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October 23, 2007


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Well, this one is so blatant, there's no arguing there! She's just plain dumb and I feel sorry for the poor sucker that pays diamond prices for a cubic zirconia! OY!

Ahmen sister! Thanks for the comment, you would have to be blind to not see the similarity! Other than me posting an artilce that a "portion" will be re-printed in the Kids Today Trade Magazine, I swear I am off the topic....for now :).

Yep...I see knock-offs of that one all the time...and many others. Shelly's style is so beautiful...her concepts and designs are copied all over eBay and Etsy (another online sales house for independent crafters). I'm glad many blogs are touching on the subject of copyright lately...something needs to be done other than having to pay and register each piece to protect it. For us small time artists, that just isn't possible. Hopefully by sharing and speaking up on the subject, these copycats will get the message and work more on creating their own unique style rather than duplicating other's.

Thanks for the comment Susan, and yes Shelly is one of the pioneers in our industry - being the first one out of the gate and all. There is no denying she is talented - it is a shame to see others copy her SOOO blatantly.

You know, I am so glad I found your blog....so many great links! Ahem. Having fun and way too much work avoidance going on here.

I love Drooz. MAN do I love Shelly's art. I was inspired by her to make many a name banner in my crafty days as gifts. I took the idea of it....painting on fabric and did something entirely different...totally Dianne-centric. But that's how I roll. In my work as a graphic designer, this kind of thing is RAMPANT. Really an issue and there's no easy answers and many people are ignorant to copying as being wrong because they can find parallels all over the place where "knockoffs" are "acceptible". I do find that keeping a dialog open about it helps as one by one we can let people know it's wrong. I also find that as new designers find their own groove and start making their own original art, suddenly this kind of thing becomes much more important! So....rave on and let's keep the dialog open. ;)

You know what is gross about that? The copied piece is sold as an original. Contrast this to fake handbags. They don't try to be some new brand of handbag. They are (illegally) ripping off a design house, and while this is despicable, it doesn't further dilute the original brand by claiming to be original. Do what these people can't do, innovate and build your brand.

The test for whether or not a knock off potentially constitutes copyright infringement is known as the "ordinary observer" test. In it, one is asked if an ordinary viewer or listener would notice a "substantial similarity" between the two works.

I may not be ordinary in any regard of the word, but I think most would agree with you in this case. That is a rip off. There are other things to prove before marching to court, but it is an excellent example of copying, as it was intended.

This seems to be a problem in the crafts area though. I talk with a lot of crafters who put out unique works to get them ripped off. It seems that many have the talent to make something but not the creativity to invent.

It's sad, all art is supposed to be about self expression, not just a way to kill a few hours. Stuff like this really upsets me not just because of the infringement, but because the person doing the copy is also robbed.

I'm rambling now but I always wonder about these infringers and what they hope to gain. I never get a clear answer.

Thank you for this wonderful post! Let me know if I can help in any way in the future. I've had a lot of (strange) experience in this area.

Bravo, Jamie! Bravo!

Great point Emily...and yes there is NOT one thing original about the other design. The craziest part is Shelly's work is everywhere, and in every magazine - how can that lady think we would think it was original?

Hey Dianne - thanks for joining the dialogue - looked at your site and you ARE crafty! I love your stuff...and I do love myself some glitter! Great points (once again) I am glad we are all on the same page!

Johnathan, Johnathan - GREAT information. I was going to get all "industry lingo" on the post but then decided to make it short and sweet. I think I am going to have to link to your site all the time from here on out! I like your blog....great information! Thanks for posting! I can see where crafters have problems with this -but painted pieces of artwork (with copyright) I would hope would not have this happen - but then again I still believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy & Santa Claus.

Someone asked what the knock off gets out of it. Money! Pure and simple, they see a way to make a quick buck without much effort and probably feel validated when someone comments on how lovely the piece is. In their own dilusional way, they take credit for the actual work of doing the piece and not the subject. It's like the saying goes, if you tell a lie enough, you begin to believe it yourself. I think as long as we keep pinpointing these people and calling them out, hopefully the embarrasment will make them go away with their tail between their legs. Or at least we can dream!

wow! We have way too much time on our hands to dig this far into this topic. Everyone should look throughout your home to see if anyone has a piece of Hooker furniture in it. And my bet is yes. Before we start to throw stones take a look into your own lives to see what you have which has been a knock off. There are spies in every industry who go to markets to see what's out there and new and what people are buying and then someone comes in with a knock off. its just the way things are. Sometimes people cant afford say Henredon $20,000 dining room set but Hooker makes a knock off at 1/3 the price. It's what happens. Same with the clothing fashion. Etc... Besides you dont even paint them anymore. You kinda remind me of thomas kincade, you and shelley should charge more if you add a brush stroke to them now days - wow new marketing idea. It's really not fair for people to copy things but it's done and doesn't make it right. The people that copy fully yes they should be called on but lets not hog the journey.

As an artist myself I have looked at stuff before and thought " that looks really familar" - and by people who have estbalished lines. It is so funny that when a so called "artist" copies work, their version is always so flat and devoid of charm!! I love Shelly's work and it just chafes me people think that this ok to do. But then to put the stuff out there and sell it- for the world to see and attach their name to it is shameful..I can't imagine operating this way ..I would be so mortified!!! Artists are suppose to create- these guys just steal like theives.

Very good points Maggie - thanks for the post. You gave me an "ah-ha" moment - becasue you are right the Knock-Off Artists never REALLY gets it, they come close...but not as good, not as real.

Mickey, Mickey, Mickey - I think you missed the point. We are talking art - not furniture. And...if you had read earlier posts and blogs - some people commented on me not being first to paint on tile. Um - I do still PAINT my creations, I do not hand-paint everyone now. Shelly still PAINTS all those creations - and some other artist is TRYING to sell them as HER originals - an EXACT duplicate, almost a twin to hers. If you had spent time writting a paper, a book, painted a picture - whatever and someone else came out with exact duplication and claimed they did it - really you would not be a bit peeved? Copyright attorneys all over the country are making a pretty nice living off this kind of thing you call OKAY.

There's honestly not one true designer out there who wouldn't get offended if their work was duplicated/copied/re-worked, however you want to phrase it...not one. Like I always say, true designers have passion, a love for what they are doing. If you truly have that, there's no way it wouldn't get to you!

i found this when trying to figure out what to do....i have someone in an area near mine that is copying my stuff down to the last dot also... i dont have it copywrited but can prove through emails sent to my websidte designer a few years ago and other shop emails how long my stuff has been around..have you found if there is anything that can be done?? with the economy as hard as it is on people that do art for a living..its worse when you have to compete against designs you came up with...and what kills me is that the person that is copying me has mostly stuff with scriptures on her site and christian stuff and now she is completely copying me....now as a preachers wife i am wondering how truly christian is copying?

Let me ask everyone this. A very well known kids furniture company, http://www.artforkids.net , has a line of hand painted furniture that is in my opinion, a complete knock-off of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit designs. These people are selling it as "enchanted forest" and making tons of $$ off of it. It's one of their most popular lines. It's not just the small ebay or etsy crafters that knock-off. It's big companies as well.

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