Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stealing ideas

Sadly, stealing ideas in the craft industry is big business. Sometimes local crafters steal and copy ideas from other crafters. Sometimes big bad companies are the thieves. It's become very common for them to steal and copy ideas from independent artists, then mass produce it, thus running the independant artist out of business.

I first saw this story on another blog I follow. Thanks to Molly for posting this. It's the story of Urban Outfitters blatant theft of a jewelry line, and how social media came to the rescue. Fascinating (and disturbing) stuff. You can read about it here

I do enough reading on the web to realize this happens all the time. I've heard stories of someone taking pictures at craft shows. A few months later, the crafter is appalled to learn that their creation has been stolen, and is now mass produced and sold at local department stores for a fraction of the cost. These days with blogs, Etsy, facebook, websites etc., they don't even have to bother going to the shows. They just steal the ideas right from a picture. Disgusting.

Granted, there is nothing new under the sun. One person's idea is a variation of someone else's idea. But, you can get inspired by an idea and come up with your own variation of it without simply copying it.

And, granted, crafter's should copyright their work. But, and it's a big but, from what I understand, it isn't easy. Nor is it in most independant artist's budget.

It's truly a shame that the conscience isn't enough to make some people do the right thing, which in this case would be to NOT steal ideas.

What's the little guy or gal to do? Honestly, I have no idea. I'm glad in the case of the jewelry artist, social media saved the day, or maybe at least saved the hour.

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