In my last blog post I discussed my collection of resin dip books and my personal journey using resin dip. Only yesterday I had another book arrive through the post. It is quite small and like most of the books I have the photography leaves much to be desired!
Photography is an issue when it comes to resin dip. My flowers look amazing, but once I start taking pictures the images I produce never do the original justice. I have used all kinds of cameras, apps, tools and techniques and I have used natural lighting, sunny days, dark days, lamps, and anything else I have read will help. It always ends up with my images never capturing the full range of colours, shadows, and depth of colour of my creations. I was so pleased when my youngest son took GCSE photography, he has been very helpful but won’t be at my beck and call 24 hours a day. I can’t think why not.
My old books are not helped by many of the photographs being in black and white, or in some cases a drawing. I need pictures to be inspiring and to educate. I want to look at the images and work out how a flower was put together, or how a particular technique has turned out. I admire the crafters who worked from these books and managed to keep going and not give up. Sometimes I have tried something and wanted to end up throwing the whole thing and the book out of the window. It has made me think about my own instructions and videos and I hope that they are easy to follow for a crafter of absolutely any level.
Something I would love to do is to put these old books online for everyone to have a look at. I would enjoy getting your responses to patterns, but all my books are still under copyright protection. Copyright is something that is often misunderstood. It is important and protects anyone who creates anything. Copyright in the UK means any book is protected for the life of the author plus 70 years.
Copyright is a prevalent topic in the crafting world. Designers and artists invest substantial time, effort, and skill into creating patterns and instructions. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced the frustration of having our designs copied. It's disheartening to witness something you've poured your soul into being replicated (sometimes poorly) by someone who stumbled upon your work and decided to plagiarize it. Let's consider the case of a knitter, A, who designs and sells a pattern online. Imagine how A would feel upon discovering that B has purchased their pattern and is now reselling it at a lower price. If B sells 100 copies, that's £1000 lost for A. B, who invested only £10, profits from the hard work of A. However, even if B decides to give away the pattern instead of selling it, it still breaches copyright and deprives A of potential sales.
At Inion Arts, we sell our instructions to ensure a fair return on the time invested in designing our kits. We understand that we all draw inspiration from the same source—flowers—and similarities are inevitable. While the final outcomes may exhibit resemblances, copyright acknowledges that the individual processes, techniques, and personal touches of each designer differ. It recognizes the value of their unique artistic journeys and safeguards against direct copying or replication. This allows each designer to maintain their creative integrity, ensuring that their originality is respected and celebrated within the vibrant tapestry of artistic expression.
One common misconception about copyright is the 10% rule. The idea that using less than 10% of someone else's work automatically falls within fair use or exempts it from copyright restrictions is erroneous. Fair use is a complex and multifaceted concept, taking various factors into account. It considers the purpose and nature of the use, the amount utilized, and the impact on the market for the original work. Merely limiting the usage to a specific percentage does not grant immunity from copyright infringement. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, and it's crucial to seek legal guidance to ensure compliance with copyright laws and respect for creators' rights.
Interestingly, individuals are allowed to purchase an item and attempt to recreate it for educational purposes. However, selling instructions based on the recreated item still constitutes copyright infringement. In simpler terms, when people purchase an item and use it as a reference or inspiration to recreate something similar for personal, educational, or non-commercial purposes, it generally falls within fair use or educational use. Nonetheless, it's important to note that creating and selling instructions or patterns based on someone else's copyrighted work without proper authorization or licensing is still considered copyright infringement. Reproducing and distributing instructions for others to replicate the original item infringes upon the creator's exclusive rights and can lead to legal consequences.
While most people understand and appreciate the need to sell our instructions and the implementation of password protection to safeguard our intellectual property and design rights, occasionally we encounter individuals who expect us to provide instructions for free. I recall a workshop where participants insisted on learning how to make an additional flower, in addition to the one I was already demonstrating. Others may seek free instructions when purchasing a single tin of resin. Fortunately, such instances are rare, but when they do occur, they leave everyone feeling dissatisfied.
At Inion Arts, we do permit individuals to run workshops using our designs and sell their creations as long as they purchase their resin from us. For further details, please don't hesitate to contact us.
For further information regarding copyright take a look at this fantastic bog post by The Lace Bee regarding copying patterns from old out of print books and this one from the UK Government discussing knitting and sewing patterns. Both are excellent resources.