WeaveZine: an online magazine for handweavers—Archives

Copyright and Legal Stuff

First of all, my lawyer would be comforted if I start this all off by stating, for purposes of clarification: I am not a lawyer, the commentary below should not be considered legal advice; they are my personal opinions only (developed over a seventeen-year career as a professional writer, but still, not legal advice.) If you have questions about copyright, you should consult an attorney trained in copyright law.


What the heck is all this copyright stuff about?

It's about paying weaving teachers and designers fairly for their work. When a weaver writes an article for a magazine, they spend hours weaving samples, testing and refining techniques, putting that all down on paper, taking photographs, etc. It's only fair, then, that they get to benefit from that work. Sure, weaving is fun, but so is eating.


Are the patterns on WeaveZine copyrighted?

Yes. The content is copyrighted by the author, and the HTML layout and other editoral properties are copyright Warp Thread Media LLC.


What exactly is covered under copyright law?

A specific incarnation of text, images, and design. Weave drafts, by and large, are public domain. Weaving's been around for tens of thousands of years, and multi-harness looms for hundreds. If you can find a weaving draft published on handweaving.net, it's a good bet it's in the public domain. Even if you "invented it all by yourself" it's likely been done before. (There are exceptions to this, but they are rare, and typically the work of some of our bleeding-edge modern weavers.)

For example: An article gets pubished in WeaveZine featuring placemats woven with log cabin in 5/2 pearle cotton. It would be perfectly fine copyright-wise for you write an article elsewhere about weaving placemats in log cabin with 5/2 pearl cotton IF your text, photos, and design (colors, placement, etc.) were demonstrably different than the original (ie: your own work.)

It might be a bit "ho-hum, that's been done before," or "gee, those look a lot like the ones that Weaver A. published last year," but there wouldn't be a legal issue.


Can I print an article in WeaveZine for my own personal use?

You bet. It's a great way to document your project for your weaving journal. You are keeping a record of what you weave, yes? If not, consider it. From day one as a weaver, I've keep a log of what I've woven, with a sample swatch attached. It's a great learning tool.


Can I weave something from WeaveZine for myself or as a gift?

Yes, please do. And if it turns out, send us a picture.


Can I link to an article in WeaveZine?

You bet. We'd hope that you'd enjoy the articles enough to want to talk about them to your email buddies and on your blog.

An example of something that would not be cool would be creating a site that used iFrames to hijack WeaveZine content and present it as part of your site.


Can I make an item from a WeaveZine article and sell it?

No. Not without the designer's permission. Typically the author's email or website will be listed in the biographical information at the end of each article. Ask them. The worst they could do is say no. On the other hand, they might be flattered and happy to have someone weaving their designs commercially.


Can I make weaving "kits" or workshop notes that include print-outs of WeaveZine articles?

No. That would violate the author's copyright and take away hits from the website. In terms of generating advertising revenue, hits are WeaveZine's life's blood. Without advertisers, WeaveZine will have to shut down and that does no one any good. The good news is that WeaveZine is free, and old issues are archived online. It would be perfectly fine to make up a weaving kit of all the yarns needed for a WeaveZine project, and then include a link to that article in the project notes. Even better would be to contact the author of the article and work with them to create an "exclusive, enhanced" version of the project for your kit or workshop. (And then maybe even sell or advertise that kit through the WeaveZine marketplace.) If you get creative, you can do more and better business honoring copyright than breaking it.


Hey, I WROTE that WeaveZine article. Can I use a printout of the WeaveZine article in my kits and workshop notes now?

Technically no. You own the copyright of the material as you handed it off to WeaveZine. With that version, yes, you can create workshop notes. The part that gets tricky is the amount of work that goes into modifying that version for publication on WeaveZine. For a given article there might be: text editing; image modification, HTML coding; generation of WIF files, illustrations, photographs, audio, video and other intellectual propery. That's a lot of work to give away for free. That said, ask me. I'll have to consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.


Hey I [broke my loom/wasted a lot of expensive yarn/suffered deep and lasting psychological trauma] by following the instructions in a WeaveZine article. Can I sue you?

No. Because I'm about to say this:

The articles on WeaveZine are provided for educational purposes only. They are not an endorsement to do a given activity, nor a guarantee of a specific result. If the reader undertakes a project or action based on what they have learned from content on WeaveZine, they assume all risk. The editorial staff and authors associated with WeaveZine shall not be held liable.

We work hard to get the project details right. But we're only human, some errors are inevitable. Your best defense? Think about what you're weaving. Check our figures. You'll learn more and be a better weaver for it.


Are we done yet? This legal stuff makes my head hurt.

Yes! Enough about copyright and liability. Let's go weave something...



Syne Mitchell
Editor of WeaveZine