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TOPIC: Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do??

Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 22 May 2017 14:26 #141304

That sounds beautiful; I'd love to see a photo sometime. I love that your dad helped you calculate the angles, etc.; what a precious memory. And yes, what a compliment you received, too, for your quilting! I started off hand piecing & quilting (though only one small thing did I ever hand quilt), and I was much more accurate with that but once I got a machine and realized how many more projects I could finish, I never went back!

Certainly can't say she owned that pattern....very true. I'm sorry she was ugly about it, though, and definitely agree with you there's a difference in patterns or blocks in the public domain vs something artsy. (not that some public domain styles aren't also artwork....). And like you, if I"m inspired by someone else, I say so. It's a shame not all folks are like that.
Heather, a Texan living in Brasil

http://quiltingonawhim.blogspot.com.br/
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 22 May 2017 09:52 #141297

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Learn as I go

Oh I understand. And that is pretty original. . Mine was a Vortex. And this woman told me I copied hers. But hers was a mess.

I was taught to hand quilt by three old ladies including my grandmother. One was quaker. She actually told me once I was better than any of her friends. I was young what a compliment. Made me feel special.

And the funny thing was my father was an engineer and after I created the rows he helped calculate the optimal angle for the wedges to make a perfect circle for the vortex. I do not remember the angle but we cut a template out of 1/4 plywood to cut the wedges. One of the few fond memories with him

So many today say they own a design. Like that vortex quilt has been around since the 1800s. So how can you own the design. Blocks squares. Now they can copyright a method. But not a basic geometric design.

But a Zelda quilt. That is pretty original.

I understand my current passion is lace quilts. I have spoken to Susan Stewart several times and she provides me great inspiration. People ask I always she inspired me.

So I understand. And sorry someone is low enough to do that. It is sad.
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 22 May 2017 09:19 #141295

nusiax wrote:
I agree and disagree

Many years ago I got accused of stealing a woman's design. She wanted my prize

That is terrible!

In this particular case, if you were to view side by side photos it would leave no doubt, at all, that the 2 quilts are identical (with the exception that actually the later one, by the woman who copied mine, is actually better.....I was a very novice quilter, it was only my 2nd quilt to quilt at all and using a very tiny home machine; hers is gorgeous as she was already an experienced quilter).

I did not/have not/will not pursue anything other than I did contact her and ask her to update her blog post to indicate she used my design (she had claimed in her blog that she designed it herself), which she readily did. I then contacted the multiple places that have picked it up (she submitted it, as her original, to several fan websites since it is based on a video game) and had them likewise update to include that it is actually my original design (they all did). So I"m happy with the outcome; since it's based on a video game, it's nothing I could ever make money from anyway, and I sincerely don't mind, at all, that she *made* the quilt.....I cared that she claimed to have designed it, when in fact my son explained to me exactly what he wanted, down to placement of each & every element.

The copied version went so far as using even the same shades of green in the background, in the same places (I made hourglass blocks for the body of the quilt, and she literally followed my coloring, triangle for triangle). If you look up "legend of zelda quilt" or "legend of zelda quilt sword" you'll see a quilt with a yellow triangle in the center and a sword appliqued over it; one version is amazing (admittedly, hers), one version is wrinkly (because again, I was a novice, 2nd quilt ever quilted...) but you'll be able to see that aside from the outer border (she did a thin blue border with wide green outside; I did multi-colored and then black, because that's what I had) the quilts are virtually identical (and mine came first). Only when I did an image search for it did I even find all the different places she'd submitted it as her original design; that was the part that bothered me. Make the quilt, copy it, that is fine....but admit that it was designed by someone else.

*in fact, the very fact that I can do an image search of my version and have hers come up in the search should indicate just how "similar" they truly are.....
Heather, a Texan living in Brasil

http://quiltingonawhim.blogspot.com.br/
Last Edit: 22 May 2017 09:21 by Learning-As-I-Go.
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 22 May 2017 07:37 #141293

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I agree and disagree

Many years ago I got accused of stealing a woman's design. She wanted my prize
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 21 May 2017 15:03 #141291

You are so justified in your thoughts about your creative intellectual property rights being violated. Always add a watermark and copyright symbol to your work.The copyright duration tables are readily available from museums, universities, and the United States Copyright Office, thus there is no excuse for violators.

When you place the copyright symbol on your pattern, photo, painting or intellectual property this identifies the work specifically to you. You do not have to register your work for the copyright to be valid. However, if you intend to take steps to stop someone from copyright theft, it is very helpful to have a registered copyright documented. You can do this without a lawyer. It is easy to do and the forms are available online.

It is no consolation, but you have joined the ranks of countless artists like Cynthia England, a Houston International Quilt Show Winner, and Robert Indiana who designed LOVE, Jimmy Buffet, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney and all of us who feel your frustration.. The question is, is it worth the trouble and money to go after the violator? It depends. My thoughts are always watermark and add the copyright symbol and notify offenders when they overstep. regards from the Wild Horse Desert
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 19 Feb 2016 20:44 #136067

Heather,
I totally understand what you are saying. All she had to do was give you credit for the idea even though she added a few things to the quilt. I always credit someone if I take their workshop and make something based on it but different from the workshop.
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 11 Feb 2016 14:52 #135925

  • PosyP
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Ranting about this subject on this forum is perfectly fine we understand and get your annoyance and frustration. Especially as it is not your design that has been 'appropriated' but your son's - just don't upset a momma bear :angry: ;)

It can also be a good reminder for all of us to be considerate in our postings and our collecting of inspiration for quilts.


Embroideress Extrordinaire & Mad Hatter
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 22:02 #135913

Dawn, thank you. Yes, that exactly, although I didn't copyright my design, etc. (and since it features elements from a video game, I don't think I actually could anyway --- it is one thing for me to make one version, for my son, for personal use, not for sale, etc., under fair use rules; something different to make it for sell, or otherwise profit). But yes, that is exactly what I was feeling, and honestly the only part I take issue with --- falsely claiming credit.

Thank you so much for understanding, and being such a great listener (all of you!).
Heather, a Texan living in Brasil

http://quiltingonawhim.blogspot.com.br/
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 21:03 #135911

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Okay, now I get where you are coming from, and you are angry. I think this is called righteous anger! And justifiedly so! This will not lessen the pain but I will share another quilter's happenings.

I bought a pattern from Joy's Fabrics, at her booth in Houston, at the IQA show. Here is a picture of her booth at Road to California.

image_2016-02-10.jpg


I bought the pattern for the Bargello quilts on the left wall. The designer is Susie Weaver, and she copierighted it in 2013. Then one day, that same quilt came across my main Pinterest board. It was an Etsy item, and the woman claimed to have been inspired by the bubble fabric that had been in her stash for years. And, she claimed the math to design this quilt was very tricky. Her name is Sally Manke. You can Googl/search Sally Manke, Art Quilt Flaming Bargello Wall Hanging, and the Pinterest pin will come up. If you click on the pin, and continue to scroll down the Etsy page, you will see this artist's statement. I notified Susie Weaver, and I tried to locate every pin out there to let others know that this Etsy artist had indeed copied a copyrighted pattern, and called it her own.

There are some unscrupulous people out there, and I am so sorry that one found your quilt! As I said, you have a right to be angry, and reach out to others. You can "ramble" to us any time! We are good listeners.

Dawn
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 18:15 #135908

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No fuss here...this topic shows up every now and then. I firmly believe there is nothing new under this old sun...we
just haven't seen it all yet !! :side:
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 18:11 #135907

I agree with all of you. I understand once I put a quilt "out there" like on TQS or a show or give it to someone, it is free game. And I do enjoy looking at quilts, figuring them out and making them with my own additions.

But in the case of Paula Nadelstern's situation, yeah, that was wrong and I'm glad she won.

I was honored that someone, I do not know who, put my quilt on pinterest.

So, let's keep quilting and sharing!

geneva
Geneva
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 17:29 #135902

Please understand, you guys --- I completely do not mind, at all, that this person copied my quilt. I find that aspect very flattering, honestly.

What made this particular thing offensive is ---- when she then blogged about it, posted photos in numerous places, and even had other websites pick it up (or I assume she submitted it to them to feature), which then featured the quilt --- she specifically, blatantly, out & out LIED by saying she *designed* the quilt. No mention of "inspired by" or "saw something similar" (identical), or anything, even if she didn't remember where she'd seen it. Although, it is *so identical* in the placement of the background colors, that she had to have the photo there to copy.

If you look on my profile, the quilt she copied is my Legend of Zelda's Cat quilt (the front of it), and she copied it down to the exact coloring of the green background (the exact placement of the 3 colors in the hourglass blocks, having the 2 middle greens and then the 3rd darker green making a diamond behind the yellow triangles and sword). (matching shades and all). If you feel like looking at hers to see what I mean, you can google search "Legend of Zelda Quilt" and see, though I won't link hers here.

Now, she added elements in the quilting of the quilt that are an upgrade, and she did add one small applique to the top corner that I didn't include. But my son designed this quilt, when he was 12, requesting very specifically every element of it (the background, the yellow triangles, the sword, the colored diamonds down the side borders). So the part which bothered me isn't so much that she copied it -- I shared it and included search terms fully expecting people would, honestly --- it is that she claimed to have come up with the design on her own, possibly profiting from it (I don't know for sure). She did not.

I absolutely understand that what I share may be copied. I get that. Most things in the quilt world, one can't claim 100% originality. Traditional blocks, traditional patterns, etc. And even that quilt, it uses video game aspects which I copied (protected under Fair Use, since I was making it for myself/personal use, not for sale, not for show, etc.) although of course the arrangement of all the elements was my design (or rather, my son's).

But, for ex, I would love to make a reverse of the Gravity quilt. If I do, I will buy the pattern, not try and reverse-engineer it on my own (even though I very likely could, using EQ7), because it is a published pattern, and would be wrong to steal from the designer by not buying the pattern. And then, when I do my version, reversing the color/black & white aspect, I won't claim to have designed the quilt (even though it's a change to the design) -- I will say that I used the Gravity pattern and switched the colors.

Or if any of you wanted to make a quilt like the Infintiy quilt I'm making my son --- which I would be fine with -- I would expect you wouldn't say you designed it. You might say you saw the design and wanted to try it; you might say you were inspired by...; you might say where you got it, or you might not remember by the time you get around tuit, but you would likely at least remember that you saw it somewhere, and wouldn't claim to have designed it yourself (I wouldn't think).

I'm not out to make money, or fight a million legal battles (as I said, I have contacted the websites in question, they've all added links to my post showing my original version of the quilt, and that is fine with me, I'm happy) BUT there are one or two quilts that I have in my head that I do plan to enter in shows, when I ever make them, and thus they might get seen and maybe copied. But if someone then tries to make a pattern from them, or sell copies, or anything like that, then it would be (if I'm reading things correctly) something I could claim damages of. it's different when one makes the actual pattern available -- then, it is the illegal copy of the pattern (ie, posting the pdf free on the web, when it is meant to be for sale by that designer) which is the infringement. But as I understand it, reading over the copyright law yesterday, copying a 3D artwork or unpublished pattern is equal to copyright infringement, if one wants to pursue that.

I don't mean to sound like I'm angry it was copied, or like I'll be angry if any of you ever wants to make a quilt I've posted here (or elsewhere). I'm not, and wouldn't be. I'd be flattered, and I was when I saw her quilt......up until I got to the part where she claims SHE made the design choices on what to put where, she claims she included x, y and z to make the quilt extra special (very much what I wrote when explaining what my son wanted), she claims that the idea for the quilt, a quilt very very very close to identical to mine, came from her head and not from something she saw on the internet somewhere. Even if she'd forgotten, even if she wasn't sure, if she'd at least acknowledged "I saw this amazing quilt and knew it was perfect to make for my friend's baby because they are huge fans of this game....." that would have been different.

anyway, sorry to have stirred up a fuss. I was just really taken aback that someone would not only copy, but also claim as their own, the work of someone else. And it does make me hesitate on what to share in the future.....some quilts can be arrived at similar design by accident, as has been mentioned. I made my grandparents a filmstrip quilt -- I'm not the first, I won't be the last, and I wouldn't be annoyed if someone else made one. It's a common theme, after all. Or my other son's Mario quilt, the idea of pixelated scenes from games is common and popular, and many similar versions are out there, but not identical copies, and nothing enough to make you look and think "those 2 used the same pattern".

I feel I'm rambling and sounding like a spoiled little two year old, mad someone stole my cookies or something. I hope you all understand, it's absolutely NOT the fact she made a quilt that is (almost) identical to mine -- it's the fact she then said she designed it. Not that she failed to attribute me directly, even; I'd have been happy to even see "I can't remember where, but I saw this quilt..." No. She flat out, blatantly, wrote (in two different places, and then 2 other websites also wrote up the quilt as though designed by her) "so, my friend is a fan of this game, and I wanted to make a quilt for her, so I designed this quilt...I included this because.....and this because....and used this for the border to really make it special...and so forth and so on..." --- as though the ideas came completely, totally, 100% from her head.

I don't know. I"m sorry to rant about this. I hope you guys know I"m not a big ole selfish quilt meanie who will fuss and rant every time. It just caught me off guard.
Heather, a Texan living in Brasil

http://quiltingonawhim.blogspot.com.br/
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 16:37 #135900

  • PosyP
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I have to admit that if I see a quilt I like on the web, I will sketch the idea or the block and put it on my list for possible makes and I know that I am terrible for not noting where my ideas are garnered from. There have been loads of ideas that have inspired me to think, 'I would like to try that', but I also know that my 'Round Tuit' is not working very well at all, so they will probably stay on the list forever and I will probably never get around tuit. :whistle:

That said I have absolutely no intention of even attempting to make money from my quilting - have had enough trouble trying to make money from sewing clothing alterations, the idea of trying to make money from quilting would turn it into drudgery for me.

Another thought - if your quilt is exhibited and someone else takes a photograph of it, they own the copyright to the photograph, which leads to another can of worms.


Embroideress Extrordinaire & Mad Hatter
Last Edit: 10 Feb 2016 16:40 by PosyP.
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Copyright infringement of a quilt - what to do?? 10 Feb 2016 15:02 #135898

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And, I tend to agree with Marilyn! Once something goes onto the Internet, it is out there for all to see! And, Pinterest is the absolute worst for not crediting the original artist. Our TQS friend, Shirley, did an incredible watercolor heart quilt. It passes through my home board from time to time, and sadly, there is no mention of Shirley! There are always other captions. This quilt has been repinned probably around 1000 times. But, the reality is, others have done a watercolor heart quilt, long before Shirley ever did. My high school aged daughter did one in 1997 for her best friend. Shirley's is different, because it focuses on the pastels, and groups the colors. Did she see a watercolor heart years ago, and decide to try one? Could someone say, "I had the original idea and should be credited?" All gray areas.

And, to be honest, there is no crime here. The crime comes when someone OBVIOUSLY takes someone else's original design and makes a profit from it. That's when you can take legal action. But, is it worth it? Can you afford the lawyer? Unless you are a big time quilter like Puala Nadlestern, or Ginny Beyer, it's just more or less "tough luck!"

I spoke with Paula about her law suit. All of us quilters know that she designs kaleidoscopes and prints fabrics of them. Well, the brand new Hilton (some years ago) adjacent to the Gearge Brown Convention center, where there is a BIG quilt show every year, made the mistake of hiring a designer who had seen some of Paula's work. They worked it up into a carpet that runs throughout the hotel. Paula had to do a LOT of groundwork and get lawyers involved, and I think she told me she had to get lots and lots of signatures to a petition that basically states they immediately thought Paula had designed it. It is the first thing hundreds of quilters though when we saw the carpet........Paula must have designed this. Long story short, she won the lawsuit, but not easily, nor quickly!

Best advice? Don't put your work out there for everyone to see, if you don't want someone to copy it. It will be done! Even if you have a copyrighted pattern for it. There are people who just don't care, and they know you cannot afford to get a lawyer to fight it! Sad but true.

Dawn
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