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I have several patterns that I purchased and have made into quilts.  While I know that you cannot duplicate for commercial use, my question is:  I want to make several of these different patterns and sell at our annual fundraiser.  Is that against the copyright?  I do not see it as a conflict since I purchased the pattern for my personal use and also make said patterns for my charity quilts.  We are not selling any quilts an a regular basis.  We just pick some to sell during our fundraiser and raffle.  We are licensed as a non profit and all of our goods are donated or purchased for our charity.

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Comment by MaryAgnes/NYC on February 4, 2014 at 8:38am

I'm not paranoid, Carol Ann; I'm a lawyer.  

Comment by Barbara Graham on February 3, 2014 at 4:07pm

I would definitely contact the designer--it's a quick email and the probability is a quick approval. Better safe than sorry. Also, be sure to include the designer's name and pattern name on the raffle tickets and advertising.

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on February 3, 2014 at 10:43am

Ooh, that's a little daunting, MaryAgnes.  Dawn, No one's going to "hunt you down" over making a  raffle quilt from a pattern you already own, for a local fundraiser.  My guild did it for years before we did a little research, and decided it was definitely the ethical thing to do ... to get the designer's permission before deciding on the project.  They have always been grateful we asked, and have always granted permission.  Some even asked for photos of the finished project to post on their website.  We also researched the California definition of a "raffle", which is basically illegal in this state, because "gambling" is illegal in California (unless you are an indian casino.)  But there are legal ways to accomplish the same thing.  We are careful, but not paranoid! 

Comment by MaryAgnes/NYC on February 2, 2014 at 12:16pm

I am not a copyright attorney but it seems to me that selling or raffling or fundraising is a commercial act.  And you have stated the conflict precisely.  You purchased the pattern on the condition your use is limited to personal use.  You could have negotiated with the designer before you purchased the pattern to change that condition, but you did not.  The charity quilts might also present a problem if they are sold or raffled by the recipient.  Why don't you contact a copyright attorney and get an expert's opinion.  That attorney's fee would be much more reasonable than fees involved in defending a lawsuit and satisfying a court's judgment should the designer choose to sue you for violating the copyright.  You could get that attorney to write to the designer for permission to use the pattern commercially.  Remember that old warning  CYA. 

Comment by Cat Lady--MO on February 2, 2014 at 7:57am

Dawn, I agree with both Carol and Janet.  Contact the designer to get their permission.  There is a fine line difference between making a quilt for personal use and making it for sale or fund-raising.  As mentioned, most designers are generous and will give permission for use.  I do know there is definite problems with mass production for sale.  By the way, being a non-profit does not change anything.

Comment by Janet/MO on February 1, 2014 at 6:10pm

Dawn, I would suggest you write to the designers and ask for their permission just to be on the safe side.  Also, it is possible that they will have a blanket permission section on their website if they have one.  Some designers did that after they started being inundated with permission to even display quilts made from their patterns in quilt shows.  Also, definitely give credit to the designer on a label on the back of the quilt.  Hope this helps.  Good luck with your fundraiser.

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on February 1, 2014 at 3:34pm

You may be in kind of a gray area here, and I'm not offering any legal advice, but I believe the designer of the pattern for your charity quilts would not object if you or your organization are not making any profit on this.  After all, you can make a quilt from any pattern you chose, then give the quilt away to whomever!  HOWEVER, raffle quilts made to SUPPORT your guild, or other group, should have the permission of the designer.

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