My conundrum is as follows: I would like to make several pieces of
jewelery that use charms/beads/etc. from made by other fellow
jewelers/beaders. Upon purchasing the items, am I infringing on
their artistic rights by using it in the jewelry I am making? Do I
have to get the other jewelers/beaders permission before selling my
pieces of jewelry - or should I treat the purchase as I would if
buying supplies/materials from any other vendor (e.g., Rio Grande,
Via Murano, Rock Deco, etc)?
Was wondering what my fellow Orchidians thoughts on this were…as
always feel free to email me offline if ya want at
PS. I LOVE the new orchid pendants being sold…I have had several
people ask me where they can buy them!!! Keep up the great work!
Upon purchasing the items, am I infringing on their artistic rights
by using it in the jewelry I am making? Do I have to get the other
jewelers/beaders permission before selling my pieces of jewelry -
or should I treat the purchase as I would if buying
supplies/materials from any other vendor (e.g., Rio Grande, Via
Murano, Rock Deco, etc)?
I don’t think you’re required to get their permission - you paid for
them, they’re yours. Of course you can’t represent them as your
personal work, but I would think the makers would be delighted to
have you use them if you gave them credit - “A handmade necklace of
beautiful natural lapis and original lampwork beads by …” for
instance. Of course, you ought to get their OK before using their
names, I think …
Well if you are directly copying someone else’s design, well yeah
that’s an infringement.
A lot of jewellers protect there work, and you could be asking for
trouble, after all it is there idea and it takes a lot of blood sweat
and tears to get established in the first place.
If you are just talking about using individual component
pieces…well if they are hand made by a maker, and they sell
them as components well then its ok! Artist infringement is a major
worry with all makers, what kind of work do you do?
If you are a serious maker and dedicate your time to your craft, you
have to understand how both annoying and frustrating it would be to
see a carbon copy of your work being made, with that individual using
cheaper materials to sell your design at a cheaper price.
"Hope that helps"
I should have asked you up front to clarify what you meant by using
someone else’s work - are you talking about findings or taking a
finished piece (i.e. necklace, bracelet, ring) and adding to it and
then presenting it as your own?
Dee Dee & Tina:
Now you’re getting to the heart of how the conundrum got started
If I mention the artist (which I have no problem with doing) -
somehow I get the feeling that both parties would have to drag
lawyers into things. Think about it, if someone called you and said
they wanted to use your art as a larger piece of art, would you
start negotiating some kind of contract and fee, want to see how
it’s going to be used, sketches, etc? Thinking along those lines,
where is the logical stopping point? I come from a writing
background so I do understand what pride of authorship and do not
mean to rip someone off, but does that mean that we are to
mention/contact the glass blower/designers of all the venetian
beads, Hill Tribes silver, clasps, or designer cut stones that we
buy and ask them if it’s OK? What makes the piece (findings) I buy
from Rio Grande, Hill Tribes, etc. so different from the one that I
would buy from a designer/jeweler/artist? Do some Orchidians out
there sell their items with contractual stipulations attached? I
guess maybe those are the questions that I am really asking. I can’t
imagine that a company/designer/jeweler/artist who makes findings
expects to be contacted/credited every time someone uses it in a
piece of jewelry…but if that was the case shouldn’t the jeweler
state that upfront with his/her works? This is why it becomes a very
blurry line…ahhhhhhhhhh, someone…make the madness stop!!!
Just think what the auto industry would have to do if they had to do
this for all their parts in our cars!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh,
someone…make the madness stop!!!
jewelers/beaders. Upon purchasing the items, am I infringing
on their artistic rights by using it in the jewelry I am making? Do
I have to get the other jewelers/beaders permission before selling
You’re looking for “perfect rules” where only “general rules” and
“reasonableness” come smack up against “reality.” In general, if the
“artist” (may or may not be an artist) making the charms/beads/etc.
was “obviously” making them for your inclusion in the complete items
of others then you have every right (you BOUGHT and OWN the
charms/beads/etc.) to include them with or without any permission or
reference to the “artist.” (Of course if reference to the “artist”
will help you sell your pieces you should probably do it and you
still do not need permission.) However if they were making
“completed” pieces that were meant to stand alone (EXTREMELY
improbable for beads/charms/etc.) then it gets much more
complicated. BUT, if you are using the beads/charms/etc. in a way
that is INTENDED, or “realistically” could be interpreted to be
intended, to harm, denigrate, damage, etc., the original “artist”
then you MAY be crossing the line into a civil infraction of the
“artist’s” rights. Either case in the latter sentence is highly
unlikely (I hope).
All that said, if the “artist” chooses to sue you they have the
right to and you have a legal MANDATE to defend yourself in court or
somehow settle the issue (legally) and privately. Of course should
they sue the first thing you do is QUIT BUYING from them and demand
your money back in exchange for any stock of their charms/beads/etc.
you have on hand. The odds of them suing are practically 0.
So my advice is incorporate the charms/beads/etc. YOU BOUGHT happily
in your products and, if it helps sales (otherwise not), tell your
buyers what “artist’s” charms/beads/etc. you have used.
IANAL. For $200 and up a lawyer may well advise you to purchase more
of their services regardless of the odds you’ll actually get value
And about those automobiles: “body by Fisher,” “spark plugs by
Champion,” “tires by Firestone,” “ABS by Bosch” . . . Perhaps you
haven’t been paying attention, no permission was required though it
may have been “granted.” As long as no implication of endorsement by
the part supplier to the whole car is implied or could be reasonably
expected to be understood by consumers no permission would be needed.
If endorsement is implied or stated then permission would be
James E. White
Inventor, Marketer, and Author of “Will It Sell?
How to Determine If Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable
(Before Wasting Money on a Patent)” www.willitsell.com
Also: www.booksforinventors.com and www.idearights.com
What makes the piece (findings) I buy from Rio Grande, Hill
Tribes, etc. so different from the one that I would buy from a
Nothing … if the item you bought from the
designer/jeweler/artist was sold as a potential component, such as an
art glass bead. If you’re planning to take a finished piece of
jewelry, however, and incorporate it as-is into a larger piece,
that’s another story. Just what is it that you’re trying to do?
If someone is selling findings alone, then the intention would be
that another person/company would buy them to use in that
person’s/company’s product, no matter how nice and artistic the
"finding" was (no infringement). However why would anyone want to
sell you a piece of their art jewelry for you to use in a design over
which they had no control. Nor I suspect any intention of having
their art used in that way. It isn’t a conundrum it is theft of
another person’s ideas.