Designer Rights-Free Tutorials-Collaborations

This is a tough subject, but I am feeling the need to address it-Designer’s Rights-Free Tutorials/Patterns-Owner’s Rights/Collaborations. Let me explain.

EDIT: I do not know exact laws. This is what I hope to achieve on a moral and ethical basis for myself. I cannot speak for others.

Designer’s Rights-I have the right to design a pattern and specify it’s usage. My patterns are published and I allow the customer to sell the finished piece with credit given to me. I have done this since I started designing patterns for sale. I did this because back when I started beading you were basically not allowed to make and sell, pretty much across the board. I had contacted one designer and expressed my wishes and she granted them, with credit given. I thought that was REALLY cool of her and I never even ended up doing anything with her designs…go figure. What I DO NOT allow is: teaching of my designs, reprinting and selling or giving away in any way shape or form. There are a few shops I have ‘agreements’ with to teach my designs, two of them and we are all fine with the arrangement.  I do not ‘advertise’ this, but if you are a shop owner that teaches and wish to teach my designs, feel free to contact me to see if the arrangement works for you.

Free Tutorials-Free tutorials from ME opens more doors. When I publish a freebie, there are pretty much NO rules on this. You can teach them and you can sell the finished piece. THE only thing I ask of any of my freebies is credit given and do not publish as your own.  Hopefully, you will also send someone my way in the process. This is not to speak of the wishes of others who have freebies.

Owner’s Rights/Collaborations-Occasionally designers are asked to collaborate with a shop owner or even a wholesaler. A design is made EXCLUSIVELY by the designer for that other business. This is the one place this gets tricky! A shop comes to me for a collaboration, they pay me or trade me goods for that, or whatever else works for the two involved. I design a piece and it is placed as a freebie for the general public from the shop. The collaboration exists for the benefit of the parties involved, generally producing a win-win in sales for both parties and customers to that shop. When something is made EXCLUSIVELY, it means what it says.  The free designs from a bead shop online or brick and mortar are not intended for other shops to use. Period.

That being said, there is gray area here. We do realize that other shops will profit from material purchase, most likely a local bead shop to you and you may gather a group of friends to sit down and do this piece together.  The IDEAL solution here is to contact a designer and work out some details for your shop. Make a trade, pay cash, whatever the two of you can decide on to benefit you both. That is the IDEAL! That is a win-win for both shop and designer.

So there it is.

On that note, there is a new Facebook Page in ‘town’.  Originating from Sabine Lippert


This hopefully will be posted in shops around the World 🙂 For more details, go to the link posted above.



7 thoughts on “Designer Rights-Free Tutorials-Collaborations

  1. This is all new grounds for me in terms of selling patterns and designs. I just recently started creating tutorials and grateful for the knowledge of designers such as yourself who have established a path to be followed. You echo my sentiments – great post and very well said. Thank you!

  2. I agree with…, however, the art business isn’t regulated like other fields, so I think this is always gonna be a problem. You cant sue anyone…., plus someone can take an idea and change it around and claim it’s theirs , which it is, but if you sell a tutorial or pattern and teach it, you have to take that risk….

    • I agree Betty! This will never be perfect. I have been ‘taking the risk’ for a long time now and most of the time it is all good. I have had bad moments though. LOL I think it is viable to put it out there though and let the customer/teacher/shop owner know where I, personally, stand and how I do things and how I would prefer them done.

  3. When you say “I have the right to design a pattern and specify it’s usage.” it is not clear where you think those rights come from. This is not an accurate expression of any legal rights, although I agree that if one recognizes a moral right beaders should voluntarily observe the restrictions you want to place on your designs. Once you publish a design copyright only prohibits others from making a copy of the pattern. Making a piece of beadwork from the pattern, or teaching a class from the pattern is not a violation of copyright. Most designers and beaders do not understand this at all.

    • Thank you Sharon! I should have said this is what I hope to acquire on a moral and ethical level, personally speaking. I by no means know for sure how the law works on this stuff. This is only what I hope for. I edited that post after I read your comment. Thanks much 🙂

  4. Nameless has a shop on Etsy. She has published many tutorials. She says that you may sell whatever you make from her patterns except you may not sell on Etsy. Now you know from me Chris that the chances of me trying to sell work I have made from someones pattern are pretty low, but, who knows, I might someday, in my next life, make something and try to sell it in my Etsy shop. SO I wrote and asked her for permision, and she said no because she was reserving that right to sell that necklace on ETSY for herself, IF she ever got an Etsy shop where she sold jewelry. Just tp say, I think that this is a bit over hte top, and I alwasy give credit to someone for there tutoial/work even if I just make my version with no tutorial involved. And I always ask their permission first.
    WHat are your thoughts??? 🙂 Pam

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