My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.

Have a question or want to show off your project? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Hello everyone, my name is TJ
I'm fairly new to embroidery‹ just started doing it within the past year
(i come from  a graphic design background).  I love it, and I have going
a bit crazy digitizing everything i can get my hands on.  I embroider
non-traditional designs from old woodcuts to the front page of the NYT
(turned out pretty cool by the way).  

I am not in the business of selling my embroidery designs‹rather‹i give
them away (i make my living as a print designer).

I am also an intellectual property lawyer who works pro bono for arts
related non- profits and for individual artists who may not otherwise be
able to afford a lawyer to look over their contracts.

I have had a policy for the last 10 years of providing the 'source
files' from my graphic design work for free to those who might want to
use them in their own works.  You only live once, and its fun to see
something you started used again and again in surprising and interesting
new ways.

Since starting machine embroidery, I do the same thing with my designs
and alphabets i create.  I didn't think that anyone would mind... in
fact, i get emails from people i have never heard form thanking me for
making them available.  Most of the designs i see that are being sold
are pretty predictable and a bit too cute for my taste‹well crafted‹ but
not really to my taste.  I figured there were loads of people like me
who wanted to embroider less traditional motifs. So i started creating
some for "us."

well, that is until "some ESPC members"  who make a living creating
embroidery designs found out what i was doing... (keep in mind I didn't
even have a website with free designs on it-- they just spread from one
person to the next).

Evidently the ESPC or ESPC members do not feel that my offering of
source files is beneficial to their businesses..  Rather then compete by
creating a better product (like something other then snowmen and holly
hobby picking daisies) , they have decided to try and bully me. and to
accuse me of 'stealing their designs.'  (actually we used some of the
same source material that is in the public domain)  

For example:  when I scanned and redrew an alphabet (from Dover royalty
free) and then created a nice embroidery alphabet from it and GIVE it
away... that cuts into the business of ... oh lets say Overpriced
Embroidery-R-Us's bottom line when they too  scanned the same alphabet
from Dover and made (in my opinion) a far inferior and soppy version of
the same images (and charged $45 bucks to boot).

Thats when I started getting letters from the ESPC. I wrote them three
times 'begging' them to please sue me already.  There is nothing i would
like better then to present my well crafted designs and place them next
to their member's sloppy hack jobs to prove that mine are in fact
original and do not in any way violate the copyright act--and then
collect my lawyer's inflated fees from them for the pleasure.

This has been an interesting education for me. I love this craft!  
Everyone has been wonderful and so accepting of me since i started.  I
could not have learned as much as i did as quickly as I did without the
support of the machine embroidery community‹ (even when they think my
designs are a bit 'out-there').

I thank you for not laughing when i realized that "notions" was not a
brand name for  thread...


Funniest thing just started happening... at night, my fax machine
sometimes malfunctions and continually dials the ESPC's 1-800 number....
over and over and over and over... (its 1-888-921-5732 by the way)



cheers!

TJ

website with new (free) designs will up by the end of summer...

--
Posted via NewsDemon.com - Premium Uncensored Newsgroup Service
      ------->>>>>>http://www.NewsDemon.com <<<<<<------
Unlimited Access, Anonymous Accounts, Uncensored Broadband Access

Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
TJ ODonnell wrote:
...
Quoted text here. Click to load it

...

Interesting that they should pick on your alphabets. Letters of the
alphabet are one of the only kind of design that can NOT be protected
by copyright in the United States.  Names of alphabets/fonts/designs
can be trademarked, and computer implementations such as actual font
files, specific sets of nodes, and stitch files can be protected.

The rationale in the US is that the alphabet itself is open, and
specific designs that represent it are merely interpretations.

Here is an abstract from the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, 1997

"By law, type designers in the U.S. cannot protect their work by
copyright. Currently, copyright law is meant to protect the expression
of a creative idea; it does not cover any object or design that is
intrinsically utilitarian, which the Copyright Office considers type
fonts to be. The Copyright Office will, however, protect the software
as a literary work that creates the font. The Copyright Office still
requires that no claim be made for the actual design of the font."

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LAWYER - copyright or otherwise!

   - Herb

Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Oh ya- i know! its funny-  no they are accusing me of using their
"designs"  (i digitize from the same sources)....

I find it interesting especially when so many of the ESPC members use
commercial typefaces to create their embroidery typefaces (technically
that is illegal in the US).  In fact, someone on this board (will remain
nameless) has her faces promos on this board and they are taken from
truetype fonts- commercial - I can tell she did not draw each of those
letters herself- (BYB that is also technically a violation of the font's
licensing agreement). but to each there own ---

--
Posted via NewsDemon.com - Premium Uncensored Newsgroup Service
      ------->>>>>>http://www.NewsDemon.com <<<<<<------
Unlimited Access, Anonymous Accounts, Uncensored Broadband Access

Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.

...snipped...
~
~I find it interesting especially when so many of the ESPC members use
~commercial typefaces to create their embroidery typefaces (technically
~that is illegal in the US).  In fact, someone on this board (will remain
~nameless) has her faces promos on this board and they are taken from
~truetype fonts- commercial - I can tell she did not draw each of those
~letters herself- (BYB that is also technically a violation of the font's
~licensing agreement). but to each there own ---

So how do you know which fonts are commercial typefaces and why are they
copywrited when other
fonts cannot be?


--
Sew Savvy
Machine Embroidery Designs
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
Sew Savvy wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

ALL fonts can be copyright protected, regardless of whether they're
commercial or free. Many free fonts are created whose copyright notice
states that the author has waived all protection rights, or has
maintained a limited subset of those rights, such as restricting sale
or commercial use, but allowing copying and restribution.


BTW - the word is copyright, not -write.  It's the right to copy.

First of all, just about everything is subject to copyright
protection, including your email message and this response. Letters of
the alphabet are unique in that the US courts and copyright office
have determined that the shapes of the letters - designs - of the
alphabet cannot be copyrighted, because they are utilitarian and
common and different designs are just variations on an already
established, public domain concept.  Shapes that are NOT alphabetical
CAN be copyright protected; this includes photographs, cartoons, works
of art etc.  There are many gray areas. Is a font consisting of Mickey
Mouse in various poses representing letters of the alphabet an
infringement of Disney's copyright or a free expression of the
alphabet? Who knows!

Now back to your question.  The IMPLEMENTATION of a design can be
copyrighted; That is, the actual outlines and their determining node
points, the font file itself, and any software internal to the font
can be protected.  If you were to decide to look at a
copyright-protected commercial  font, draw it by hand, scan your
drawing, and make a font or embroidery design from it, you have not
violated the copyright, since the © applies to the implementation, not
the design. (Don't name it the same either - font NAMES can be
trademarked and copyrighted, and some DESIGNS have been PATENTED. It's
complicated)

In the European Union, however, it's a totally different story.
Alphabet DESIGNS CAN be copyright protected, so it's not legal to
create your own version if it looks the same. Another gray area - at
what point does something stop looking the same ...

  - Herb


Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.

~Sew Savvy wrote:
~
~> typed:
~>
~> ...snipped... ~ ~I find it interesting especially when so many of
~> the ESPC members use ~commercial typefaces to create their
~> embroidery typefaces (technically ~that is illegal in the US).  In
~> fact, someone on this board (will remain ~nameless) has her faces
~> promos on this board and they are taken from ~truetype fonts-
~> commercial - I can tell she did not draw each of those ~letters
~> herself- (BYB that is also technically a violation of the font's
~> ~licensing agreement). but to each there own ---
~>
~> So how do you know which fonts are commercial typefaces and why are
~> they copywrited when other fonts cannot be?
~
~ALL fonts can be copyright protected, regardless of whether they're
~commercial or free. Many free fonts are created whose copyright notice
~states that the author has waived all protection rights, or has
~maintained a limited subset of those rights, such as restricting sale
~or commercial use, but allowing copying and restribution.
~
~
~BTW - the word is copyright, not -write.  It's the right to copy.
~
~First of all, just about everything is subject to copyright
~protection, including your email message and this response. Letters of
~the alphabet are unique in that the US courts and copyright office
~have determined that the shapes of the letters - designs - of the
~alphabet cannot be copyrighted, because they are utilitarian and
~common and different designs are just variations on an already
~established, public domain concept.  Shapes that are NOT alphabetical
~CAN be copyright protected; this includes photographs, cartoons, works
~of art etc.  There are many gray areas. Is a font consisting of Mickey
~Mouse in various poses representing letters of the alphabet an
~infringement of Disney's copyright or a free expression of the
~alphabet? Who knows!
~
~Now back to your question.  The IMPLEMENTATION of a design can be
~copyrighted; That is, the actual outlines and their determining node
~points, the font file itself, and any software internal to the font
~can be protected.  If you were to decide to look at a
~copyright-protected commercial  font, draw it by hand, scan your
~drawing, and make a font or embroidery design from it, you have not
~violated the copyright, since the © applies to the implementation, not
~the design. (Don't name it the same either - font NAMES can be
~trademarked and copyrighted, and some DESIGNS have been PATENTED. It's
~complicated)
~
~In the European Union, however, it's a totally different story.
~Alphabet DESIGNS CAN be copyright protected, so it's not legal to
~create your own version if it looks the same. Another gray area - at
~what point does something stop looking the same ...
~
~  - Herb

Thank you for your detailed response Herb, it's all clear now.  At least as
clear as you can get
when looking at gray.  Yes, copyRIGHT (forgot to slow down the brain to keep
speed with the
typing  fingers).

I was considering digitizing some fonts, but was concerned about some of them
being copyrighted.


--
Sew Savvy
Machine Embroidery Designs
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
Sew Savvy wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
That should be no problem. Just remember not to name them the same.
Some foundries, like Linotype, guard their trademarked names such as
Helvetica zealously. It's not really important whether they'd win
their cases or not, but they make things VERY difficult for anyone who
produces a font named, for example, Smellvetica.  It's OK to have a
note somewhere saying that this is based on whatever, or similar to,
or took inspiration from, etc.


Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
the design of the face is not copy protected, the CODE in the truetype ,
postscript or opentype font IS.  SO.. if you use a commercial typeface
you are breaking the license of the manufacturer (programmer) of that
face.  Does that make sense?

If you drew the face (say in illustrator or by hand thats fine-- letters
are not protected by copyright.  




Quoted text here. Click to load it

--
Posted via NewsDemon.com - Premium Uncensored Newsgroup Service
      ------->>>>>>http://www.NewsDemon.com <<<<<<------
Unlimited Access, Anonymous Accounts, Uncensored Broadband Access

Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
TJ ODonnell wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Not to me; it's no more violating the license than is using a
commercial font to print text on paper, or using it directly (without
creating an intermediate design) with an embroidery program that
interprets the fonts.

You are not doing anything with the code that's outside of the normal
use of the font. You're neither copying the code nor even copying the
points that make up the outline. Your embroidery program is, in effect
doing exactly what you would be doing manually if you chose to copy
the letters by hand.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

To put in another way ... I can open Artista to create a design, and
add text using Helvetica. Do you see any problem with that? And if the
design is only text? Still no problem? And if the text consists of
only one letter?  By your interpretation, the last would be illegal
but the others legal.  Now let's take it one step further - that text
design I created, which we all agree (I think) is OK - break it up
into its component letters ...  oh well, you see where I'm going.

And since neither of us are copyright attorneys, it's all probably
moot - except that in your position, I'd be equally leery of doing
anything at all questionable unless I was prepared to take the time
and money needed to take things to court.

  - Herb

Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.

~TJ ODonnell wrote:
~
~> the design of the face is not copy protected, the CODE in the truetype ,
~> postscript or opentype font IS.  SO.. if you use a commercial typeface
~> you are breaking the license of the manufacturer (programmer) of that
~> face.  Does that make sense?
~
~Not to me; it's no more violating the license than is using a
~commercial font to print text on paper, or using it directly (without
~creating an intermediate design) with an embroidery program that
~interprets the fonts.
~
~You are not doing anything with the code that's outside of the normal
~use of the font. You're neither copying the code nor even copying the
~points that make up the outline. Your embroidery program is, in effect
~doing exactly what you would be doing manually if you chose to copy
~the letters by hand.
~
~> If you drew the face (say in illustrator or by hand) thats fine-- letters
~> are not protected by copyright.  
~
~To put in another way ... I can open Artista to create a design, and
~add text using Helvetica. Do you see any problem with that? And if the
~design is only text? Still no problem? And if the text consists of
~only one letter?  By your interpretation, the last would be illegal
~but the others legal.  Now let's take it one step further - that text
~design I created, which we all agree (I think) is OK - break it up
~into its component letters ...  oh well, you see where I'm going.
~
~And since neither of us are copyright attorneys, it's all probably
~moot - except that in your position, I'd be equally leery of doing
~anything at all questionable unless I was prepared to take the time
~and money needed to take things to court.
~
~  - Herb

I'm not a legal expert either.  But let me see if I understand this... as long
as you did not
use the font with malice and did your due diligence in determining that the font
was not a TM,
would that not suffice?  (Did I get the wording right TJ?)  We are also not
talking about
selling a CD of TTF's for sale.  So if we use a font as a basis to "digitize" an
alphabet or a
series of words/phrases and then offer the digitized designs for sale, we are
not in violation.
Right?


--
Sew Savvy
Machine Embroidery Designs
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
Sew Savvy wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

TM?  Whatever it is, there should be absolutely no need to analyze the
font's legal status at all.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's my take on it.

If you look at the library of alphabets offered by such stalwarts as
Embroidery Library, Keepsakes Embroidery, A.B.C. embroidery fonts, and
all the others, just about ALL of their plain alphabets are simple
digitizations of other people's copyrighted fonts.

  - Herb

Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.

...snipped
~
~TM?  Whatever it is, there should be absolutely no need to analyze the
~font's legal status at all.

TM=Trade Mark.  Like Coca-Cola.  I believe they have the font and the word
trade-marked.
An exception to the rule perhaps?  I think you can use the font but not if you
use it to spell
out the words "Coca-Cola".

~
~> would that not suffice?  (Did I get the wording right TJ?)  We are also not
talking about

~> selling a CD of TTF's for sale.  So if we use a font as a basis to "digitize"
an alphabet or

a
~> series of words/phrases and then offer the digitized designs for sale, we are
not in

violation.
~> Right?
~
~That's my take on it.
~
~If you look at the library of alphabets offered by such stalwarts as
~Embroidery Library, Keepsakes Embroidery, A.B.C. embroidery fonts, and
~all the others, just about ALL of their plain alphabets are simple
~digitizations of other people's copyrighted fonts.
~
~  - Herb

Thanks, you've been helpful.


--
Sew Savvy
Machine Embroidery Designs
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: My ESPC adventures.... for what they are worth.
Sew Savvy wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes, Logos are a different story entirely.  There is no Coca-Cola
font. The company has been lax in enforcing its copyright, so a number
of pseudo-fonts have been created, such as "Loki-Cola".

A particularly loathsome example of enforcement had to do with a font
based on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", where Fox gave the author of the
font "Buffy" a VERY hard time.

  - Herb

Site Timeline