Now that I have been a new member for oh lets say......one day!! I have my first of my many many questions...
I warned you in my opening speech that I will have some doosey's so please BEAR with me and excuse my..... how shall I say.......stupidness!!!
I have been making bears for this year and I Love it as you all know..... I have been playing around with patterns, making changes, taking things out, adding bits here and there but I have yet to design my own.....
As people are starting to see what I have made people are asking if I wanted to sell them...... AM I ALLOWED OR IS IT A BIG BEAR NO NO????
I really have no idea....... I had someone ask if I wanted to have a stand at a craft fair next year and as someone who works for family and seems to work on a barter system (so not much money touches my wallet) I would love to do this to fund my addiction but I really don't want to offend anyone in the bear world???
I am starting to have a play with designing my own pattern but really want to make more of what I have been making also.....
Ps, I have thick skin so the truth won't hurt.......too much
For me, it´s a big bear no no (nice word). When I startet, I made only bears of foreign patterns, but I did not sell them.
It´s respectfulness to the bearmakers, who spend a lot of time and love to create a bear.
It´s a big emotion to sell a bear made of an own pattern, drawn on a white piece of paper.
Of course, in the first time, you will be inspired by patterns, you once have sewed but suddenly, the bears became
your handwriting, and that´s bearmaking to me.
Try to make your own, and your conscience will be clean !
Becca, there are no "stupid" questions. Since I became a bear artist 20 years ago, your question took me way way back to my early days of bear making....and we all did the very same thing back then because that was the only way that we could teach ourselves this craft (there were no Teddy Bear making classes way back then).
I had the advantage that the Teddy World was much smaller 20 years ago and I actually knew most of the working artists personally (we all did the same shows). But when I bought a pattern from another artist and if I made a few changes to that pattern and made something that I wanted to sell...back then, I would just ask the designer of that pattern if it was it was okay with them if I sold the bear with a tag that said " this bear was inspired by a (pattern designer's name) pattern". Of course, it was always okay with the original designer because it was extra advertising for them. I would not have sold it without their permission.
So it probably depends on how many changes you made to the original pattern...if you have only made minor changes, you definitely need to give credit on your hang tag to the original designer. I have not looked at retail patterns in many years but you need to read the fine print for permission...a few patterns actually give you permission to make and sell a small quantity (but always giving them credit for the design).
Good luck with your own bear designs...once you've successfully designed your first teddy you will not have to depend on the patterns of others...that's when you start redesigning your own patterns.
It depends on the human who made the pattern.
Virtually any work of writing or art is copyrhighted the second it is laid down in readable form. But some people share their copyrights more readily than others. Some people will not allow others to make use of their work unless they pay. Others will allow anybody to use their work. There are still others who will allow their work to be used if credit is given or only as long as the end use is non-commercial.
The only real way to find out is to contact the person who made the pattern and ask.
A piece of advice to those who make Bear patterns for others to use: Put your terms in writing. If you allow others to use your designs, put it in writing. If you allow your work to be used under certain conditions, spell them out... Non-Commercial use only... Attribution requested... Tell people what you want.
Our human, Randy, often publishes works of art/writing and he doesn't normally mind if others use his work PROVIDED they give him credit. He has had to go after others who used his work without permission but, normally, he likes it when people share things.
Now... If you don't know who the original artist is or if you can't get in touch with him or her, you MIGHT be able to put a Bear up for paid adoption if you make YOUR work distinctive enough from the original. This gets into a lot of grey area but it is possible.
Fail that, you can always put "Bears by Becca: Original pattern design by <somebody>" on the tush tag.
Here's something else Bear pattern makers should take a look at.
It's called "Creative Commons." It's like a traditional copyright but it allows you to automatically specify what you allow others to do with your work.
Check out this website for more information: http://creativecommons.org/about/
Hi Becca, I sell lots of patterns, and I look at each one before I sell it. Most patterns will have a note as to what the designer will allow. Either they will not allow it to be made for profit, or they will allow it with credit given. I also started making bears 20 years ago. I started with a purchased pattern. I have that bear, and my family has most of the bears that followed for a while. As I learned I changed the patterns to look like what I wanted a bear to look like. The patterns no longer resembled the purchased pattern. When you get to that point, it is yours. All bear patterns are similar, a bear is basically a bear. Use the pattern as a guide only to design your own bear. I still change the pattern slightly every time I make a new bear.
I agree with everything Kathy said. I've been "in the Business" for 25 years, and in the beginning all we had for our craft was one or two books on toymaking in the library and fake fur coats in thrift stores. I think that once a pattern is out there for sale it's reasonable to expect a newcomer to want to fund their new habit with a few sales....so long as you give credit to the designer and not try to pass it off as your own work. As you get more experienced and confident you won't be satisfied with that anyway and then you will start to experiment with all sorts of stuff to find a style all your own. I have had numerous patterns published in magazines over the years here in Oz, and on occasion I have been asked this question, I have always given my blessings so long as I'm credited as the designer! You've got to start somewhere and we're all about encouraging each other. Hope this helps......Happy Bearmaking to you Becca
WOW......Its like having my own book of answers!!!!
You guys are the best
Joanne I kind of like what you said about the patterns being simular, I feel the same way, its quite amazing when you study the bears on the net on different bear artists websites how many actually have the same features in their pattern,
and a big thank you to us bears for an idea of what to put on the tush tag!!!
Thank you thank you thank you