I’m not sure if you’ve heard about or kept up with the Emily Cier, C&T Publishing & Kate Spain copyright incident. The more I’ve read about it, the more shocked I’ve been. I thought about writing a blog post and figured I should keep out of it since these type issues can get so controversial. Leah wrote a very comprehensive and very well written post about her view, and I agree with her interpretation completely.
I’ve said it before . . if you use my patterns and make quilts, I’m happy! What I don’t want is for people to copy my instructions and hand them out, either freely or for sale, as their own.
After reading the whole Cier/C&T/Spain issue, I’m more tempted to start dying my own fabric and forget about the big names. All I use is tone on tone anyway so why risk having a problem because I showed a picture of a quilt on my blog . . a quilt I made from purchased fabric from someone who seems to only want me to buy the fabric, stick it on the shelf and not use it!
I can tell you one thing for certain . . if I see a fabric that says “for personal use only” on the selvage, I will not be bringing it home. As quilters, we have a big voice in what these folks can do and cannot do and without hurting the local quilt shops, I think it’s time we demand a little more freedom with the fabric we buy. Why on earth would someone care if I bought her fabric and used it for projects which I donate to the local church to sell at their fund raiser or if I stuck it on the shelf in my sewing room and never used it. She’s gotten her money so why would she care if I made a project for the local benefit sale. I can see why she would care if I came home and somehow printed that exact fabric on my fabric printing press and then sold her design on my fabric!
Anyway . . what is “personal use”? If I use fabric on a quilt that’s donated as a QOV, is that personal use? I can see where it could be a problem. What about if I show a picture of that quilt on my blog and on my blog are ads and I make a bit of money off those ads. Is that now commercial use instead of personal use?
I really do find it frustrating enough that I’m seriously considering going back to dying my own fabric . . in the unlikely even I ever need any more fabric!
Yesterday we met with our CPA, saw what percentage of my income is going to taxes and came home and promptly changed my website to say that I am no longer scheduling any teaching — no workshops and no lectures. It makes no sense for me to load up my car, go through the hassle of traveling, staying in hotels, being in strange places, coming home exhausted and keeping about half of my income. It’s not worth it and I give up! Will it eventually come to the point that it’s just not worth the hassle to even buy fabric and quilt? I hope not!