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September 18, 2007


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Mom is right, it is not a form of flattery and it doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy feeling I get when someone compliments me. It's just plain evil, as my 8 year old likes to say!!

It's a shame that people can't be creative enough to come up with thier own products, ideas and designs. I'd just like to say to those slackers, "Get off my coat tails and get your own ride!!" In any other situation, I'd say welcome to the club, but this isn't a club you want to be in or any part of! I'm so sorry this is happening to you too and by the same person to boot.

I hate to hear that someone is ripping you off. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be!

Had to share with you something a friend of mine told me about. She makes children's bookcases and was selling one which was a "second" on Ebay. She had an email from a concerned prospective buyer asking whether it was an "original" or a copy. She said it felt like she had finally made it.
This month copycats did start selling on Ebay but as she has a registered design she is safe and secure :)

I wish I could say - yes she is safe, and I hope for your friends sake she is - however, please note a few slight changes and it is is a different product. She should act quickly and contact the "other so-called artisan". Just having a copyright is not always enough. Thanks for post.

I'm not sure how to take this. There's the whole concept of synchronicity, someone getting a great idea and running with it not realizing someone else has already been doing it. Or, they do realize it but put their own thumb print to it but consider their actualization of it to be sufficiently different as to be original onto themselves? Or does this only apply to products and not blogs? Or, they think it's okay because their audience (or customers) don't know about antecedent products (or blogs)?

I do know one thing tho. It seems to be much more common for smaller businesses to knock each other off (or to knock off larger companies) than it is likely for more established companies to knock off start ups and that's what most start ups worry about. When it gets really dumb (or ironic) is when you have a start up who admits copying someone else, to want one to sign an NDA to protect "their" designs. I don't think you want to know how many times that's happened to me. So, as a matter of course, I won't sign any contracts.

As far as blogging goes, I've been "knocked off" using my own material plenty of times. One blogger in the mommy milieu recycles my stuff all the time and doesn't bother to cite where she learned the material herself. I suspect she doesn't do it deliberately or if the knowledge she is doing it sits in the back of her mind, it's not malicious but malice or no, it hurts me. She learned it, internalized it, it made complete and utter sense so she rewords it adding the sum of her experience to reinforce the (my) message. I don't particularly enjoy someone becoming an expert at my expense. So, the issue becomes one of *dilution* -akin to developing a successful trend others copy- so it becomes incumbent upon the originator to develop new material. That's the point I'm at right now.

Successful designers (or bloggers) can't be one hit wonders. If you only have one idea, you're not likely to be successful over the long haul regardless of whether anyone copies you or not. Summary: this is a complex issue and a double edged sword. I wish it were simplistic and easy to quantify, judge (and justify) and dispense with.

Kathaleen - thanks so much for the comment and you are correct = it is hard to prove, and it is frustrating also. I post an example in a later post with a picture to show the COPYING. Some thought I meant competition - which I did not. It seems to be something that has gotten quite a bit of attention and got lots of people all upset. Not sure if there is a good solution - but YES creative people (like us) will continue to come up with new ideas all the time.

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