Friday, August 29, 2008

embroidery transfer sharing on flickr

I've just made all my embroidery transfers on flickr private because it has come to my attention {thanks flor!} that the Vogart trademark is owned by Plaid Industries and therefore posting them is a copyright infringement.

****Edited to add: I'm also deleting all my vogart images here on the blog

click here if you'd like to read more about this issue.

sorry everyone!

{I'll write more about this later, once it all sinks in}

16 comments:

floresita said...

Oh, and by the way, only Hoop Love members are able to read that discussion - we'll return the Hoop Love group to public membership once everyone has a chance to remove their images.

I'm still not 100% clear if there is a problem with sharing the actual patterns (if they are not under copyright and are in the Public Domain).

I think the Flickr member received a notice of infringement on a photograph of the pattern envelope, so maybe the only problem is showing the Vogart trademark.

Either way, to be safe, I removed all my Vogart envelope pictures and patterns.

I really hope we can get this sorted out and still find a way to share old vintage patterns!

Brook said...

NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!! how horrible! I knew I should have printed them all out! I am so sad!

knittinginpink said...

Ooh, such a bummer! I hope you can figure out the whole situation. I look forward to hearing more about it when you think it all through.

fillyjonk said...

If the company were thinking of reprinting them (like in a big book) and selling them, I could see a cease-and-desist, but it kind of irritates me when something is decades out of print like that, and the company still doesn't want to release it, even though they are not losing any money by the images being out there.

Maybe there IS a "Big Book of Vintage Vogart Transfers" in the works? Dare we hope? (I'd buy the book, even if it were just outlines of the designs that you have to transfer onto the fabric yourself, rather than a book of actual transfers).

Drewzel said...

Regarding mine, Flickr removed the actual transfer pictures rather than the pattern envelopes. I don't see how they could remove pictures of your pattern envelopes, it'd be the same as you taking a pic of a bottle of Coca-Cola, and putting that on Flickr, and then them removing it?!!??
I've made all my Flickr pics private (except the envelope covers), and removed my blog posts.
So I don't know if there's a problem with the transfer patterns or the envelope pics. The response I got from Flickr was unhelpful.

lovestitches said...

Oh that sucks!!! I can only hope that there will be a Vogart book or similar coming out, otherwise it sounds fairly mean to make people remove their images from flickr.

Anonymous said...

If the vintage patterns were not renewed within 28 years of publishing, the copyright has expired and they are in the public domain.

In fact, *YOU* could compile a huge book to sell of public domain patterns, just not using the trademark "Vogart".

However, if the "Vogart" name is still under active trademark, and the trademark owner is cranky about its use, you'd have to remove all instances of the Vogart trademark from the patterns (simple to do, just cut it out).

I'm not a lawyer, but a trademark is a separate entity from a copyright. If the copyrights have expired on a pattern, they're expired. A trademark doesn't extend the life of a copyright.

Plaid Industries isn't doing itself any favors with this, they were getting "vogart" credit & exposure. Now all anyone has to do is delete that accreditation and Vogart slips back into obscurity (which is maybe what Plaid Industries ultimately wants for some reason).

Drewzel said...

Yay Anonymous! This is what I was thinking as well, surely the patterns are public domain? There are a number of people who sell copies of them on ebay, as well as the repro ones such as needlecrafter.com. Where does all this leave them?

Earlier this year I was pondering compling a book of vintage patterns (including the old Vogart ones) but was unsure as to the copyright issues (especially as I'm in Australia and the patterns are American)...so I didn't proceed any further. In a way, if it proves to be true that the patterns can be used without the "V" word, I'm inspired to go ahead with the book, as I'm so upset and cross by the attitude of the company who I won't name. Vintage pattern sharing is only giving exposure and popularity to a craft they profit from, so the whole thing seems ridculous to me. My first thought was to suggest that everyone boycott them and their products.

Patty said...

Somebody found my blog yesterday by googling 'Vogart infringement' and now I know why. For the hell of it, I emailed Plaid and asked for an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Me again (Anonymous). What I don't get is why Plaid Industries is beating war drums like this. Even if they are planning on re-publishing the patterns, there's no stopping anyone who wants to upload copies of their original vintage patterns (that have the copyrights expired). Plaid Industries is just getting seriously bad mojo with its user base (those who embroider & love vintage patterns).

Getting copies of Vogart envelopes removed from flickr because they have the Vogart trademark is assinine IMO. Just black out the word "Vogart"...geez...that's just what I'd want as a company--a bunch of copies all over the net with a big "black stroke" through my trademark. Who's the brilliant bulb that thought "great idea!".

fillyjonk said...

It occurs to me that by similar arguments, companies publishing quilt patterns could do the cease-and-desist to any quilter who posts a finished quilt using one of their patterns on flickr - the argument could be made "But yeah, someone could download the photo and reverse engineer a quilt from it."

I hope that doesn't happen; if it does, I think I'll be cancelling my flickr account, seeing as pretty much the only things I post are craft items I've made from existing patterns.

(I wonder if we're still allowed to post the finished embroideries or if that also violates the copyright?)

I know this sounds paranoid but there was a case in the knitting world a few years back of a well-known designer really cracking down on people...apparently her legal counsel sent cease-and-desist letters to people who posted photos of sweaters they had made from her patterns. Which seems silly to me, because often when I see something someone has on their blog that comes from a commercial pattern, I go, "Oh, I have to buy that pattern or book!" and the designer gets more money out of the situation...

Tracy said...

This seems pretty fridiculous to me. I hope it gets worked out soon, I miss seeing those great vintage patterns here!

Anonymous said...

I understand that the law is the law. Sad for all of us girls though. I too wish I had copied them all before now. There was one that I particularly wanted. I need the sayings that were on the tea towels. They gave thoughtfull little things that would be good for childrens eyes. Something about beautiful as a birdie or something like that. Anyone know what I'm talking about? HELP!!

Threeundertwo said...

This is making me mad. And I'm looking at you Plaid. Some seriously negative customer relations here.

I wish I'd printed every pattern I saw that I liked. You can believe I will now.

I'd pay $$$ for a big book - hope somebody puts it together!

Anonymous said...

Not a Hoop Love member, so I may be way behind on this is -- but overreaching always drives me crazy!

This page on about.com Trademarks
gives a good overview -- how they work and when they expire.

Trademark status can be checked out using the online database at the official site: http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm
It's not pretty, but it does tell you whether or not a trademark is still in use, AND for what purposes it is in use.

There's also a book called "The Public Domain" by attorney Stephen Fishman (4th edition 2008) that is an excellent guide to determining whether or not something is still protected by copyright (if it ever was).

I've only seen 2 Cease and Desist letters (neither sent to me, thank goodness!). Both consisted of sentences that were technically true, but really didn't apply to the specific items in question. It seems to be a common tactic these days -- probably because it works.

So the question becomes, do you really want to let it work?

YellowZeppelin said...

Just an observation: trademark does not equal copyright, and posting a photograph of a commercial product that includes the product's trademark is not trademark infringement (or copyright infringement). Hope you will edit your posting accordingly lest people become further confused.