Inspiration, Copyright, and Posting Pictures From Shows

Greetings!  The day after my last post I read about how the American Quilter’s Society is telling show attendees that they can’t post pictures from their shows to blogs without permission from the quiltmaker.  I feel very strongly that we  should be able to post pictures from shows, without obtaining permission from the maker, as long as we state who the quiltmaker is, thereby giving full credit to the him/her.  How the heck are we supposed to contact these folks for permission?!  And who is going to police this?  I would think most quiltmakers would relish having their quilts chosen to be shown.  Can it really be true that many quilters who enter shows object to this?  I don’t understand why.  Most of us don’t use flash for picture taking anymore.  I believe the “threat” of copying is overblown for the vast majority of us who quilt as an avocation or hobby.  If professionals are worried about this, they should be able to specify no pictures of their quilts.   In other words, we could give quilters an “opt out” option re having pics taken of their work rather than banning posting of others, but I personally hope this doesn’t happen!  I think it’s good publicity for quilts to be posted on blogs! I plan to continue posting pictures of quilts from shows as long as picture taking is allowed at those shows and I won’t post unless able to name and give full credit to the maker.  

 As a follow up to my previous post, and on the topic of “copying”, I want to clarify that the draft of the octagon design I made,  based on my pictures of a quilt at the World Quilt Show, is legal to do and it is OK for me to make a quilt from this pattern.  The quilt is a copy of an antique quilt that was shown in Gwen Marston’s book on string quilts.  My understanding of copyrights is that they last for 75 years; the antique quilt in question is older than that.  And, of course, I will be making the quilt for my own pleasure and not selling it or making any money from it anyway.  I will also be tweaking the design with unique fabrics and possibly even changing the design itself as I go along, making it more uniquely mine as well.  I do love the friendliness and commaraderie of the quilting community and hope we can continue to share and be inspired by other quilters without having to worry unduly about copyright issues and legal threats.

Thanks for stopping by!

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