Wednesday, 21 May 2014

WIP and Copyright


In case you haven't noticed, I've stalled somewhat on the quilts that I already have on the go. So, of course I decided to start another. Because that makes sense. It was that or more bags, and no one needs to see more bags/pouches, especially me.

Part of my fabric haul from my parents foray to the States was a stack of  Modern Solids by Alissa Haight Carlton. They are beautiful fabrics. And the colours, oh the colours! SO lovely!


I have always admired Bargello quilts, but not the scrappiness of them, and decided to do a modern take on one. I'm using the book Bargello Quilts by Marge Eddie. I loved the look of the cover quilt and wanted to do something like it, but with more negative space and in solids.


The pattern calls for only 15 colours, but there was no way I could decide which 15 (I have decision issues). In the end (like after days- told you I had issues), I narrowed it down to a mere seventeen colours, which altered the pattern somewhat (OK, maybe a little more than somewhat). I'm pretty much on my own now.


But my inability to follow that pattern got me thinking about patterns, and the issues of ownership of a pattern. I recently joined Plum and June's New Blogger group and there has been some great discussion about copyright and intellectual property rights. When does a pattern cease to be the right of one person and start to belong to another? How much innovation or change has to happen to make it your own? And what credit should be given and to whom?


I know there has been issues with scraper sites stealing peoples' blog posts and using them without linking back to the original sites and making money off of the content without permission (it's what those sites do, well some of them- the evil ones). But I'm talking about patterns and designs here. Stealing the exact block or design of someone else is an obvious dishonest and unethical thing to do. But what about when there are changes made, or a different method employed to make the block or pattern, what then?


And it seems to me that many block designs ultimately are usually riffs of a traditional block that was created somewhere down the line. Is using your own pattern scheme enough to call the design your own? I've seen someone use a disappearing nine-square patch pattern (which I think is common enough) and sell it as their own pattern.


In the art world, there are actual laws as to how much innovation or copying can go on before it is the property of one or another. In fact, some parroting and use of other artists material is considered satirical or commentary rather than 'stealing'. I'm wondering if the same rules apply to quilting (which some could argue is an art, some argue is a craft- that's an argument for another day)

Well, whatever the case I've used enough of Marge Eddie's pattern to know the quilt I'm making is more of her design than mine (well, so far...?). Guess we'll see how it goes.

Linking up:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedSew Fresh Quilts
 

20 comments:

  1. I have that Bargello Quilts book! I always loved the effect, but I definitely prefer a more modern look. I bought it to make something for my mom originally and then... you know... didn't. Ha! Looking forward to seeing how this turns out ;)

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  2. I'm not familiar with the book so I just have to wait what you'll come up with :-) All I can say> yummy colors! I also have issues like color order and you girl have mixed some up! LOL

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  3. All I know is.... You can pretty much go by what 'feels' right to know if you are stealing or being innovative. MOST people know what is right and what is wrong. Just not everyone abides by that. Your work in progress shown in this post is beautiful.... I love the solids!!!

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  4. very cool, Can't wait to see the finish

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  5. This is such a tricky question (and a GORGEOUS quilt, I might add). I feel like there's a fine line between "stealing" and "being inspired by". Art is art. In quilting, isn't every single person going to do it a little bit differently? I worry about the same thing, since I'm so new to the quilting world--what if I "design" a quilt completely from my head, publish it, and then have someone point out that it's soooo similar to another pattern? It clearly was only coincidental, since I hypothetically hadn't seen the other pattern before designing my own, but still... Getting the thinking juices going, that's for sure! I'm glad you mixed in all of those gorgeously bright photographs!

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  6. I think this site is interesting though I have no idea if it is valid or not: http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/CopyrightLaw/Patterns.shtml

    I love the quilt! I think it will be very fantastic when you're done. :)

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  7. Ooh, beautiful. Can't wait to see the finished project!

    Hillary

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    1. Thanks, Hillary! It`ll be interesting to see how it all works out!

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  8. First, I love this quilt, Jenny. And while it's definitely in the style of the book's pattern, I'd say you're changing it up quite a bit and making it your own. Second, I just joined the new blogger group, too *waving hello*! Third, your header is the BEST!! After I recently posted a pillow tutorial, my daughter colored in the very center of said pillow (where there was stark white fabric no less) with black crayon. My husband said he wanted to write a book called "C and the Black Crayon: A Cautionary Tale About Trying to Simultaneously Parent and Have Nice Things" hahaha - sounds like you have little destroyers just like me! lol

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  9. I think if you are inspired by someone else's design that you should give a nod their way, then explain were your paths have diverged. Then you can sell/disclose/make-a-tutorial-for your part of the design. So if someone wants to follow your path, then they would need the original designers info as well as your own. I love where your quilt is going by the way!

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  10. Have not seen the book or quilt in it,but sure love your version!

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  11. I love the colors that you choose and I would really like to make a bargello quilt at some point. I'm excited to see how yours turns out!

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  12. You really must stop making me all these amazeballs quilts, people will start to wonder about us ;)
    I love absolutely everything about this one! The colours are just gorgeous!
    So much in this industry is such a fine line, especially when there's just so much material to work from. I've come up with countless awesome new blocks only to discover that it's been around since 1898! It's so hard! That being said, i agree with what Serena says in regards to giving a shout out to the person or pattern that inspired you.

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  13. making a solids quilt is on my quilty bucket list. Love how yours has started!

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  14. Love love the solids and the colors you're making with this! I've felt the same way about bargello quilts, and still have not made one. Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

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  15. This is going to be one awesome bargello!! I did one, the scrappy pattern that Bonnie Hunter has on her site. Mine looks NOTHING like hers LOL I still sent her a nod. It is amazing what happens when one starts turning those panels different ways ;)

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  16. I agree that those colors are fabulous! This finished quilt is going to be amazing. I'd second Serena's comments as well. If you're pretty much on your own, you can give credit for the inspiration and then instruct from there. I dislike buying patterns when something is so common that it seems unfair for someone to charge for it, but on the other hand, sometimes, I just do not want to take the time to figure out yardage and the best approach to sewing, and then, buying the pattern can be worth it to me.

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  17. I have that exact fabric bundle from Pink Chalk. I'm making a Sew Kind Of Wonderful pattern with mine. Looking forward to peeking back later at your blog to see the finished results. Your quilt is looking awesome already!

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  18. I have had a double wedding ring pattern published in a magazine as I redrew it from scratch, wrote my own instructions, messed with the usual method, etc. It can be done, especially when the base idea is essentially public knowledge and not owned by anyone.
    This is going to be a gorgeous quilt.

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  19. As it is my career to come up with new things, and original designs daily and sometimes hourly, at times I really feel nothing is wholly your own or original. Everything seems to be inspired by something, in our day and age anyways. We see TOO much, we have been exposed to TOO much. Most people see hundreds of images and designs everyday. However, when you start to delve into niche areas like quilting or say mine like birthday cards or something, I think we can tell when something is blatantly ripped off. I start with "patterns" or "designs" of other people and by the end it's different and I guess in some ways my own. This is probably true for your quilts! Especially your more unique ones. You are a creator, but that doesn't mean you have to know all the patterns to get started in the creative process.

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