Copyright Policy

Copyright of Artistic Craftsmanship


The work of Olivia Torma comprises original works of artistic craftsmanship proudly handmade in Australia.

In Australia, works of artistic craftsmanship are protected by copyright for the life of the creator + 70 years (see Duration of Copyright Information Sheet below for information). Copyright protection of Olivia Torma’s original works are identified by the label “© Olivia Torma 2020”, or other years as required.


Australia is a party to the following international copyright conventions:


  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention)
  • World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).


Original works created by Australian citizens or residents are also entitled to the protection given by the copyright laws of all countries which belong to the Berne Convention and TRIPS Agreement (source: Attorney-Generals Department, Australian Government).


Creative Commons


Content on this web site “” is protected by the following limited Creative Commons License.


All original content published on this site may be distributed and transmitted without alteration for non-commercial use provided that the work is disseminated and attributed in the following manner:

“Original work created by Olivia Torma – The Vintage Couturiere”


The work may NOT be used for commercial purposes and NO derivative works are permitted, that is, you may not alter, transform or build upon this work.


Olivia Torma may agree to waive the Creative Commons conditions upon request. Please send an email to [email protected] outlining your request, intended use and waiver requirements.

For more information about the Creative Commons License please refer to:

Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs 3.0 Unported License.


Copyright of Historical and Vintage Patterns


We research and source historical and vintage clothing and accessory patterns from reputable pattern publishers and collectors worldwide. The patterns collected represent clothing and fashion history spanning the 18th Century to the 1960’s. This means that a lot of work has gone into researching, preparing and reproducing them for modern day wear and use.


The majority of patterns we reproduce were originally published in the United States. We have researched copyright law in the United States for clarification on the use of clothing and accessory patterns. The following observations are made:


– page 2 of Circular 40 titled “Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts” published by the United States Copyright Office, defines clothing as a “useful article” as it has an intrinsic utilitarian function and as such, copyright in a work that portrays a useful article extends only to the artistic expression of the author of the pictorial, graphic or sculptural work. It does not extend to the design of the article that is portrayed.


– page 267 of Chapter 13  titled “Protection of Original Designs” of the United States Copyright Law, December 2011, provides further confirmation that designs are not subject to protection; Protection is not available for a design that is – (4) dictated solely by a utilitarian function of the article that embodies it.


The conclusions we draw from all this is that sewing patterns are a set of instructions for making a utilitarian object. While the way those instructions are expressed is copyrightable such as the pattern envelope illustrations, the pattern and the finished item are utilitarian and not subject to copyright. See Tabberone and FreeVintageSewingPatterns for their supporting claims and further references.


Given the above and the age of the patterns (since first published) that we reproduce, whether copyright protection was applied to these patterns at their time of publication or not, their term of effect would already have expired which means they are now in the public domain and free to be used without permission.


The attached document published by the Cornell University provides information on copyright terms and the public domain in the United States. Put simply, a work published before 1923 is in the public domain. A work registered or first published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 with notice but copyright was not renewed (if patterns were copyrightable at the time of their creation) is also in the public domain due to copyright expiration.


We operate on the assumption that the copyright term of an original work, if it was copyrightable at the time of its publication, was not renewed. Should any reproduction be found to be an infringement of copyright, please contact us using the form below with evidence to substantiate claims made.


The Vintage Couturiere


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