Friday, June 12, 2009

questions of a wannabe

i have not been crafting long, perhaps just over a year so i don't know any of the protocol or unspoken rules that may exist when it comes to creating items to sell. i have decided to post some honest questions on this blog in the hopes for some answers from fellow bloggers that have been successful when selling at markets, etsy etc...
1. can you sell items you have made from a pattern in a book?
2. sometimes i draw my own designs other times i copy from a book or image on the computer, can i sell the items that i have copied?
3. can you sell items you have made from a pattern you have bought, for example could i sell the babushka doll i made from a pattern that one red robin published? or a stitchery from a pattern from Clare's craftroom?
4. is it OK to adapt a pattern from a book, for example turn a finger puppet into a brooch?
5. can i find a quote on the Internet and then find a picture in a book to match and sell the end product?
6. if someone writes copyright on their site what does it mean? and do they really have the right to type it?
7. the photos that i will show in this post are inspiring me... can i copy them and perhaps turn them into a stitchery or softie?
8. if i do use pictures or patterns that are not from my inspiration or drawn by me do i have to quote the original source?
i probably have more questions but i just cant think right now. i have been honest and would like your honest, informed answers.
now onto my finds for the day...
look closely... yep that is a babushka doll SHOWER CAP!! i have taken photos of the kids wearing it which i will post on my other blog tomorrow. and look at these lip glosses... i have already added some to presents, the rest are destined for the reward box. (my girls have been angels since this purchase)
this is a card for someones birthday this month, it is so sweet printed on brown recycled paper. part of the woodland folk set, i have already sealed the deer, oh so sweet. this might inspire a painting or softie...
and i couldn't go past this for my 12 year old god daughter, isn't it beautiful??? it is part of a silhouette series. i can just imagine it as a stitchery :o)
there you have it, i love finding sweet things, they make me feel good.
i really hope that those of you who read this leave a comment no matter how insignificant you think it might be. i want so much to be successful at this crafting business (not holding my breath or giving up my day job) but i would hate to offend anyone or do anything 'illegal'.
thanks for you time and support.


  1. 1-4 YES

    5... price your own items honestly and always use your own photo's if you can to avoid any legal troubles.

    6. In short, they are telling/asking/pleading/begging you not to take their pictures without permission. Many of us put in hours of work on our pics/sites. We don't want our work taken advantage of. Copyright law is very tricky yet straight forward. YOu can type in a search and read. But, in most cases, once a photo hits the internet... it's open domain in many circumstances.

    7. I don't know if you can or not. Where did you get the photos? Then go from there.

    8. The easiest answer to this is, edit something even if it is small & insignificant. Then you have altered said pattern and can avoid issues.

    Many crafters, if not all, see something somewhere and then copy. We edit by using different colors, materials, threads, embellishments or even edit the pattern. Don't let this get you too uptight. Just do your thing and have wonderful success at it. Enjoy what you do & what you do will be enjoyed.

    There will be others with far more info to give you i'm sure. Best of luck.

  2. Oh, please note, I am not an attorney. Just a simple crafter like many others. :)

  3. I don't know about rules and regulations sweets but I do know being lucky enough to own some of your makes that you won't have any trouble selling them.
    Have a great weekend.
    Beki xxx

  4. When it comes to patterns etc you could check with the designer.

    Short quotes are okay to use as long as you say where and who they are from.

    Do not take other people's images and design - it is illegal unless they say otherwise.

    Some pictures are in the public domain and not copyrighted - do a search to find out more. For instance, many very old pictures may be used. Do not copy anything from a book and sell it unless you are sure the copyright has expired.

    Yes, we have a right to say copyright as long as it's our own creation and idea. If it's not yours from scratch it's a different issue and more complicated. For me, all the photos I take for instance and all the paintings and collages I make are automatically mine and it's not even necessary to point out the copyright, it's just to be extra clear. Sometimes people think they can use / copy a picture because they bought it but they did not buy the RIGHTS or a license to use it. There's a huge difference between buying something and hanging it on your wall and buying something, copying it and re-selling it.

    I think it's very important that more and more people begin to learn about copyright now that photos and images in particular are becoming so easy to find. Just because you "find" something on the internet doesn't mean you can use it. Had to deal with this a lot as a teacher.... Some teachers even encouraged students to "find" appropriate illustrations on the internet - and didn't demand they quoted the source. If it's done in any official kind of way you could get in big trouble. What struck me as strange was that my former colleagues were very strict when it came to "borrowing" text online but not when it came to images - as if they are just there for anyone to take and use, as if they are not as important and as much work as writing a text!

    I'm getting all worked up here, lol. It's important questions you ask.

  5. I struggle with the same questions, esp when it comes to images on advise: read. Most tutorials online will say "do not sell items made from this pattern" or something similar...and most fabrics that are characters or something, will say "for non-commercial, home use only"...if it says that, don't use it. When it comes to changing patterns to become "yours" has to be something significant I think...not just say, lengthening a strap on a has to be a more design element that will result in a completely different look...

  6. Love those sweet things rosey!The lip glossses for girls are to cute.Love the owl as well, my oldest loves anything with owls.ballerinas are always so pretty.Im sorry cant answer any of your wannabe questions(lol funny) Your more talented than I and much more brave selling your things.Good Luck!

  7. Hi Rosey,
    Oh dear, lots of questions you've asked on a very special subject for orginal designers.
    Good information everyone should know.
    Here is a good website to check out more information.

    I know in the artists world it can be very tricky.
    I never paint someone else's work, even a smidgen of it and claim it could be mine or add copyright to it.

    Copyright lasts for 70 years after a person has deceased, it then belongs to the family.
    Have fun with your new adventure on coming up with designs and selling them.

  8. Use and adapt. If the idea is good it should evolve....NEVER EVER COPY someone else's work, but no harm in putting your own idea on it.
    As long as it is your own idea.
    x x x

  9. Yes it is all abit tricky and confusing!
    But good examples are of Chefs...
    How many have written a cookies recipe or the like for the same food>>>
    As for copyright anyone can copy right their unique works...
    No registering is required just the symbol and the artists name and the year.

    I often wonder though how much protection it offers...But it makes people aware it is Protected.

    I feel the big wide crafting world is big enough for us all and everyone is inspired and gets ideas from some source.
    My situation gets tricky if I use moulds...As I then add many different dimensions to them and they look so different others who may use those moulds...But again we all may have used the first original mould?
    Hmmm Tis tricky alright!

  10. Oh that does look like you have some good info there. I will send you a link by Kelly Rae Roberts that she posted on her blog about what she considers OK. You might have to cut and paste.
    Have a wonderful day, kiss noises Linda

  11. Hi Rosey

    There's such a fine line between appropriation and breaching copyright but I think some of the things you are talking about are ok depending on how you go about it. It's always best to ask the creator if you're unsure.

    1. and 3. only if the book or the author has said it is ok to. And usually you would have to credit the creator of the book/pattern. There's no harm in asking the creator if you can use their work so maybe start with that.

    6. anyone can put copyright on their site as long as it is original content, you don't have to pay to copyright something in Australia or to use the copyright symbol so it's fine to do this. If you want to patent or trademark something then it's different.

    7 and 8. Maybe use these images as your inspiration to draw your own images without directly copying them. You could also change elements of them and this may be ok, I'm not 100% sure but I do know that in postmodern art there's a little thing called appropriation where artists take a work by another artist and alter it in some way to make a statement and this is fine. Having said that they may have paid a copyright license to do this.

    I hope this helps Rosey, it's such a tricky thing copyright, I am constantly stumped by it at work and it seems in the crafty world things are equally unclear.

  12. Hi there,
    I just had to comment on this post!
    First, I am not an expert and have never sold a thing I have made.
    But, I do have a marketing and communications degree so feel I have some knowledge about this.
    Firstly, I always have a laugh to myself when people sell patterns, and say you can't reproduce to sell. Because that is the risk they take when they sell their pattern.
    I think you would find you are only breaching copyright if you decided to mass produce and sell them in Kmart or the likes. You would also have a problem if you reproduced that pattern and tried to sell the pattern itself.
    Also, any artist would tell you, that no idea is original, it evolves from somewhere.

  13. Sorry I've taken a while to respond to this. It's been a rather crazy week.

    I think it's safest to check with the creator of a design prior to selling something created from a pattern or image designed by someone else. Usually when a designer gives the right for the public to use their designs, it comes with a terms of use... eg can be used for personal use and not sold for profits etc..

    Anyone has the right to write a copyright quote as long as it's their own work. Even an artist who does not declare copyright in writing on their website or artwork, still automatically owns copyright to their work. All artists, designers, writers, musicians etc... automatically own copyright as soon as they create something that is all their own creation.

    There is no law against being inspired by other artists work though ;D

    This is all I know and believe to be true from my own learnings and experiences, but then I am no attorney. I hope my words help. Thanks for being brave and asking the questions so many of us wonder about :)