SarahSays will be writing a series on Using Fabric in Your Creations.
I have seen a lot of forum debate on the use of fabric in creations. I hope to shed a little light on this complicated topic.
*Not all Fabric is Created Equal:*
When discussing United States copyright and fabric, usually someone brings up the fact that if fabric is covered by copyright, then every piece of fabric clothing, and every fabric pillow, bag, and headband violates copyright. This argument is simply not true.
According to U.S. Copyright Law, in order for a fabric pattern to qualify for copyright protection it must “rise to the level of artistic design.” For example, a drawing or photograph printed on cloth would likely meet this test but a simple white sheet is probably not eligible for copyright protection.
However, where is the line? When is a piece of fabric just barely eligible for copyright protection and when does it fall short? There is little case law on this subject and both legal scholars and judges may disagree. Ultimately, this becomes a question for the court to decide.
In conclusion, not all fabric is created equal. Before you use of the fabric you must examine the fabric itself because not every fabric pattern is entitled to copyright protection.
I will examine other issues associated with using fabric and creating art in subsequent blog articles. Please stay tuned. For more information on U.S. Copyright Law visit www.copyright.gov.
This information is for educational and informational purposes only. The content should not be construed as legal advice. The author and Etsy, Inc. disclaim all responsibility for any and all losses, damages, or causes of action that may arise or be connected with the use of these materials. Please consult a licensed attorney in your area with specific legal questions or concerns.