Copyright Confusion? What is a stamper to do?

Howdy friends! Remember the good ol’ days? We crafters would buy supplies, make crafts with them and sell some at a craft fair so we could go buy more supplies? Those were the days eh? But now it seems everyone is opening ETSY shops and stores online and selling their handmade items there which I think is fantastic…until you come to the subject of copyright. I have several people this week ask specifically about copyright, specifically if they could use their rubber stamps on cards for sale. Should be a simple yes right? Not always. Watch the video to find everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about crafting and copyright:

I asked my YouTube friends what they thought and we had a spirited discussion (you can read it in the comments section for this video on YouTube) and I found myself learning a thing or two. Did you know that there is a rule called The First Sale Doctrine that allows you to resell licensed items that you paid for. A lady had bough John Deer fabric from a fabric store and made crafts with it and a policeman confiscated all of them at a craft fair saying that you can’t sell copyrighted items…well she bought the fabric and was reselling it right? Hmmmm, there is a lot to think about there.

Here is the list of Angel Companies on the About.com Stamping forum, please chick through to a stamp company in case their terms have changed, I saw one that had. *An angel company is a stamp company that allows you to use their rubber stamped images on cards and crafts for sale. Each company has their own rules so be sure to check.

What IS subject to copyright:
original artwork (drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs)
books
performances (sound and video recordings)
song lyrics

What is not subject to copyright
ideas
techniques
utilitarian objects (clothes, furniture)
works of art or song lyrics in the public domain (please note, recording of old music are copyrighted to the performer even though the music is in the public domain, you cannot use the recording without permission)

See also trademark and patent law if you want to get more confused, or you need sleep aid.

Want to weigh in? Leave a comment!

Here are a couple of stamp companies with awesome Angel Policies that I mentioned in the videos but there are so many more. In fact most independent stamp companies are Angel Companies who would not dream of biting the hand that feeds them because if you can make money using their stamps you can buy more stamps!

Lost Coast Designs

About Art Accents/Art Neko (save 10% with coupon code Lindsay10%)

Hambo Stamps

Speaking of stamps I am in W. Springfield MA as you read this getting ready for the Heirloom Productions Rubber Stamp Convention happening this weekend at the Big E. I’ll be there all day Saturday so please say “howdy” if you see me:)

So, what are YOUR thoughts on stamps and copyright, please share your opinion and experiences in the comments section. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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