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Re: Copyright and fair use
And the American law is not universal. And the international application of copyrights are not uniform. And this is an international forum. Sigh... so many ifs, ands, buts and maybes. But I believe that InTatters as a whole strives to recognize the rightful designers of patterns and name them. And a Tatter's work is theirs and their photos of their work is theirs and can be copyrighted by the Tatter who created it. The American law is that an item is copyrighted by the simple act of creating it. Applying a copyright symbol is at the creator's discretion.
In everyday practice on InTatters, this means that anyone can publish their own picture of the their own work and courtesy is shown by naming the designer or source of the design. Designers, as a whole, make very little for their considerable efforts. We respect and honor those efforts for the tremendous benefit we all receive from their inspiration and hard work.
It is interesting to note that the beginnings of copyright were all about the right of a printer to have exclusive rights to print a book and not have any other printer make copies of it for a specified length of time. At the time, printing was accomplished by setting each individual letter of a page, so it was a considerable amount of work. The author frequently got nothing for his troubles.
The Encyclopedia of Needlework, that is so well known, has very good illustrations. Almost every one of the illustrations has been lifted and copied in other needlework books from the 1800s. I have pored over the Encyclopedia so often (it was the only lace book I had for a very long time), that the first time I became aware of the source of an illustration, I was shocked and wondered "How could they DO that?" The short answer is: there was no law against it. Partly because the subject matter (women's fancy work) was simply not taken seriously and also that general copyright law was very weak.
Publishers and corporations still hold most copyrights, meaning that even if an author would wish to republish, they may not have a legal means of doing so! And the almost universal term of a first copyright is 90 years. So no matter how much we would love to see certain books republished, it will take a long time to see them given new life.
I am grateful for the wide variety of tatting material that is available and that the net has made even more available.