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TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454
Website

If you make teddy bears from different artists patterns and not your own, patterns from books, magazines, etc. and you sell them, how would you label them?
I noticed some definitions in my latest bear book as:

Artist Bear:  A teddy bear conceived, designed and created by an individual.

Artist Designed Bear:  The pattern was conceived and designed by one person, but created by others.

Bear Crafter: One who makes teddy bears using patterns that they have not created themselves.

I am sure it will be awhile before I design my own bear pattern. So if I want to sell the bears I have made from patterns out of books, kits, etc, I know the right thing to do is list the artists name that designed the pattern.  But to say it was created & sewn by me????
What would be the best way to word this? Any advice???

Thanks,

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Hi Tami,

I see several people have read the question but noone has yet to answer you.  So I'll jump in and hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong or better explain.

It is my understanding that you can NOT sell a bear or critter that you have made using another artists pattern without their expressed permission.  I think that most people who sell their patterns are doing so for your own personal use and not for the purposes of reselling.  There has been other conversation on this specific topic previously along with what is considered your own pattern and not an alteration of another artists patterns.

Someone jump in here...please.

I'll see if I can locate those posts in the "archives" for you.  I believe it can be a kind of touchy topic.

Nancy Tillberg discusses it quite thoroughly in her book "101 Bears To Make" and also on her website.  Here's a link... http://www.northcountryteddybears.com/G … yright.htm


Shantell

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Oh Tami!  This could be a prickly pear....... bear_cry
I'm just going to jump right in here.  Speaking as a bear artist I don't think it's ever a good idea to sell another artists designs.  Make the bears, perhaps as guides and practice, and give them away to family and friends instead and label them as an Artist Designed Bear crafted by Tami.

With practice you'll soon be designing your own bears.....I just know it!!   :rose:

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454
Website

Well thats why I was asking. hahahaha
It is a lot different in the doll world, you use Barbie, Gene, Tyler dolls and you use them as your canvas to create fairies, mermaids, etc.
They are still listed as artist dolls, OOAK, etc, but I didnt know
how is was in the bear world.

Guess I will have to get to work on designing my own pattern soon!

Today was my first day using the oil paints to shade my bears face
and it works great!!!  Just love the look!

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
TamiL wrote:

Artist Designed Bear:  The pattern was conceived and designed by one person, but created by others.
Bear Crafter: One who makes teddy bears using patterns that they have not created themselves.

I'm not even sure I understand what the difference is between these two.  Sounds like in the ADB, there is more than one person involved in the evolving of the pattern.  One person doing the thinking and designing, and the other creating.  Or is the one doing the creating, actually making the bear from the first person's pattern?  And if that's the case, isn't the creator in the ADB description the same as a Crafter in the BC description.  I'm so confused.

I started making bears for craft fairs (non-jointed, fabric bears).  Then I graduated to felt and jointed bears (ugh).  By the time I started using mohair, I was drawing at least 1/2 the pieces needed for a bear.  Drawing your own pattern isn't rocket science, seriously.  And most of these folks will tell you that.  After a bit you'll know what you like and don't like about the patterns you've tried, and you'll start "tweaking", and then move on to just drawing the whole thing. 
:hug:

P.S.  I'm nearly certain what Shantell said is correct.  Look though, to see what the terms are in the book or on the pattern.  Look for a contact name.  I did this with my early bears of cloth and felt.  One lady sent me a signed note/contract saying I could sell all the bears I wanted from her pattern for two years, for like $10.00 or something like that.  It wasn't a jointed bear, just a simple two piece little guy, and I only made a few for gifts, so it was money wasted anyway.

START DRAWING TAMI!  bear_thumb

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,639

Hi Tami,
    Yep, this is one of those topics that can get a person in trouble.  I have never used anyone elses patterns, so I've never worried about it.  I know people at craft shows used to buy Raggedy Ann Doll patterns and make the dolls to sell.  I think if you acknowledge the pattern isn't your own, you might be okay?  I wasn't a member here when the topic that Shantell mentioned, was discussed.  I'd be interested in knowing what the rules are.

                                                 Hugs,

                                                 Brenda

clare14 Country Bears
England
Posts: 3,066
Website

Hi Tami!!

I'm sure, like the rest of us, once you start designing your own patterns, you'll be hooked!!   I am, I have visions racing around in my head, and then when I find a pattern I like I can make a few bears from that same pattern, they'll all be different in some way, I generally do OOAKs.   Or I'll tweak it a bit here and there to make the next bear a bit different - it's amazing!!!   You won't be able to stop!!   And I KNOW you're going to be amazing too!!

The possibilities are endless......... :dance:  bear_wub

jazzyrags Jazzy Rags
nsw
Posts: 1,494

When i first start making to sell bears i found the patten i was going to use and rang the lady up and she said yes i could do it ,but i was told by someone if you change the patten by 10% it is yours i don't know if this is wright ,but i did chance the patten a lot now i do my own pattern but it was a stepping stone to designing your own bear you have to start somewhere ,

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
NY
Posts: 749

Hmmm, where to start. 

TamiL wrote:

If you make teddy bears from different artists patterns and not your own, patterns from books, magazines, etc. and you sell them, how would you label them?

Shantell and others are correct, the answer here is that you may NOT sell a bear made from someone else's pattern, regardless of how you refer to it.  In rare cases, the artist may be willing to give permission if you ask.  However, I think you will find that the vast majority of the patterns out there are for 'personal use' or 'recreational use', and sales of bears made from that pattern are strictly prohibited.

jazzyrags wrote:

i was told by someone if you change the patten by 10% it is yours i don't know if this is wright

That's a common misconception.  An altered pattern is a derivative work by my understanding, and still protected by the original artist's copyright.  It's a slippery topic!  The only truly safe (and honest) way to do this is to make each creation entirely your own, from concept and design through to the finished product.

Hope this helps!
Kelly

patsylakebears Patsy Lake Bears
Sydney
Posts: 3,442

I was told if you changed a pattern by 30% it could be classed as your own ...... but I have since learnt that is not the case ..... I was at a show once and the woman that was on the next table had a bear on her table and the lady who had designed the pattern for a magazine was at the show and she really told this lady that she was breaching copyright ..... the woman wtth the bear said she had changed something on the pattern,but hadn't even stated that it was someone else's pattern.... she was made to take it off the table ....

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

The only designer I've ever heard of who specifically gives you permission to sell bears made from her patterns is Rotraud Ilisch. http://www.rotraud-ilisch.de/, author of "A Bear of My Own". She does ask that she be given credit for the design.

Eileen

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,639

Okay, here's my question - when you see challenges given by magazines that several artists participate in, they always look sooooo different.  There are only so many ways to make a teddy bear and every one has their own style.  Unless it's a pattern that is obviously different like, maybe Jill Hussey or Janet Clarke, with a really unique stye, how is it possible to tell whose pattern was used to make the bear.   I'm sorry if I sound naive here, and I've alway protected my pattersn, but in all honesty I'm sure any one of us on this group could post one of our patterns with a challenge and they would look entirely different and impossible to tell which one came from the original pattern?  Am I making any sense? 
                                                  Hugs,

                                                   Brenda

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Hi Brenda,
You make a valid point.  There are only so many ways to draw a basic bear pattern, and yes, depending on the materials used one bear can look vastly different from another.  I suppose it then comes down to a question of honesty and integrity.

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

I think maybe you should keep your bears that are from other peoples patterns or give them to family... that is what I did with mine.. my mom and my mother in law have my 5-6 bears that I made that way... That would be my suggestion anyway bear_original  :hug:

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,639

Hi Aleta,
     I absolutely agree that it boils down to honesty and integrity.  I was just surprised that someone would insist that a maker take a bear off the table because she had used her pattern, if the seller hadn't even stated it.  How could she tell it was her pattern?  That's what I was getting at.   If someone used one of my push toy patterns or one my bunny patterns etc., I would definitely be able to tell, but I don't think I could be certain if someone had used one of my bear patterns, with everyone's styles being so different.

                                                Hugs,

                                                Brenda

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Anyone who knows the right answer, please jump in, because I am not 100% sure, BUT ...

Though she can't sell (shouldn't sell ... whatever) bears from anothers pattern, couldn't she donate them to a charity for an auction and write them off as a donation on her income tax?  She wouldn't have to advertise or write up anything ... it's just a hand-made mohair bear, right?

That might be a good solution for Tami ... if she's all out of nieces and nephews, etc., and is kosher to do.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Deb, Kelly will know more about this than me... or Nancy Tillberg herself, whom you can find at her website NORTH COUNTRY TEDDY BEARS.  She visits her forum with regularity and answers questions routinely.  Find her at:  http://www.northcountryteddybears.com/phpBB/

However...

... it's my understanding that, as Kelly said, most pattern makers explicitly forbid you to do ANYTHING that amounts to producing "income", that relates to that pattern.  So that would mean that you could NOT write such a bear off your income taxes... because there is financial gain for you in doing so.

I'm not sure about the charity angle -- if it was really and truly a "pure" donation -- but my feeling is that this would also get you into potential hot water.

If you're going to use another person's pattern, unless they explicitly state you CAN sell it or represent it as your own work, or both, I think the safest thing to do is keep the bear, or give it away to family or friend.  No sense getting yourself into hot water on this one.  Besides, it's fun to create patterns, and once you've made one or two using someone else's, it becomes a straightforward task to design one of your own, which you can tweak to suit YOUR tastes and preferences, and feel guilt-free about advertising and selling as "MINE!!!"

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,160
Website

Hmmn.  Crafter, maker, artist, designer ... too many labels!

I don't like the term 'bear artist', so always refer to myself as a bear 'designer' because that's what I do - design bears.  However, I also make them from start to finish myself, which makes me a crafter and a maker too ...

*Scratches head and wrinkles nose*  bear_tongue

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
Shelli wrote:

... it's my understanding that, as Kelly said, most pattern makers explicitly forbid you to do ANYTHING that amounts to producing "income", that relates to that pattern.  So that would mean that you could NOT write such a bear off your income taxes... because there is financial gain for you in doing so.

You're probably right.  I was just trying to think of SOME way for Tami to get back some of her expenses.  Thankfully, sounds like she's only made one or two bears.

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454
Website

Thats true Deb, I'm giving the one I'm working on now to my mom.
And one to my mother in law.
Then I will be at the drawing board to make up my own pattern.

Gezzzzzz all the supplies and materials cost so much to make
a bear , it will be nice to be able to sell a few along the way .  bear_original

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

I think the safest bet is to just keep your bears that you made from other people’s patterns because even if you do donate them it for charity, you still should give credit where credit is due and you should still contact the person and get permission to do it also… ya know what I mean?  Tami, I suggest that you keep your first ones or give them to someone close and then you can always see your first bears…. My mom has mine that way they are still around but I don’t have to look at them every day HA!!!

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

I agree with Shelli and most of the posters on here.  To play it safe and to be true to yourself get out some blank paper and a pencil and design everything from scratch. You will find lots of trial and erro along the way but  the satisfaction you will feel is amazing.  It is worth every effort.

Using patterns is great in the beggining to learn the "ropes" of how things work with bears but ultimately the goal is to design your own.  We are here to help! :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
NY
Posts: 749

Deb wrote:

Artist Designed Bear:  The pattern was conceived and designed by one person, but created by others.
Bear Crafter: One who makes teddy bears using patterns that they have not created themselves.

Nancy Tillberg would be the best person to ask, but I always thought of it like this.  An artist designed bear could include, under this definition, an artist designing a bear for a manufacturer to produce.  I don't think that would make a manufacturer a crafter, though.  A crafter would be someone who makes bears from patterns in books, purchased patterns, and so on.  I think the point she's getting at is that, by her definition, you are a 'bear artist' when you both create an original design and create the bear from that design.  As with all definitions, I know everyone has different interpretations though!

Shelli wrote:

most pattern makers explicitly forbid you to do ANYTHING that amounts to producing "income", that relates to that pattern.  So that would mean that you could NOT write such a bear off your income taxes... because there is financial gain for you in doing so.

Yes, I would think that would be the case.  If you really needed to be sure of course, check with your friendly local lawyer bear_original

Cheers,
Kelly

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413
Website

Everyone has a valid point. Lots of artists bears have similarities, that doesn't mean they have ripped off a pattern, let's face it unless a bear is a totally unique design it's mainly down to how the bear is finished off that defines it's individual qualities.
To my mind there is no point at which someone elses design becomes another persons simply because they changed some parts of it...to call something your own design you need, in my mind to start from scratch...if you take Elton Johns song and write new words to it....it's still his song.

I don't think I'd sell bears made from a pattern made by someone else unless you've got the artists express permission...that's the easiest way to go.

NancyL123 Nancy's Menagerie
New York
Posts: 113

I know this is a really old topic, but I just wanted to mention a couple of things. Since I'm new to bearmaking, but not new to designing craft related items, I knew that there was some leeway on what artists allowed, so even though the pattern might state not for sale, etc, it doesn't hurt to ask permission. I've since decided that for my first bear, I *will* attempt to design my own pattern, but only because I have purchased some, and dissected how pieces are done, and the whys for certain sections, etc.

Before deciding to make my own pattern, I emailed both Springtime Designs (Marilyn Jensen) and Pedigrees Royal, both of whom state specifically in their packaging that the designs were for home/personal use only. Both companies gave me permission to sell items made with their patterns, with the following conditions:

-Springtime Designs gave me permission to sell up to 10 of each design without additional licensing, after that, there would have to be another agreement made.

-Pedigrees Royal said it was okay as long as you didn't claim it as your own design, and if you state that it's a Lisa Pay design. Even better, is to tell them what pattern it was made from, as that helps them to sell more patterns.

For a bear artist, I know that you normally don't want to use another person's pattern anyway, but there might be an occasion where let's say your neighbor asks if you can make them a "whatchamacallit", and it may not be something you wanted to spend the extra time to do the pattern drafting on. She's not willing to pay your normal price for an original, but you like her, and want to help her out with her whatchamacallit bear_original If there's already a wonderful pattern for a whatchamacallit, write the designer, you might be surprised at their answer, no matter what the pattern might have written on it bear_original

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