Reply by Chip

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Posted on Intellectual Property? Woodworking Plans and Selling

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1904 posts in 4087 days

#1 posted 03-16-2007 06:07 PM


You are getting into murky territory here. I owned a marketing firm for 25 years and we dealt with infringement concerning intelectual property quite a bit as pertains to photography, copywriting, illustrations and the such, all the time. The bottom line is always – how MUCH did you change it from the original? And sadly, that is always in the eyes of the beholder – in extreme cases generally a judge.

Also, I don’t think there is an issue for woodworkers here unless you take a plan and ramp up your shop to start producing a couple hundred of the items a week (you aren’t going in that direction are you? – laughs). Like in the music and stock photography business, many large companies have whole law firms out there checking for infringement on a full time basis. They are looking for the copiers trying to make a full time living out of infringement. I just don’t think even the Sam Maloofs in the world care or have the financial interest/assets if you make 5 of his rockers and sell them. Just don’t go into business making and selling his rockers full time.

One last point. As you mentioned, changing the original plan as you go along is an integral part of the woodworking process.

I would like to hear from others on this though.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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