Can I have a web site that sells pages of patterns for sweaters, afghans, etc that I have collected from magazines over the years?

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Can I have a web site that sells pages of patterns for sweaters, afghans, etc that I have collected from magazines over the years?

I have numerous pages that have been torn out of magazines over the years. I am thinking of creating a web page and selling all of the craft materials I have collected during my hobby years. I thought I would sell those in packets of 5-10 pages for $3. Is this legal? Do they still belong to the magazine after all these years (approximately 20)? Because they were torn out, they may not have any magazine name attached to it.

Asked on June 13, 2011 under Business Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The patterns almost certainly would still belong to the designer of the sweaters; and in addition, basing patterns or materials on what you tore out of the magazine would probably be a violation of the magazine's copyright. Or, at least this would be the case if you intend on selling reproductions, copies, etc. of the pages torn out or of the patterns themselves; the intellectual property inherent in the patterns or pages would still likely belong to the companies. On the the other hand, if you are reselling the actual physical pages torn out, and not reproducing them, that is something you could do, since a person who buys a book, magizine, etc. can physically resell it.


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