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copying items on Etsy - Page 2

post #21 of 41
If I'm looking for inspiration, like for cloth pads, to use for myself, I totally go around browsing around.

If I was going to be selling them, though, I wouldn't intentionally copy another's design.
post #22 of 41
I have been thinking about this because we have decided to make a card table play house for our son.

This "inspiration" is this Etsy shop.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6117191

I was feeling bad about taking the idea and then I found this book:
Sandra Betzina Sews For Your Home

So obviously many ideas are from this book. Then is it okay to use some of the new ideas like velcro fruit for the tree?

Just some things I had been wondering about.

ETA - This is for personal use. Won't be selling them!
post #23 of 41
I think the S. Betzina's book and the etsy shop are a good example of the point some people are trying to make. The card table playhouse is not a "new" idea, the details a craftperson uses to make a signature item is what sets the product apart.

Have fun making the playhouse!
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by saphire View Post
I think the S. Betzina's book and the etsy shop are a good example of the point some people are trying to make. The card table playhouse is not a "new" idea, the details a craftperson uses to make a signature item is what sets the product apart.

Have fun making the playhouse!

Yes, I agree that it is the details, such as the 3D mailbox, the beauty parlor wigs and so forth which set this concept apart from the one in the book. Now when another person comes along, see the book and then sees the ETSY site and says to themselves, "I'll make a beauty parlor with wigs, too. Card table playhouses have been around forever so I'm not copying." It is this behavior that I have a problem with and your see it quite frequently in conjunction with the false statement, "There is nothing new under the sun."


ETA: I personally have no issue with anyone who copies my works for personal use and have been know to gift materials for the purpose to mamas who want to make a toy or doll for their LOs and can't afford it. I do take issue when people copy for profit, absolutely whether it's my work being copied or any other artist.
post #25 of 41
What about the etsy sellers who've "copied" from big name toy companies? In particular I'm thinking of those element stackers (fire, water, rainbows, etc) that you see all over etsy now. Weren't those first sold by Spiel and Holz? That's just 1 example; I see a ton of wooden figures on etsy that are almost identical to the Ostheimer ones. Is it ok to copy from a big company but not a small etsy seller? Just wondering if people feel differently about that issue.
post #26 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy View Post
What about the etsy sellers who've "copied" from big name toy companies? In particular I'm thinking of those element stackers (fire, water, rainbows, etc) that you see all over etsy now. Weren't those first sold by Spiel and Holz? That's just 1 example; I see a ton of wooden figures on etsy that are almost identical to the Ostheimer ones. Is it ok to copy from a big company but not a small etsy seller? Just wondering if people feel differently about that issue.
:
I addressed that in my OP but no one has offered their opinions on that. Hopefully people don't JUST care when it is affecting them.

Personally, after I ordered my Speil and Holz stackers I considered returning them to buy some off Etsy because I wanted to support handmade items, especially if they were made by WAHMs. I decided to just keep ours because our daughter seemed to like them already. I don't think it is okay for people to copy big manufacturers. Don't they have their designs copyrighted?
post #27 of 41
I don't thinks it's ok to copy "big" businesses at all, but I think it's much more common and more damaging when big businesses copy artists. "Designers" constantly shop Etsy, HC and all over the net for new ideas that they submit to the companies that employ them. Companies have unlimited resources to manufacture huge quantities of product and big budgets for marketing advertising. It's made me very wary of showing my work on line.

This product of Hillary Lang's was knocked off by a manufacturer in Australia and only because one of her fans saw the counterfeit product and gave her a head's up was she able to pursue them.

http://weewonderfuls.typepad.com/wee...spaceboy-.html


When an artist makes a couple of knockoffs to sell on ETSY it doesn't make that big of a dent, but when hundreds of artist do it, it can really hurt a small business. Copying is just not ok, at all. Do unto others...
post #28 of 41

Copying

Hi,

So, I have been reading some of your posts here regarding copying people on Etsy and using what you copy for personal use.

I believe that all artists are inspired by each other. I often see things and think, "wow, great idea! I could do that!" Sometimes, I try to make what I have seen, sometimes I don't. One thing I do not do, however, is copy other people and sell the items myself.

You all were talking about my playhouses. Obviously, not a new idea, so nobody needs to feel bad about making their own card table playhouse. I did not invent this idea, and I would never say it was my own idea. HOWEVER, my designs are copyrighted and trademarked and several are patent protected. My business attorney vigorously defends my business against anyone who blatantly copies my designs for resale. This is my business, I take it seriously, and I have a large, thriving off-Etsy toy business as well. If you want to copy what I make for your own family or to give as gifts, great! You will see exactly how much time and care I put into each of these playhouses. If you copy my designs and sell them, you will hear from my attorney. There are many sellers on Etsy who have attorneys who protect their designs as well, so you should be careful about who you copy. This is not being rude or selfish, it is just business.

Etsy artists spend hours developing their products, and many of them support their families with the money they make on that site. I hope all readers will consider their hard work and be respectful and not blatantly copy those artists for resale.
post #29 of 41
Interesting question! I was talking to a friend the other day who makes her own baby clothes (out of old sweaters felted and resewn, old linen tablecloths etc; all very organic and eco and MDCish). She said she goes to baby clothes shops sometimes to see what styles are 'in', then goes home and makes them herself. The stores aren't losing a sale because she wouldn't have bought the items in the first place; she just would have made less 'fashionable' clothes herself at home. One could even argue that her baby clothes were 'free advertising' for the pattern styles; if people admired her babies' tops, they might be more likely to look for that kind of top in the baby shops. It never occurred to me to think she was an evil pattern-stealer.

Example two... I bought some fabric to make DD some tops and trousers, which will in part be based on some baby clothes my sister sent her from England. They won't be entirely identical, because my sewing skills aren't great and I can't actually figure out how the originals were done; plus, I want them to be slightly longer/lined differently/not need buttonholes; plus I don't have a serger; and so on. In fact, I realised yesterday I could probably make the trousers by looking at the bought ones and then adapting a bought-and-paid-for bloomers pattern I already have. So as an amalgamation, I think it's perfectly legit; but even as a 'direct' ripoff-altered-only-by-circumstances-beyond-my-control, I don't know that I would have had a problem with it (which is not to say there isn't one, of course, just that I hadn't thought of it). No sale lost for them, no money gained by me.

What about trying on wedding dresses to get an idea of what looks good? I did that; Mum made the dress. I would have bought a dress if it had been the right price, and we didn't copy any of the dresses specifically (plus Mum changed the pattern a week before the wedding because the top wasn't working right, which is another story and a sad one!); plus of course we paid our $20 for the privilege of trying them on. So, any thoughts on that?

I'm always interested in intellectual property discussions, as a Linux-using somewhat-anti-copyright open-sourcey person. I think things can get particularly fuzzy on the Internet, which people tend to see as a source of free, good ideas and shared information. (And free step-by-step photographed craft tutorials are, IMO, more or less the best thing ever). I wonder if there's some kind of protocol on how disseminated an idea has to be before it's considered fair game...
post #30 of 41
Garments and other useful objects are not protected by copyright in the US. Artworks such as fine art, photographs, jewelry designs, sculpture, including dolls and other arts works are protected from the moment they are produced.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
What about trying on wedding dresses to get an idea of what looks good? I did that; Mum made the dress. I would have bought a dress if it had been the right price, and we didn't copy any of the dresses specifically (plus Mum changed the pattern a week before the wedding because the top wasn't working right, which is another story and a sad one!); plus of course we paid our $20 for the privilege of trying them on.
They made you pay to try on dresses??? Where was this?

I just went in to a shop and tried them on. Of course, somebody did stop me as I was leaving the dressing room and said they would prefer if I made an appointment, but I'd already seen what I wanted to, so I left.
post #32 of 41
This was in a town in New Zealand which I didn't realise was swanky enough for such shenanigans. It's pretty common for bridal shops; it's supposed to discourage teenage girls from spending an afternoon wasting the salespeople's time trying on wedding dresses, and maybe it's 'insurance' against the odd customer who gets lipstick on a $3000 dress as well - or for people like me who want to see what looks good, but isn't planning on buying. I can see why they do it. One place had a $20 for three dresses rule though, and that got up my nose.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
This was in a town in New Zealand which I didn't realise was swanky enough for such shenanigans. It's pretty common for bridal shops; it's supposed to discourage teenage girls from spending an afternoon wasting the salespeople's time trying on wedding dresses, and maybe it's 'insurance' against the odd customer who gets lipstick on a $3000 dress as well - or for people like me who want to see what looks good, but isn't planning on buying. I can see why they do it. One place had a $20 for three dresses rule though, and that got up my nose.
Ahh, forgot you were in NZ. I need to go back and visit someday ... I'll be sure not to try on dresses while I'm there, though.

More on topic: I guess I feel like straight copying of a design is inappropriate all around, but I wouldn't give anybody grief about it in the circumstances mentioned (not having enough money to buy the original but wanting to have something nice for a gift or your kids or yourself). Copying a design but adding "just enough" of your own work to get around a copyright then trying to sell it: Wrong. Being inspired by a design and making similar item for sale which are clearly distinguishable from the original: No problem--that's art!
post #34 of 41
I really don't like out right copying as an artist. However I really do understand some moms really can not afford some of the prices, and really want to try there hand at some things. I often use etsy as inspiration personally there as just so many things which I see. Often leading to ideas which have nothing to do with the oroginal design anyway. Just ny $.02
post #35 of 41
I prefer for my Etsy designs not to be copied.
post #36 of 41
MissPrettyPretty, Thanks for your thoughts!

I was referring only to make a personal use playhouse. DEFINITELY not for sale. And only once. I certainly don't have the inclination to do it multiple times!

Also, I am making a generic house, not one of your unique beauty shop or garage ideas. I will send anyone who asks to your shop for sure!

I was curious about the velcro fruit - is it okay to make velcro fruit?
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.V. Lowi View Post
Garments and other useful objects are not protected by copyright in the US. Artworks such as fine art, photographs, jewelry designs, sculpture, including dolls and other arts works are protected from the moment they are produced.

What about designer clothes, handbags, etc.?
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryJaneLouise View Post
What about designer clothes, handbags, etc.?

If a clothing design or a hand bag is protected by trademark or has some artwork as a feature of the design, such as a logo then those would be protected but not the garment or bag, alone.
post #39 of 41
I have been thinking about this too. A few years ago I got an idea and searched and searched to see if anyone had anything like it & so far I have only seen it on Etsy by only one seller. Now I'm not sure if I should go ahead with making it
post #40 of 41
NAK, so if this is a bit too blunt, sorry. Trying to keep sentences sort. Well my feeling is that very little on etsy or any other of the WAHM craft selling sites is extremely 100% original. A little bit of it is, but so much is put an extra bow or two, a ruffle, change the type of wood used or something else pretty trivial and call it your one of a kind design. So just make sure you change something little or leave off something little and then you are not really copying.
If you want to sell it, yes I think you need to change it enough so that it is not easily seen as being someone else's design. For your own personal use, go for it.
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