Topics: Copyrights

Sometime ago you had an article about copyright laws concerning bead patterns. I just sold a necklace that I now see the author of the pattern says it has been copyrighted--not to use for sale--I am terrified, please help.
- Joan
A suggestion would be to contact the artist and let him/her know of your oversight and your new understanding going forward.

Copyright law applies to any work of expression as soon as it becomes fixed in a tangible form as in a finished piece of jewelry, sculpture or published work. Patterns should be used as inspiration and from there, something you add to or modify, creating your own unique design, especially if you will be selling your work. Only the pattern can be copyrighted, the stitch technique cannot.

Designs and projects found in the Gallery of Designs can be recreated for non-commercial educational purposes. Once you find an instruction sheet you'd like permission to use, please email for more information.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert

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