Copyright Law

Quilt shops and auctions are sent cease-and-desist notices over copyrighted pattern


Image of The Light in the Valley quilt design from
the Almost Amish website.

Quilt shops and volunteer fire departments that auction quilts in fundraising “mud sales” in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County are being told they can no longer sell quilts with a particular design.

The design creates an optical illusion with a three-dimensional effect, Lancaster Online reports. Cease-and-desist notices say the design, called Light in the Valley, is copyrighted.

The copyright is owned by a company called Almost Amish that sells products on the Internet. The Light in the Valley quilt design can be seen on the Almost Amish website. Owner Ken Treadwell told Lancaster Online the company bought the copyright from an Amish woman who created the pattern and registered the copyright, but didn’t enforce it.

The story quotes quilters and sellers who are unhappy about the notices. Sylvia Petersheim, of Petersheim Quilts, Fabrics and Crafts in Bird-in-Hand, deemed the copyright “selfish.”

“I’ve been here for 30 years,” she told Lancaster Online. “I have had people copy off of my quilts right and left, and I never put a complaint in about that. That’s very, very selfish, especially if the quilts are going to mud sales and fundraisers.”

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