What is Copyright

It is an accepted fact that Victorian Quilters Inc. Exhibitions promote the Australian Copyright Law.

Copyright laws are designed to protect the intellectual property and creative skill of quilt designers as well as their right of recognition of these skills, while ensuring reasonable access to the quilts by members of the public, whether they are individual members or members of a Member Group.

Quilt Australia supports our efforts with this important issue.

To assist the organizers of all VQ exhibitions to present a public display of a diverse range of quilts, it is essential that all entrants complete and sign the declaration section of the entry form. If this section is not signed your quilt will not be displayed.

The following items will assist you in defining the design source for quilts entered in VQ exhibitions.

Original design applies when no other person has any claim on the design. Example: you can claim copyright on the design and the design is all your own work – you have not used or been influenced by a quilt, art work, or photograph, or another person.

Traditional design applies when traditional blocks have been used that are regarded as being ‘in the public domain’. Example: Ohio Star, Log Cabin, blocks that are regarded as being “in the public domain”. You have however, made the choice of fabric, colour and layout settings for the quilt.

Version of someone else’s design applies if you have followed someone else’s pattern but made your own fabric choices and perhaps made variations to the design. You MUST name the designer and/or publication where you obtained the design.

Someone else’s design applies if you have followed someone else’s pattern and fabric choices. You MUST name the designer and/or publication where you obtained the design. This particularly applies to Kits and Block of the Month designs where fabric and pattern are provided and used as directed.

Displaying a quilt that is a version of another person’s design may be an infringement of copyright if the original designer is not acknowledged in the display literature and signage. Quilt designers must be given proper credit for their creative works, otherwise it implies that the person who made the quilt on display is the author of the original work and this would be in breach of copyright laws.

Making changes, even 10% is not enough to make your quilt an original design.

If your quilt is influenced by the artwork of a quilt you saw in an exhibition or a picture in a calendar, or anything over which another person can claim copyright, you should obtain permission for your work to be exhibited. For example, if you make a quilt using the design of a stained-glass window from your local church you should get permission from the church to exhibit your quilt and maybe even the designer of the window. A copy of this written permission MUST accompany your entry form.

The name of the maker as well as the design source will be published in the catalogue and on display cards for all quilted exhibited.

Victorian Quilters Inc. respect indigenous heritage and ask that entrants obtain appropriate permission before incorporating design elements derived from indigenous heritage into their quilts. For information about indigenous rights please refer to: Artists – First Nation, Australia Copyright Council, FACT SHEET G082v11, 2022, and Australian Council for the Arts, Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts, rev. 2019. Home – Creative Australia Requests and enquiries about reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts team: FirstNationsArts@creative.gov.au.

Trade marks and official logos should not be reproduced in articles for public display. For example: Harry Potter, Disney characters or football club logos are sensitive areas and require being covered unless the maker can account for the use.

Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any Australian Army emblem or flag. They are protected nationally and internationally by the Defence Act 1903 and the Trade Marks Act 1995. More information is available through the Using Army emblems pageArmy brand | Australian Army.

It is difficult to determine where quilting fits within the Australian Copyright Laws. Does it come under: Sewing Patterns legal protection (G039v08), Hobby Craft (G021v10) or Art Works (G086v03). Other important information sheets are: Craftworkers & Copyright (G73) Logos: Legal Protection (G028v12).

View the Australian Copyright Council’s website – www.copyright.org.au

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