Embroidery businesses and hobbyists can easily unknowingly break copyright laws when they share embroidery designs that they find online with others. Those who do embroidery can legally purchase embroidery designs, which often come with an invoice, phone support, and the required files from the stock site or custom digitizer. It is important to buy designs legally to avoid the implications of illegally downloading copyright products.
It is illegal to copy embroidery designs from the owners of the copyright. According to the Embroidery Copyright Software Coalition (ESPC), you must obtain permission from embroidery design owners to use their designs. Many embroidery design companies make significant investments in those designs and should profit from their investments. Once you purchase an embroidery design, you get the permission to use the design according to the agreement.
According to the Copyright Act of 1976, it is illegal to distribute copyrighted material. This does not only apply to embroidery designs, but also to embroidery software. Once you purchase embroidery software, you also purchase the right to use the application with your hardware.
Once you create a copy of a design whose copyrights you do not own, you are responsible for all copies obtained from the illegal copy distributed to other third parties. This includes print outs and embroidered designs made from illegally acquired or copied software. Also, you are still legally liable for the copyright infringement regardless of whether you change the design or not. In fact changing the design violates additional copyright laws as well as general tort laws. Copying or distributing copyrighted material can result in jail terms of up to five years and fines of up to $50,000. In addition, your equipment may be seized by relevant authorities.
Once you buy an embroidery disk, you only own the disk and not the details in the embroidery disk. The embroidery designs on the disk you purchase should only be used in specific ways. The only entity allowed to own the content on the disk is the copyright owner. Sharing the designs contained in the disk results in piracy, which is a punishable offense.
If you want to use embroidery designs available online, it is important to read the copyright statement on the website. It is your responsibility to understand the copyright stipulations because you cannot defend yourself for copyright infringements by claiming ignorance of the law. Some sites allow users to share their designs provided they make notes providing details of the design source. However, other websites allow people to use their designs for personal use. This means that distribution of such designs violates copyright laws.
Individuals can only share embroidery designs that they have digitized from original artwork. Other designers cannot legally share and distribute your embroidery designs if you copyright it. For tips and advice on creating your own original embroidery artwork or where to legally source designs, contact Affordable Digitizing.
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