Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Copying, Stealing, Inspiration & Good Ideas

There's been a lot in the crafty world lately about copycats & people stealing ideas. I'm not talking about using someone else's images to promote yourself. But when two craftspeople or designers produce very similar work. How do we know who has copied who? Or indeed if anyone copied at all? Surely this could just be coincidence? We are all inspired by something, and in many cases it's by trends, whether in fashion, craft, or cake making.

I know I have created cakes that look like someone else's because we've been inspired by the same thing - Cath Kidston prints for examples.

I made a birthday card for my sister with quilled cocktails on & then noticed someone else has made a card with a quilled martini glass too. But how do I prove I haven't copied? How do I prove that I just had the same idea? Because I've started to notice that some of the copycat claims aren't for identical matches but very similar designs.

I understand there's a 7 differences rule, that there should be 7 distinct differences between two items to prove its not a copy. But when you're dealing with a cupcake, or a quilled card, there aren't often that many changes to work on.

So this is a genuine question:

How do I carry on crafting, designing websites and decorating cakes without the fear of being outed on twitter as a copycat simply for having the same good idea as someone else?

Your thoughts?


Nina said...

It's really tricky isn't & I know exactly what you mean! I recently came up with an idea for a dessert, made it & blogged about it but didn't give the actual recipe. Then a company I follow started mentioning they now well the 'same' dessert. Did they copy my idea?? I really don't know and even if they did, what can I do?? I think if you're putting idea's, pictures, cakes out there people will replicate those ideas, that's just human nature. I think it's different when you get into companies selling products as there own (like the whole Claire's fiasco a while back) But for individuals like ourselves there's little we can do x

Rhian said...

I do agree with you. The companies who get accused of copying independant designers should know better, it's very much a matter of decency & principal. But these shops also get 'inspired by' the big designers, and then have their designs copied by smaller/cheaper shops. (Trying very hard to not mention names.) I'm just playing devil's advocate here - but where is the line?