You’ve fallen in love with a pattern and everyone’s telling you that you “should make those and sell them — you’d make a lot of money.” But there’s some question in your mind about that — the pattern says “for personal use only” or maybe “for pocket money”. Maria explains what these terms mean.
You see a great project you’d like to make to sell for an upcoming craft show in a book or magazine and wonder if you are allowed to make it to sell. I’ve been warning you about copyrights and copyright infringement so you feel a little nervous about making the design to sell. Good! You are now thinking like a professional. And the professional thing to do is research whether or not you can use that design for more than just your personal use.
Personal use is implied for any project you buy or get for free (in a book, a magazine, a sewing pattern, or online). It means you can make one for yourself and, if you like, make one to give to your sister or friend. No money is exchanging hands. You are not going to profit from making the design. The deal changer is when you decide to sell the design in any form. You might want to make a few copies of the project instructions and use it to teach a class. You might make 12 of the item and place them on e-bay or etsy. You might kit all the materials for the project and sell them to others as a way to earn income.
Many publishers understand the fact that you might like to earn a little money from your creativity. It might be to support your crafting habit. It may be to save for a vacation. It might be to earn a living part or full time. Some publishers like Design Originals include a brief note in every book published saying that the designs within the book can be made for pocket money. What exactly does pocket money mean? It basically means that you will only create the projects by your own hand (not mass produced on machinery or by hiring 12 employees) and that you will limit the production. Publishers vary on how many of a specific design can be made, from allowing only 2 or 3 to allowing 100 to be made within a year’s time.
If you find the project in a book and do not see either a pocket money notice or a notice that no item can be made for sale (personal use), then you need to contact that publisher or designer for permission. Be specific. Let the publisher know how the items will be made, how many you intend to make, and where the items will be sold. Most publishers and designers just don’t want you to produce thousands of their designs by means of using a team of employees or machinery. If you reach this point, you are a manufacturer and the owner of the design should be compensated for their contribution.
By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert for FaveCrafts.com