Hypotheticals About Embroidery Machines
Posted 10 May 2010 - 11:47 AM
So here's the hypothetical: Would items made on the machine described above (say, patches or something) be considered "art" for the purpose of sale at Acen's AA?
Would there be any more copyright issues with something made by embroidery machine than there are with items produced through more traditional means (like hand-drawn fanart or something)?
Keep in mind, fancy as embroidery machines like mom's are, they're still nowhere near an "industrial" machine -- it's just a home sewing machine sold for regular private use.
Mom thought she had a great idea, but I'm not so sure....
What're everyone else's opinions?
Posted 10 May 2010 - 12:33 PM
The embrodery falls in one of the more complicated areas of fanart in using pre-made or existing art for arts and crafts instead of drawing your own. I tend to view it from the angle of: "How difficult is it for you to create the fan peice in relation to the image?" or "What is the level of skill needed to do this?" (And keep in mind that this is for selling at a con, as opposed to for your own personal edifacation.)
For instance, if somebody were to say bake and decorate cakes. Hand decorating a cake requires an entirely different skill set than drawing so to get a proper image, they may have to use an existing peice of art. That I would deem okay. The same would go with things such as quilts (where you do a patchwork of an image) or rag rugs or if you were going to embroider by hand or carving a sculpture.
Crafts I wouldn't deem okay would be making buttons out of existing art or copying an image onto a peice of wood using a wood burning tool (which is essentially drawing but with a pen that burns wood.) unless you plan on doing something really wild.
For what you are doing, I would consider this part of the latter because you'll be feeding images into the machine which then does the work for you. I would recommend that if you did want to do this, do one of several things. 1) Create your own fanart (or find an artist to work with you) and feed that into the machine to make the embroidered peices. 2) Advertise your services to artists who would like to have their art embroidered onto something, like a patch. 3) Use the embrodery machine as one small step in a more elaborate crafting project, like plushies or a quilt.
But I really would advise against using existing commercial art as it gets a little too close to bootlegging for comfort. But as long as the image that is being fed into the computer/sewing machine is an peice of art (fan art or orginal) that you have permission to use and sell, in my opinion it should be okay from a general ethics standpoint.
Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:02 PM
There's a reason that the character sets for those machines have copyright symbols all over them, and are purchased separately. It's just too close for most companies to be okay with. Since it's treading close to "existing items" (there's a great potential for something you make to exist) and possible infringement (I would definitely NOT just use stock art you found) I would make absolutely sure that it is recognizable as fan art at the very least, and heavily suggest you do your own character art for it instead.
While my opinion is as staff - the DH reserves the right to make the final call on this.
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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:59 PM
So let me explain my reasoning.
I have looked into purchasing this type of machine (along with a decal maker for only personal private use) and unfortunately there is some major copyright issues that I can not reasonably over look for it to be allowed at the convention. That coupled with the fact that the machine is basically making the item for the owner and it is not a hand sewing machine, has me leaning towards no.
I fully understand that you would not intentionally violate copyright laws, or dance on the edge of them, but I can not take the chance of allowing it, in case someone decides to "make some extra money" and put us all in hot water.
Please understand I enjoy the idea, and in a perfect world I would allow it, but we can't take that chance since it would only take one accidental bad egg to ruin the cake.
Thank you for asking though, it helps since other people may have had the same question.
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Posted 11 May 2010 - 08:38 AM
Copyright protection in fan works is a sticky issue.