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How much do I need to alter a pattern to get 'around' copyright?
7 replies to this topic
Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:07 PM
I have altered a pattern of a craft item I am planning to sew and sell at a local craft market with the original pattern as a template, but I need to know how much do I need to 'change' it so it doesn't breach copyright of the original design?
Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:36 PM
The very first thing that I would do is contact the designer.
You will be surprised to find how many of them will allow you to make them to sell at markets, if asked. In my opinion you are only changing another's hard work and skill. Alot of time goes into making a pattern and instructions etc and a lot of then would rather that you not just change it so it then becomes your's.
You will find many sellers on etsy and other places that will also give you a limit (for example - you are able to make 20 of an item from there pattern) There are also some designers that sell cottage licenses and this allows you to make and sell for markets and on line for the duration of a year.
Edited by mumsbusycrafting, 25 March 2009 - 03:11 PM.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:44 PM
I was watching a show on ABC last week and this rule/law re 10% has been changed slightly, (something about "if it looks very simlar, even with a 10% change"....) it was in regard to a guy who designed tail lights for cars and someone from China copying and ripping him off with cheap imports.
if you really want to cover yourself you may want to get accurate legal advice.
As mumsbusycrafting said - some designers will allow you to use and sell their designs if you give them correct credit for their design.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:08 PM
I think Kylie hit the nail on the head. If the person is another smaller crafter I would drop them an email and ask about cottage licences or selling their items at a market.
If the pattern was originally a "big" label, I'm thinking Simplicity/Burda etc. then I think you have to make significant changes because even the 10% rule is a bit up in the air.
Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:55 PM
More information here
Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:38 PM
This link from the Australian Copyright Council has 3 information sheets on frequently asked questions re sewing patterns. Quite useful as it is pretty easy to understand for such a complex issue.
They also specifically explain why the '10% rule' doesn't apply (in a nutshell, it is not about how much is changed, but about what specific elements are changed).
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