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Hello! I love reading all the advice that this community has to offer, and I have a unique product that I have made and will (very soon) produce for sale. Hopefully I am not out of line by making a post like this here, I want to make sure that as the artist I am covered with a reasonable "terms of use" type of agreement.

I have created a fursuit head pattern to allow someone to create the base of a fursuit head from foam that they can finish up however they wish. I plan to package with the pattern a detailed written and illustrated set of assembly instructions, and I also intend to include a printed terms of use with every one I sell... and thats what I am here asking advice on. The terms of use.

I want to retain intellectual copyright on something that can potentially be reproduced over and over and over, and want to allow personal use only (the product used by an individual, or given as a gift), and prevent/disallow commercial use (people using my product to sell/make money off of), also prevent/disallow/limit reproduction and distribution of the pattern itself. If they DO want to make it commercially, I am willing to come to a license agreement, where I would make $X amount of money per item produced, for example.

Obviously I am not copyrighting anything except my pattern, and I want to protect myself. It is a pattern just like any sewing pattern or model kit. Now I'm not interested in hiring lawyers or whatev, I know thats the usual advice in some of these cases. I just need to figure some simple non-scary wording to cover my butt in the case of an individual or company decides, "wow this is cool, I'll use this pattern to make a hundred and sell them!" and then pull the "She sold it to me! No limitations implied" card.

I just pretty much need examples on what I should cover and perhaps how to say it.

In a seperate case, my friend malytwotails and I are making an Anthro Plush pattern for Free personal use as well. How should we word a similar agreement to give permission to create the plush but only for themselves or to give as a gift, and not for commercial use.. despite it being a free pattern?

Part of an example she showed me (copy & pasted from elsewhere online):
"Free Personal Use: This pattern has been made for your personal use. You may download or print a copy, keep it on your computer or in a notebook, and create as many copies or variations on that project as you like, providing the use is personal. Personal use includes creating a project to give to someone as a gift but does not go so far as to cover selling the finished project"

I'd love some input on that as well! Thank you everyone for your time.
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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
I HIGHLY recommend registering your product with Canada.

There is an artists_beware post from last week where a commissioner had Calgary Costumes use the COMMISSIONER's design for a suit, then Calgary Costumes decided to MASS PRODUCE said design without permission.

Was it legal? Unfortunately since the commissioner who also sells avatars, the original design, did NOT register their design with Canada.
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
Speaking of that case, did they ever get ahold of Dreamworks?
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
I haven't looked at anything they've created besides a couple of suits, what did they use from Dreamworks?
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
They made a Toothless hoodie and named it 'cute dragon' or something like that.
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
They have a Toothless Hoodie. Lemme look it up real quick:

Nov. 17th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
I think in the end, you may have to at the least, go to the library and find some law books on licensing and copyright. So far as I understand it (and I could be perfectly wrong as I'm Canadian!), American copyright law will cover your written instructions and layout and whatnot. That the pattern cannot be resold without your permission.

And as far as licensing ... I'm grey about that. I know that for things like clothing, you can't really do much about it because it's utilitarian. I think. Again, not sure about licensing agreements.
Nov. 17th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Have you looking into a creative commons license? http://creativecommons.org/ I know there are ones that allow for personal use and not commercial, so that may be a good place to start.
Nov. 17th, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)
Not the OP but thanks, this is a good resource for crafty people.
Nov. 17th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
I would also allow someone selling it for the cost of material, just a thought.
Nov. 17th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Talk to a business lawyer. When it comes to things like that, they are essential.
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
If you don't want to talk to a lawyer then buy or find a clothing pattern and use what they have written there since most of them say that the pattern is meant only for personal, non-commercial use.
Nov. 17th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
After doing research for knitting patterns, this is what I found.

As long as the original pattern is changed 6%, it is not longer the copy righted pattern. You can not copy right the technique nor the steps, just the final, complete pattern.
Meaning that even just a part of it can be taken and used, and you really can't do much about it. Because you can't do anything about like, the head or an arm, just the total product. And as long as they change it just enough, they're fine.

Its the same with recipes. You can't copyright how to cut potatoes and put them in a pot, but you can try to do you're final potato mash idea.
Nov. 17th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
This is American mind you.
Nov. 17th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
Interestingly enough, this is being challenged in court right now. They are trying to set the line between "something that your grandmother and her grandmother did", say a classic pattern to a scarf that you might see in a painting or early photographs, and original works.

One side is arguing that if two people come up with the same idea/pattern at the same time, how can it be infringment?

The other side is arguing that the change has to be at least 30% to be a whole new thing.

Now that is in knitting.

You want to watch a fight? Try dollmakers and how many ways can you sew a leg. If you frankenpattern and want to enter the doll into a competition, then you have to disclose all the patterns that you used to make the doll. Personally, I draft my own so I don't have to deal with it.
Nov. 17th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
I wonder who holds if anyone at all, the original garter stitch scarf copyright lol.
Nov. 17th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
I have to say that the example that she found is pretty much the standard version I see on a lot of doll patterns these days.

It covers person use and states that commercial use of the pattern is not allowed.

You also might check and see what a professional pattern company have for their wording since I know that McCall's recently won a law suit against a Chinese company (very hard to do) for using one of their dress patterns. So they have the legal language that holds up in court.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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