Where beautiful wearable art is created

Lorie Lynn Designs was created in memory of a dear friend, Lorie York, who died of breast cancer in 2006. We donate 10% of our sales to local breast cancer programs.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creative Idea Theft

CREATIVE IDEA THEFT



I decided to do an article for our blog about "Creative Idea Theft", because as artisans we will all deal with having our ideas stolen at some point. It is so frustrating to have this happen because you put so much of yourself into your creative thinking. To have someone come along and look at what you have done and go "Oh I love that, I'm going to do it", and then they turn around and make and sell the very same thing, is very disheartening.
I have had people say that I should take it as a compliment that someone likes my designs enough to copy them.......well I don't.........I look at it as theft.

And that's not to say that it isn't ok to follow trends and styles or to see a "look" that you like and then come up with your own designs in relation to that style, but to "copy" what someone else has spent time and mental energy on is just wrong. It's very unprofessional and unethical.

How can we protect ourselves from this? Unfortunately, it is almost impossible. You cannot copyright an idea, only a tangable product and to get a copyright for each and everything you make would be expensive and very time consuming. So, I guess all we can do is hope that there are not too many unethical people out there.

I know everytime I do a show there will be at least one person that says to their friend, "Oh, I can make that". They probably won't though - at least not to sell. But for people who are in the business of selling what they make and they turn around and start selling what they have copied -- it's just wrong.

6 comments:

Relished Artistry said...

Viki--Interestingly, there's a TEDtalk video that discusses the stealing of ideas from one source for another's profit...

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture.html

It's an interesting quandary... I know, too, that someday my ideas may be taken by someone else to make a profit off of them--happens to graphic designers all the time (see here: http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/ ) and there isn't much we can do...

But take heart that there are people like you that are encouraging the use of ideas as inspiration for even more ideas! That's what needs to be emphasized: using another's creativity to fuel your own is better than simply replicating. Until people learn how to tap their own creativity, we'll end up having a lot of the same stuff...

Crystal said...

((((((Ladies))))))
I am so sorry this has happened to you. I can't even tell you how much I related to this post right now. I HAD a friend that I helped get into selling her sewing wares, and has now turned around and every new thing I introduce in my shop shows up within days in her shop!!! It's so aggravating and disheartening, but I also like to think that karma can be a ***CH, and that's what gets me through it!
My heart goes out to you both and I wish you continued success! You do beautiful original work and the quality of your items are bar none!

Lorie Lynn Designs said...

Thank you so much Crystal. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through the same thing. It really is very upsetting. We would never do this and I guess we just expect everyone else to be as ethical. Oh well, like you said karma - what goes around comes around.

Lorie Lynn Designs said...

Relished. Thank you for sending the video. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but plan on doing that in the morning.

clitav said...

I used to work for a "factory" where I was responsible for figuring out the patterns and designs, (usually with an emphasis on utilizing every aspect of the products) and then my boss would take the designs, ideas and patterns and the glory as hers! I hated it, but that was how it was...worse if it came back "unfeasible", then the BS was MINE! Talk about a shot in the EYE!

jamauerer said...

It really sucks that this happens so often. There are enough ideas to go around and no need to copy!