OK, I’m normally a big fan of Boing Boing, because they usually get it–the craft thing. They’ve got a great eye for cool, and they highlight indie artists all the time.

This morning, they had a little post by Cory Doctorow that irked me… He called out a Textile Designer for trying to protect her intellectual property. If you read the message carefully you’ll see this:

60″ wide cotton poplin print by Heather Ross for Munki Munki!
*Please note: This fabric can be purchased for personal sewing projects only. This print cannot be used for items made for resale.

So the reason the fabric cannot be used in commercial production is because it’s already been licensed by the artist (Heather Ross) to a clothing producer (Munki Munki). Obviously, they had overstock of fabric which they are selling through ReproDepot.com.

Actually, if you go to Sewzannesfabrics.com, you can buy the same fabric (for half the price) and you find a much clearer explanation of the Textile Designer’s terms:

IMPORTANT NOTICE!

The Munki Munki™ and Lightning Bugs fabrics are not to be used in commercial manufacturing for resale, and are only for personal sewing projects.

Heather Ross’ policy is developed to be supportive of home sewing enthusiasts.

She (Heather) does not discourage people making things out of her fabrics, and reselling them, as long as they:

Don’t use her name or brand on them.
Are sewing items themselves, in their homes, and selling them directly to consumers.
Are buying the fabrics from a retailer, online or otherwise, who makes their fabrics available to the general public at the regular retail price (not co-ops).
Are not reproducing any of her artwork for patches, embellishments, embroideries or prints on an item that will be sold.
These fabrics are “FOR NON-COMMERCIAL USE” which only applies to manufacturers. This policy is designed to prevent medium and large scale manufacturers who wish to develop lines of products by exploiting or pirating the designs while not working in conjunction with designers on a manufacturing level.

SewZanne’s Fabrics thanks you for understanding, respecting, and adhering to the designer’s resale policy, and copyright law.

Why is this such a big deal? Doctorow compares designing fabric to picking fruit, wondering why should “screening a design on a bolt of fabric magically confer the right to turn what’s obviously a sale into a non-negotiable license?”

Um, Mr. Doctorow–what if I took a page from one of your books or articles and screened it onto a t-shirt and started selling it? Then how would you feel? (Of course, this is not exactly parallel, but perhaps a bit closer a comparison than selling fruit is to designing fabric). After working on this post, and already getting some comments, I’m glad that Mr. Doctorow has stirred things up, as my brother said, “in a vibrant creative environment, creators and consumers of culture need to know where the law and etiquette intersects with the work they buy and sell.”

UPDATE: Boingboing must be getting a lot of traffic around this, they just updated their post with this note: Update: Scott sez, “I’ll just point out that the law is not on their side under the First Sale doctrine. See Precious Moments v. La Infantil, 971 F. Supp. 66 (D.P.R. 1997) (finding that first sale doctrine permitted defendant bedding manufacturer to utilize lawfully acquired fabrics imprinted with the plaintiff’s copyrighted work). “

I’m not sure if that law (I’m no lawyer) would be relevant because we’re talking about TRADEMARK, not copyright… As you can see in Ross’ TOU above, she has trademarked her designs.

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Let’s put BoingBoing on a T-shirt and see what happens…

41 thoughts on “Let’s put BoingBoing on a T-shirt and see what happens…

  • October 17, 2006 at 9:11 am
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    You are exactly wrong. It’s like you bought a copy of one of Corey’s books and decided to sell paper airplanes made from the pages. In your example you are REPRODUCING the work in question. In my example you are using it as a raw material (pardon the fabric pun). While Corey might (or might not) care to see his work used to create disposable aircraft, I doubt he’s attempt to assert that he can stop you from doing it.

  • October 17, 2006 at 9:21 am
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    I agree with you… The problem is that boingboing misunderstood the restriction on the use of the fabric. I agree that my printing Doctorow’s IP onto t-shirts is not the same as mass-manufacturing of Ross’s designs, but it’s more similar than selling fruit is to designing fabric.

  • October 17, 2006 at 9:27 am
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    Yeah, if she trademarked the design that would be different. IANAL but I’m aware that I can’t make Mickey Mouse purses without drawing the ire of Disney. However, without the trademark, there’s nothing behind the “You cannot do this.” It’s really just a strong way of saying, “Please don’t use this fabric in your commercial project.” Although it’s worded like a rule or an order, it’s really only a request. I’d have no problem with her wording it as a request — I think it’s deceptive to make it sound like there’s some legal backing to it.

    So it’s not really her intellectual property *rights* she’s trying to enforce — it’s actually etiquette.

    As for making a shirt out of one of Cory’s books — I think he’d have no basis for complaint if you just safety pinned a page from one of his books onto a shirt and sold it. On the other hand, if you silkscreened it, you’d be copying and (some of) his works are covered by traditional copyright. Others are covered by Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial or CC Developing Nations licenses so selling a copy is out either way. I don’t think safety pinning a page onto a shirt counts as a derivative work.

    Anyway, I’m glad Cory brought up this topic — in a vibrant creative environment, creators and consumers of culture need to know where the law and etiquette intersects with the work they buy, sell, make, and enjoy.

    I just hope I don’t get into a flame war with my own sister. 😉

  • October 17, 2006 at 9:57 am
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    Amy, it’s not clear to me that she trademarked the designs. The name “Munki Munki” is followed by a “TM” so apparently that name is trademarked. I don’t see where she writes that the designs themselves are trademarked. Rather, she refers to respecting copyright law, which I don’t think applies unless one is actually making a copy.

  • October 17, 2006 at 11:28 am
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    Hi Amy,
    Thanks for your post. I have been near tears about this all morning, getting all sorts of nasty little emails. This has been an issue for some time, and it has been making me re-think my own business model in general.
    -Heather Ross

  • October 17, 2006 at 11:49 am
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    by the way, just to clarify, i actually encourage cottage industry sewers to buy my fabric and make and sell things out of it, I just ask that they sell their products by the merit of their work, rather than using my name to promote or describe it.

  • October 17, 2006 at 11:59 am
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    You know, thanks for this post. Because I have only ever seen the notice on reprodepot (and never thought about whether it was legal or not to restrict use of a fabric) and have NEVER bought even the tiniest piece of munki munki fabric because I thought “well, if I make myself a skirt and get tired of it, or it doesn’t fit, and I put it on ebay or etsy, I’ll get in trouble!” I have quilting friends who have never bought any of it for the same reason. So, this dialogue may not be what the artist or sellers wanted, but they’ve probably gained new customers like me and my friends!

  • October 17, 2006 at 12:12 pm
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    My take is that boingboing is correct, that Heather was trying to dissuade “incorrect” use of her fabric, and without knowing what the hell she was talking about she conjured some psuedo-legal threat.

    And that threat backfired. Crafters have not been purchasing her work because they feel threatened.

    What an immense mistake this statement is: “I just ask that they sell their products by merit of their work, rather than by using my name to promot or describe it”

    What could be better than a “Heather Ross” skirt? Or a handbag made from “Heather Ross’ famous boingboing pattern?” Why would Heather Ross NOT want that? Because she’s making it herself? No, she makes PJs. Because a Heather Ross wallet would be poorly crafted and besmirch her good name? She’s selling the stuff, then asking people not to use it!

    Heather Ross produces raw materials for clothing. If she doesn’t want it in the stream of commerce with her named on it, and described as such, then she shouldn’t sell it.

  • October 17, 2006 at 1:19 pm
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    Amy Butler tried the same thing, and it didn’t stick.

    Cottage Liscenses are not binding in any way, and a made up term from the internet. It’s used to scare small, mama and pop businesses into doing what they want you to do.

    I think these designers, along with Disney, have a huge ego around what they think they can protect. Any CW lawyer will tell you, if they sell it, you can do with it what you wish.

    Just because her overpriced lawyer is trying to lay guilt trips, it doesn’t make it so.

  • October 17, 2006 at 1:22 pm
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    This is total crap, what HR has done to Sewzannes. I will never EVER purchase her products.

    If she sells her overruns, fine. But if she didn’t want to lose control over what was made with her fabric she should have burned it.

    boing boing it 100% correct.

  • October 17, 2006 at 1:32 pm
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    Actually, if you look at the work that Mr. Doctorow has done, you’ll notice that he releases it all under the “Creative Commons” copyright model.

    You could, in fact, reprint his book on a t-shirt under that license. Furthermore, Cory would be delighted that you did.

    People have reproduced his works in a variety of ways and in a variety of languages under that license and not sent Cory a dime and he’s loved it every single time. He has even pointed out each new treatment on boingboing.

    More people could learn from his example.

    The problem in this case is that Ms. Ross meant one thing, but the warning that were posted articulated something else entirely.

    It was a misunderstanding, but one that could have been avoided if someone had spent a few minutes re-wording the warning.

    boingboing didn’t get it wrong. boingboing reported on what was said on the repotdepot website. Repot got their message wrong. I’d suggest taking it up with them.

  • October 17, 2006 at 1:36 pm
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    if you press the ‘don’t agree’ button on sewzanne’s site you can’t purchase the fabric. that’s not a suggestion that’s a requirement. i agree, it sucks they did that to sewzannes small business. no one elses.

  • October 17, 2006 at 3:12 pm
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    Its so tempting to just ignore these comments, but I really feel that I need to defend myself. I have absolutely no say over what people do with my fabric, its their business. The only thing I ask is that they not use my name to sell it. Thats all. Use your own name. Make something cool, and sell it.

    What I have DONE to sewzannes? In my opinion, the only people who are afected adversely by my policies are people who have no intention of making something original, ony those who want to profit off my hard work, my art.

    I don’t have an overpriced attorney, I don’t have a huge ego, I just had an idea that maybe people wanted cool fabric on the market. thats all.

    -Heather Ross

  • October 17, 2006 at 3:29 pm
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    Perhaps you should talk to a trademark lawyer. IANAL but I keep an eye on trademark rules. I can’t speak to your particular case, but whether someone can use someone else’s trademark depends on how they use it.

    If they use it in a way that causes confusion about the source of the goods, that is not allowed. If they use it in a way that does not cause confusion about the source of the goods, that is allowed.

    I can’t sell “Coca-cola brand Coolers”. But I can sell coolers that “each come with a six-pack of coca-cola”. Assuming I bought the coca-cola and it isn’t a knockoff.

    If someone says “these are brindleco tm houses” that isn’t ok without brindleco’s permission, if someone says “these houses are made from brindleco tm bricks” that is ok, as long as it is true.

    Trademark is mainly about not being allowed to trick the public, protecting the trademark holder is an effect, not a cause of that purpose.

  • October 17, 2006 at 3:33 pm
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    Isn’t profitting off your art what retailers do? I mean, you sell to them, then they sell at a markup to someone else.

    That’s why we have the first sale doctrine. You get your money when you first sell it. If you want more money, charge a higher initial price.

  • October 17, 2006 at 3:50 pm
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    this has nothing to do with wanting more money. this has to do with protecting my name.

  • October 17, 2006 at 3:59 pm
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    Then you *definitely* need to consult with a trademark attorney. S/he will understand what you’re trying to do and suggest positive, legal, and fair ways to accomplish it.

    Threatening your customers is an unsustainable business model, regardless of whether you’re Disney(tm) or Heather(tm).

    Not everybody will agree with Cory’s stance on IP law, but he called you out because what you did is part of a disturbing and distinctly-unfair trend in many areas of commerce these days. (It wasn’t meant to be a personal attack, and I doubt he’d be pleased to hear that people are sending you nastygrams as a result of his posting.)

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:11 pm
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    why are there so many people posting as anonymous? If you have something important to say than you should let people know who you are.

    I think Cory made a point, but I think the attacks are going in the wrong direction. These are the points:

    Heather is an awesome artist and person. Becasuse of these attacks she may never design fabric ever again. She is not doing it because it makes money – you have no idea how little textile designers are paid for what they do – she is doing it because people love what she does and she loves doing it. You are taking that away from her by attacking her and furthermore you are taking her wonderful fabric designs away from yourselves.

    I hope the complainers will be happy with the horrible crap that most of the industry produces because that is all they will get to sew with.

    A few bad apples spoil the bunch. It makes me sad. Why can’t art become a commodity to be shared by all without any protection for the artist and the artist’s name? Doesn’t the artist have any rights at all?

    Furthermore, why does everybody feel the need to only make things to sell? Doesn’t anybody want to make things for their loved ones anymore?

    -Djerba
    http://www.reprodepot.com

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:24 pm
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    “Threatening your customers is an unsustainable business model, regardless of whether you’re Disney(tm) or Heather(tm).

    There was no threat and Heather had nothing to do with the wording on my website. I wrote it because she is my friend and I wanted to help her because people were making money off the business that she slaved over. Her only crime is selling Munki fabric to me. I will no longer sell it because of this. I am going to make wonderful quilts for my friends and family because textile designs that great deserve to be loved.

    Not everybody will agree with Cory’s stance on IP law, but he called you out because what you did is part of a disturbing and distinctly-unfair trend in many areas of commerce these days.

    Yes, but why would he choose a small independent fabric retailer to make the example? He himself admits that Walmart has a similar policy on their website.

    (It wasn’t meant to be a personal attack, and I doubt he’d be pleased to hear that people are sending you nastygrams as a result of his posting.)”

    Obviously you have never spoken to Mr. Doctorow yourself. He told me to “get used to it” because it is the internet….

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:26 pm
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    There are no “terms of use” for a piece of fabric because you aren’t LICENSING ANYTHING. You are selling FABRIC. You LICENSED the fabric maker to make it with the images on it. If it bothers you that your images may be put to commercial uses that you disapprove of, it is wholly within your power not to put your designs on fabrics and INTO COMMERCE. Geez.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:29 pm
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    This is total crap, what HR has done to Sewzannes. I will never EVER purchase her products.

    If she sells her overruns, fine. But if she didn’t want to lose control over what was made with her fabric she should have burned it.

    How can anyone be so angry about something as awesome as beautiful fabric? Take your unhappiness out on something else, preferably inanimate. I hope you get some help, “Anonymous”.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:31 pm
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    There are no “terms of use” for a piece of fabric because you aren’t LICENSING ANYTHING. You are selling FABRIC. You LICENSED the fabric maker to make it with the images on it. If it bothers you that your images may be put to commercial uses that you disapprove of, it is wholly within your power not to put your designs on fabrics and INTO COMMERCE. Geez.

    You are correct for fabrics that have been made by a manufacturer. But what about fabric or products you made yourself? That is what Heather did.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:32 pm
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    Oh, give me a break.

    Heather made a mistake – she made a request appear to be a demand.

    She got called on it.

    Some jerks sent hatemail.

    Nobody is being “targetted”. Fix the mistake and move on! Tomorrow is another day.

    why would he choose a small independent fabric retailer to make the example? He didn’t choose this to make an example, he added it to his growing list of weird IP statements.

    I hope you get some help, “Anonymous” Oh great – now we’re into ad hominem attacks. Sigh.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:38 pm
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    I am not threatening anyone, and am deeply offended by the accusation that I have done so.

    Do you honestly think that I have not consulted a lawyer? Who do you think writes my contracts? Me? Please, I can barely spell my own name.

    Does anyone actually think that I am asking people to not use my name just to be mean or cruel or because I have a huge ego? There is much much more to this situation than any of us can see clearly from one vantage point.

    Oh, and one final question. Would YOU like to run a search for your own name on Ebay and see the following title?

    Heather Ross Sex Sling Pink Gnomes Rock Your Vagina

    Ug.

    I will say this one more time, because I am still getting emails and comments about it: I do not restrict the use of my fabric in terms of it being used to make items for sale. I just ask that you not use your name. My understanding of trademark law, and based on my lawyers advice, supports this policy.

    -Heather Ross

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:40 pm
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    “There are no “terms of use” for a piece of fabric because you aren’t LICENSING ANYTHING. You are selling FABRIC. You LICENSED the fabric maker to make it with the images on it. If it bothers you that your images may be put to commercial uses that you disapprove of, it is wholly within your power not to put your designs on fabrics and INTO COMMERCE. Geez”

    PLEASE read my posts befor eresponding to them, no-one is being restricted in terms of use or resale.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:46 pm
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    re: fabrics or products made by yourself vs. licensed images

    Under freedom to contract as I understand it, anyone can agree to anything that doesn’t contravene public policy.

    You can contract on as many things as you can bet on.

    The boingboing issue (which is a popular issue with them) is when people assert copyright law as a protection for things that copyright doesn’t reach.

    If someone sells you something, say a house, with restrictions on what kind of mailbox you can put up, that’s usually an enforceable contract.

    If someone sells fabric only to people who agree not to sell items created with it commercially, that’s also theoretically enforceable.

    But I’d suggest a clause for stipulated damages and attorneys fees because otherwise it’s not enforceable as a matter of practicality.

    Then you’re back to the issue of etiquette. You might very well frighten off legitimate customers with such draconian stipulations.

    But that, too, is your right.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:50 pm
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    Heather made a mistake – she made a request appear to be a demand.

    She got called on it.

    As I said, Heather had nothing to do with the wording on the website. I wrote it.

    Some jerks sent hatemail.

    Have you ever received hatemail and harrassing phonecalls from anonymous strangers? Somehow, I think not.

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:53 pm
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    Nobody is being “targetted”. Fix the mistake and move on! Tomorrow is another day.

    ummm, if you were keeping track, you would know I did. Yes, tomorrow is another day, but this business is our life, that is why we are taking this so seriously. I think anybody could understand that.

    BTW, thanks for posting an identity! All other Anonymouses out there, take note!

  • October 17, 2006 at 4:57 pm
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    why would he choose a small independent fabric retailer to make the example? He didn’t choose this to make an example, he added it to his growing list of weird IP statements.

    You may be true, but I had even forgotten that that text was on the website! I would have gladly taken it down or revised it if I thought anybody even noticed it. To be honest, and I have learned my lesson here, I didn’t think anybody would even take it seriously because we would have no way of enforcing such a rule.

  • October 17, 2006 at 5:06 pm
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    re: fabrics or products made by yourself vs. licensed images

    Under freedom to contract as I understand it, anyone can agree to anything that doesn’t contravene public policy.

    You can contract on as many things as you can bet on.

    The boingboing issue (which is a popular issue with them) is when people assert copyright law as a protection for things that copyright doesn’t reach.

    If someone sells you something, say a house, with restrictions on what kind of mailbox you can put up, that’s usually an enforceable contract.

    If someone sells fabric only to people who agree not to sell items created with it commercially, that’s also theoretically enforceable.

    But I’d suggest a clause for stipulated damages and attorneys fees because otherwise it’s not enforceable as a matter of practicality.

    Then you’re back to the issue of etiquette. You might very well frighten off legitimate customers with such draconian stipulations.

    But that, too, is your right.

    Thank you, Anonymous, whoever you are! I love you!!! You are absolutely right, and that is why this whole thing is so darn infuriating. I am going to send your post to Cory right now.

  • October 17, 2006 at 9:04 pm
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    It’s disappointing that this situation has turned out as it did. Heather obviously meant no harm, and Corey didn’t mean anything personal.

    Both the fabric reseller and Heather have a huge opportunity from this. Exposure on boingboing can be a very positive thing (even if it’s negative exposure). I’m sad to see that instead of harnessing the exposure Corey gave you today you have taken a defensive position about your situation, or some wording on some other website. You should be using the opportunity to show people who aren’t normally exposed to the world of textile patterns what else you’ve done.

    One thing sticks out in my mind is the line on reprodepot: “p.s.Thanks Cory, you really got us! We were really putting one over on everybody – and you totally busted us! Saving the world from evil fabric stores, you are, one post at a time…”

    It’s just childish. IP law is a very sensitive subject these days and Corey does his best to bring the issue to our minds.

    Like I said, both Heather and Reprodepot could make something very positive of this situation, but instead have acted like victims.

  • October 18, 2006 at 12:39 am
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    iluvfabric said…

    > why are there so many people
    > posting as anonymous? If you have
    > something important to say than
    > you should let people know who
    > you are.

    Not everyone has a blogger account.

    Taking 5-15 minutes to setup an account to post a message on a forum/blog is annoying.

    Of course they could have at least signed their post. I don’t plan on creating a blogger account but I’ll include my name.

    Chris F

  • October 18, 2006 at 1:48 am
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    I came here because of the buzz on the blogs, although I do read BoingBoing from time to time.
    I am very glad that this discussion came up.
    I have every respect for Heather Ross’ rights as an artist. Of course she should try to stop anyone who tries to make money off her name.
    And I love shopping at Reprodepot.
    What I really do not like is people threatening me, to protect their so called ‘rights’, and that is exactly how I interpreted the message on Heather Ross’ designs at Reprodepot. I read from it that HR wanted to stop anyone from using legally purchased fabric any way they wanted, because she wanted to control her stuff even after selling it for money.
    The paper plane example above is a very good one.
    That didn’t exactly scare me, but let’s just say it turned me off buying any of her (gorgeous, btw) stuff.

    I see now that her message may have been misunderstood by a lot of people, including me. That’s why I think it is good that this discussion came up. Heather Ross and Reprodepot ought to be glad, too.
    Heather Ross and/or Reprodepot should make it very clear what they really meant, and then get over it.
    I’m very much looking forward to buying some fabric after that.

  • October 18, 2006 at 6:16 am
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    I’m another one (quilter, for friends & family & charity) who has always avoided purchasing Amy Butler & Heather Ross fabrics (beautiful though they are!) because I felt very uncomfortable about the tsk-tsk warning associated with them, especially since they sounded bogus to me to begin with (trademark and copyright are very different issues). I’m delighted to know that this might not be the case any more and hope this will bring a wider audience for the lovely fabrics.

    I might purchase some now, though I have to say that I feel kind of uncomfortable about reprotdepot in general now that I’ve seen the postings here. It would be much more professional to simply change the policy on the website and not engage in a flamewar on someone’s blog. Your professional reputation is something you have to guard as carefully as a trademark.

    –Kathy L.

  • October 18, 2006 at 6:42 am
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    I think Sam posts very wisely. It is my hope that y’all at ReproDepot can turn this all into a positive.

    I apologise for conflating HR and ReproDepot. I think part of the difficulty some of us may be having is that there aren’t any names associated with ReproDepot, just a userid (iluvfabric). It might be helpful to inject a name into the convo, although I recognise that you’re prob’ly concerned about your privacy right now!

    Also – I notice that your direct phone number is still available on your “contact info” page. I don’t think anyone would blame you if you removed it temporarily. Just a suggestion.

    Here’s hoping you have a great Wednesday, RD.

  • October 18, 2006 at 11:50 am
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    Cory was over the top in some ways, but there are some issues raised that benefit from discussion. BoingBoing is one of the most popular blogs on the planet, and you can expect that some of its readers who emailed are jerks with no social skills. That said, hundreds of thousands of people now know who Heather Ross is, and that she designs cute fabric.

    As someone who sews, I find the restrictions for Heather’s fabric use as articulated in their various forms to be mean-spirited and controlling. I would not buy fabric under those conditions.

    Heather’s name is value-added for her fabrics, which is why she gets separate mention from anonymous “for hire” designers who design the bulk of the fabric we encounter. When someone wants to buy some of Heather’s fabrics and make a little dress to sell on Ebay or a local flea market, she should be able to describe it accurately as being Heather Ross fabric, and mention Munki Munki in a way that does not fraudulently imply that she is that business. If this is a recurring pattern, Heather had better factor a retainer for a good lawyer into her pricing, because you do need to come down on people who are fraudulently representing themselves as your company.

    The fashion world, and other creative areas where talented individuals offer their wares, can be cut-throat. The moment someone gets known for their talent, you can guarantee that scores will rush to knock it off and sell it cheaper. It’s a given, and anyone who isn’t able to handle it had better find a kinder and gentler way of making a living.

    One aspect not mentioned here yet is that by selling the fabric that was used in her clothing line, Heather the wholesaler stands a chance of undercutting her retail business. She giving out the means to make knockoffs of Munki Munki clothing, in a way that means that home sewer will not buy the finished product from a retail source. Sure, sometimes a producer will end up overstocked with a raw material like the fabric in question. But getting burned that way is part of the learning curve of professionalism. Make bandanas out of it, or baby bibs. Or sell it as fat quarters, or two-yard pieces. But don’t mix the retail and wholesale fabrics, they should be kept apart. A separate line of Heather Ross home sewing fabric would be a far healthier way of serving both manufacturing needs and consumer needs.

    I’d have a little more sympathy if Heather’s Gnome fabric wasn’t such a blatant rip-off of the Gnomes motif designed by Dutch designer Rien Poortvliet which had international success for decades. The tall red pointy hat, blue jacket, and posture are what distinguish Poortvliet’s classic gnome.

    Heather’s Gnomes
    http://reprodepot.stores.yahoo.net/hrgny.html

    Rien Poortvliet’s Gnomes
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rien_Poortvliet

    Carol Maltby

  • October 19, 2006 at 8:05 am
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    Thank you, Anonymous, whoever you are! I love you!!! You are absolutely right, and that is why this whole thing is so darn infuriating. I am going to send your post to Cory right now.

    I’m sure he’ll be glad to see that you’ve come around. This is exactly what he’s been saying.

  • October 19, 2006 at 8:10 am
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    I’d have a little more sympathy if Heather’s Gnome fabric wasn’t such a blatant rip-off of the Gnomes motif designed by Dutch designer Rien Poortvliet which had international success for decades. The tall red pointy hat, blue jacket, and posture are what distinguish Poortvliet’s classic gnome.

    Oh wow, thanks for pointing this out.

    That’s kind of disgusting.

  • October 19, 2006 at 10:20 am
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    What has HR done to Sewzannes? All that legalease is crap. I don’t have time to sit and read it, and if I don’t agree then I’m not ‘allowed’ to purchase that fabric. You are telling me Suzanne did this to herself? I highly doubt it.

    It makes potential customers click away, and THAT is what YOU have done to HER business. If I go to my local quilting shop, I don’t have to sign a waiver to purchase ‘Heather Ross’ fabric.

    I don’t want a blogger account either. Heather is also posting an annon.

    The comment by RD that said ‘You really got us’ is childish and rude. Be the better person if you think you are correct. Don’t be reactive, be proactive. It totally turned me off from buying from that site.

    and no, i won’t buy Heather Ross fabric either. I’m not angry at all. Just sad that it has come to this. There is plenty of great other fabric makers out there who don’t freak out like this.

    And I did post a comment on the blog on the Repot Depot site, but it was deleted within an hour. All I said was “A lot of us agree with Cory”. If you don’t like to have comments, turn off that function.

    Karen Rameriz

  • October 26, 2006 at 8:29 am
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    I was a repeat customer of Repot Depot, I looked at the Munki pool fabric many times, always taking the “do not use for commercial resale” line as a legal threat.

    My solution was to find a place (eBay) to purchase the same fabric, at about the same price, who did not post that message. So the result of that comment only resulted in me finding another outlet so that I would not feel the guilt, and so that I would have an “out” in case the enforcer (!) came to my next Art Show.

    Once I got the fabric, it sat on the table uncut, while I contemplated using it for resale products.

    Now that this has all cleared up, I will: 1)Make lots of cute pillows 2)My friends will buy them for Christmas gifts, 3)I’ll get orders for more, and 4)I can go to RepotDepot to get my next batch of fabric. (only I noticed it’s not listed right now) 5)I’m happy, RD is happy, Heather is happy and my customers are happy.

    See what being honest does for all of us?

    Kathy Genet

  • November 7, 2006 at 3:26 pm
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    The warning does not say “Do not use the NAME Heather Ross on resale items.” It says you “cannot use the FABRIC for resale items.”

    Also, if you don’t want your name attached to your fabrics, use a nom de guerre or brand name instead.

    People will make things you like and don’t like out of the fabric – once you sell the fabric people are free to make what they want with it.

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