Texas  |  Intellectual Property

Legal Question

Asked on: 3/05/13, 9:03 am

Someone that owns a quilting business has given me several quilts. His family has posted pictures of all quilts he gave me on the website they advertise quilts for sale. Can I ask them to remove all pictures of my quilts?

1 Answer

Answered on: 3/06/13, 10:20 am by John Mitchell

Based on the facts you have provided, I do not see any legal basis for asking them to remove them. You can ask, of course, but I don't see any basis for a legal recourse if they turn you down. You have listed your query under "intellectual property." Assuming that the quilts embody copyrighted designs, the owner of the work does not lose the copyright by virtue of giving you a copy (that is, a tangible object embodying the work). You are free to sell or give away your quilt, but merely conveying the quilt does not convey the exclusive right to reproduce the work or display it publicly via the Internet. See 17 U.S.C. 202, at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/202:

"Ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, is distinct from ownership of any material object in which the work is embodied. Transfer of ownership of any material object, including the copy or phonorecord in which the work is first fixed, does not of itself convey any rights in the copyrighted work embodied in the object; nor, in the absence of an agreement, does transfer of ownership of a copyright or of any exclusive rights under a copyright convey property rights in any material object."

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