I've started to ask the big pattern companies for permission to use their official product images on the site on the database pages and on people's stash pages.
While I haven't heard about anyone getting into trouble for using
official pattern images on their blogs, I do think that the database I'm
building provides some functionality that an individual blog
doesn't. Asking them before using their copyrighted images is really the most respectful and safe way to go for this project.
On the one hand side it's a bit scary to ask, but then again it will be good for the site to know how they feel and stand towards the issue.
It's not like a "no" to the use of the official images will be an unsurmountable problem. There are alternatives, they just aren't as simple and convenient for us as a community. :)
A "yes", or a "yes, under the following conditions..." would be very kind and helpful, though. It would mean that my sister can go all out tagging and categorizing patterns to make them easily searchable instead of having to take down images that are obviously in violation of a copyright as she witnesses them. It would also help us in the sense that being able to show these pretty images for stashed patterns, magazines and books will make things look a good bit more inviting.
Technically, the site leaves it up
to people adding patterns to make individual decisions on their own accord whether to upload a particular image for a particular pattern. We will not encourage people to upload images to which they have no rights - on the contrary, people will be required to check that they have the rights needed to use the images. We do not have the resources to research every single image for a potential copyright violation. I as a site owner will do my best to comply with the DMCA as well as international and EU regulations and processes regarding copyright infringement by users of the site. So, if you see an image on the site that is in violation of your copyright, I will ask you kindly to let me know so we can resolve the issue in a quick and painless way.
In the end it's up to the copyright holders to decide what can be done with their images. And we'll have to respect the choice they make. :)