Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Black and White Issues

Black and white weddings are really popular and with good reason.  I don't know of a more exquisite color scheme.  I've had a lot of orders from brides lately and one of them is having a black and white wedding.  She ordered a gift for a bridesmaid from me and then posted my shop on a wedding forum.  I was pretty thrilled just to get posted somewhere else! I got so excited (probably a little too much so) that I decided I would make an eye mask in a black and white damask fabric.

Yeah, that turned into bookmarks, coffee cup sleeves and of course, magnets.  I started thinking about the eye masks though.  It's a great 30 minute project and Martha (of course) has a template.

My thought process wandered from there.  I have a book with a template for an eye mask in it but I don't dare use it because it strictly forbids using any of the patterns for re-sale items.  Okay, I get it.  Copyright protection is a good thing but how far is too far on some of this stuff?  I'm really glad Mr. Business Card didn't copyright the shape of his business cards it would cost me a bloody fortune every time the kids wanted a 2"x3" rectangle cut.

When does something become non-unique enough that we no longer need to worry about copyrights?  I have my own bag patterns that I have created, and I'm really very fond of them, but is it really necessary?  If I invent a new wheel and even if the wheel is similar enough to the old wheel but new enough to garner interest, have I broken an agreement I may or may not be aware of with Mr. Wheel?  When is my interpretation of the wheel different enough for me to sell my own?  What expectations should we have for a genius idea like the wheel?  Shouldn't I be happy everybody else wants to make their own?  My kids are pretty good looking.  Should I investigate protecting their image now?  If they run for public office someday, I could make a mint off every campaign button.  Maybe that's the problem, the desire for money outweighs common sense.

Why isn't it more of  a simple black and white issue?  I need a lawyer.  Especially if Martha sues me for linking to her website.  Please don't sue me Martha.

1 comment:

lori said...

I totally agree- I had a run in with a stupid cupcake- i was on the web, saw a really cute fabic cupcake, said to myself, hmmm, i think i'd like to make that. i make it, i start selling them at boutiques, post on etsy. 3 months later-wham! get nailed by a lady who claims that's her cupcake design-it looks like hers, and has every appearance like hers. I thought, who does she think she is. Well, it turned out to be Betz white. she designed the book that i had seen months before on the web. i didn't even buy the book just looked at the picture and made it myself. i agree. it's gone too far. what if i make a square bag? will the square bag copyright lady nail me again? ugh. i give up. i can't look at other peoples work when i'm designing. it forces me to do my own thing. love your blog....go to my etsy at missrubysue.etsy.com