Frit-Happens !

Business / Marketing Advice and Tips => Put all your business tips, advice and questions in here => Topic started by: ♥♥Tan♥♥ on May 25, 2010, 01:18:33 PM



Title: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: ♥♥Tan♥♥ on May 25, 2010, 01:18:33 PM
The boundaries between inspiration and copying are extremely blurred and this is an issue that confuses and angers many artists both old and new across all mediums. The questions are endless, as are the answers. This is the place to pose those questions.

Please remember, this topic although an interesting one has raised many emotions in the past so be aware that your words are read by many and are easily misinterpreted without the aid of visual interpretation.



Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: theflyingbedstead on May 25, 2010, 01:26:36 PM
Oh Tan...what have you done? Pandora's box is open!


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: ♥♥Tan♥♥ on May 25, 2010, 01:37:21 PM
It's a topic that rears its head again and again, it makes sense to make it a sticky so that the same arguements aren't dragged out and new views can be introduced.

The mods decided this was the best way to go, it will be interesting reading


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: julieHB on May 25, 2010, 01:46:00 PM
I'd like you to read Michael Demeng's blog post on this subject - The Artistic Timeline: http://networkedblogs.com/2Vh7e



Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Sulis (Hazel) on May 25, 2010, 01:50:51 PM
Thanks Julie for posting that, it's a very interesting and well written point of view  :)

xxx


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: SilverGems89 on May 25, 2010, 02:12:32 PM
that was very interesting reading Julie, and i think i mostly agree  :)


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Billie on May 25, 2010, 02:19:46 PM
Julie, I liked that a LOT  ;D


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: sublimekate on May 25, 2010, 02:27:06 PM
Julie, I liked that a LOT  ;D

Me also :) Thanks Julie, and Tansky I think having this topic a sticky is a great idea!!


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: glasseyeyes on May 25, 2010, 02:32:33 PM
A story.....

when I first started lampworking I used to love a good browse at the forums.  One day I came across a thread about copying, it went on and on and on, there was enough stuff in this post to actually frighten you.  Indeed it frightened me, I had only been lampworking a few months.  I was so frightened I hardly dare make a bead, even though my beads were so simple, just in case it looked like anyone elses. I did'nt bother with the forums for ages, I didn't bother to look at other artists sites, so I never bought anything. 

Then having been put off glass, I turned back to polymer clay.  I came across one UK artist site with gorgeous polymer beads.  There, on the front page was a statement, basically saying if you copied her she would consider it a compliment, but not to sell 'her' designs.  Fair enough. So what did I do, I browsed and browsed, her work was fresh and lovely, her attitude, inspiring and encouraging, so I went back to her site many, many times, just to look, ultimately this site inspired me enough to get the glass back out, unfortunately the polymer clay went back in it's box!

Dawn


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: turnedlight on May 25, 2010, 07:10:33 PM
I agree with the blog, it has been my philosophy too - that I will be moving on all the time anyway. At college they taught us not to be 'precious' about something we have made, when learning to throw pots the teacher cut them all in half so we could check for eveness, despite wanting to keep the pots we had worked towards getting right.
I think our forum gets it right, we share and help each other develop and if there's some technique we'd rather hold on to then that's fine too.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: nemeton on May 25, 2010, 07:22:53 PM
Great story Dawn :)
I know copying is a very emotive topic but I think it's sad when I meet people who are afraid to show and share their work, either because they are afraid they'll be accused of copying or because they think they may be copied. Personally I'd rather take the risk. I make up most of my patterns as I go along, so I know I haven't intentionally copied anyone, but there are only so many ways of stringing beads together, and my subconscious tends to take over when I'm designing, so there's always the possibility that I've been influenced by something I've seen or read. So far I've been lucky and not trodden on anybody's toes, but I suspect this is only a matter of time  ::)
As for being copied, I've been lucky with this too so far - some other beaders I know have had their work ripped off, copied multiple times, and undersold without their permission. This is a particular risk if you publish or sell tutorials  :( I comfort myself with the knowledge that beadweaving is pretty hard to sell at anything like a realistic price - nobody is going to get-rich-quick with my rose garden collar unless they can get a whole factory of very cheap workers cloning the things - that's why I started selling patterns in the first place. And anyway by the time the market is flooded with cheap imitation rose gardens I'll very likely have moved on and started making seedmaille or something instead. Sometimes there is merit in having a butterfly mind  ::)
I rarely refuse someone permission to make and sell one of my published designs, provided they ask me beforehand and credit me with the design (this is mostly for their customers' benefit rather than for mine: beadweaving customers in particular seem to like to know when something's the maker's original design, and if it's not by the maker then they like to know whose pattern it is  :)) - it isn't as if I'm making hundreds of the same thing anyway, and goodwill is always priceless  :)

Hmm, sorry, I seem to have rambled. Not sure how relevant my experience is to beadmakers but hopefully there is something in this lot that may be useful to someone  ::)


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Princess Peggy (Priscilla McGirr) on May 26, 2010, 02:28:23 AM
Thanks Julie.....I really found this link helpful.  As a newbie you are so impressionable and it is a worry when you are copying techniques that others on the forum are talking about , showing and explaining, only to find your beads are (though not as good) starting to look like theirs. ....  It's hard to stamp your own individuality on your  beads when you are still finding your way.

When I started as a potter I came across other potters who jealously guarded their glaze recipies, which was understandable in a way but I passed mine on to people who are still using them today.  
I would like to think that what Tan says about the boundaries between inspiration and copying means that I am inspired!..... in which case, big thankyou to you all.

I suppose the fact that everyone on here is so willing to help and share ideas speaks for itself.   Pris


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Pandanimal on May 26, 2010, 03:22:09 AM
I wondered if this site would be pertinent to this thread
http://www.creativecommons.org.uk/
Its a new way of looking at copyright.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Nikki on May 26, 2010, 03:41:16 AM
I recently listed a bracelet on Etsy, it had some tiger beads I made. I got an email from another Etsy seller to say that the tiger beads where a copy of hers!!!, I have seen many people make these beads, there are at least 3 tutorial free on the internet and several in books. It's such a common style. I didn't do anything about it. She said she would report the item to Etsy.

I did use a tutorial, Did I copy? or was I inspired? I'm more confused than ever.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: julieHB on May 26, 2010, 04:25:26 AM
I would just say you used a technique that is widely known, Nikki! if she does report you and they come back to you then that's what i would say. It's the same with many other techniques as well.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: garishglobes on May 26, 2010, 04:31:26 AM
I'd agree - and this would seem to be a good illustration of what the writer of that article felt was wrong.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: SilverGems89 on May 26, 2010, 04:34:01 AM
I wondered if this site would be pertinent to this thread
http://www.creativecommons.org.uk/
Its a new way of looking at copyright.

I use creative commons licences on my photographs when posting them on the internet, Deviantart even have them now "built in" you just choose what level "coverage" you want when you upload, i think they are great! i hadnt thought about using them for beads but its not a bad idea!


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: noora on May 26, 2010, 04:36:49 AM
I saw an interview with a lady who made knitted sweaters with fancy patterns. They asked her how she felt about being copied. She said it's inevitable, but when it happens she moves on to the next pattern. Her intention wasn't to make one pattern and try to make a living out of mass producing that. Artistry is about being able to create new patterns, and as long as she was creating new patterns she wouldn't run out of business. I think that's a sound attitude. An artist's specialty isn't a specific pattern or model, an artist's specialty is to create new patterns and models.

Which of course doesn't mean that it's okay to copy :) It's just a good attitude to have if you have been copied and find you can't do anything about it.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Ian Pearson on May 26, 2010, 04:44:05 AM
Not sure if this site has been posted but found it useful http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/protect/p21_protecting_ideas
Copying my work hasnt been an issue and it is the way we all learn but I would question why there exists the need to copy. The reason may not be fair and I have attempted to protect certain methods of making items in order that people can not make similar items and sell them as the same as mine. The patent process is so time consuming and expensive that its not worth it for me. I always sign my work, making everything an "original" so a copy is just that.

Ian


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Trudi on May 26, 2010, 04:54:11 AM
I recently listed a bracelet on Etsy, it had some tiger beads I made. I got an email from another Etsy seller to say that the tiger beads where a copy of hers!!!, I have seen many people make these beads, there are at least 3 tutorial free on the internet and several in books. It's such a common style. I didn't do anything about it. She said she would report the item to Etsy.

I did use a tutorial, Did I copy? or was I inspired? I'm more confused than ever.

It is a widely known style - I first saw them in Passing The Flame. I make Tiger Beads too, but I use goldstone instead of SIS, and I do different shapes and styles. The seller obvioulsy feels threatened - tell her to get a life, and perhaps point out that she is copying!

If we're all honest about it we are all inspired by things we see everywhere, not just from other beads, but from wallpaper designs, fabric etc etc. And even from other beads we see - you learn from "copying" trying to learn a technique - we all so, but you make it your own when you develop these techniques into your own designs.




Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Kaz on May 26, 2010, 04:55:01 AM
I saw an interview with a lady who made knitted sweaters with fancy patterns. They asked her how she felt about being copied. She said it's inevitable, but when it happens she moves on to the next pattern. Her intention wasn't to make one pattern and try to make a living out of mass producing that. Artistry is about being able to create new patterns, and as long as she was creating new patterns she wouldn't run out of business. I think that's a sound attitude. An artist's specialty isn't a specific pattern or model, an artist's specialty is to create new patterns and models.

Which of course doesn't mean that it's okay to copy :) It's just a good attitude to have if you have been copied and find you can't do anything about it.

I entirely agree. A few people have asked me why I list the names of the glass used in my murrini (I do it so beadmakers can then make matching twisties, cane or stringer and don't end up with a clashing bead!) when people can then easily work out the design and copy it. If someone starts doing that, then OK, I will drop that design (first slashing the price of any existing stock to spoil the copyist's market of course!!!) and then move on to the armful of other exciting ones I already have simmering on the back burner!!!
Kazx


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: ScarletLeonard on May 26, 2010, 05:21:43 AM
Julie, That is a fantastic post and is the view I have lived by, there are some things I won't say exactly how it is done but if you have the intelligence as an artist to see how the mentioned techniques have been pulled together then go for it and develop.

I use creative commons and have one on a particular style of earring I only did this because I had never seen anything like them and I gave them a special name, the CC is more on the name than anything else because even though I haven't seen the design I can't be sure it isn't out there somewhere.

I was also accused of copying once because of similar end products that were technically nothing alike, I told her almost where to stick it and carried on with my day. I've found that while some cases of copying may actually be the real deal and it has a malicious intent either as revenge or forgery, the vast majority are down to similar teaching, technical limits or serendipity.
 
Be inspired all you like, but try and be me and I will come down like a tonne of bricks. 


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Kaz on May 27, 2010, 08:03:14 AM
Just thought I'd open up another potential contentious discussion here and ask what people think about tutorials and classes.
In my view, if you write and sell a tutorial - either privately or to a magazine, then you have given carte blanche for people to make those beads and to sell them if they want. If I bought a tutorial and it had a rider on it saying you could not make and sell the beads, I would ask for a refund. That would be like buying a recipe book and being told you can't sell the victoria sandwich at a cake sale!!!
If you deliver/take a class, is this the same? or is it more about learning techniques than a recipe for a particular bead(s).
As someone who has taken a lot of classes, I am not quite sure where I come down on this. In a couple of cases, I have paid 120+ for a day only to come away thinking that I could not make beads using the techniques learnt as they would look the same as the teacher's and then struggling to find other ways of using the techniques I have been taught. Perhaps part of every class should be about teachers working with the students to consider how the techniques can subsequently be applied to the student's own style of beads?
Kazx


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Pandanimal on May 27, 2010, 09:25:28 AM
Building on your thoughts, Kaz, and taking from a thread I remember reading here on frit happens- what about selling on tutorials?
I know that a lot of people think this should not be done. But think of it this way, would you buy a book from a second hand shop? The author of that book gets nothing if its sold second hand, or if it is lent privately.
I'm playing devils advocate a little on this one I think. What do you think?


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Billie on May 27, 2010, 09:40:47 AM
First off, with e-tutorials, I think the problem with selling them on is, unlike with a physical book from a second hand shop, who is to say you haven't also kept a copy of the file on your computer.  I think that's where selling on e-tutes becomes contentious.

As for selling books made from tutorials, then I think most authors ask you to credit them in your description of the bead... "this bead was inspired by the tutorial by Flossy Smith" kinda thing.  I haven't come across anyone who has advised the beads made by following a tutorial cannot be sold... Or have I failed to read the small print somewhere  ???  Same with techniques you learn in a class.  I'm sure most lampworkers teaching classes expect you to expand on and develop from the techniques shown to you and if you are making exact replica's, again I guess it's a form of etiquette to say this bead was inspired by a class taken with that Flossy bird  ;D  It's so difficult to exactly replicate your own beads, let alone replicate another artists but if in doubt, I would suggest contacting the artist... although there was a thread on LE many moons ago where a lot of artists said if you had to ask, then you already knew the answer... so perhaps not...  Have I just gone around in a circle there  ??? :D


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: turnedlight on May 27, 2010, 10:09:20 AM
I like your victoria sandwich analogy Kaz! Very apt. I know a beadmaker who spent a lot on going on a course, I don't have a clue who with, anyway, they made him sign something that basically forbade him to use what he learnt! He felt very ripped off. That does seem daft to me, what exactly have you spent your money on in that situation?


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: noora on May 27, 2010, 10:38:36 AM
What about crediting? And where do you draw the line? When is a technique advanced enough to demand credit? I can't exactly mention my first lampwork teacher every time I show a bead even though everything I do is related to what she taught me (the basic round bead...).

Is it as simple as only giving credit if you learn a technique or design from someone who invented it themselves? Or are there situations where you should credit the teacher or the one you're inspired by when they in turn learned the technique or design from someone else? Perhaps crediting them for being such great teachers?

It's so much simpler in science, where you publish your findings in a paper and include references to all your inspirations and even to related work that didn't influence your work at all... When artists write "about me"-texts they usually mention their inspirations, influences and teachers, but sometimes I get the feeling it's more to brag that they've taken classes from this or that great artist or to explain to the viewer how they should be viewing the work. Like, "I'm inspired by Picasso" - "Oh, so that's why her eye is on her belly and her nose on her shoulder."


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Krysia@No98 on May 28, 2010, 11:36:10 AM
What about crediting? And where do you draw the line? When is a technique advanced enough to demand credit? I can't exactly mention my first lampwork teacher every time I show a bead even though everything I do is related to what she taught me (the basic round bead...).

And if we start going down that road do we need to mention who taught them?  Can you imagine  you'd end up with an educational version of a family tree!

I think that lady that got upset about the tiger bead needs to read passing the flame.  ::)  And if she still isn't satisfied then bagsy me for copyrighting beads with splodges on!


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: soulsilver on May 30, 2010, 11:39:12 AM
Having read through most of this thread I feel compelled to answer. I had a horrible experience not that long ago when I plucked up the courage to post a picture of some of my beads in a forum that I had not posted in before, I have lots of positive responses to my post and then out of the blue I had a very angry response from someone claiming that my beads were a direct copy of one of her "unique" designs. I had not seen her work before despite the fact that there were undeniable similarities. I can only say that it was a horrible situation to be in, this person refused to come outright and accuse me of copying, but she did feel that it was appropriate to have a dig on the forum. Another member of the forum comments stayed with me......she said that however aggrieved this person felt (justified or not) airing her anger in a PUBLIC forum was just not appropriate, its something that should be addressed in private first and discussed rather than just jumping in with an accusation. The way that I look at this is that none of us are re-inventing the wheel, glass beads have been around for thousands of years and it would be very naive to think that we are the only person to have ever thought of putting spots - dots - stripes etc on a bead.
I do not think that it gives us carte blanche to copy other peoples work and this is and will always be a contentious issue, I do think that we have a choice how we handle it, we can air any grievance we have in a very public forum (where it generally stays..) or we can talk in private messages and behave like grown ups to come to some kind of satisfactory conclusion.

With regard to teaching, maybe in classes the emphasis should be on learning a technique rather than a style......I have run plenty of jewellery making classes and always tried to get students to think about where they take a technique after the class, what can they change or adapt to make the technique suit their personal style.  People always think in such negative ways, why not see a class as a chance for both the student and the teacher to learn, its a fantastic forum to bounce ideas off other people, rather than assume the worst of people.  If you are teaching a class, teach the stuff that you don't mind passing on, that you don't object to other people selling, but more importantly leave your student thinking about the possibilities of the technique!

Just my tuppence worth!!!! :)


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: squirsygirl on May 30, 2010, 12:09:46 PM
Is it in fact possible to copyright a certain style or technique? 

And is is wrong, morally or legally, to say that you have copyright-ed a certain style, when in fact you have not done any such thing?

I truly believe nothing is original: no method, no technique, no style.  It's all been done before, even if you've never seen it.  How well something is done, well that's what makes all the difference!  That is what makes a piece unique.  Each artist has their own flair.

Kirsty



Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: ScarletLeonard on May 30, 2010, 03:18:13 PM
Is it in fact possible to copyright a certain style or technique? 

And is is wrong, morally or legally, to say that you have copyright-ed a certain style, when in fact you have not done any such thing?

I do know that for a style/technique to not be used by anyone other than the creator they must have a trademark or patent.

Where copyright is concerned so long as you have the little c symbol on the image you have copyrighted it. Anyone can use the symbol you don't have to apply for it it marks that you claim intellectual copyright on that specific thing.

I did just find this on a solicitors website.
Copyright is infringed by:

    * Making copies of the work.
    * Issuing copies of the work to the public.
    * Renting or lending the work to the public.
    * Performing, showing or playing the work in public.
    * Communicating the work to the public.
    * Adapting the work or doing any of the above in relation to an adaptation.
    * Authorising any of the above acts.

Civil and criminal liability may be imposed on those who knowingly deal with infringing copies of a copyright work in the course of trade.
For a defendant's work to be infringing Designers Guild v. Williams (2001):
(a)        it must be derived from the claimant's work.  Provided the claimant establishes sufficient similarity in the features allegedly copied by the defendant from the claimant's work and that the defendant had access to the claimant's work, the burden shifts to the defendant to show that the similarities are not the result of copying;
(b)        the defendant must take the whole or a substantial part of the claimant's work.  Substantiality is measured in terms of quality not quantity.  It is a matter of impression and depends on the importance of what is taken to the claimant's and not to the defendant's work.   

Also...
Works not idea: Copyright protects the form in which are expressed not the ideas themselves. 


Some food for thought.

Scarlet xx


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: ★★Terri★★ on June 15, 2010, 01:48:11 PM
" think of it less of copying and more of "learning"

They may use my techniques but it will never be mine and anything I do will not be their's.

 At some point I will have shuffled off this mortal coil.  What greater honor is there than inspiring others and knowing you have contributed to the continuity of the artistic timeline.  Before I die that is what I hope I can achieve, but I can't achieve it unless I am willing to share."

For me, these are the key points of the artistic timeline blog.

Having spent around 6 years as an art/design student and 10 years teaching - I know there is nothing that is new, it has all been done before in one way or with one material or another by countless others.  But to grow as an artist/designer/maker you will absorb a range of influences from others - be it techniques, style or whatever.  The the eventual product of the learning will be yours - that is how it should be.  Even if you tried to directly 'copy' someone else's work all you could realistically end up with is something similar.

Well, that's my opinion anyway. ;D


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: flaming beads on June 28, 2010, 04:19:04 AM
There's some really well informed and interesting reading here...thanks guys ;)
I like to think that mostly i come up with my own ideas, but i do agree that mostly everything has been done before in some form or other.


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Ian Pearson on June 28, 2010, 05:28:50 AM
Interesting view that there is nothing new. So what about birth? Are we not all new? Therefore what we do must be? Of course new or not is often confused with quality and something to aspire to.

Ian


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: Krysia@No98 on June 28, 2010, 05:50:38 AM

ahh... now you're talking head science.  A bit heavy for first thing on a monday morning...  ;)


Title: Re: The Sticky Topic of Copying
Post by: c-glass on October 16, 2012, 05:41:50 PM
I'd like you to read Michael Demeng's blog post on this subject - The Artistic Timeline: http://networkedblogs.com/2Vh7e


Julie what an amaxing thing to find...very true I do think that you Learn by testing skills.  No too are ever the same