Updated October 20, 2023.
Someone asked on a mailing list I’m on about what needed to be considered when you wanted to cross-stitch or needlepoint a building. Since that is really fun to do and since you might want to move beyond stitching your own home, I thought I would share with you some of what I’ve discovered on this.
I did some research on this a while ago, and it turns out to be more complex than you might think.
Just to get you started in thinking about this, here are some things to consider.
1. Is the piece a work of art, like a sculpture? There is a famous landmark here in Napa County of a grape crusher. It is the copyright of the artist and its use is regulated by that.
2. Is it a commercial building? Then its use may be licensed by the owner as part of their identity. Here’s another local example, Robert Mondavi uses drawings of his winery on his labels, hence the building image is licensed.
3. Is it a historic landmark? Your local historical society may need to be consulted.
4. Is it by a famous architect? While I don’t think built buildings are subject to copyright, I’d check if it was by someone famous.
If it isn’t any of these things, then I think you can do it without violating copyright. However, if a business is there, say it’s a B&B, I would send them a letter about what you want to do and ask permission. They probably won’t know what you are talking about, but it’s good to ask.
I’d also give them a stitched model to hang and some information about getting the design.
If it’s a private residence, I would also ask. Mainly because I think it is the polite thing to do and offer them the chart.
As near as I can tell, outside of the things mentioned above, which may take a fair amount of research on your part, there isn’t a copyright problem.