Vintage Printing Blocks

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
Post Reply
kat
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:10 pm

Vintage Printing Blocks

Post by kat »

I'd like to find out where I stand with using old/vintage wooden printing blocks. Ideally I would like to print fabric and use it to make various items to sell.
Is this legal?

User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 2216
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Re: Vintage Printing Blocks

Post by AndyJ »

Hi kat,

We will need a little bit more information to be able to properly answer your question.

I'm assuming that these blocks were originally intended for printing patterns or designs on fabric. Do you have any indication of their age or perhaps where they came from? Is the pattern/design relatively commonplace - for instance something like leaves or flowers - or would you say they were in a more individual style, perhaps some sort of abstract design? Basically, the more generic the designs, the less likely that they will be subject to copyright as artistic works. And the reason for trying to guess their age is to work out, if they are/were subject to copyright, whether they are still in copyright today or if, because of their age, it can be assumed any copyright has now ended. Since I assume we will probably never know the name of the artist responsible for producing the designs, they would need to be at least 70 years old in order to be reasonably sure copyright no longer exists (see section 12(3) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988).

If it can be established that the design on the blocks is out of copyright, then using the blocks themselves to print on fabric would be perfectly legal.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

kat
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:10 pm

Re: Vintage Printing Blocks

Post by kat »

Thank you for that very useful information. The designs are generic floral and they do appear to be very old. I will try and varyfy that by looking into their providence.

User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 2216
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Re: Vintage Printing Blocks

Post by AndyJ »

Hi kat,

On that basis, I don't think there will be any problems using the blocks to print up your own fabric.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

Post Reply