I've been contemplating selling quilts and bags. And I frequently come across statements like this on patterns or etsy listings and such:
"Please respect COPYRIGHT rules.
Pattern is for PERSONAL USE ONLY.
Design, photographs, & written instructions cannot be copied.
Finished bags cannot be sold."
And after I purchased a pattern, the friendly note from seller:
"Thank you for your purchase. Please respect copyright rules. Pattern is for PERSONAL USE only."
Can I tell you all this is bunk?
Total, absolute bunk.
First, they are not rules. They are laws. And they have nothing to do with the finished product I make from your pattern.
Copyrights apply to the pattern, not to the finished product. There are some great websites (one of them is here) out there that break it all down, logically and with documented court cases and copyright law that says differently. I won't do it all here since it's been done before.
I'm not saying we should all go out and flaunt the sale of Weekender bags, or little zipper purses, or quilts. But I'm saying we are not bound by the misleading copyright claims of pattern designers. And we shouldn't be feeling guilty about it either.
I bought a pattern today. $9 on etsy. I bought it to make a little scripture bag for my daughter for Sundays. What if someone compliments me and asks if they can buy one from me. Well, and why not? I'm not claiming the design and pattern as my own. But the end product is mine.
I've had several people ask me to make them a patchwork Weekender bag. I hesitated, but no more. I'm not claiming to have designed the Weekender. I'm just making the finished product and selling it. And it's legal. It's not pirated goods. What a ridiculous claim (and one that Amy Butler made in the past).
There are so many amazing designers out there, with great patterns, who generously allow the purchaser of their pattern to make and sell items. Granted, this permission is not needed, but it's such a generosity of spirit that I find refreshing from the witchy, "You may absolutely not make and sell anything with this pattern. Keep it at home!" If I had designed a tutorial, or pattern, I'd freely share it. Make it. Sell it. That's awesome. There's room for everyone. Don't take the design and call it your own, but by all means, make the end product!
The deviant part of me wants to deliberately make and sell things from these people! Is that awful?
I don't consider it, and neither does the law, that I am profiting off the work of another. The work, the production of the bag or quilt or stuffed doll, is mine. I never claimed the design is mine. Yes, they designed it. A copyright is not a license, and I don't need a license to sell items made from a pattern I have purchased. It's that simple. The law is on my side. Thankfully, I have in house legal counsel that has discussed and researched this endlessly for me and with me.