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Photography Question 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
 

Copyright question--photographing fabric


I am currently in the process of illustrating a children's book with photographs. The photographs will be embellished with "scrapbook" elements. This means I'll have borders made with a photograph of fabric, pictures of little buttons and blocks, etc...

I'm told that fabric is copyrighted. I can understand this for certain fabrics with artistic elements, but I just want to use things like basic gingham and plaid! Can this possibly be a copyright issue for my book? If I take a picture of a basic gingham cloth and use it as a background is that illegal? HELP!

And if so what would be potential sources of royalty free fabric to take pictures of?

This book has a high chance of being published by a big-name publisher, so the answer really matters to me. Thank you so much!

And if anybody knows how to make plaids and ginghams in PS Elements I'd appreciate a link to a tutorial! Thanks!

Karma


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1/5/2006 5:45:02 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Well Karma, I don't think this is an appropriate forum for giving or for that matter, taking, legal advice on a question that's quite so specific. There are a lot of variables to that.

There are however, three choices you've got. First, is do nothing. If the book is accepted for publication, most likely the publisher will have you sign a document stating that you have obtained all necessary and appropriate releases concerning the subject matter of your photographs. That puts you on the hook for liability in case someone sues the publisher (and/or you) for any sort of infringement, including using a copyrighted or trademarked or patented product as an illustration without the holder's consent.

Or, you could (and I would recommend) that at some point, before you enter into any publishing agreements, you contact a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property, bring samples of the particular cloth in question and get them to write you an opinion letter concerning whether or not you require a release from the material manufacturer.

The third thing of course, is for you to contact the manufacturer directly and present them with a property release outlining the intended use of their product, a copy of the photograph is also appropriate, and ask them to sign off on it, ....without offering them any compensation beyond say printing a "Thank you" to them in your book.

Take it light. ;>)
Mark


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1/5/2006 8:10:20 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  You can make plaid in Photoshop, Karma. I used to play around with it all the time. I haven't done so in a while but I'll see if I can recall how to do it. They are fun and colorful and I did mine in PSE before I purchased PS 7. I do know for sure I used the gradient.


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1/5/2006 8:34:47 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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Here's one. Let me know if this is something you could use and I'll provide the instructions.


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1/5/2006 8:43:52 PM

 
Teri Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Karma,

Check out this link and see if it helps.

http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/paintshoppro/ss/akcookbookchex.htm

Teri


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1/5/2006 8:59:14 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  This one looked good too. I love Google!

http://www.escrappers.com/plaid.html


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1/5/2006 9:07:49 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Hi Karma, just wondering if you found anything useful? Keep us posted!


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1/6/2006 12:16:19 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Yes, thank you all.

I'm highly irritated that little things like gingham material can even be copyrighted. It's like copyrighting paint! Fabric designers should know they are creating something that is an artistic material IMO. With the exception of licensed characters in fabrics I think I should be able to create something with the fabric.

But I guess for now I'll be using the tutorials and creating my own in PS. Thanks so much everybody!

Karma


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1/6/2006 12:21:12 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Yeah, I think creating your own fabric style in ps is a great idea. When you're all through, you can copyright it yourself and register your design. That way, someone can pay YOU a royalty fee for your hard design work. Right?

Oh, and of course, don't copyright any photographs you intend to put into the book. That way, no one will have to pay you a royalty or usage fee for your work and you won't irritate anyone with that nuisance either. Whaddya think?

And paint, btw, is patented as a chemical formula, while the unique names of various specific paints are copyrighted by the individual paint manufacturers and their logos are protected by trademarks. Terrible thing that we live in the U.S. where the guys who drafted our Constitution provided for protection of individuals inventions, literary and other unique or creative works eh, and ultimately like visual arts and...(yikes !!) photographs.
Mark


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1/6/2006 3:31:53 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Fortunately titles can't be copyrighted. At least last I heard you could use any title you wanted without consquences.


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1/6/2006 3:47:42 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Karma, I think you'll do fine making them in PS. The example I showed had a lot of colors in it but you can fine tune it colorwise anyway you like and for the more gingham look that tutorial should work well.


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1/6/2006 3:55:59 PM

 
Teri Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Karma,

One other idea might be some of the scrapbook sites or software. As a last resort you could get yourself a little loom and make your own!


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1/6/2006 4:04:32 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Mark, first of all I'm talking about fabrics like GINGHAM! Don't tell me that it takes a lot of creativity to create GINGHAM because I just did it in PS in about 5 mins and I would never dream of copyrighting it. That would be "Patently ridiculous". LOL

I am irritated because fabric is something used to create things. It is an artistic element used to create quilts, clothing, and art. A copryight to protect the designers from other fabric companies ripping them off is not a problem in my opinion, but a copyright prohibiting use of it as an artistic medium if any profit is involved is a little restrictive.

If you get a picture of a quilt on a clothes line do you need to get copyright release for every fabric in the quilt? No, I think not. If you get a photo of a guy in certain shirt do you have to go get copyright release for the fabric? No. But I have to because I'm using the fabric as a frame or a patch?

My point is that my use of this fabric will NEVER harm the holder of the copyright. It will NEVER cause them financial damage. They are creating things that are intended to be used in art and therefore they should expect that people will do just that.

And of course I excempt licensed characters on fabric like Disney. The characters themselves are licensed.

And why are you getting so ridiculously snotty with me. What's the point of that?

Karma


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1/6/2006 4:06:27 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Karma, if you used a typical gingham material for a photo how the devil would they know? I mean they all look alike to me except for some slight color variations. It's kinda like the time some guy wanted to buy a cow pic from me (one of my finalists). I passed on the opportunity because I was on private property when I shot the image of the cow, but the cow is identical to thousands of cows of it's breed and the property would be virtually impossible to identify. However, better safe than sorry I guess.


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1/6/2006 4:25:12 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Snotty? No. Sarcastic? Yes.

As you may recall, here's 2/3 of the answer I provided you with:

"Or, you could (and I would recommend) that at some point, before you enter into any publishing agreements, you contact a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property, bring samples of the particular cloth in question and oget them to write you an opinion letter concerning whether or not you require a release from the material manufacturer.

The third thing of course, is for you to contact the manufacturer directly and present them with a property release outlining the intended use of their product, a copy of the photograph is also appropriate, and ask them to sign off on it, ....without offering them any compensation beyond say printing a "Thank you" to them in your book. "

I don't recall anyone saying the material you were using was copyrighted or trademarked. I think you may have leaped to a conclusion on that one. I said take it to a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property and ask for an opinion OR just ask the manufacturer for a release. Under the circumstances, I think that was prudent advice.

Your last response and the point you made clearly misses the entire point of protecting intellectual property, whether patented, trademarked, or copyrighted. Likewise, it clearly indicates you just don't understand the purpose of the law when you said:

"My point is that my use of this fabric will NEVER harm the holder of the copyright. It will NEVER cause them financial damage. They are creating things that are intended to be used in art and therefore they should expect that people will do just that." I have to tell ya Karma, THAT is a ridiculous argument.

Fortunately for photographers, among others dealing in protected intellectual property, the law actually presumes financial damages when an infringement occurs. I create images every day that are used in art and I protect all of them because they are my property.

What you're prescribing is essentially a pretty cavalier "no harm no foul" approach to using something that someone created. If it's in the public domain, there's no problem in doing that. If it isn't, and it is protected, that's exactly something the laws were enacted to prevent.

Yes, I'm being extremely argumentative here but with good reasons. And NO, not all fabric patterns can be right protected. Some unique patterns could. I suggested if you use someone elses fabric that you talk to a lawyer. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.;>)
Mark



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1/6/2006 6:10:49 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Some of my photoballs are made out of the designs in quilts and material. I had the complete permission of the fabric shops to shot the material and I told them ahead of time what I was doing.

Is this going to come back and haunt me?

Mark would you look at some of the material photoballs I have and let me know what you think.

Kerby


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1/6/2006 6:29:45 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Kerby, I'm sure Mark knows more about this than I do, but unless you sell them I don't think you'll run into problems.


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1/6/2006 6:34:15 PM

 
Mellanie    I don't sew a lot, but do have a lot of fabric hanging around. Those fabrics with special patterns or designs, have a copyright notice running down the edge of the fabric. However, the general run-of-the-mill gingham fabric I have does not. So...if it doesn't have a copyright notice on it, could it be used??? IMO, there's nothing special about gingham...I bet you could go to the fabric store and see two identical rolls of gingham...the only difference is they are made by different manufacturers. Plaid....that's probably a different story....


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1/6/2006 6:52:47 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Yeah, that's what I was thinking, Mellanie. It's like the pic I took of that Charolais steer in a pasture. You seen one you've seen them all.


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1/6/2006 6:57:13 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Sharon I am thinking of putting up some of these ball on a site called Zazzle. It where people can put the designs on t shirts, posters, note cards, stamps ect. When people use your designs you get a percentage of the price of what a person purchases.

Am I am going to run into a problem with these material balls. I have about fifty of them stored up on my computer. LOL...Kerby


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1/6/2006 7:12:25 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Kerby, that I would be afraid to do. Hopefully Mark will be back but I just wouldn't be comfortable using something to sell that incorporates someone else's artwork. Was the fabric shop where you took the images also the owners of the fabric designs? That might make a difference and maybe you can get a release from them.


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1/6/2006 7:18:48 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Yes I talked to the owners of the fabric stores. They told me it was fine to shoot their quilts and fabrics.

I explained to them that I make photo balls put the images on the internet.

DO they own the designs I dought it.

Kerby


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1/6/2006 7:45:05 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hey Kerby !! Hi Sharon !!

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. There's a gallery in San Francisco called "Black Sheep" (or used to be in the Ghiridelli chocolate building. Among other things, they sold individual pieces or bolts of fabric that had photos of various track and field events silk screened onto them like pole vaulters, high jumpers, etc.

The fabric was rather ordinary. The photos were unique, of course, and so was the incorporation of the photos onto the fabric. Black Sheep held a usage agreement for the photos and a copyright on their unique use of them.

So, Kerby your first issue has a fly in the fabric, so-to-speak. Unless the fabric shop actually made the fabric you used, and held the copyright, the permission they gave you, in spite of your forthrightfulness, really means nothing. Permission to use a likeness of copyrighted or trademarked item for commercial use needs to come from the holder of the copyright or trademark. So, Sharon is absolutely right.

Simply stated, you can't use a likeness or copy of a right-protected image without the consent of the holder of the copyright. It's that simple and that complex. When is a likeness no longer a likeness? Say you use an image and modify it to the point where it doesn't appear to be recognizable, except the guy who created it somehow recognizes it. Well, that becomes a question for a competent trier of fact, like a judge or jury.

Now, in some situations, distributors of various products may have the manufacturers written consent to allow images of their protected goods or products to be used for various purposes like marketing, promo pieces, ads, brochures. So, in Kerby's case, if the shop owners actually had that consent and he got his permission from them in writing, that should suffice to avoid liability for any infringement. That's essentially a valid consent by proxy to the seller or distributor and it's quite common.

As to Sharon's steer photo... Let's say Farmer Jones bred that steer from rare stock and it became a prize winner and other farmers can recognize it by its unique markings. Can Sharon go to Bovenis Gallery and market her great photo? Yes. Should she have a property release signed by Farmer Jones...yes, even though the steer isn't wearing a copyright, trademark or patent logo. It's commercial property.

The purpose of the copyright notice is twofold: First, it serves as notice that something is right protected and thus, protects the holder against infringement. Second, the lack of notice can serve as a defense called "innocent infringement", or the "Gee your honor, I had no way of knowing it was copyrighted. There was no notice so I didn't think it was". In some instances, that's a valid defense and may significantly reduce or mitigate damages awarded in an infringement action.

Again, like Karma's original question, I can't answer it without seeing it and if Kerby is commercially selling a design incorporating someone elses design, I would certainly get an opinion from a lawyer who does intellectual property or better yet, get a written authorization or release from the original designer. That's certainly the safer of the two options.

OK, here's one last example to ponder.
A commercial photographer on vacation travels to a resort with great scenery along the ocean. He spots a cypress tree perched atop a large rock and takes a beautiful photograph of it at sunset. He loves that photo so much, he decides to use it in his marketing materials and sell it for stock. He makes a fair amount of dough off that photo. He gets sued by the Pebble Beach company for trademark infringement. And the ASMP lawyers represented him. He lost. :<((( Why? The tree was unique, it was on private coastal property, even though the public was invited to see it, and it was used as the logo for Pebble Beach Co. for years before my friend came along. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed and said yes, you can trademark a tree. My friend was pretty bummed.

I photograph that tree at least once a month. But I went to the marketing director and got written consent with an agreement that I'd ask for and obtain additional permission before selling any images of it.

If you guys need a sample property release, let me know. I'll either dig one out and be glad to fax it to you, mail it or find the link at a stock agency for it. They're not unduly complex and really can save you a lot of headaches.

I apologize for the length of this. Whew !!

Be well. Get it in writing
Mark


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1/6/2006 8:08:36 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Thanks for all the information, Mark! I find it VERY interesting! I have to say I find it lame for someone to be able to go to court and claim they didn't know something they copied was under copyright though. This sure makes a person leery of taking a pic of a tree on private property and thinking they might sell it.

I go to public gardens (but privately owned I think)for photo shoots a lot. I've asked and have been told it's not a problem at all for me to take photos there. I even took a few during Christmas of luminaries and they liked them so well they asked for permission to use them in advertising. They are non profit so I was happy to give them permission to use them. I would never agree to sell any of my pics taken there to someone else unless I had releases though.


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1/6/2006 8:29:46 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Sharon and Mark,

I have not offered any of my photo ball designs for sale yet.

But on the material ones on some of the photo balls I have up to ten different materials in one ball. It would be almost impossible to track every material and get a release on them to sell the balls so I guess I just make them for my own enjoyment.

Some of the material balls are my very favorites.

Mark thank you for the information.

Kerby


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1/6/2006 8:38:59 PM

 
Teri Soares
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Mark,

What about editorial photos? Are they treated differently? Can you sell an editorial? Do you have to have a model or property release for them?

Thanks,

Teri


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1/6/2006 10:03:57 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  MY RESPONSE IN CAPS, NOT TO YELL BUT DIFFERENTIATE:

Snotty? No. Sarcastic? Yes.

ONE MAN'S SNOTTY IS ANOTHER'S SACRASM.

As you may recall, here's 2/3 of the answer I provided you with:

"Or, you could (and I would recommend) that at some point, before you enter into any publishing agreements, you contact a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property, bring samples of the particular cloth in question and oget them to write you an opinion letter concerning whether or not you require a release from the material manufacturer.

The third thing of course, is for you to contact the manufacturer directly and present them with a property release outlining the intended use of their product, a copy of the photograph is also appropriate, and ask them to sign off on it, ....without offering them any compensation beyond say printing a "Thank you" to them in your book. "

I don't recall anyone saying the material you were using was copyrighted or trademarked. I think you may have leaped to a conclusion on that one. I said take it to a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property and ask for an opinion OR just ask the manufacturer for a release. Under the circumstances, I think that was prudent advice.

Your last response and the point you made clearly misses the entire point of protecting intellectual property, whether patented, trademarked, or copyrighted. Likewise, it clearly indicates you just don't understand the purpose of the law when you said:

"My point is that my use of this fabric will NEVER harm the holder of the copyright. It will NEVER cause them financial damage. They are creating things that are intended to be used in art and therefore they should expect that people will do just that." I have to tell ya Karma, THAT is a ridiculous argument.

NO, IT IS AN OPINION. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT YOU NEED A COPYRIGHT RELEASE IF YOU GET A PHOTO OF A SHIRT WITH A DISTINCTIVE PATTERN ON IT, DO YOU? YOU STILL HAVEN'T ASNWERED THAT. NOW, WHY IS ME MAKING A COLLAGE DIFFERENT? OR A QUILT? LET ME KNOW. I KNOW THAT IF IT'S CONSIDERED "UTILITARIAN" YOU DON'T NEED A COPYRIGHT RELEASE. ISN'T A QUILT UTILITARIAN? WHAT ABOUT ART MADE FROM A PICTURE OF A QUILT? DO YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THAT ALL THE CARDS, PHOTOS AND STOCK OF QUILT WERE TAKEN AFTER TRACKING DOWN THE COPYRIGHT FOR THE SOMETIMES HUNDREDS OF FABRICS USED? I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE?

NOW, YOU MAY WISH TO KNOW THIS: FAR FROM NOT TAKING COPYRIGHT NOTICES SERIOUSLY I ACTUALLY SOUGHT ADVICE OVER TAKING PICTURES OF GINGHAM! HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD EVEN DO THAT? I THEN TOOK YOUR ADVICE (BEFORE YOU GOT "SARCASTIC") AND WROTE THE FABRIC COMPANY TO ASK PERMISSION TO USE SOME OF THEIR FABRIC. FUNNY I'M GOING TO THESE EXTREMES FOR SUCH A "CAVILIER" ATTITUDE, ISN'T IT?

BUT MARK, I CAN HAVE THE OPINION THAT SOMETHING AS COMMONLY USED IN ART AS FABRIC IS QUESTIONABLE TO BE COPYRIGHTED. BASICALLY I FEEL THAT THE ARTISTS SHOULD GIVE UP THEIR RIGHTS EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF SOMEBODY STEALING THEIR DESIGN TO MAKE OTHER FABRIC OR BACKGROUNDS TO SELL SOLEY FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY I BELIEVE THAT IS A LEGITIMATE OPINION. AS A PUBLISHED AND BEST SELLING AUTHOR I THINK ABOUT THIS ISSUE A LOT, SO PLEASE DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING ABOUT ME THAT YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW.

BY THE WAY, THERE IS A CLEAR COPYRIGHT PRINTED ON THE PLAIN BLUE CHECK GINGHAM I BOUGHT AT THE FABRIC STORE. I USED THAT COPYRIGHT NOTICE TO CONTACT THE PUBLISHER.

I GUESS WHAT IS IRRITATING ME IS THAT YOU ARE ARGUING WITH SOMEBODY WHO IS SO CLEARLY TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING. AND I DON'T QUITE UNDERSTAND YOUR REASON. BUT WHATEVER. I KNOW I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING AND GOING TO EXTREMES MOST PEOPLE WOULD NOT.

GOOD DAY,

KARMA


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1/6/2006 10:14:17 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Opinions are usually prefaced with phrases like, "in my opinion" and not in matter of fact terms.

And hey, if you've been so concerned about doing the right thing all along, then I think my initial, non-sarcastic response, gave you three correct and useful alternatives to accomplish your goal of doing the right thing(s).

As I said, go buy the opinion of an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law to get specific answers to your much more specific legal questions because no matter how much you jump up and down or hollar I ain't gonna answer them here.

And excuse me, but my sarcasm "isnot" snot. LOL !!!
And good day to you too !!!!
M.


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1/7/2006 11:01:14 AM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Mark, here's a clue--I never said your response was NOT helpful. I actually followed some of your advice. What I did not understand was your "sarcastic" response to me for no apparent reason when I simply said that I thought things like gingham should be public domain property. It's a danged glorified checkerboard pattern that's been around for ages for heavens sake! What I created in PS in five minutes looks no different than the copyrighted fabric!

And for your information I'm not asking you specific legal advice! And I'm not jumping up and down because you won't answer. Your advice isn't really that important to me. I'm pretty certain that my agent, my editors, and my art directors can fully answer any specific legal questions I might have. I simply asked here first to get some input from photography professionals, spark a discussion, and get some possible sources for copyright free materials to photograph or PS tutorials. Some nice people even answered me and gave me great resources.

I still don't understand your seemingly angry response.

For your information, opinions can also be quantified with prhases like "I'm highly irritated" or "I think". But if you look back through my posts you'll even see the phrase "in my opinion" right there in black and white.

Why my initial responses irritated you so much is really beyond me. I never said I was irritated with you for heaven's sake. But in my opinion your response was rather churlish. :-)

Karma


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1/7/2006 12:09:15 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Karma said, "BUT MARK, I CAN HAVE THE OPINION THAT SOMETHING AS COMMONLY USED IN ART AS FABRIC IS QUESTIONABLE TO BE COPYRIGHTED. BASICALLY I FEEL THAT THE ARTISTS SHOULD GIVE UP THEIR RIGHTS EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF SOMEBODY STEALING THEIR DESIGN TO MAKE OTHER FABRIC OR BACKGROUNDS TO SELL SOLEY FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY I BELIEVE THAT IS A LEGITIMATE OPINION."

Surely not :o)??? What if someone took an illustrated children's book (not necessarily yours) and decided they liked the writings and illustrations and decided they would photograph them with the intent of selling individual prints of their favorite pages. They would have them printed and present them to the public in matted frames for their own profit, say at an art fair or in their studio? Suppose they honestly feel this would cause the author and illustrator no "harm to their copyright" nor would it cause them "financial damage" and why would it since the author/illustrator has no intentions of selling their work in the form of photography? Surely you wouldn't want anyone doing this? I really don't have the intellect to debate such matters, but it would seem to me ANY artist regardless of whether they designed a fabric, wrote a book or were involved in illustration has the right to deny copying for any reason. IF I had designed a gingham fabric and someone wanted to use my design for their profit I would want a % of the profits. Call me greedy :D.

Pretty interesting stuff here :).


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1/7/2006 12:11:12 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Sharon, follow me--I said things like GINGHAM and PLAID! Commonly used material patterns. That's IT.

Not just any artists. Read my OPINION in context!!! I even exempted licensed charactars and more detailed art fabrics, which would excempt all children's books for your information.

Please note people: I'm talking gingham and plaid and calico. Don't take it further.

And Sharon, you know that you are saying that photographers who take photos of quilts have to track down the copyright holders of the fabric, right? Do you believe this?

Sorry, but I totally disagree with you.

And if anybody needs some danged gingham to use in projects I have some PS patterns I designed and will give you, copyright FREE! I would never, ever charge anybody for use of a pattern that was designed long before I lived.

And Sharon, artists sign away their rights all the time. I am saying that they voluntarily shold sign away rights for things like Gingham and plaid. They have every right to make a profit from their material.

And for the record I wouldn't care if anybody used my books in elements of their photographs. I hope they do. Publicity is my friend. No, I would not want them selling prints. Just as I would not sell prints of fabric alone and represent it as my work. I am using small scraps of the fabric in an overall whole like a quilter would.

I do find it an interesting discussion. That anybody thinks gingham is intellectual property positively amazes me.

Karma


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1/7/2006 12:28:02 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  And please note when I say sign away their rights for things like gingham and plaid I mean specific rights to people like crafters and scrappers, not other fabric companies.

Good grief!

Karma


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1/7/2006 12:30:06 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Karma, I did know what I was saying. I don't think I'm THAT old yet. Even if I don't write books I can still read and understand them ;). Guess I shouldn't have questioned my own intellect. An open door for sure LOL.

IF I took a pic of a quilt I and wanted to sell it I would consider all aspects same as you. I don't want in a law suit any more than the next person.

Good grief indeed :D.


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1/7/2006 12:49:39 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Well, Sharon I guess I got a little confused since you asked me a hypothetical question that completely ignored the fact that I had quantafied by saying things like:

"And of course I excempt licensed characters on fabric like Disney. The characters themselves are licensed."

"I'm told that fabric is copyrighted. I can understand this for certain fabrics with artistic elements, but I just want to use things like basic gingham and plaid!"

"first of all I'm talking about fabrics like GINGHAM"

As for photographing quilts I really don't think you need the permission of the fabric companies. Nobody is representing the art in the fabrics as their own. They are simply taking a photo of a utilitarian object that uses the fabrics as a creation element. I think that they would need permission from the quilter, if anybody--but don't quote me because I'm not a lawyer. And my overall point is that in using these fabrics I am using them similar to how a quilter would use scraps of fabric in her quilts.

And I only mention that I'm an author so people realize that I do consider these things and am directly affected by them. I don't think it takes a great deal of intelligence to write the books I write.

Karma


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1/7/2006 1:14:41 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Karma, I totally agree with you about gingham. You can't get much more generic than gingham, but there must be some subtle differences to it or they couldn't copyright the stuff. Plaids might be a slightly different situation. To my eye there is a little more involved in creating a unique plaid. The variations you can come up with in PS seem endless to me as well as impossible to duplicate if you don't take exact notes as you create it. Maybe not even then.

It may not take a great deal of intelligence to write a children's book but it does take a gift that not everyone has, and even if everyone did have the gift not everyone can market themselves to achieve success. I have written poetry myself and have yet to do anything useful with it outside of giving it away to people who are ill. Kudos to you!


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1/7/2006 1:28:40 PM

 
Karma Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Hi Sharon,

I've been so busy I didn't get a chance to respond to this eariler.

What you mention about plaid is exactly why I think copyrighting it is questionable. Somebody could create a plaid in PS with no real distinguishable characteristics (such additional elements like hearts, daisies, etc...that are sometimes mixed in a plaid pattern). Then they copyright the design. Some other poor soul, like me, creates in PS a copmletely identical pattern without ever seeing the first. They use the pattern and then the creator goes after them? So does that require that anybody creating a plaid go through the hundreds of thousands of designs currently floating about?

Of course I do realize that most of this is moot in reality. The majority of "plaid" creators aren't scouring photos and other fabric patterns looking for knockoffs so they can sue. LOL But I still think the point is valid.

Karma


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1/12/2006 11:56:13 AM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
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  Karma that like me with my photo balls is some ome going to scouting every piece of fabric I have in the material balls? These remind me of beautiful pillows. Kerby


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1/12/2006 12:39:24 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  I suppose that's always possible but what are the odds? Did you do a plaid in PS yet? There must be millions of combination possibilities. I'll only worry about something like that to a certain extent.

When you make your plaid keep the original file then if something like that happened you'd have proof you "created" it yourself. There is a way when you save a PS document to save the History as well. I'll try to find out how that's done for you if you need it. I read about it just today.

I just tried out another on in PS and there's really no way of duplicating something you have done if you make any changes then want to go back. At least there aren't as near as I can tell.

Good luck with it. I'm sure it will be adorable whatever you do!

"Somebody could create a plaid in PS with no real distinguishable characteristics (such additional elements like hearts, daisies, etc...that are sometimes mixed in a plaid pattern). Then they copyright the design. Some other poor soul, like me, creates in PS a copmletely identical pattern without ever seeing the first. They use the pattern and then the creator goes after them?"


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1/12/2006 1:17:41 PM

 
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