I recently wrote a blog post about donating some items to a charity. Included were five small wallets (Sewing) which I photographed, closed, with no details shown. I included nothing related to the pattern in my post and linked to the website of the pattern maker.
The pattern maker posted in comments that I was infringing on her copyright by donating the items I’d made to charity. I was totally surprised and didn’t realize that donations of a finished article infringed on the copyright of a pattern (for which I’d paid a decent price). In researching on the Internet, I found several websites that were very informative on this matter, especially for people who sew, quilt or do other handwork and then exhibit, sell or donate the items. My research shows the pattern maker is correct as far as her copyright is concerned. It seems to be a matter of whether the copyright owner chooses to enforce the law. Here are some helpful links I found that shed more light on the issue.
- Quilters Newsletter – Copyright for Quilters – answers to quilters’ questions
- Get Creative Conference Center – Copyright and the Sewing Industry
- Intellectual Property – Sewing Pattern Copyright
I also found some pattern makers who don’t mind what sewers do with their patterns so long as they don’t copy the patterns themselves to distribute or sell. Those pattern makers, though, do appreciate a link to their websites.
This was an eye-opener for me. I apologized to the pattern maker for contributing wallets made from her patterns to charity, and I told her I would not be donating items from her patterns in the future, nor from anyone else’s patterns. It saves a lot of time to use a purchased pattern, but I’m not incapable of designing my own and have done it many times when all the features I wanted weren’t included in available patterns.
Just wanted to share as this is something for all of us to consider.