- Liana Kabel
- Brisbane, Australia
- My studio is located in Brisbane, Australia. For the past 10 years I’ve been enjoying creating jewellery designs from an array of mundane materials. Tupperware and knitting needles have remained a firm favourite. My designs have been published numerous times, graced the shelves of many wonderful galleries and stores and been worn by those whose aren’t afraid of colour and attention. All of which I am very grateful for. For several years I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with many businesses as a coach and workshop facilitator.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Big Business Is Bad, But What About That Local Designer?
I've steered clear of the whole copycat issue for a while. Frankly because it upsets me. I haven't enjoyed seeing numerous 'versions' of my designs. So I've just taken to ignoring it, perhaps giving into the 'what can you do about it?'/'ideas float' attitude. It all seemed a bit hard, and a whole lot unpleasant. But I'm thinking now that attitude is wrong. You shouldn't be OK with it. Sometimes you do have original ideas/designs, and why shouldn't you try to protect them?
Via Twitter I have seen a whole lot of designers being copied by big business,and a whole lot of people being outraged over it, for example. Which of course is right. It is outrageous and they should cease immediately.
All this has got me to thinking about what we, as a community, can do about it. Also unfortunately, to the sometimes double standard within our community. The design I've seen copied are illustrations and therefore more easily identifiable as copies. Craft/design/and plain good ideas, admittedly are less so. But It does seem that you are allowed to say something when big business copies, but not so much when another designer/crafts person copies. I think this in effect makes it a lot harder to fight the mass produced copies. If we can't even respect each others original ideas?
The Internet can be a minefield. It is an easy way to view and copy designs. The flipside is that is an easy way to prove when you created a design. Images loaded to Flickr, for example, are dated.
This is what I would like to see happen to reduce copying.
1. Not knowing is not an excuse. Take some responsibility and do some research.
2. Craft and design blogs/organisations/shops that elevate craft should not at the same time undermine craft/design by promoting obvious copies, or by providing tutorials of obvious copies. Again refer to step 1.
3. Say something about it when you see it. Be polite, because there is no need not to be. I know this is dicey because you may be wrong. Maybe they are the original maker, or maybe your idea of what is a copy is not their one (or a lot of other peoples'), but what is the alternative? Say nothing? Doesn't this condone copying, and in effect makes it harder for everyone to protect their original work?
When I did say something
Feel free to add your opinions, as I know this issue has a lot of grey areas.