'Copying is a form of Envy ' -- NOT !

toomuchglassOctober 4, 2007

I've heard so many people tell me that

"Copying" is a form of envy . You should be flattered that your stuf is nice enough to copy .

Boy - I'm sorry - I just don't buy it. Nope. Never. Copying an exact item is not "Flattery" - it's stealing.

Here's my story ..... I'm involved in a stained glass store . I make original stuff for her to sell in her store - plus I make original stuff for my craft fairs

( MY stuff can't be exactly reproduced )

This lady ,Deanna , sucks up other's ideas and makes them --_ THE SAME --- to sell !!! She saw my stained glass angels in the glass store and copied them . Can you believe this ?? --- (read on ) ---

Fate had it - we were Both at the same craft fair. She was 5 booths down from me. She walked around & came across me ... The conversation went like this ...

"Hey Kathy !!!! Nice to see you here !!!! I didn't know you'd be here !!! I asked -- Hey ! How are you doing ???? I didn't know you were here either ! What are you selling ?

Her reply was "All sorts of stuff ."

"By the way --- I copied your angel & it's selling like crazy !" She invited me down to her booth to see tham . Can you believe this !!! I got my wonderful craft booth neighbor to watch my stuff while I went down there.

My Angels that she "copied" .. were lined up .. To me - it looked like a 3rd grader made them. She had them priced abot 75% below mine. She was Proud of it !!! No Wonder they were selling.

That's the biggest sore spot in my crafting life.

In the "big Picture" ... She's laughable . You get what you pay for. She is definately no threat to me ! *grin*

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luvstocraft

Oh, Kathy, I can't even imagine how you must have felt when you saw what she had done!

I've always heard it as "Copying is the most sincere form of flattery". But you are right, it's not, especially when it's by a competitor right in your own area!

Sounds like she felt no guilt or remorse for having used your idea--especially when she told you and said how great they were selling. The nerve of some people.

At least you have the satisfaction of knowing your creations are of a much higher quality. So sorry you had such an awful experience. Hope you had lots of nice customers that day, and lots of sales too.

Luvs

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 2:18AM
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oddie

since I do not sell crafts I would find it flattering if someone wanted to copy a craft I had done, sounds like that girl was just being mean and out for the $, wonder how many people brought hers then seen yours, how disapointed they must be! cheaper isnt always better, I would rather pay more for a nice craft then someones throw together!
Try not to let it get to you so much, has to take the joy out of crafting, and you know yours was much nicer and so does the other crafters who brought her stuff!
you didnt say how your show went please come back and tell us.
I have a sister who we have done crafts together befor, she hasnt done any for years but is very talented and in my mind could do anything. back when I was makeing bracletes and was giveing them to my family for gifts she desides to start makeing them and giveing them as gifts ,telling my family all my mistakes, yes hers was beautiful! but took the fun out of it for me, havent picked up a bead since!
oddie

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 8:03AM
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sweets98

So sorry about that. Some people just don't understand that it's wrong and then there are also people out there that look at something that's only a tiny bit like theres and claim it was copied. It goes from one extreme to the other! I think it's really hard to have something new and different in the crafting world and keep it that way.

It's too bad that people were scooping up her angels just because they were cheaper. Cheaper isn't always better. But that's part of the reason that I learned to look around craft fairs, remember what I liked and then go through a second time to get what I wanted! LOL

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 8:49AM
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janet_ks

I wouldn't have even gone to her booth to see them. Once she said how well they were selling, I would have said (in an excited and happy tone), "Oh, that's great!! I guess I can expect to receive an 80% commission for design services. Cash or check would be fine."

I have a crafting friend whose ideas I will occasionally use (with her permission), but these are low dollar items, usually are not identical and are ideas we've seen on crafting forums such as this one. We do a couple of the same shows, but also a couple different ones and I NEVER put my "copycats" out at shows that she is also attending. As far as I'm concerned, stained glass is in a whole different league. It's higher dollar (both cost and selling price) and definitely requires design work. She should have asked your permission first.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:52AM
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quidam

Deanna really doesn't seem to have a clue that what she did was offensive. Some people just don't have that moral hardwiring especially in the "gray" areas. If she is otherwise a nice person, I think you should kindly tell her in a non-threatening way.

I would be upset also, if I were you. That would really make me mad.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:27PM
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thrift_shop_romantic

I can certainly see where you would have been annoyed by it. Her approach, the whole thing, was just really poorly handled. I would imagine she's had similar issues with other people, given she seems so blind as to what she's done.

But you're right-- you put a lot of your own ideas, techniques, etc. into your work. Something people can't easily replicate. And that can make all the difference in the world.

There are Oreos... and then there's Hydrox. Hydrox might be cheaper, but it doesn't taste as good with milk. :-)

--Jenn

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 3:24PM
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luvstocraft

Perfect example Jenn! You have a great way with words! Kathy, hope we've all made you feel better. Luvs

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:02PM
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barb_from_pa

I know it stinks, but what can you do? If you see her selling them again, I do think you should nicely mention that you don't appreciate her copying your ideas. Some people just don't get it. Good luck with your sales!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 9:10AM
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wnlbutterfly

I know we can't stop someone from using our ideas, but what really burns me is when they can't even be bothered to change anything about it. I have had poem kits where they just photocopied my poem and used that. And the fun one was when I made up "directions" for turkey cookies (mostly pre-bought and assembled). She was selling the directions I had made....just had photocopied the one she bought from me. I told her these were my directions and she first said "oh yeah, lots of people make these". I said no...I MADE this page...I had hand-drawn parts of the "how to's" it was THE one I had done.

First time that happened was with Cow Seeds, anyone remember those...you add spots to white beans. That was before I had a computer, so I had hand drawn the cow on the header card...YEARS...I mean YEARS later I saw it at a craft show. MY header card!

Now days I usually will put my initials somewhere on the graphic/header...can't see it unless you are really looking. I figured that way if anyone just slaps it onto the photocopier I will know it was MINE! Not that I can do anything about it other than say "oh...I did that!".

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 9:03PM
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scarlett2001

I agreee with Quidam - this lady who is copying you needs to be educated. You owe it yourself to explain to her that this is just not done without your permission, and yes, maybe even a fee.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:41PM
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christopherh

As a professional full time crafter I too would be angry. And with good reason. That was intellectual theft!
If the angels were your design then you should take ALL your original designs and put them into a book form. Complete with thicker paper for the covers, print some on your computer and send the book off to the copyright office.

www.copyright.gov

You then are getting ALL your designs copyrighted at once. Then you can TELL the other exhibitor to STOP making YOUR angels. It's even better when you have an attorney write the letter! Don't be afraid of insulting her. She isn't afraid of insulting you!

It's one thing for people to share ideas for crafts when they are using the ideas for personal use. But when crafters steal ideas and make money off those ideas, a line must be drawn.

The copyright will be the best $45 you ever spent.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 7:28AM
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Lara

You are right about that CristopherH! i was just reading about copyrights last night, and that's about what it costs plus shipping of course. I also read that you can use the "c" copyright symbol on your crafts even without registering your item. This however doesn't give you any legal rights in court unless you register with the govt, but it just might scare off any thieves from copying your items for the meantime.
I feel for the original poster, I was also ripped off. I sent in my entry for a crafter of the year contest and the company stole my design, renamed it, published it in their magazine, demonstrated it on their cable show, and I couldn't do anything about it at the time. They even went as far as to change the name of my project slightly, and had the audacity to almost word for word describe the use of the item! I couldn't believe these people, with their good reputation I thought, would be doing this to one of their most loyal viewer!!
I asked around, and lawyers were charging upwards of $3ooo just to start a case against them. I had no money at the time, and so I just let it go. The lady show host had the nerve to return my call at home to tell me that it was a project that they had done years ago, but were just now making it available to the public!! Talk about adding insult to injury!
Long story short, I learned my lesson, and they no longer have their cable show, not even sure if they're magazine is still on the market. I got to hand it to them, they do have a pretty good line of glues!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 5:24PM
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craftfetish

(Fair warning - I'm no lawyer - definitely consult one if

I'm no expert on copyright laws, but as I understand it, one of the main things you are doing when you register a copyright is establishing a timeline - kind of this was my idea, and I came up with it on this date.

As I understand it, if something is your design, it is your intellectual property and you own the copyright (whether or not you regsiter it). But for a legal defense you need to be able to establish that you had the idea first.

You could also post your designs on a blog (admittedly, opening yourself up to more copycats) or mail copies or photos of them to yourself (the postmark establishes the timeline, so don't open the envelopes).

Ultimately, defending a copyright would be an expensive proposition and possibly not something you would want to pursue unless the copycat is causing you significant financial harm.

But adding the little (c) to your work with a date will go a long way towards detering the average copycat.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 9:58AM
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premier

When you say she copied my angels...how exact are the angels? Or did she just use angels? You said they looked like a third grader did them. That sounds like they really didn't look like yours.

You mentioned she copied your poems? Did you actually write these poems? What are turkey cookies? Where did you come up with the directions?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:33PM
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Deb_from_Pa

well, that does burn my butt too.i have used ideas before as an offspring to what i want to do....for instance, i might use eyes in a painting of something that i swa somewhere else. i would ask her to please not tell anyone where she got her idea & Mention that yours is one of a kind, top quality and done with TlC, not done in an assembly line..........that'll get her goat.
that is just rude that she came up to you and actually told you that! RUDE!
I'd love for you to come to my craft board and share your crafts with us and join in on all of the fun too!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 7:35AM
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toomuchglass

Yes - the angels were an exact duplicate of mine - except made poorly. This is a pic of the angel :

Hers was the same - same wings - holding a flower , same shaped dress .... I guess you could say the exact same "theme" . I charged $28 for mine - her knock offs were about $15 . Part of me feels that with her quality - she's no threat to me .. but part of me says it's the principle of it .... Thou shalt not copy !

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 8:07PM
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luvstocraft

Kathy, your angels are beautiful. I love the extra touches like the bow and the swirls--don't worry, I can paint a bit but no stained glass! LOL Luvs

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 8:41PM
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premier

Its very pretty. I don't know how you make this but did you freehand the shape of the angel and the sections or copy from something else? The shape seems familiar to me but then again maybe that's how angels look. How do you think she was able to get the same shape and sections from the one she bought from you? Do you think it can be traced or can someone freehand that?

The $15 and $28 price difference is a problem. I can see people looking at a distance or not carefully looking to see the quality difference and just assuming that they are the same. If they put them side by side which they probably don't, they would then see the quality difference.

It does seem obvious that she knew yours were successful so she copied.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 11:13PM
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toomuchglass

Yes , premier - everything I do is freehand . If it was originally from a pattern that I just changed around - that would be a whole different story.

PS - Thanks for the compliments ! :)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 4:42PM
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oddie

OMG that has to be the most beautiful angel I have ever seem, you dont have to worrie about me stealing, wouldnt even attemp to try makeing her, very exceptional !
oddie

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:40AM
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honeysuckleridge

I'm really sorry this has happened to you! Your angel is just beautiful!! Absolutely gorgeous!!

ginger

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 7:19PM
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