A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Join us for fun, contests and discussions on Craftster's Facebook page!
Total Members: 297,507
Currently Running With Scissors:
458 Guests and 13 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: When copycats profit...  (Read 30396 times)
Tags for this thread: copyright  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
YYZ
Offline Offline

Posts: 5
Joined: 16-Dec-2003

by any means necessary


View Profile
« on: January 25, 2004 10:47:07 AM »

I used to work at a paper shop that encouraged staff to make and sell items related to the store. I used to contribute, and it was great to see my stuff bought and appreciated. But on a few occasions, I found my projects getting ripped off and sold as someone else's product (in a different store). Eventually it discouraged me from selling things I made.

Now in a forum like this, there is a communal vibe of idea-exchanging; there's no proprietary hostility, and people are encouraged to develop their own thing out of other people's wisdom, and I appreciate that.

There's the old adage that there's no such thing as an original idea, and to that regard I don't pretend to hold any special rights over whatever I make because it may have been inspired by someone else without me being conscious of it.

But my issue in particular is:
What can/do you do when something original you made to sell is clearly being copied by someone who is profitting from making something afterwards practically the same (I mean undeniably copied, right down to the size, pattern and colour)? Without getting into patents and nastiness, what can be done? Is it something you just accept? Do I have the wrong attitude about it? I am in no position or frame of mind to bring in legal measures, but damn it feels rotten to be in such a situation.

Suggestions, experiences welcome...
THIS ROCKS   Logged
second-hand-smoke
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2004 11:35:00 AM »

I would say, for your own piece of mind, think of it this way: if people are selling copies of your work, they're selling the finished product, not the idea. Let the fact that people are imitating you inspire you to continue to develop good ideas! And hopefully you can promote your work better than they can and make a good amount of money yourself (if that's what you want to do)! Grin

i totally agree with missroo - the thing that disturbed me the most about your post was that you say you don't sell your stuff anymore even tho it "was great to see [your] stuff bought and appreciated". that is something you do for YOU and you shouldn't let anyone keep you from that. they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. keep doing what you do. promote your stuff, and whne people see the other stuff they will think - OH - that reminds me of yza'a work!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

second hand smoke: Recycle-Remix-Refresh
http://secondhandsmoke-stuff.com
firefly
Offline Offline

Posts: 521
Joined: 01-Dec-2003

the giant tree starts as a tiny sprout.


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2004 11:38:33 AM »

this happens to me, too.  i take an attitude of leniency, because i get inspiration from others as well.  however, if it's an exact rip-off and it's threatening to your profits, you can take the legal route:
call the copyright hotline:  202-707-9100.
request the form "va" for visual arts.  there's a small fee and an application to register; you also need to send a couple photos of your work to the library of congress,  but this'll protect your creations for your life and give you grounds to get an injunction against the infringer.

(this info. is from wendy rosen's book, crafting as a business)
THIS ROCKS   Logged

YYZ
Offline Offline

Posts: 5
Joined: 16-Dec-2003

by any means necessary


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2004 12:51:49 PM »

Yeah, considering the time it takes to craft, whoever is replicating can't be making terribly high profits, ha.

I know called the subject "when copycats profit" but I guess it's not so much the monetary value, but the principle.

I feel frustrated when thoroughly thought-out personal touches seem suddenly no longer unique. Somewhere in my mind I seem to be drawing a line between a healthy exchange of ideas and downright replication. But I guess that's just my own personal code; nobody's subject to it but me. And no doubt I've been inspired by people and things wrapped in the thick and foreboding cloak of copyright...

Whoever bit my style (and yeah I mean down to the details) was probably not excelling in the innovation department anyway, and true enough MissRoo, it's not like those items were the last ideas I had left on earth.

It's never been my intention to address it legally. Neither the time, money or energy to go that route.

But you guys are right, while I'm making stuff, I'm focused on the process anyway. Too much fun to stop.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
firehead4
Offline Offline

Posts: 1438
Joined: 22-Aug-2003

Wanna Make Something of It?


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2004 01:46:32 PM »


If you feel that your creative ideas are really being stolen for profit, what you need to do is register trademarks and copyrights for your items.  And you need to hire a lawyer and file lawsuits against the copycats.  This can get very expensive.  

Orrrr...you can do a "poor man's copyright" and write/sketch out your idea and mail it to yourself. Don't open the envelope! The sealed envelope and postmark will identify/verify the date in which you had the idea!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Practicing Random Acts of Creativity

Follow Me at...
http://artforcoffeessake.blogspot.com/
http://youtu.be/Q73M5hiqktA
Lothruin
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 4643
Joined: 23-Jan-2004

I eat seakittens.


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2004 10:19:17 PM »

On the subject of copyrights, the US copyright office is very clear.  If you made it, regardless of whether it is registered or not, it's yours.  If you need to pursue legal battles over such things, it is best to have it registered, but if you can prove when you made this thing, and it is earlier than whoever is copying it, that is all you need.  You don't need to mail it to yourself, you don't need to spend the money to register, those things are only for date-stamping.  For instance, if by some chance you had a receipt of sale of one of these items with a date on it, that would be enough to prove when you made it.  And you don't even actually need proof for it to be copyrighted, you only need proof if you need to sue someone over copying it....

You can read all about copyright laws here:
http://www.copyright.gov/
The info here is very good.  Here's a quote that says it all:
Quote
Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work.

However, copyright really only applies to certain things.  Here's what they say about "useful articles":
Quote
Designs for useful articles, such as vehicular bodies, wearing apparel, household appliances, and the like are not protected by copyright. However, the design of a useful article is subject to copyright protection to the degree that its pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features can be identified as existing independently of the utilitarian object in which they are embodied.

So, if you design a notebook, the notebook itself isn't copyrighted.  But, the original design on the cover of the notebook IS copyrighted...

It goes on to say that certain design elements of useful items can be subject to design patent laws, but then you DO have to apply for a patent.  
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Find craft patterns, supplies and humor at Lothruin.com!

Find me on Ravelry as Lothruin!
Kar-UH
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2004 11:11:20 AM »

Im not sure where in the world you are, but I know that in Canada it is your responsibility to protect your own patent and copyright. So even if you spend the approx. $8000 it takes to get a patent, unfortunatly you are still responsible for any legal fees you might incur by trying to protect your idea. The only real options that you have is to focus on making sure your product is superior in some way or another so people will be more interested in purchasing yours. You could focus on quality of workmanship. Whatever you do, dont try to sell yours for less because then you get into a price war. I wish you the best of luck!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
kelly
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2004 02:33:37 PM »

I used to work at a paper shop that encouraged staff to make and sell items related to the store. I used to contribute, and it was great to see my stuff bought and appreciated. But on a few occasions, I found my projects getting ripped off and sold as someone else's product (in a different store). Eventually it discouraged me from selling things I made.

Now in a forum like this, there is a communal vibe of idea-exchanging; there's no proprietary hostility, and people are encouraged to develop their own thing out of other people's wisdom, and I appreciate that.

There's the old adage that there's no such thing as an original idea, and to that regard I don't pretend to hold any special rights over whatever I make because it may have been inspired by someone else without me being conscious of it.

But my issue in particular is:
What can/do you do when something original you made to sell is clearly being copied by someone who is profitting from making something afterwards practically the same (I mean undeniably copied, right down to the size, pattern and colour)? Without getting into patents and nastiness, what can be done? Is it something you just accept? Do I have the wrong attitude about it? I am in no position or frame of mind to bring in legal measures, but damn it feels rotten to be in such a situation.

Suggestions, experiences welcome...
unfortunately, it does feel really rotten, and if you dont want to do the whole legal route, i think you do just have to accept it.  i read an article a few months ago about a lady who thought of those rings ppl put on their wine glasses at parties to tell them apart.  she made them as gits and sold a few, but then some company saw her idea and started mass producing them.  She couldnt compete against them because they were able to manufacture and sell them for a whole lot less money.  so, she gave up on that idea and when she thought of her next idea (which was making some type of belt out of those same rings she had used on the wine glass things) she had it patented right away to protect her idea.  thats the only way to go if you plan on making a living off of it, but if you are just doing it for yourself, then it may not matter.  but there is nothing you can do to stop people from copying.
~kelly
THIS ROCKS   Logged

ParisGreen
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2004 09:21:15 PM »


Just FYI Firehead -  the envelope trick is a myth of copyright.  It proves nothing except that you mailed yourself a letter.

If you want to protect your work, apply to the Copyright Office.  It is a very simple application to fill out and is available for download online in PDF format.  I believe that the filing fee for VA apps is $30.  

Technically, you can claim copyright on works that are not registered with the US Copyright Office.  The certificate makes it much easier to argue and prove your rights to an idea, and if filed in a timely manner, allows you to collect damages should you be forced to pursue legal action against someone.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Debzy
Offline Offline

Posts: 553
Joined: 20-Nov-2003
I'm a Scouser!!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2004 02:53:28 PM »


Just FYI Firehead -  the envelope trick is a myth of copyright.  It proves nothing except that you mailed yourself a letter.

If you want to protect your work, apply to the Copyright Office.  It is a very simple application to fill out and is available for download online in PDF format.  I believe that the filing fee for VA apps is $30.  

Technically, you can claim copyright on works that are not registered with the US Copyright Office.  The certificate makes it much easier to argue and prove your rights to an idea, and if filed in a timely manner, allows you to collect damages should you be forced to pursue legal action against someone.

i'm not sure if it's any different in the us, but over here in the uk, the posting thing is perfectly legit. i know because i'm on a business enterprise course and my business advisor told us!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
-George Bernard Shaw
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10 Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
Mark Henshaw on His Debut Thriller, "Red Cell"
The Forsaken Book Trailer
When You Were Mine Book Trailer
Owen West on Being an American Adviser to the Iraqi Army
Douglas Florian Reads His Poem Worker Bees
Latest Blog Articles
@Home This Weekend: Seed Packet Gifts
Cooking: Honey Month
September 19th - Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.