The dos and don’ts of copyright

Enjoyed a great project, artwork, recipe or demonstration recently from a magazine, website or email and want to share with others? Stop! Sharing may be encouraged in many aspects of life, but when it comes to original material you enter the copyright minefield. Read on to find out how to navigate this tricky area.

We work extremely hard with our contributors to create exclusive projects and demonstrations for you to enjoy. Their creativity is the lifeblood of the content we bring you and the copyright belongs to the original artist/designer and/or the publisher/brand. Respecting copyright respects that creativity and ensures we, as publishers, can continue to provide you with the content you want.

What is copyright?

Copyright is an automatic right that protects a piece of work and dictates how that work can be used by others. As well as simply completing the project or recipe, ‘using’ a piece of work also includes the creation of derivative works i.e. a piece of work based on the original as well as direct copying including photocopying, scanning, filming and even copying by hand. 

Often there will be no specific copyright details published alongside an individual piece of content, but this does not mean that there is no copyright attached to this work. It is always best to assume that everything is under copyright protection and therefore only available for personal and/or non-commercial use as explained above. 

Copyright protects the way in which an idea has been expressed but does not protect such areas as types of stitching and painting techniques, neither does it include the concept of the finished article for example a three-tier cake or a greeting card.

If you have accessed the piece in question via a purchased issue of a magazine, a link on a branded email or owned social media platform, or via the brand or creators own websites you will have permission to utilise the elements of the project, artwork, recipe or demonstration for your own personal and/or non-commercial use without breaking any copyright laws.


It is essential to note that items are not copyright free just because they are accessible online (including social media platforms). You should also be aware that the sale or commercial use of any piece related to someone else’s work requires specific permission from the publisher/brand or the artist/designer and permission would only be granted in very specific circumstances. 

One more important thing to note is that non-response to a copyright request is not a legal reason to go ahe

ad and the act of trying to secure permission is not a suitable defence – if you can’t obtain permission then you do not have permission.

In short…

  • Copying the project, artwork, recipe or demonstration for your own pleasure and use is fine. However...
    • You must not make any part available to anybody else.
    • Should you decide to pass on your purchased magazine (print or digital) you would not be allowed to keep the copy you have made of the original.
    • This also applies to content that has been downloaded or accessed via unique branded links and cannot therefore be shared with anyone else in either printed or electronic format.
    • Projects cannot be used as a group-led activity or used as a basis for teaching either face-to-face or online.

The above covers every content format from print and digital publications to related brand platforms including websites, social media and emails.

In summary…

Using someone else’s work is all about respecting the rights of others, so even if you do get permission to use someone else’s work it is still courteous to give the creator credit for their own work as well as the source (magazine or website). Likewise, if you create a finished piece from a project or demonstration and post on social media, credit the original source and the designer... it’s only polite!

If you require more information… presents detailed facts in easy to access language and gives information on how to register and copyright your own work. very detailed and not such easily accessible presentation or language but does cover every conceivable element of copyright.

If in doubt, please ask!

If you do wish to utilise a piece of work in a way that requires permission, you should contact the relevant editor/brand with details of the piece of work in question and your particular requirements.