I loved reading all your comments about the issue of copyright in my blog post about Emily Cier v. Kate Spade–who does own that copyright?
A Passionate Quilter wrote:
For those of us who have been in the quilting world for more than a few years, the trend is very clear: fabric manufacturers have been marketing “designer” fabric. The emphasis is on ‘insert-designer’s-name-here’ latest line and quilts are being made, often exclusively, from that line. Fans, or devotees, can’t wait to get their hands on the latest designer’s line! Fabric manufacturer’s love and encourage this, However, does this not lead to the kind of legal questions now erupting? I think every quilter should be aware of these issues. Perhaps it is time for the quilt world to resist the lure of designer fabrics and start challenging themselves in the way they use fabric.
She makes a great point. In a class I took once from Joen Woelfrom, she said she only bought 1/3 cuts of any one fabric as that forced her to use multiple fabrics across a quilt, visually enriching the surface. Perhaps, as A Passionate Quilter noted, it’s time to return to this for so many reasons.
Yesterday Todd Hensley, CEO of C & T books posted on his blog the details of this copyright story. It was interesting that things only got a bit heated when the legal profession got involved–not that I have anything against attorneys, I don’t–but I recognize that their job is to uphold the copyright law, and perhaps they push a bit harder on where the line is.
With regards to fabric, I see the designer’s point in this example, but again, it’s a slippery slope. If I have to be worried about how you’re going to react about how I’ve used your fabric, I won’t use it. . . . What does concern me is how we define publishing and whether or not that includes my blog.
I liked that she brought in the idea of blog publishing as a potential sore spot, although I try not to think about that when I’m writing. Perhaps we quilters are just experiencing in our corner of the world the explosive change wrought by the advent of the internet.
So, to wrap it up with something quilty, here is my latest rose window block. And yes, I noticed that I used Dena’s fabric exclusively in the fussy-cut sections of the center, but have reverted to my stash for the dark outer pieces.
(Excuse the business part of the pin wall.)
I would hope that there might be a Daddy Warbucks somewhere who could step in as a friend of the court, on the quilt industry side, and let a jury adjudicate this to its end. I think of my Lollypop Trees quilt (a summer project) that uses Kaffe Fassett fabrics exclusively. Or the blocks above. Or my Christmas Star Quilt. At this point, since I’m a not-for-profit quilter, I needn’t worry. But if I were a published quilter, I’d for sure would think twice about using a complete line of fabrics from any one designer.