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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Selling an Item Made from a Copyrighted Pattern

    So i bought a pattern and would like to possibly sell it in the future. The pattern itself has copyright logos on it but when i searched for the pattern itself in the copyright database i was unable to find it and when i searched for the authors name and company nothing came up. As far as my understanding goes the copyright would only protect the pattern itself but not an object made from that pattern, unless they also have a copyright on the finished item as well. So legally if i made the item and then sold it i would be in the clear correct? This brings me to my next point, after i purchased the pattern they had a "License Agreement" that reads
    Copyright This Pattern, the original garment and design, and any and all charts, artwork, and schematics included in the Pattern are protected by applicable copyright law as well as by international copyright treaties. You may not distribute the Pattern, in whole or in part, in any form whatsoever that is not in accordance with this license agreement. Any use of the Pattern other than as set forth herein is prohibited.
    Commercial Use: Other than as specifically permitted in this agreement, you may not use the Pattern for any commercial purposes, including but not limited to the sale, bulk reproduction, or distribution of the pattern itself or any goods or materials created using the Pattern.

    Charitable Fundraising: Other than as specifically permitted in this agreement, you may not use the Pattern, or any goods or materials created using the Pattern, for any charitable fundraising purposes without the express written consent of the Designer.
    Optional riders that may be added to the standard license

    No Resale without Permission
    You may not sell or distribute items made from the Pattern without express permission from the Designer. In the event such permission is granted, at the time of sale, any such items must clearly indicate that the Designer is the original creator of the Pattern and the sole copyright holder thereof.
    I never agreed to this license agreement and was only able to see it after i purchased said pattern. So because i never agreed to it does this mean i have to follow it, and if i don't will the seller be able to take an legal recourse? Any help on this issue would be great since most of the information i have found on this subject is all hearsay and nothing concrete.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Laws of Selling an Item Made from a Copyright Pattern

    first, everything such as the pattern is covered under a copyright simply by virtue of it being created. Then, when you purchase the item, they can control what you are allowed to do with it. That is the license issue. Even though you could not see it prior to purchase, it was obviously available to you prior to using the pattern. You had the option of returning it or not using it for commercial use.

    Depending on who the copyright owner is and how you sue it will determine what, if any action is taken against you.

    and searching for copyright registrations can be difficult at times. Just because you didn't find it doesn't mean it isn't there somewhere.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Laws of Selling an Item Made from a Copyright Pattern

    Not even the big clothing pattern companies register their patterns. They all claim copyright and all sorts of other rights, but it is mostly a bluff. There is little case law that supports they are even copyrightable. In any case, the copyright does not extend to the clothing produced. You can research this all on the internet as easy as any of us and form your own conclusions.

    If it is not registered, they can't get statutory damages. They can only get actual damages and there is so little money involved, very few of such cases have gone to court. Decisions have been mixed. There wouldn't be much in actual damages anyway.

    So yes there is a risk, but it is probably minor unless you are doing large numbers and advertising it really well.

    I would do research into the company and see if they are even around. Lots of them aren't.

    Many times assets are sold off piecemeal at auction and the IP is lost. Sometimes it is just thrown in the trash.

    Everything in business and life is a calculated risk.

    There is a saying that there reallly is nothing new, it is just something old re-done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Laws of Selling an Item Made from a Copyright Pattern

    They all claim copyright because they do have copyright on the patterns. You can not duplicate the patterns, description, or pictures legally. As Conrad says, the case law is stacked against the pattern makers that making clothing from the pattern is somehow a copy or derivative work of the original patterns.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Laws of Selling an Item Made from a Copyright Pattern

    Ron, have you had a change of heart? On "the other site we both frequent" you said the direct opposite on 12/25/2008.

    In another thread there, a couple of the guys well educated (and even one practicing in such law; dgc) have stated you cannot produce products for sale using a purchased pattern without permission.

    and in an offshoot of this sort of situation, to me anyway, what would be an analogous situation is forbidden:

    Written music and a performance using such written music. How would the writer be able to anymore enforce a copyright of the written music compared to a performance of said music as a pattern maker enforcing a limitation of the use of the pattern.

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