Inspiration or Imitation, and why I care.
The battle rages, and among beaders, no less. Is it kosher to copy someone's design if they see it as a tutorial project someplace, and recreate that project, then sell it? I'm not talking about the whole "Who invented peyote?", which everyone knows is not the point. I am talking about using someone else's exact design and making a profit from it, without permission from the original creator. Sometimes there is a very distinct line between inspiration and imitation, as in my case.
This is my original O-ring design, first sold online in my own site, then published in Step by Step Beads and referenced on Beading Daily. I sell many versions of this, and people recognize it as one of my signature designs, especially the use of the rubber ring and rubber cord, and the prominent inclusion of the thread as part of the design.
These other pendants were found online, on the same art-for-sale Web site where I sell my work. Let me ask, inspiration or imitation? Should I care? They were underselling me, too.
My blog, my rant. One artist was nice enough in their reply to my request to stop selling my design, the other didn't at all understand why I was angry and was actually quite spiteful.
Go figure. You'd think we beaders would look out for each other in a world where overseas producers are ripping off artists left and right!