Copyright Question Answered About:

Using blocks from the Electric Quilt Company's Products i
in quilts, handouts, books and other information to be published, sold, or displayed.

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Taken from the Info-EQ list, written by Penny McMorris

Editor's Note from Sharla Hicks: I attended a quilting retreat this last year and following a discussion about what was ok use of patterns and software, I realized the issues surrounding copyright and how it applies to the quilter is still very often misunderstood. When Penny McMorris, owner of Electric Quilt Company, posted the following on the info-EQ list I asked permission (honoring copyrighted material) if I could add it to newsletter. Here is what Ms. McMorris has to say about Copyright issues and her software and publications for Electric Quilt, BlockBase, SewPrecise:

Here's the scoop from us:
Electric Quilt holds the copyright to the software, only,
not the blocks, in EQ3, BlockBase and SP. This means you may not copy the software itself, but you may do anything you want to with the blocks, freely from us, with the exceptions just below.

Exception #1: BlockBase contains information copyrighted by Barbara Brackman, which get into gray areas. Barbara's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (which is the source for BlockBase) contains blocks designed during the 1960's, 70's, and up to 1980 -- including blocks designed by Jinny Beyer, Nancy Crow and Michael James. It's only common sense that these blocks be reserved for your own personal use, and not be reprinted or used in an item that is meant for sale. Nor would I use them in an item I wanted to show and take credit for as my own design.

Exception #2: Sew Precise contains blocks in the "From our Friends" file which were generously donated by EQ users. These blocks should also be reserved for your own personal use, and not be reprinted or used in an item meant for sale. And I don't think it should be shown at a show as your own design.

The other blocks in Sew Precise and EQ are all either old blocks, or blocks we, at EQ, have designed. We do not care what you do with them. Reprint them, with or without permission; make a pattern and sell them as your own. We really do not care, and will be flattered if you do so.

When quoting someone, you are free to quote (from Barb Vlack's book, for example) without asking permission, but you should give credit to Barb and to her book. This does not include reprinting an entire chapter, of course, by just quoting passages, credited to Barb.

If the information is from our help files in Sew Precise, you do not need to ask permission, or give credit, to use it.

THE BOTTOM LINE: We at EQ are free to give away our own designs. But we are not free to give away someone else's design. So if the design states it is by someone else, don't use it except for your own personal use -- and give credit where credit is due. If it does not state that the block is by someone else, it is either an old traditional design, or our own EQ design -- use it however you would like. No permission or credit is necessary.

This is an important distinction as we may, in the future, have other programs with designs (not by us) in which the designer *will* hold copyright to the designs.

What about blocks we design ourselves using EQ?

EQ is a tool. Blocks you design yourself are your own designs. These designs would no more be copyrightable by us, than they would be by the pencil manufacturer if you designed the block with paper and pencil. You do not need to say you used EQ in designing the quilt -- we deserve no credit for your design. (We do love to know though, so we can brag a bit about you.)

You also asked:
Can we copy and share the letters printed in the Digest? Many offer good advice & info. Must we E mail request permission each time?

Yes. If you wish to share e-mail messages with others, even if they appear in a public forum such as Info-EQ, you should request permission from the writer first.

If I've left loose ends dangling on this issue please ask away sand I'll be glad to tie the knot tighter so it's clearer. Good question.
Penny McMorris
The Electric Quilt Company

Back to January 1999 Computer Qulting BYTES

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