I am just getting started again, I don’t want to get shin splints. We walk three miles, which takes us about an hour. We encountered the following on our walk on Saturday: 2 horses, 1 donkey, 5 white tail deer and 1 wild turkey. The donkey always comes up to the fence to greet us. It is a great way to start the day; I need to make it a habit.
I pulled out the Cat in the Hat quilt in progress for my youngest grandson, I got some ideas yesterday to simplify it, and so I wanted to see if it is all going to work out. I think this is going to be one of those quilts where you make the border first.
I have also been making hanging sleeves and hand stitching them on to quilts so I can photograph them. While I was at it, I took pictures so I could do a hanging sleeve tutorial. I will have that posted in a few days.
While working on the “Cat in the Hat” quilt, I noticed this indicated in the selvedge “For Individual use only.” This brings me to my main topic for today – copyright infringement. Have you seen the buzz in the quilt world about the threatened lawsuit by fabric designer, Kate Spain, against C&T Publishing and Emily Cier, author of Scrap Republic? I am not going to get into the details of the allegations, nor am I taking sides; you can read the posts on each of the involved party’s blogs. However, I just want to make everyone aware (in case you are not) that designer quilting fabrics are copyrighted and most designers have policies regarding their use. Many of the designer fabrics are limited to personal use only and can’t be used for commercial purposes. Some of the designers’ fabrics are marked in the selvedge, “For Personal Use Only.” It is my understanding that Ms. Spain’s fabric is so marked. However, I just purchased some pre-cuts of Ms. Spain’s licensed fabric. As many of you know, you don’t get selvedges when purchasing pre-cuts. I would have had no idea that the pre-cuts I purchased were for personal use until this conversation started across the blogosphere (there was no indication on the packaging that there was a personal use policy). I have always been aware that this situation exists with licensed designs, especially since some very popular designers, who once had a “personal use only” policy, have since lifted them. I am pretty good about checking designer’s websites or emailing them, but sometimes I forget or it has been so long since I purchased the fabric that I don’t even know who the designer is. I never know what piece of fabric I am going to pull from my stash to put in a quilt that I might eventually sell. In the case of pre-cuts, I might use the entire collection in a quilt.
Any time you are using someone else’s designs, whether it is a pattern, embroidery design, photograph, die cut, fabric, scrapbooking paper, etc., you need to check to see that you are not violating some copyright provision before you use that design in any commercial pursuit. Some designers are clear on the issue and have a policy posted on their website, some don’t mention it, so you have to ask. Case in point, I could not find a copyright policy regarding the use of Kate’s fabrics anywhere on her website. It became clear from reading Ms. Spain’s website that her designs are licensed, but not everyone knows what that means. Later I found Kate’s blog and she has a very detailed post on March 28 regarding this whole issue, in which she states that it is fine to use her fabric to make items and sell them on Etsy and to publish quilt patterns with the cover photo being a quilt made from her fabrics (as long as you mention the fabric collection and designer), but no mention of quilts made for a book or quilting publication. So what constitutes commercial use? And do all designers/manufacturers define it the same way that Ms. Spain did in her blog post. I find this whole topic very interesting and confusing. I certainly don’t want to be accused of “lifting” someone else’s designs or violating someone’s copyright. I just want to make quilts with beautiful fabric – what’s a girl to do?
I hope you have a great week ~ Lora