Sunday, 4 March 2012

Whats the world coming too?

Lovely Bits and Pieces posed the question on a social networking site about finding it worrying these days to put any photos of your work on the net, she said "all us crafters have load of designs and ideas, and some are very similar to others based on things we have seen when out and about, but sometimes ideas overlap, its a hard situation, here's hoping the crafting community doesn't start falling apart"

This made me think, with all the media coverage of the latest cases of copying, this whole thing about pinterest's T&C's not being moral and being sued for sharing ( has any case happened so far?) has things gone too far?, are we all getting too paranoid?, I love the net and all the diversity it brings but it makes me wonder if we couldn't share our ideas and photos on line how much of this would disappear, I wouldn't know what someone in another town had made unless that person had a shop or I knew them in real life. I think you have to question your beliefs about humans and the way in which everyone is scrutinised and made to feel like they have done wrong when they are genuine.

I think people are overreacting with all this coverage at the moment, agreed copying is awful, the Tatty Devine case is justified, as is some of the other blatant copying going on and this must be tackled and reported and shared. But I often have ideas, I draw them or talk about them and even make them and then lo and behold weeks later I see a similar/same thing in a magazine or on line. I know I have not copied but if the designer in the magazine or on line saw what I had designed or made I could be accused of copying, it's a shame that such a lovely community is becoming paranoid and has this "sue" mindset.

I went to a ladies shop the other day and her workspace was awesome, I asked if I could take a photo to put on my blog and asked if she wanted to be in the picture, she declined, I took all her details to share them on my blog I then was about to take a photo of her makes and she got quite bolshy and told me not to as I might copy her designs, I asked if she has a website (she does) so if anyone wanted to copy they could just go on there, its madness, I didn't blog about her and deleted my photos, I was surprised by her reaction, I thought I was doing her a favour spreading the word and recommending her work to my friends on line, to bring her more custom, how wrong could I be!

I think that in a world where an enormous amount of things have been made it is hard to find new ideas, it is rare nowadays that I am truly in awe of something someone has made because for the most part in one way or another I have seen the same things again and again.

The other more scientific part of this not considered is your long term memory which holds millions of bit of information, ideas and images, maybe you saw something briefly without even realising, it lodged in your memory without you being aware of it and then a time later you start designing, without knowing this memory comes back to you and you believe you have thought of it.

This is not meant to be a get out clause for copying someones work, its just another angle. Unfortunately people are scared and worried about saying and doing the right thing, not actually speaking from the heart in case it causes controversy, I am not one of those people, I say it how I think it is, if you don't agree, that's perfectly OK, share you opinions on my comment box, I would love to hear what you all think about this whether you agree or not, don't be shy and cautious, take the step and be bold!


  1. I think that this is a very reasoned and well thought out blog and I wholeheartedly agree, I have been worried about how all this is tearing a community of crafters apart. It doesn't sit well with customers either. Charlotte of A Little Birdie Told Me x

  2. Really good piece. I only started on the craft scene 12 months ago but have seen the amount of crafter's quadruple. There's not always vast amounts of profit to be and sometimes it takes some doing to even get into that category. But it is so lovely to see so many original and unique ideas out there.The problem I've seen is if someone struggles to sell with their unique idea then they look around and see someone with similar items sell out or do well then they think to themselves 'I could make that just as good'. I've had people comment about my cakes, that they could make them, but they can't make my cake maybe they could make something similar but as everyone whose bought my products know, there my recipes tailored to suit my tastes. But its also me as The Ginger Baker who is part of that brand and the knowledge I have, the chat and interest in what people have to say. I make my product what it is. I am also very supportive of people who make similar products, I think its fantastic that someone has a talent in whatever it is. But..
    I have also come across some very nasty people who boast about the fact that 'I can make that' and low and behold it appears. Exactly the same, but why do that, that's just like copying someone homework at school. What's the point!! I didn't come up with the original Brownie recipe, I found one and spent 6 months baking and baking to find the right ingredients and gives a taste that is unique to me.
    I've also had the otherside when I started baking, I received an email from a local chef threatening me, saying that I was copying her idea of selling Brownies and soon I would be after her husband. It got to a point were the threats were so bad I was afraid to leave the house.
    But my little business is doing well and growing all the time and all because of craft fairs and the wonderful people who arrange, sell and buy from them. I think people who steal or borrow other peoples ideas have no longevity.
    Sorry I waffled :)

  3. I don't know if you have watched Everything is a remix

    Copyright is a very hard to pin down, especially when things are handmade.

    When I left University I was terrified of sharing my design work through fear of being stolen, I realised quickly that was more than a little nuts. so recently I have been showing my new designs on my blog, if anyone copies the drawings and says it is their own work more fool to them.

    When it comes to sharing images I always try and reference them as you would in any academic essay, linking back to the original source(on big mood boards this is a little harder especially with my old sheets). I don't use Pinterest (just done some research wow I vaguely understand what is going on there now with the whole copyright thing)

    The most interesting thing I found was

    If it was a big business I would do my best to challenge them as a potter. But an individual trader I don't care about unless they started saying it was made by Red Fox Pottery. Sole traders rarely have the money to actually sue.

    When I was doing business studies module they said there was an organisation within the UK who if you paid an annual fee, they would help you with any copyright infringement, but I can't remember the name. Though I have found DACs today and they have a seminar in Manchester coming up

  4. As I have always said to my husband,'If you don't want it copied, don't post a pic' .. on your own blog, pinterest, flickr, deviant art, etc .. I post tutorials as I don't craft to sell so if somebody wants to use what I have posted,they are quite welcome to.