When informed of professional, and legal protocol Re: copyright,
they reply - "well I did not mean to offend you - but, since I am
not selling your design or making any profit from it - it is not
violating copyright laws". They obviously totally do not get the
concept of "theft of intellectual copyright"
I have watched this thread for a while and have been pretty amazed
at the different responses and the self serving views expressed in
I do not know who said the "fair use exemption for educational
purposes", but unless the law has changed in the last couple of
days, that statement is bull pucky. Try to get a release from
Microsoft, or Autocad to decompile their programs for classroom
examples of code writing or better yet, decompile them and make them
available to your students. You will learn in very short order
alligators are kind timid creature compared to the ones you are going
to meet. When working for Johnson & Johnson as an instructor, and
working for various colleges/schools if you did not have a release
document on file for what you were using or showing, first offence
was a written reprimand and the material withdrawn, second offense
and you were fired plain pure and simple. They did not want the risk.
Even for original documents and research the two times I used it the
dean had me sign a release for the school to use the material I had
created, or I could not use it in my class. The only time we were
able to use anything without having said document on file was if we
were using the book for the class, and I suspect that before we used
a book the school got a release, or it wasn't used. At J&J we had
releases on file even for the mastectomies that were dissected to
show the relationships between scans and actual tumor locations,
density and size. The releases were from both the doctor and the
patient. Try getting your original medical records, the issue of
ownership pops up real quick.
In the example you site, yes it is infringement, but what would be
the gain of pursuing the issue if what is said is true. If on the
other hand, it is a slick way to get something from you for a quilt
intended for mass production. Now you have something that may
interest a lawyer to champion your cause. The distance issue is of
no value unless there is an international border crossed. In the case
of the music industry they went after those with funds who were
facilitating the violation, and enough of the aggressive down
loaders to get the rest of the population to take notice. On the
private individuals I do not know the results of those cases but
Napster made big news, big fines and lost a large portion of the
ownership of their company.
For those who think that there is an educational exemption, remember
this, you are providing the class for a fee, therefore, YOU and the
school are viable targets for a lawsuit. Depending on the insurance
or the state rules you may be covered. But I have signed some
employment agreements where the school will cover you unless they
loose the case. At that point in time you are on your own against
both the school and whoever brought the suit for assignment of
damages and you could be liable for the schools expense. Next time
you sign a contact with a school, read the fine print of ALL the
pages including the employee guidelines.
Arts may be different in that many items used no longer have clear
intellectual property ownership and are accepted as public domain,
but technology and software is very jealously guarded as to
copyright and patent and this is the arena my experience has been in.
If I were to teach a class on current jewelry trends and techniques,
I would have the permissions on file or the material would not be
seen in my classroom. You can give a web address you can site Title,
author and page as outstanding examples in a handout, but do not hand
out anyone else's work in your classroom without a release on file.
Most schools and companies will already have had their legal
department draw up an acceptable form for the process, use it. It is
only modest protection, but it shows clear intent to perform in a
legal manner if doo doo hits the fan.
I have only taught in public schools in 3 states, there may be
differences in how this is handled. Copyrights and Patents are
federal protections so I don't see where there is a lot of wiggle
room on the issue except in the employee/employer relationship.
And that's my 2 cents.