Folksy Ltd

Disney would have a field day on here

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #1

I searched ‘Frozen’ on here and ‘Disney’ - just those two simple words, entered individually in the search box, brought up a host of items that are in breach of copyright.

It’s quite frightening how many people either don’t know or don’t care about using these images…

(Diane Mc Kechnie) #2

you would think trading standards would be trawling the internet to fish them out

(Kim Blythe) #3

I know…I have an embroidery machine with Disney designs on but I keep them for friends and family only…
Any designs that I have bought I check their conditions before using them and only use from sites where I am allowed to sell items with their designs on…
It’s not worth the risk

(Minerva) #4

There have been quite a few messages in Forums and FB about that. Shops have been reported and closed down. I’m surprised some businesses are still unaware. They are just asking for trouble.

(Christine E.) #5

Some years ago I was chatting with a fellow stallholder at a craft fair. She sold glass paintings which were blatantly traced from Disney. She just said if she didn’t use the Disney images, she wouldn’t sell anything! I suppose Disney aren’t going to bother going after every little copyright-breacher, but it’s the principle!..

(Leanne Woods) #6

I suppose half the problem is that a lot of customers want to buy things that either don’t legitimately exist under a Disney licence … or they do exist but the company paid such an eye watering amount for the license that they churn out vague, barely recognisable crap that sometimes doesn’t have more than a sticker in common with the original movie in order to turn a profit … I mean come one, what self respecting little girl wouldn’t squee with delight on Christmas morning when faced with her brand new Frozen kitchen and matching set of hairbrushes.

I’ve made many a disney thing for Chloe over the years, gifts mind you I don’t make to sell but when she wanted disney princess dresses as a toddler but the licensed ones were so plastic they were practically self igniting or when she wanted a toothless and the ones in shops looked like Stitch had fallen in a bottle of Rit Noir what’s a girl to do:)

Maybe if big companies like Disney, dreamworks etc were slightly more realistic with their licensing fees or took a per sale percentage instead then more companies/small businesses/individuals could make toys and gifts that customers wouldn’t feel ripped off buying and kids would get things actually worth having instead of the same plastic crap from last year with a new sticker on it and all round people would be more happy.

Pipe dreams, aye, but as long as that isn’t the case there will always be customers who want to buy things that shouldn’t exist or better quality versions (or even cheaper quality versions each to their own) of things that do and there will always be sellers willing to risk supplying those customers.

(Claire Davis) #7

That’s the risk isn’t it - there are so many that they can’t possibly catch everyone, but they are shutting some down and it’s a massive risk if they do catch you. There was one story going around on facebook where a lady even had her sewing machine and scissors etc confiscated by the court because she used them do do the work that she was in trouble for!

It actually makes me quite cross when some people are blatently disregarding the rules that most others try and keep. I could put ‘frozen’ on some of my listings to try and get found in the search but I wouldn’t dare!

(Denise Milward) #8

I confess to using the word “frozen” but applying it to items that are intended to look cold and icy is difficult to avoid. I think the big companies need to be more flexible when their products use common words like this. I went out of my way to avoid using Harry Potter references initially but sometimes it’s impossible not to use associated words or phrases. Some years ago I managed to get in touch with
LucasArts and had a reply basically approving my designs (cross stitch teddies) but it was very difficult to find the right people to ask. Perhaps limited permission to use ideas could be brought in universally for small crafters, but the definitions thereof don’t bear contemplation. When you’ve got multinational companies selling non-official merchandise and who don’t get picked up it makes me wish for a better way for people who are not making mega profit to legitimately ride with them. Like it or not, bandwagons are here to stay and I don’t think anyone here can just ignore them. Something along the lines of “###-style” or “tribute to ###” would perhaps help things. Any ideas ?

(Liz Clark) #9

I think a lot of the time it is sheer ignorance of copyright law. Then there will be ones who will ignore that law for their own gains. If I think someone genuinely wouldn’t know what they were doing could end them up in hot water I’ll let them know. But if they ignore that or whatever I’ll leave them to it. For example the Tube map of London is protected (I know as used to temp in a design dept on a London Underground project) but people can and do still use it. I let the person know but got a bit of flak for it. Sometime the messenger can get shot. :frowning:

I think those who flout the law should think how they would feel if they came up with an original design that was a money spinner for them, and then someone copied it and dented their profits.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #10

It really annoys me when people have been told they are in breach of either copyright or Trademark and just shrug their shoulders or try to make excuses.

I just then refer to them as knock off artists as that is what they are and rogue traders not legal businesses. I no longer have any patience with those who insist on trading on the coat tails of others.

What I do have is empathy for those who do it without understanding what they are doing is illegal and I’m more than willing to assist with pointing them it the right direction as I would hate for someone to get caught out simply because they didn’t know.

It’s the blatanted I don’t care brigade, the oh well I’ll never get caught brigade and the its not fair I’m only a little seller brigade that I have a problem with. As these are the ones that bring down a site and give a site a bad business reputation as a site for knock off’s,

When a site gets a bad reputation it makes it hard on those who run a legal business following all the relevant laws/rules.

(Kim Blythe) #11

One of my local fabric shops had some lovely ‘Frozen’ fabric in stock. I asked the shop owner if I was allowed to make items with the fabric and sell them…she said it was a definite no…the bolts of fabric actually come in with a notice saying items made with the fabric cannot be sold, and that also applies to most Licensed designs.

(Planeteventsdirect) #12

I wonder if its just some sellers just hoping to capitalize on christmas sales?
It certainly isnt a risk I would take!

(Planeteventsdirect) #13

Thats correct @KBCreations when fabrics are under licensed copyrights, it will be indicated along the white edge of the cloth…this means that you can use it for your own personal makes, but not for reselling of made up items.


(Matt Underwood) #14

These people are clearly taking the Mickey :wink:

(Christine Shephard) #15

With regard to fabrics, there have been numerous discussions in the US about using copyright fabrics for items that are made to sell, and countless articles written clearly stating that the copyright owner has no control once the fabric is sold, regardless of what they choose to print on the selvage.
Here’s one article that explains it quite well:

This is of course based on US copyright rules, not UK ones, so it may not apply to UK designs in the same way. Whether people want to risk having to defend their use is up to them, but I can’t see what difference it makes which fabric you use - unless it’s your own design, you’re still using someone else’s, so why are some allowed and not others?

(Liz Clark) #16

It’s really down to the designers of the fabric to decide how they want their designs licensed. For some it won’t be an issue at all and they’ll be very happy to let anyone use the fabric and sell makes from it. Others are not so happy, they have a brand they wish to protect and want to control the end product and how it may reflect back on them.

I remember contacting various fabric designers like Michael Miller and Alexander Henry, Liberty and Cath Kidston. Michael Miller have restrictions on two fabrics (Cynthia Rowley and Flower Fairies) but the rest they are OK for anyone to use. Alexander Henry were fine, as were Liberty. Cath Kidston I had a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over where they said yes, then no, then yes again but has to be described in a certain way.

As you rightly point out it’s big discussion in the US with the argument being that there is nothing in law to stop anyone using the fabric, and as you say, UK law is different. I personally would not wish to be taken to court over it as a kind of test case, I just don’t have the money so would back off if I received any cease and desist letter.

(Bojanglies) #17

We did a market recently which stated that no one could sell Disney unless they had a licence, and people would be coming to check…
The stall next to me was selling Frozen-inspired bracelets, with a picture of the Princesses. I advised them of the rules, and they covered it up, just in case - but left the sign saying “Frozen Bracelets”. We had a bit of a chat about what they could get away with - can the mighty mouse claim ownership of the word “frozen”? (In this context, probably!) Can we get away with “frozen - inspired”? “Frozen themed”?
I was selling my frozen-esque bracelets - pale turquoise with an icicle, but it was generic enough not to be a problem (And I hadn’t made any claims about them)
Disappointingly there was no Disney inspection that day!

(Kim Blythe) #18

There is an interesting discussion about this on a sewing forum, although it’s a couple of years old…


(Christine Shephard) #19

I think half the problem is that makers insist on using the name of the designer/character/film in order to get more sales, rather than just using the fabric. That’s ‘piggy-backing’ on someone else’s success/fame in order to make money, and that’s just wrong, so I’m not surprised some designers are getting a bit huffy about it.

It suggests to me that the item would not sell on its own merits if you have to use someone else’s name to get it noticed.

Mind you, I have used William Morris’s name on a couple of my items (cushions made from his fabrics), which is the same thing really, but maybe they’re old enough to not worry about too much! I’d like to think he wouldn’t mind anyway, especially as they are handmade.

(Christine E.) #20

I’ve been “inspired by” William Morris, Voysey and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, although I do adapt their work to be made in pewter. They are long out of copyright and in ‘the public domain’. Don’t think they’re as attention grabbing as Disney, anyway, and they’re not likely to come after me (looks over shoulder anxiously)…