Thursday, January 01, 2009

Copyright

I don’t make it a habit of reading a lot of blogs every day, I don’t have enough time. But yesterday one of my retreaters sent me a blog she wanted me to look at. She wanted me to see this blog because the owner was showing people how to make one of my quilts. It turned out it was not one of my quilts, but it was another designer’s pattern, and someone I happened to know. I sent an email to the blogger complimenting her on her quilt and asking her if she had the designer’s permission to publish the pattern. I truly didn’t want a reply, and never expected to get one, but was hoping that I tweaked the consciousness of the blogger enough to make her realize she was doing something wrong.

I got an almost immediate response saying that she had bought the pattern which gave her permission to use it anyway she wanted. That is so not true, so I emailed her back asking her to look on the bottom of the pattern for a statement reading “copying this pattern is not permitted” She replied she hadn’t copied it, and was just telling people how she made the quilt… with exact words from the pattern.

I did not notify the designer myself, someone else did. I am not the quilt police, but I will protect the copyright privileges of any designer, if I know her or not. In this case the designer does count on her pattern sales and classes to help meet her monthly bills, and if someone is publishing them, they are literally stealing from her.

SO… if you post a quilt on your blog, and a million people ask you how you made it, unless you made the quilt from a design of your own, you may not give step by step directions. You may link to a source for the pattern, such as the designer’s web site or personal blog, or a quilt shop which sells the pattern.

And you don’t have to worry about the quilt police either, they don’t exist. However one of your friends who happened to make the same quilt in a class at a quilt retreat just might write to the teacher and tell her. Or some stranger might see your blog and write to the designer. Most quilters are honest people.

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Thanks for understanding
Marge