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Forum > Miscellaneous > Is this allowed for a gift? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Is this allowed for a gift?
I get different answers...
Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
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Date: 10/25/12 8:23 AM

If I want to embroider a cartoon character on a t-shirt for a young child - I was told this is illegal. I was also told it is fine as long as I'm not selling them. I know better then try to sell them but if this is a gift, how is this illegal?

What exactly would happen? Would they fine the parents if the child is wearing the t-shirt? I've never heard of this before (and haven't embroidered a cartoon character either). Please advise. Thanks!

quiltingwolf
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Date: 10/25/12 8:33 AM

Depends on what character and where you got it. If you have a Brother machine licensed for Disney then that fine. Or other characters that have been licensed for home embroidery use. All others would be illegal. However is a fine line when using it for yourself as you aren't profiting from it. But the person selling the illegal designs would definitely be in the wrong but it's happening so much I think most companies are just considering it advertisment. The companies that try and go after it are after the people selling stuff and making money off it. I guess in the end it's what you can live with. Anyone with digitizing software can make a design out of anything so there is some gray area with this. At least I've always thought so.

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ElizabethDee
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ElizabethDee
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<


Date: 10/25/12 9:00 AM

I'm not a lawyer , so take it for what it's worth. This topic is one that interests me.

First, I agree with quiltingwolf about the design you use. If you've bought the design, then yes, you have to have bought it from a licensed designer. A number of years ago the Wall Street Journal wrote about companies going after individuals who had bought unlicensed designs -- and, I believe, selling them. Very negative publicity for those companies for targetimg grandmas!!! (forgive my stereotyping; this is the way it looked, more or less, to the Wall Street Journal). At the same time I cannot fathom anyone suing over an image on a shirt given as a gift. Can you imagine the disproportionate amount of expenses versus damages, and the negative publicity? Not to mention anyone being interested enough to track down the source of the image on the chikd's tee!

If you are using your own design, then it seems to me to qualify as fair use.

Lucky child to get your tee!


Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
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Date: 10/25/12 10:42 AM

I have two digitizing software packages. So, (and I haven't done this yet) I was going to find a picture of it on the internet, print it out, use my copier to make it the right size, then scan into my digitizing software to make into an embroidery design.

I learned that she loved this popular cat so I thought great! I need to learn my programs and when I have a real project it forces me to do so.

Years ago, I was thinking about selling doll clothes (had already sold some) so I visited a successful doll shop in a small nearby town. I loved the store and they were actually moving that day to a larger building. I thought, great! That means they are doing well. Anyway, one of the nice ladies took the time to answer my questions. My biggest concern was using patterns (that I bought of course). She said if I change 3 things, then it is fine. I wonder if that would apply here?

I guess I could write the cartoonist and ask for permission. However, I really don't want to open a can of worms. Why is this such a gray area! I have attorney friends but they don't practice copyright law. And, information on the internet contradicts itself.

Surely, others have done this without any problems. I wouldn't have even thought about that until I mentioned it at a quilt store yesterday and the ladies that worked there explained there may or may not be a problem with that. They didn't know for sure either.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<
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Date: 10/25/12 10:42 AM

It is my understanding that selling the embroidered item is illegal because you are profiting from it.

It all boils down to royalties a/k/a money.

You can embroider that design a bazillion times and give away the items as a gift, and not lose any sleep at night. Or your house.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<


Date: 10/25/12 12:03 PM

Copying someone's artwork and digitizing it could be iffy if they have a copyright.

Do the embroidery and give it to the kid.

One day it will end up in a yard sale or thrift store. Someone will buy it and the artist will become even more famous.

No one is going to accost you as long as you are not making and selling gobs of items and presenting them as a licensed product without the permission of the owner of the artwork.


-- Edited on 10/25/12 12:12 PM --

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quiltingwolf
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Date: 10/25/12 12:10 PM

I think the situation with the cartoonist, if you can contact them. They will probably say it's fine as long as you don't sell the designs. One company I had heard of Loralie won't even let you sell items with their designs on them. However most just don't want you to see the design file or share it. There was a lop of hoppa about this issue about 5 years ago. But I think it's calmed. After most companies realize it wasn't cost efficient to try and go after people just like with the Napster thing. A few big profit cases then nothing. And there are still lots of music download sites around if you know where to look. Myself I'm fine with itunes.
-- Edited on 10/25/12 1:37 PM --

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purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 10/25/12 12:51 PM

In this country, everything you produce is protected under U.S. copyright law. That covers everything from the Great American Novel to your doodles digitized with embroidery software to your weekly Walmart list. Just because things are out there on the Internet doesn't mean you may download them willynilly and use them for your purposes. The Fair Use clause applies. In general, if you use an image a single time for private use and don't have any commercial gain, you should be okay. But it's tricky, with a lot of grey areas. If in doubt, obtain professional advice or refrain from using the image.

Claudia

quiltingwolf
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<


Date: 10/25/12 1:39 PM

This would be an example of using illegal designs

Ebay

I doubt these people have permission form Disney to sell these designs
-- Edited on 10/25/12 1:39 PM --

and another different seller
Ebay
-- Edited on 10/25/12 1:41 PM --

I'm thinking since Ebay and Disney are doing anything to stop this they really don't care. Disney and Ebay don't want to take the time and the money to go after everyone who are buying this stuff. As Ebay is making money off this stuff too. that's what always baffled me is how is Ebay getting away with it.
-- Edited on 10/25/12 1:47 PM --

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jadamo00
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Date: 10/25/12 2:17 PM

Even if you use an illegal design: the company HAS to give you a Cease and Desist Order before they sue you...

This happened to me once in advertising. We printed an ad calling a certain pet product "the Cadillac of dog foods". Cadillac hit the ceiling, but they sent us the C&D, we stopped running the ad, and that wuz that.

j.

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