Getting in a Tangle: Copyright & Public Domain

 Like many I'm somewhat bemused that *some* claim copyright to patterns they use in their doodles( or as some call by the trademarked term zentangles). Since I'm not claiming to be a copyright attorney please do check the US Copyright Office links, etc.  Many of the motifs/patterns have been used for centuries in various cultures. Just google Basket Weave Pattern or greek key pattern for example. Can't copyright to a pattern that is public domain, only on how it's represented.  In other words "how" you as an artist/blogger depict or present a pattern,like how I have in my sketchbook page or your book/blog/website entry about it is copyrightable, but a pattern itself isn't.


If you're just learning about doodling and can't get that zen going because you're worried someone might steal your pattern, or worried about using patterns and don't understand copyright/public domain I have some links for you. I highly recommend this book for reference purposes. Grammar of Ornament
free patterns
free art deco designs
Great reference ideas at 650+ Free Photoshop Patterns
All Free Download(not ALL are available for commercial use)

Copyright Links
United States Copyright Office FAQ's
Public Domain explained
Public Domain Issues Stanford University
Excellent article here  called FAQ: You Stole My Idea! ... or did you? (aka Copyright 101)

Hope all the info helps


copyright ©2011 Corrine Bayraktaroglu aka Jafabrit All rights Reserved

Comments

Michelle said…
Agreed 150%! If I were religious, I might've said Amen. There's NO fun (or Zen) in being completely paranoid about every stroke you do for fear of breaching some (imaginary) copyright or "registered trademark".

I came across this quote on http://artshineqc.blogspot.com. Food for thought....

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it".— Jim Jarmusch
Sherri said…
glad you wrote this up... i have researched it but never posted about it... i think it's sort of funny that these ZT folks are claiming copyrights and becoming offended and sometimes almost abusive to others who are using patterns without giving proper credit... whatever...

you have posted the same general ideas that i have found... the artwork created is copyrightable... not the individual patterns, strokes, colors, etc....

thanks for the post and the links!
JafaBrit's Art said…
thanks Sherri.
some people get really confused with copyright, public domain, fair use etc.

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