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Regarding copyright law - I would like to start selling my

handmade crochet items online....
Regarding copyright law - I would like to start selling my handmade crochet items online. I did not write (design) the patterns from which the items were made. The patterns I used to create my items were either found free online or were patterns I bought. Most of the patterns have a copright at the bottom. Some designers state you may use the pattern for personal use only, others state you may use for commercial use and still others state nothing at all. My question is, does the copyright apply to the pattern only or does it also apply to the created item? I am not going to sell or reproduce the pattern. I am only interested in selling the finished product.
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
1/4/2012
Richard - Bizlaw
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,703
Experience: 30 years experience corporate, litigation, international
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bizlaw :

The copyright in the pattern would apply to any item created on which the pattern appears. For those patterns that state they can be used for commercial use, there is no problem because you can use those patterns on your products. As to the items that say it is for personal use only or that have the copyright and do not say anything, you would need the permission of the copyright owner of the pattern to use it on your products. As to items you found on the internet if the pattern contains a copyright symbol then unless there is a specific disclaimer that the pattern is available for use for any person, you would need to get the permission of the copyright owner to use the pattern on your product.


This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.


Customer :

I am not sure I follow. You state the copyright in the pattern would apply to any item created... on which the pattern appears. I am not reproducing, copying or distributing the pattern. I am following the pattern (a set of instructions) to make an object and then would like to sell the object.

Customer :

Is the ownership of a copyright for a pattern (instruction to make an object) seperate from ownership of a material object in which the work is embodied?

Customer :

Also, I have had one copyright holder tell me that I may use her pattern to create a good for sale, but that she would like me to make reference to her website (where she posted her pattern) when I sell the good. Does she have any authority to request this?

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I had to switch from chat to see your response. I thought when you referred to pattern like a design that you copied onto an object. YOu seem to be talking about something else. What types of products or objects are these patterns supposed to be used to develop? If you follow the pattern will all items created be identical or can be they be unique items? Could you give an example of how the pattern is used to create the product? For example is this like a dress pattern where you follow the pattern to make the dress?
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

Exactly, a knit or crochet pattern is to a scarf as a dress pattern is to a dress. The knitting and crochet patterns are used to develop a variety items such as; hats, scarves, sweaters, afghans, as well as decorative items such as flowers, butterflies, hearts, etc. By following the pattern exactly, the items will be identical. The pattern specifies what yarn to use, what needle is recommended, how much yarn is needed, and what specific stiches to perform to get the outcome. With this said, does a person holding a copyright to a knit or crochet pattern have any rights to the product created from said pattern?

Since you are following the step by step instructions of the crochet pattern your product would remain covered by the copyright of the pattern owner even though you used it to create the product. You can use what you created for personal or charitable purposes but not for commercial purposes without the permission of the copyright owner. The advice I gave above that the pattern that has no copyright notice or that says it can be used for commercial purposes you can use. Any other you need the permission of the copyright owner. As for the request to of the copyright owner about giving notice of her website as a condition to use the pattern on a commercial product, that is a permissible condition of the copyright owner.

This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.

Richard - Bizlaw
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,703
Experience: 30 years experience corporate, litigation, international
Verified
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