Do you worry about people stealing your ideas?

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BeaG says

I often hear people say (or read it in these forums) that everything has been done before and that there are no original ideas. They use that argument to defend copycats. But it is not true. Those words come from the mouths of people that have no original ideas.

Of course more and more things have been done before. So it is harder, especially without a creative mind, to come up with truly original products.
That does not mean it cannot be done.
Most sellers on Etsy prove they are wrong.

Take a look around my shop and try and find something that has been done before. I don't mean something similar, but something identical. You will not find it!

(And should you have found something that proves me wrong, that is because some sellers were copying my original designs. Appropriate action has been taken.)

Yes, a lot of things have been done in the past and cannot be done for the first time again.
But really creative spirits come up with new techniques, new materials, new themes, new uses of old materials, etc.

An example: knitting is thousands of years old. Ikea mirrors are dozens of years old. Many people own one. No one owns an Ikea mirror yet covered in knitting. They can be bought in my shop (Amazing Mirror section).
And this is just one example.

If you don't have a true creative mind, if you lack talent, if you are not a true free thinker, if you are not truly original, yes, you might believe that everything has been done before.

You might even go as far as defending copycats that rip off other peoples original designs. And then try to defend them by saying they came up with the exact same idea as somebody else.
One: a decent person first checks to see if somebody else is already selling this. And if yes, will not go ahead with it.
Two: identical products that show up after somebody else has been selling them succesfully for a while are just plain blatant copies. And if they are sold for a lower price: rip-offs.
No need defending such sellers. They don't belong on Etsy. They should not be creating at all. It is clearly not their path.

Just my two cents.
BeaG

Posted at 11:42am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

I encourage people to take their own spin on my ideas. It is fun to see how different people take my basic ideas and make them their own. Now not to say that taking a total design and making it exactly the same is cool...that is just uncreative people trying to pretend to be something they are not.
I do have a friend who makes fused glass and she taught a girl how to do it and low and behold a few weeks later at a show her booth looked exactly like my friends, right down to the pricing system...that's not right. I'm happy to say that since then the girl has come up with some of her own very good designs and found her own style but it was still very unfair to my friend for that little while.

Posted at 11:44am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

andymathis says

I am concerned a little bit.

Luckily, painting is a bit like handwriting, it's very personalized.
Paintings also sell by name. You might paint little light filled cottages all day long, but Thomas Kinkade is the one who is known for those.

Posted at 11:44am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

If I couldn't keep ahead of my copiers, I suppose I'd be concerned about copying. My techniques can be traced back to their sources quite easily. Ray Harryhausen- the stop motion animator and the doll artists Robin Foley and Lisa Lichtenfels.

I don't use reticulated armatures or work with nylons, but the concepts of designing a sculpt from the inside out that they use did inspire me. But I hope my vision is unique enough that I'm not copying their ideas. I find it hard to do more than a few of any one design. The crawlng eyes dolls I do are probably the only pieces I've done more than 10 of in the past 2 yrs.

If any of my lines were copied, I'd probably just move on to something else. I get bored quickly.
If I ever feel differently, I'll send in collections to the copyright office.

Posted at 11:45am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

I love being inspired by other people's work- any kind of work. I couldn't imagine copying someone directly and marketing it. I suspect people with a level of technical talent but no originality find it easier to take something and duplicate it.

I once I took an idea from an image in a catalog setting for a color story painting.. it just looked so great for my space- I wanted it. I researched and searched for it, but I couldn't find it. I wound up buying gouache and making my own version... I'm not proud of it, but I still like the way it looks. And, I never tried to sell it as my own (I always fess up if someone remarks on it!)

I sort of think about these things when I post something. I believe I have a unique take on my product- at least I have never come across it before- and I worry that someone may think it's so neato they'll just "borrow" it for their own purpose without paying me (because it's certainly not a major money maker to put into production!). But then I realize that I have such a unique product it's probably a pretty rare occurence and go on happily with my work. I can't put energy into "fear"...

Posted at 11:45am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

beaG,
i agree. i see new things all the time. sure we arent islands and there is a progression. standing on shoulders.
still. every new technology brings new things. new metaphors. new intepretations of life and culture. new ideas.

Posted at 11:46am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

cicada
"I can't put energy into fear"

well said.

Posted at 11:49am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

LolaBee says

hmmm... sometimes i see thing similar--but as long as the are not stich for stich--what can ya do--

also--i make something thinking wow this is a good idea--then realize i have seen it already but like i said above--as long as its my pattern i developed and my design the concept can be the same--like baby blankies--there are like tons of them being made--but everyones are slightly different--

Posted at 11:49am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

I try to make original OOAK work, but there are so many jewelers out there that I'm sure I rarely make anything somebody didn't think of first, especially when making the simple types of things that I like. Being original is tricky when there are so many people in the same field as you are.

Posted at 11:50am Apr 4, 2007 EDT

Darcy777 says

I have no ideas to rip off. I envy you ppl who do.

Posted at 11:51am Apr 4, 2007 EDT