OK I know I go on about copyright and trademark a lot but this issue has been going around quite a bit lately so I did some reading.
Last week I posted on my FB page about a crafter who had her business shut down because she was selling hair clips made from licensed ribbon, this then lead to the question “why?” as surly the ribbon is sold to be crafted with, so what’s the problem?
Here’s the thing, it seems, to boil down to the copyright v trademark thing. A copyrighted fabric is a design used by a manufacturer such as a specific flower pattern but is not an original work. A trade marked fabric is a trademarked image printed on a fabric such as a Disney character.
Just a reminder, this is how I see it, I am not a lawyer nor did I play on on TV, this is just what I happened to find out. Also this is rather difficult to type with the temperamental key-bored.
There was a case in the US of Precious Moments Vs La Infantil in which the court ruled that (short version) making an item from copyrighted fabric for sale was not infringing on copyright BUT making an item to sell from trademark fabric was an infringement of trademark and the disclaimer “not endorsed by…” was to be added to all products but that thy could continue to make and sell the items.
In the UK (as usual) the rules have not been so easy to decipher, it seems (and I could be wrong) that the rules are pretty much the same, so you could use a Burberry fabric but would not be allowed to use the name and that the use of Disney fabric is OK but a disclaimer is a good idea.
All of this applies to buying the fabric retail, there are different rules for whole sale so watch that. There is also the issue of counter fit fabrics with trademarked images on, THIS is where you will get in to a lot of trouble, so make sure your supplier is genuine, there is the temptation to but the cheapest fabric out there but check first that it is licensed.
Lastly, since you re here for crochet, I would like to show you an example of what can happen if you take the time to purchase a licence for your designs. Here is the Nerdy Knitter, and she designs My Little Pony patterns with permission.
That that then, TTFN