Can I sell clothing items I made from fabrics that I purchased at Joanns and say they have copyrights?

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Can I sell clothing items I made from fabrics that I purchased at Joanns and say they have copyrights?

Reading this topic, I have found information about the ‘First Sale Doctrine’ that protects the items that I make from copyrighted fabric and sell. That the copyright owner’s control ENDS after he/she made the 1st sale to the manufacturers and because I am a later sale that means I can legally sell my products? Am I understanding this right? I want to do the right thing.

Also, what if in addition to the fabric saying is has copyrights, it also says that is intended exclusively for home use only? Will the ‘First Sale Doctrine’ apply as well?

Thank you.

Asked on March 3, 2016 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, the doctrine you refer to authorizes you to resell the items or fabric "as is"--without modifying them, incorporating them into a new or different product, etc. Unfortunately, the intellectual property (e.g. copyright) holder retains all their rights to adapting, modifying, using as the basis for new products, etc. the copyrighted material, and you cannot create and sell new products (e.g. clothing) using someone else's copyrighted material without their permission.


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