Gourd Art Enthusiasts

Dedicated to Gourd Crafters, Artists and Gourd Art Fans

Email that was sent on 3/6/2104  to all GAE members.  Offending photos may be removed at any time by GAE moderators - but please police yourselves and remove any questionable photos using copyrighted patterns or images that you may have posted on your page.

Your comments and further discussion on this topic are welcomed. 


Some of you may wonder why we don't allow gourd photos on the Gourd Art Enthusiasts website that include copyrighted artwork such as Disney, college mascots, etc. 

Today, our website was served with a legal notice of infringement pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).  In this case, the offending photo used a celtic pattern that was copied from an internet site and was used without permission.  Some of you feel like we worry too much about copying - but the problem is real, and if we don't monitor our own habits and usage, it may result in our site facing legal penalties or being shut down completely.

It is NOT ok to copy other people's gourd designs, use copyrighted patterns without permission, or to just assume it is ok to use something on the internet.  The offending photo has been removed, and a note has been sent privately to the person that posted it.  It would be a good idea for all of us to examine both the photos that we have posted, and to eliminate the copying trend that is rampant in the gourd world. 

Please be respectful of the ownership of designs created by others.  If you want to use a pattern or a design that someone has created, then you MUST write that person and ask for permission.  Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is there for you to use freely.  Read the disclaimers on websites and in books before you assume you can use the material any way you want.  Get in the habit of assuming you may NOT use this material for anything other than basic inspiration.  You may not use someone else's gourd art design just because you like it. That person worked very hard to create their original design, and when you use it without permission, it is theft of their intellectual property. 

It is a shame that our site had to be served with a legal notice to make some of us aware that copying is NOT OK.  Likewise, the images and designs on our website are the property of the person that posted them. Just because you see it on our site, doesn't mean it is there for your to copy their work.  Please practice good ethics and don't use other people's property without permission. 

I will open up a new discussion on the forum and I invite you to add your comments about this topic. I am hoping all of our members will read this email completely and will take it to heart when uploading photos or creating future gourd art.  If you have questionable work on your own page, please remove it immediately.

I will include below the main part of the notice I received from Ning, our web host, with names removed.

Bonnie Gibson - Site Administrator


*Material was uploaded or embedded onto gourdartenthusiasts.ning.com, hosted on the Ning platform, and was the subject of a takedown notice we received from 'redacted' pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). 'Redacted' has asserted ownership of this material and that ‘redacted' uploaded or embedded that material onto gourdartenthusiasts.ning.com without permission to do so. We have disabled access to this material at this time as described in our Terms of Service

Additionally, as stated in our Terms of Service, repeated incidents of copyright infringement will result in the termination of an account and may also result in disabling a social network if a Network Creator does not prohibit such conduct on his or her social network. We also reserve the right to terminate members, including Network Creators, suspected of infringing copyrights upon the first incident without further notice, at our sole discretion. We do not want to be put in the position of having to take any of these actions, so to help prevent us from having to take these steps, please delete from gourdartenthusiasts.ning.com, any additional material ‘redacted’ uploaded or embedded to gourdartenthusiasts.ning.com which you believe ‘redacted'  does not own the necessary rights within forty eight (48) hours from the receipt of this notice, and please take precautions to prevent your members from uploading or embedding additional material that they do not have permission to upload or embed.

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It was a straight copy.......Very different from just thinking alike.  

I am so sorry that this has occurred. Not long ago I had a discussion about copyrighted material with some gourders I know and they totally dismissed it as being wrong (meaning they did not think using copyrighted material was wrong). I will send this to all I know, not only gourdheads, but other crafters also. The more public ones work becomes, the more this issue will arise.

I would like to mention that I am a professional artist and the same rules apply to paintings.  On two occasions I wanted to paint something I had seen that was a photograph, I researched the photographer and they gave me permission to paint the picture as long as I gave credit to them on the back of the canvas. I am fairly certain that Disney will not allow anything to be used.

I'm sorry the site had to deal with the legal ramifications of copyright infringement. I was a graphic designer for years and this was something we had to respect as well. Many people don't think copying is stealing, and the Internet has, unfortunately, encouraged that mindset. The day you see one of your own designs copied and credit being given to someone else, you will feel just as violated as someone who has had their home burgled.

There are lots of places to get design ideas; Dover publications offers hundreds of books of copyright-free designs ata reasonable cost. There are also websites that offer the same thing. We just have to take the time to check before we use them. Be considerate.

 I have posted a couple of pictures of work that I did but I did not do the design.  I did have the ok from the designer of the design.  I was told by that person that I could copy the design and sell my work BUT I could  not sell the design.  Some others I paid for the design and had the ok to use it.  OF course some was my own work from start to finish.  SO  ...  Can a picture of work that you did with the permission from the designer, be posted?  Do you have to  SAY that the work  is yours and the design is from so and so with their permission?  Also I try to put on mine that the work is mine but the design is from where ever I got it.

Good question, Madonna. The answer is yes, even if you buy a design, it remains the work of the artist and he deserves the recognition. 

As long as you have permission from the person owning the copyright, you can use it and post photos here. It is always proper to give credit to anyone who provided you with your pattern, whether you paid for it or they allowed you to use it for free.  ie "thanks to Jane Doe for permission to use her pattern"

I recently was given a book with interesting designs and sketches, I saw that the author required approval before any part of the book be reproduced. I sent a message to the author and immediately received a reply, attached. Anthony.


Anthony, I was unable to open this attachment. Is there any other way you can send it?  Must be an AOL thing.

Anthony, I can't open it either and unfortunately, I'm too computer challenged to figure out how.

Anthony, If you Copy and Paste the text from your Email into a Word Document, then post the .doc, we should be able to read it. The AOL format it is in has not been decoded from an email to a .doc so we can't read or access as it is now.

I am rewriting the reply as I think it will be helpful, the author, Una Woodruff wrote "I would not normally give anyone permission to use my imagery in this way, but I'm assuming that you are producing one off hand painted gourds. I would allow this as long as you write somewhere on the art work 'from an original idea by Una Woodruff' If there is ant element of mass production or printing involved, then I would not allow my work to be used unless we have a licencing agreement and I am paid a royalty on sales"


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