I bought this cool house fabric because it was on sale and had houses. I bought it online, so what I did not realize was that it appears to have come with strings attached. I’m not using it to make up cute dresses for a little girls’ boutique, or coin purses galore for an Etsy shop, but there is a small chance that it will find it’s way into one of my art quilts which could, potentially, be sold one day.
I’m not going to worry myself too much about this as the chances that someone’s lawyers will track me down in 10 years is pretty darn slim. And, in digging into some of the related issues blogged about in the last five years or so, this all appears to be more bark than bite. But why then print the disclaimer at all?
All things tech and cool blog Boing Boing delved into the issue here in ’06. Fabric-centric blog True-Up followed here the same year. A rather vitriolic post about another designer is here, covering ’05 to ’09. I thought this had all blown over, but now there’s been a more recent episode that sounds very odd. I understand not wanting Crafter A to pass off handbags (or whatever) made from a pattern by Designer B’s pattern as his/her own, I sort of get not wanting to flood the market with things made from Designer B’s pattern when the designer would rather have more people buy the pattern directly and make the item themselves, and I understand the separate issue of designers using older textiles as inspiration (with a fuzzy line between inspiration and appropriation), but trying to restrict how Crafter A uses Designer B’s fabric in Crafter A’s creations is beyond me.
And what are we to do about these fabrics with restrictions? Not buy them (hard to identify them when buying online), segregate them in our stash (totally not practical), return them (not possible), not use them (such a sad waste of fabric)?
I do not want to stir up a hornet’s nest. This is just me thinking out loud about the strings attached to my new fabric.