Copyright and Blogging

I’ve noticed a trend on quilt blogs lately that has me wiggling in my seat thinking, “NO, please don’t do that!” I should explain.

Acceptable

We all love to share when we find a quilt book that we love. We might blog about it and tell others why we like it and how fantastic it is. We might even show a picture of the cover of the book so people know what to look for. All of the above is perfectly acceptable blogging.

Posting the book cover is acceptable and not a violation of copyright.

The problem comes when you open the book and start showing pictures of the inside, particularly photos of quilts various people have made, without giving them credit.

NOT acceptable

Now, I can do this on my blog because this is my book and this is my quilt in the picture. But suppose it WASN’T? Suppose it was someone else’s quilt? If it were, I would have just shared an entire page of a copyrighted book with the whole world, free of charge. I would have violated the author’s copyright.

Posting the open book is not acceptable and could be a violation of copyright.

And what about the quiltmaker? Suppose s/he has a copyright on that quilt and gave written permission for the quilt to be in that author’s book? That’s another story.

Yes, I know there are people out there who are going to want to argue with me and split hairs about what is and what is not acceptable. I don’t profess to being the expert on copyright, but I do know that as bloggers and quilters, we need to think just a little more before we put something that is copyrighted on our blog.
How do you get around it? What if you want to share a book that someone has written with your blog readers? It’s usually pretty easy. You could do one of two things. 1) Contact the author of the book and get permission to include the book on your blog. When the book appears on your blog, tell readers that you have received the author’s permission to include a photo of page ___ of their book on your blog. 2) Put a photo of the cover of the book on your blog. Tell what you like about the book, give your own review-of-sorts, and then put a link to the author’s or publisher’s own website where your readers can go to see the book opened up and purchase it.
We all want to share with other quilters. That is our nature. Let’s just remember to do it the right way. Happy Quilting, Happy (and safe) Sharing!

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3 thoughts on “Copyright and Blogging

  1. This is true for songs also. I am working on a quilt that uses the title of a song right on the quilt. I wrote to the recording company, the musician and the composer. I found out that it is fair use to use the title of a song (like the book cover), but you CANNOT use the lyrics (like the inside pages of the book) without written permission from the composer. I was lucky in that I wanted to use the title. So there you have it…

    Like

  2. You are so on-target about this, Caron. I'm amazed at women, who would NEVER even THINK of stealing from a store, but who don't think it's wrong to copy patterns from a friend to save money. This issue needs more attention as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad to know that displaying the cover of a book is fair use. I usually try to give a link to it on Amazon too, then it's just a plug. 8)

    Thanks,
    Susan

    Like

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