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Patterns/Templates Copy Right

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Hi

I was trying to find out more on how copy right works with patterns, templates, photos & so on?   If you see a pattern, template or photo, you wish to make that you can sell later how much do you need to change to make it your own for selling?  If you find free patterns or templates can one make & sale those or how does that work?  Is it true that if you buy something like coloring books or books with art work or pattern, template or drawling can one use those for items they make?  Also if you buy something like a purse or that & you make a pattern off it can you use that pattern to sale,  Any help would be great.  Just asking for once get better at leather items can sell them & that.

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AS A RULE, when you see patterns by others, you can make the object and sell it.  What you can't sell, or reproduce, is the PATTERN.  Many pattern makers retain the rights to their designs, though not many actually enforce it, which adds to the confusion.

Now, there is some suggestion that page 18 of stohlman's "how to make holsters" may be considered by some to be "public domain" and free for all to do as you wish.  I AM NOT a subscriber to that, nor do i recommend reproducing any part of that or any other book not belonging to you (without expressed permission to do so).  But, you know - it has happened :blush:

ANY PATTERN I UPLOADED on this site is "fair game".. you may do with it as you see fit.  GIVE it away , share it freely with everybody.. no worries.

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According to US Law  if you purchase a pattern you can make and sell items made with that pattern..... you can NOT sell or distribute the pattern

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28 minutes ago, biglew said:

you can NOT sell or distribute the pattern

Correct me if I'm wrong, that this will be the case, unless that the seller gives authorization to do whatever the buyer wishes to do with the pattern.

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the pattern is his intellectual property so make sure it is spelled out clearly that you can sell and resell said pattern

 

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This is a tricky subject and is complicated by the fact that we have now have a global economy which means laws in the country of origin of the pattern/product may be different to laws in your own country.  In general, these are the rules I follow - I err on the side of caution in the hope of avoiding any potential hot water.

  1. If you purchase a pattern you're free to make as many products using that pattern as you like, as long as you don't make any profit from those products.  If you want to use that pattern to make profit, it's good manners to check with the person who made that pattern first.  Sometimes it's pretty obvious that this is the intention (for example if the seller only sells patterns) but often a seller will also make and sell their own products and might not appreciate you doing the same thing.  It's always a good idea to check.
  2. You should never, ever distribute a pattern that you've paid for without the express permission of the pattern maker.  The person who made that pattern worked hard on that, from initial conception to prototyping and testing - not to mention any instructional material (videos, image galleries etc) that come along with the pattern.
  3. Buying an item with the express intent of disassembling it and make reproductions for sale, then this is the same as design theft and I would not recommend it.
  4. Using patterns from a book for profit falls under the same category as point number 1 - check with the author first.
  5. About motifs or design features, such as a particular shape or combination or colours.  This is a particularly tricky area that you'll want to be careful of.  Often potential customers will enquire about having something like a patch with a sports team logo added to a product, or maybe a distinctive image form a movie etc.  This is a big no-no.  Motifs, logos, emblems whatever you want to call them are normally protected under copyright law and there have been numerous cases of companies pursuing litigation against people producing items embellished with their trademarks.
  6. Changing a pattern or design to make it your own is another tricky area.  There are percentages bandied around, distinguishing features talked about and even fundamentals like sizing and proportions.  The fact is, that if you use a single product as your design inspiration, you're very likely to not make enough changes such that it is distinguishable enough form the original to make you safe from accusation of design theft.  I would recommend using several different products as inspiration points and trying to come up with something that uses feature you like from each one.  Then, compare your final product to each of your inspiration points individually - if you can't tell that the overall new product was inspired in part from the original, then you've probably done enough to protect yourself.

I hope this helps!

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Tricky indeed.

A lot of people sharing their free patterns I have seen on YouTube are specific that any products you make using the pattern can not be sold commercially. On another hand how many different designs of a wallet can you invent, 20-25-30?

Another thing to notice is that after a certain period of time publications become public domain.. Currently that year is 1924 and earlier. More detailed explanation here https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain In short, if you ever find a pattern of any kind in a book published in 1924 or earlier you are free to use it as you wish. Here is one example https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.126006/mode/2up

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We dont know.  Just whatever ya do DO NOT read this one. Nope.

 

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On 1/22/2020 at 3:52 AM, biglew said:

According to US Law  if you purchase a pattern you can make and sell items made with that pattern..... you can NOT sell or distribute the pattern

This is not the case in the UK or Europe.

Unless the originator of the pattern has given you permission to make items for commercial sale from the pattern then you may use the pattern only for personal use, you may not make multiples of the item and sell them, but you may give those items away as gifts

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1 hour ago, fredk said:

you may not make multiples of the item and sell them, but you may give those items away as gifts

I have been watching a documentary about art auctions called "The Price of Everything". It is about the (crazy) value of some art, typically after the artist has sold it (or given it away). So in this case, if someone gives me a gift, can I sell it? ... of course I can, because I own it. Apparently I have no liability because I didn't make it.

This is an interesting topic, to which there are no simple answers. It boils down to the ethical question of "can you sell something that might be the intellectual property of someone else without their permission?" No clear answer, and certainly a problem for those who feel they are getting ripped off.

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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