Copyright can seem complicated. We have received a number of questions in the AQS office about copyright as it relates to entering our contests.
See this link for some helpful information. You will find an article, "An Explanation of Design Permissions," and a link to a handy chart that gives information on when changes in the copyright laws were made. Both of these pieces of information should help to clear up some of the questions you might have when entering the AQS Quilt Contests.
Always start by getting permission, especially if money is involved. Today this is an easy process using the Internet to find contact information. Designers love to have you use their designs and give them credit as the design source.