or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › copying items on Etsy
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

copying items on Etsy

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Hi, I was just wondering what your opinion was on making stuff you've seen on sites like Etsy and Hyenacart. Is it wrong if you say where you got the idea from, wrong if you put it up for sale, not wrong if you make it just for personal use? Some items on Etsy are inspired by big manufacturers and I haven't seen anyone have a problem with purchasing those. Opinions?

Mine is I don't think its wrong if you make something to use for personal use but I do see a grey area if you post it up online and take credit for someone else's ideas.
post #2 of 41
I sometimes go to etsy when looking for inspiration for personal use. I don't think it is polite (or even legal) to sell something copied from what you saw there.
post #3 of 41
I don't see a problem with it, especially making something for yourself. Maybe I'm wrong, but if they can make it, why cant you? It's not like you're copying a pattern they designed, you're looking a pictures of the finished product and then making your own version. Personally, though, I wouldn't copy it to sell unless I added something to it, or made it different some how. However, when it comes to something like a wallet, or a cell-phone carrier or a lunch sack or something like that, they're all sort of the same in the end, anyway, and there's not much you can do to to make them different.
I know that's probably going to make some people angry, but... that's just my opinion
post #4 of 41
I think you can pretty much copy stuff by sight (and even sell it) but if you buy something and trace the pattern, then it is wrong.

There are only so many possible ways to make a diaper or a dress or whatnot. Now probably you shouldn't go buy the exact same fabric, etc etc.
post #5 of 41
Well I think that if it's something that has an obvious artistic style to it that is recognized by that particular artist/designer, meaning you couldn't or wouldn't have come up with the color or design idea on your own you really shouldn't sell it on Etsy, especially if it's an obvious knockoff.

Mostly out of integrity for the craft community as a whole. You also won't build up a very nice rep for yourself if you're intending on making a niche for yourself on Etsy.

That said, I do think it's totally 100% okay to be inspired, use ideas (as jumping off points) to make products/patterns. It's also okay if you see something that you could totally tweak and improve upon. Inspiration is not illegal/unethical. Pimping other people's designs to make money is not cool imo.

Don't be a copycat though if you plan to sell.

This is just my opinion as a craftsperson.
post #6 of 41
I agree, I don't see why it would be wrong to copy an idea for your own use. Blatantly copying something, and then trying to sell it, would be another thing.

I recently got a scroll saw and learned how to make little wooden animals/figures, and got a lot of my ideas from Etsy sellers. Of course these were just for my son. I even posted a similar question here in a thread in toymaking, and the etsy seller happened to see it and responded that she was happy with others using her designs as inspiration for their own use...

I think if you were going to sell something though, you'd have to change it or find a way to make it your own first.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
I think you can pretty much copy stuff by sight (and even sell it) but if you buy something and trace the pattern, then it is wrong.

There are only so many possible ways to make a diaper or a dress or whatnot. Now probably you shouldn't go buy the exact same fabric, etc etc.
Exactly, I guess I hadn't thought about buying something to take it apart and copy it, I'd never do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
Well I think that if it's something that has an obvious artistic style to it that is recognized by that particular artist/designer, meaning you couldn't or wouldn't have come up with the color or design idea on your own you really shouldn't sell it on Etsy, especially if it's an obvious knockoff.
Yeah, you said it better than me.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
I think you can pretty much copy stuff by sight (and even sell it) but if you buy something and trace the pattern, then it is wrong.

There are only so many possible ways to make a diaper or a dress or whatnot. Now probably you shouldn't go buy the exact same fabric, etc etc.
This is incorrect. You will be in violation of copyright law if you copy stuff by sight or by tracing. FYI- Personal use is not protected by the Fair Use clause. Fair Use covers copying for educational use, parody and for some forms of artistic expression, Like Andy Warhol's work with the Cambell's soup cans. Just because you don't plan to sell, doesn't make it ok to copy.

To go on to Etsy in order to copy the works of other's, gain "inspiration" or what ever you want to call it, is rude and disrespectful, no matter if the item is protected by copyright or not. Don't expect to be well received by other artist if you make a habit of doing this.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Don't expect to be well received by other artist if you make a habit of doing this.
Well clearly that's a matter of opinion - since not all Etsy sellers feel the same way. Plus, if something is made just for your own personal use in your own home, how would anyone know? Now sure it would be rude to take photos & show it off and claim that it was your own wonderful design or blah blah blah... but that's just common sense I suppose.
post #10 of 41
As an Etsy seller it doesn't really bother me to much if someone uses my idea to make their own wooden toys. I would however have an issue if they decided to copy my work and sell it. I would be pretty darned pissed to be honest because a ton of time and effort goes into coming up with my designs.
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
I guess I mostly feel bad for the WAHMs who are on there because whenever someone copies a design, then they lose sales. I mean first someone could start out making it for themselves, then give them as presents, and then have people ask them to make the same thing for them. I would be mad if I was making toys and someone copied the same exact design. But I guess there are only limited number of ways to draw a bear or make a snap diaper.

I've been thinking about this for awhile because I see people posting similar toys to those on Etsy and then I read an Etsy seller who said she was the first to do the wood burning designs on them. I think she wasn't mad that people started copying her, but I have to admit I'd be pretty irked if people started copying me and selling at lower prices.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelleklu View Post
I guess I mostly feel bad for the WAHMs who are on there because whenever someone copies a design, then they lose sales. I mean first someone could start out making it for themselves, then give them as presents, and then have people ask them to make the same thing for them. I would be mad if I was making toys and someone copied the same exact design. But I guess there are only limited number of ways to draw a bear or make a snap diaper.

I've been thinking about this for awhile because I see people posting similar toys to those on Etsy and then I read an Etsy seller who said she was the first to do the wood burning designs on them. I think she wasn't mad that people started copying her, but I have to admit I'd be pretty irked if people started copying me and selling at lower prices.
I agree, especially about the wooden toys enhanced with the woodburning. No matter how much I could gain from copying her images, I would feel too icky for taking advantage of that idea.

I don't see any problem with searching online stores, from big chain retailers to smaller etsy sellers, for new ideas, shapes, and color combos. I see it as "window shopping". That's not the same as trying to *reproduce* an item as closely as possible for monetary gain. The two just aren't the same, and it seems that the majority of crafters have a similar opinion.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by saphire View Post
I agree, especially about the wooden toys enhanced with the woodburning. No matter how much I could gain from copying her images, I would feel too icky for taking advantage of that idea.

I don't see any problem with searching online stores, from big chain retailers to smaller etsy sellers, for new ideas, shapes, and color combos. I see it as "window shopping". That's not the same as trying to *reproduce* an item as closely as possible for monetary gain. The two just aren't the same, and it seems that the majority of crafters have a similar opinion.

The problem with "window shopping" as you call it, is that copy cat artist pick the most unique details off of your work to use on their items. They don't copy the whole thing, just the best of it and then call it their own. It's hard to deal with gracefully, when you see knock offs like this all the time. People! Do your own work come up with your own ideas. It's as simple as that.
post #14 of 41
I wouldn't "copy" or even come close to copying something from etsy for sale. If I got inspiration from something I saw there, it depends on the type of inspiration. If it was like someone had made a type of wooden elephants that sparked a mental train of thought that ended in me making woolen sewn elephants, I would have no issues selling it. If it were something like, Boojboo who is the first person I've seen to put darts in an apron, I'm not sure. Its genius. Is it her idea only? certainly in some ways no, but I'd also feel like I was sort of encroaching on her territory. It depends. If I took the darts idea and used it on my own aprons that were radically different than hers, probably I'd sell them. Afterall, darts in clothing are a widespread thing. I wouldn't sell aprons that were very similar to hers though.

Now, for personal use, if I decided I wanted to try to make something like something I saw on etsy, I would have no qualms at all. I wouldn't copy the exact thing for example trying to use the exact fabric and trying to copy the exact shape, but trying to replicate the shape, or being inspired by fabric with cupcakes on it, well, in my opinion its fine. I have a serious case of "I can make that"itis, and I don't think its a problem to try to make things myself. If I were selling things on etsy, I would have no problems with people trying to make things like mine for themselves, and glad they were inspired by me. I'd only have issues if they tried to copy my designs for sale.
post #15 of 41
As a child growing up in a family w/ 4 kids & no money to buy extras my mom copied a lot of things for us. there were many things that we could not ever afford to buy, but that my mom could make from things found around the house (she had a stash of supplies bought at yard & rummage sales or given to us by people in our church who knew our situation). I have no problem w/ that kind of copying. the original producer was in no way losing a customer (b/c we couldn't afford to buy) & my mom was not selling it was for her children's personal use.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelleklu View Post
I've been thinking about this for awhile because I see people posting similar toys to those on Etsy and then I read an Etsy seller who said she was the first to do the wood burning designs on them. I think she wasn't mad that people started copying her, but I have to admit I'd be pretty irked if people started copying me and selling at lower prices.
She might have been the first person doing wood burning on Etsy when she started but I'm sure she wasn't the first person who thought about painting and woodburning designs.

My grandmother made me blocks as a child that were painted and then woodburned so that stuff isn't particularly new.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by junipervt View Post
As a child growing up in a family w/ 4 kids & no money to buy extras my mom copied a lot of things for us. there were many things that we could not ever afford to buy, but that my mom could make from things found around the house (she had a stash of supplies bought at yard & rummage sales or given to us by people in our church who knew our situation). I have no problem w/ that kind of copying. the original producer was in no way losing a customer (b/c we couldn't afford to buy) & my mom was not selling it was for her children's personal use.
This is where we are right now. I won't sell those things, they are just for us.
post #18 of 41
I don't believe there is such a thing as a new idea. There just isn't. There is are a limited number of ways of doing things. I think it is wrong to outright exactly copy someone else's work for sale, but if you happen to make something similar to another seller? How would they EVER know that you got the idea from them? Where did they get the idea? Did they come up with it or did they see something like it one day and it just stuck in the back of their mind? There is no way anyone can ever know exactly where their inspiration comes from. There are no new ideas.
post #19 of 41
So true alice. Look at other examples of things spontaniously arising in different places with likely no interaction: did you know that as well as being an ancient chinese therapy, its also an ancient therapy from.... oh dear, I'm afraid too much info got stuffed into my brain at the conference. I think it might be guatamala? Somewhere in central america. The midwives in central america said they learned it "from god". I know there are some other things that are even more striking, where people suddenly developed it at similar points in time, all over the world. Maybe it was agriculture? I'm not sure. anyways, ideas sometimes arise spontaneously, and sometimes not. Unless its the same exact thing, that's just the process of human creativity.
post #20 of 41
If some says there are no new ideas, that's because they never had one.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Arts & Crafts
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › copying items on Etsy