6. Are there non-licensed, legal uses of someone else's copyrighted work?
Yes, it's called Fair Use, but it is quite limited. You may use portions of someone's work if you are reviewing/critiquing that work (such as quotes in a book review). You may use portions of someone's work if you are making a parody or satire. (Gods bless Weird Al.) You may use portions of someone's work if you work in education and are using the work as instructional materials. (This last use is very popular, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act severely hampered teachers. Since then the TEACH Act has been enacted to help loosen up the DMCA for educators.)
Rule of thumb for the non-lawyer population: Just assume you can't use it unless you made it yourself or have gotten express permission.
7. How does copyright apply to crafting?
With craft it's trickier, especially since ideas can't be copyrighted. The craft community thrives on inspiration and derivative works. As soon as you say, "You may make this item but you must make it EXACTLY and never use anything you thought of while making it when making something else," the entire point of crafting it is dead. This is why every craft project site out there will have a page devoted to the legalities of what you can and cannot do with their patterns - they are giving you a license and defining the terms. Please read those legal pages when you go to craft sites! They don't write those things just to watch the pretty characters appear on the screen.
8. What is The AntiCraft's copyright policy?
We don't hold any copyrights to any of the projects. This site is copyrighted as far as the design and the code goes, but the copyright to the projects themselves still reside with the original designer. When a designer agrees to let us publish a project, they are licensing us to distribute their copyrighted work. When a crafter comes to our site, they are granted a license by the designers, too. The terms of that license are defined on our legal page, and summarized below for convenience:
1. Free Personal Use:
a) You have the right to one copy of the project instructions.
b) You may not sell finished items or donate them to charity.
c) You may make derivative works from the project so long as you do not sell, trade, or publish your derivatives.
a) You may not sell or give away copies of project instructions.
I know, you're now thinking, "WTF, can't donate finished items to charity?"
HERE'S THE THING: These are only the terms of the license you get from us. Every project has contact information for the designer at the bottom. You are free to contact the designer and negotiate a new license with them. Many designers would be happy to let your donate items made with their instructions to charity. Many designers would be happy to let you publish instructions for a derivative item on your blog so long as you attribute their instructions as their source. THE KEY IS TO ASK FOR PERMISSION.
Got that? ASK FOR PERMISSION.
PERMISSION. ASK FOR IT. Are we clear?
9. What about projects from books?
Books are licenses to use the projects within in much the same way - except that for some reason no one ever really defines the license the way they do on craft websites. This is a ridiculous practice, as you can't expect people to know what to do if you won't tell them what the boundaries are. Books involve large amounts of money (for both authors and publishers, though more for publishers as authors are notoriously underpaid unless they are Nora Roberts, Steven King, or John Grishim), therefore the publishing companies want to make the license as restrictive as possible. That's why they just slap a regular copyright notice on there and go on - they have the right to sell it to you, you have the right to own it, but that's all you're really supposed to do with it. I think it would help if crafting books would address copyright concerns the way websites do, but oh well.
I used the following resources in writing this, and would recommend them to anyone interested in copyright.
I'm not sure that you actually can restrict what people do with derivative works. My understanding of Copyright Law is old, and much may have changes since my class in law school, but if you make a derivative work, in which you make substantial changes (more than say, color, or gauge), the derivative work is yours -- and its pattern as written out is copywritten to you. While you SHOULD give credit to the designer of the work from which you derived your different work, you own the copyright for the derivative work itself.
I could be wrong.... I've not researched that aspect of copyright law by reading the revised statutes or any caselaw regarding derivative works in a while.. but I don't think a copyright holder has rights regarding the derivatives of his or her work.
I did some more research this morning and easily found several instances of "unauthorized" derivatives of software applications being C&D'd for infringement.
Also, I found the following quote:
"One of the exclusive rights accompanying copyright ownership is the right to create derivative works based upon the copyrighted work. (17 U.S.C. § 106(2).) A derivative work is a work based upon one or more preexisting works. For example, an English translation of a novel written in French is a derivative work. A movie based on a book is another common example of a derivative work. Therefore, the owner of the copyright for a novel has the exclusive right to prepare or authorize translations or movie versions of the novel. Other examples of derivative works include fictionalizations, motion-picture versions, or, according to the Copyright Act, “any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.” (17 U.S.C. § 101(3).)"
Also, we all know the thin line musicians tread with "sampling."
I stand by my assertion that someone who creates a derivative work might find themselves guilty of infringement.
Luckily the Creative Commons covers derivative works. An artist can choose to put his or her material out there and either restrict or allow derivative works. The Creative Commons licenses are written in such a way that they are easily understood by the average person who is not fluent in Lawyerese.
as far as music is concerned, I've heard that sampling is allowed but a maximum of 8 seconds or so of a song can be used in another song, which is allowed w/o it being considered a remix or whatnot, but I do believe permissions still need to be had.
It's tricky with all this copyright stuff, because there are some instances where it's very much a gray area, what's considered changed enough from the original to be considered one's own.
I was at a large craft show, and found a woman making beaded Christmas ornaments, that she proudly said came directly from a pattern in Bead and Button magazine! When I said that she was breaking copyright law, she was quite indignant, since SHE had made the pieces.