Bethany Reynolds

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Copyright and Trademark FAQ
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(Frequently Asked Questions)

I often get inquiries from quilters about using materials from my books and website. Here are some typical questions and the replies I generally give.

Q: My friends (quilt guild, adult ed center, etc.) would like me to show them how to do Stack-n-Whack®. Can I photocopy a few pages from the book to use as handouts?
A: The short answer is "no." As a rule, any photocopying other than for personal use by the owner of the book violates copyright laws. There are a few very specific exceptions; for example, "fair use" provisions for libraries. If you've been asked to teach a method from one of my books, I suggest demonstrating and/or helping your group through the project without handouts, letting them take their own notes if they'd like. I also hope you'll encourage students to get their own copies of the book so that they'll have a complete reference with nice color photos!

It's especially important for teachers to set an example where copyright issues are concerned. When students get photocopied pages from a teacher, the message they're likely to get is that it's alright to bend the copyright laws.

Q: My guild would like to make a raffle quilt from one of your patterns. Is that OK?
A: Sure! I am happy to let people use my patterns and books to make charity quilts, or to make a limited number of items to sell. If you plan to open a factory and make 5,000 a month, you'd better call me!

Legally, a pattern designer or book author can limit the use of her designs for non-commercial as well as commercial use. Not all designers feel the same way about the end use of their patterns, so it's wise to check if you're not sure.

Q: Can I enter my Stack-n-Whack® quilt in a regional or national show?
A: Absolutely- I hope you will! I do appreciate a credit in your quilt description, but that's up to you. If the entry form asks for the pattern source, be forthright about the source and any changes you made. Show organizers are increasingly alert to copyright issues. This is another area in which designers have differing opinions. Some quilt artists feel very strongly about having their designs and styles imitated.

Q: I've made up my own design using your methods. Can I teach it at a local shop?
A: Yes - with a catch. Stack-n-Whack® is a registered trademark for products and services. If a class is taught from one of my books or patterns, it can be advertised as a Stack-n-Whack® class. If you're teaching your own variation, it's o.k. to demonstrate my methods and refer students to my books, but to abide by the trademark laws, the class should not be advertised as a "Stack-n-Whack" class, or any variation (e.g. "wack & stack") that could be confusing to the public.

Q: Can I print out website pages for friends?
A: Like all creative works, website pages are automatically protected by copyright laws, whether a copyright notice appears on them or not. Copyright on the internet is a complicated issue, and I can only answer this one for my own site. Site visitors can print out pages for personal use. In general I prefer that you give friends my website address, so that they can explore the site themselves. But I don't object to visitors printing out a limited number of pages for friends who don't have internet access.

Q: I teach quilting and I'd like to print out one of your reference pages for my students.
A: Teachers have my permission to print out the reference pages "as is" as long as the site address appears on the printed copy. The material on the reference pages should not be altered or incorporated into any other work.

Q: Can I link to your site?
A: By all means! You can place links from your own site to mine without asking me first, although I'd appreciate it if you let me know you've made the link.

Thank you for your concerns about copyright and trademark laws. If you have a question that isn't covered here, please feel free to contact me using the link at the bottom of the page.

-Bethany

More information? Author/Teacher Sylvia Landman has a detailed article on copyright facts for quilters and crafters at her website, Sylvia's Studio.

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