Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Copyright.

I have no doubt in my mind that the subject of copyright will continue to rear it's head long after I am gone. This post will not draw a timely and permanent line under the subject, and yet I feel compelled to write about it.

Today I received an email from a young miniaturist asking for advice. I do not know her very well, which only proves to me how utterly desperate she must have felt reaching out to me.

What she revealed in her email saddened me deeply. She was accused by a rather well known and respected miniaturist of theft. The assumption...and it was an assumption by the accuser...was that the young miniaturist had been inspired solely by this persons blog, had written a tutorial on how to copy the idea and had then stated that the idea was her own. None of which was apparent in any of the posts that I read.


So let's get a few things straight with copyright and miniatures. It always amuses me when I read 'copyright' in relation to miniatures. I think I can safely say that 99% of miniatures are copies of their life-size counterpart. No one is reinventing the wheel here. There are a hundred ways to hit a nail into a piece of wood but at the end of the day, you're still using a hammer. If you haven't protected your intellectual property through patent, trade marks or designs and copyright, or can reasonably prove that the idea was yours alone and not copied, then you have very little lawful right over them...whichever country you are from. We all know that when someone screams copyright infringement in our world, what they really mean is that they're pissed and hope the bluff of a court case is enough to get you to stop. They also hope that their relative popularity will attract sympathiser/followers to the cause. Intimidation is an ugly method of getting your own way and it is a huge bug bear of mine. I will not tolerate it on my blog. If you feel in some way that someone has over stepped the mark, have the common decency to contact that person privately...be civil...express how it makes you feel. It is so easy to imagine the worst, believing that this stranger is maliciously attacking that which you hold dear and it rarely proves to be the case.
In turn, the other person may reveal something that explains it all. If you do not know this person, why do you think the worst before considering an alternative?

If you blog about your miniatures, do you ever question why?

Is the motivation simply a way to showcase the things you own? You have to accept  that you are placing it in the public domain. You have chosen to put your ideas at risk from anyone with internet access. If you don't like the idea of someone being inspired by your blog and making miniatures of their own, the simple answer is don't put it out there on social network sites. Better still, just accept the fact that it happens and move on. If you get bent out of shape about those you know about, imagine how bad you're gonna feel about the thousands that you don't? I get it, I really I do. Design is a very personal thing and I completely support anyone who wants to have something individual. But when it gets out, and it is only a matter of time, don't blame those who copy when you have given them the means to do so.

Do you blog because you want to share how you make miniatures? If the skills you've learned are never passed down, who the hell is going to take up the mantle of miniaturing once we're gone? What legacy are we leaving future generations? Are miniaturists only allowed to improve their skills if they pay the huge bucks to enroll in specialist courses? If someone reads one of my tutorials and makes it better then great. That is how progress works. I couldn't give a teeny rats bum hole if I'm cited as the source. All I care about is that people are making miniatures. It's a reciprocal institution you see. If I inspire, a new generation of miniaturists make something bigger and better. The miniature hobby improves, the range of available pieces grow. In the last three years of reading blogs, I have only ever read one miniaturist citing Angie Scarr as her inspiration and yet every foodie uses Angie's caning technique in their designs. Do you think Angie cares? Do you think she has problems filling her work schedule or selling her books. Na-ah.

Do you use blogger as an advertising platform to sell your miniatures? Then you need to understand some very basic traits of your target audience. There are miniaturists who make and those who buy. The makers, no matter how hard you try to foil them will find a way. The mind set of those who like to craft are often the same people who like to problem solve. They will look at an object, work out how it is made and transfer the idea into miniature form. If you are trying to protect your income from those people, then stop! You are wasting your time. Do you intend to bind everyone who participated in your course with a secrecy pact? People talk. The information spreads like tree branches until everyone knows. Concentrate on those who have no interest in making miniatures but love the stuff you make. They are the people who will support your endeavors.

and so endeth the sermon.

I hope above all things, that no one ever feels so crushed by false accusation that they close their blogs forever. That would be the greatest travesty of our hobby.

Peace



Pepper =0)














50 comments:

  1. You bring up some good points about expectancies of blogging. I try to mix it up by making tutorials and also selling miniatures, but I suppose the main reason I blog is just to share my hobby with others.

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    1. Thank you for commenting Maria. I too offer tutorials but sometimes sell miniatures. The first never impacts the second because there are always people who collect miniatures but have no interest in making their own. It's a huge hobby and there is room for all of us. I think your reason to blog is the best one. Sharing is just the best way to be completely involved in the miniature hobby and have contact with others who enjoy it =0)

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  2. Wow. I can only speak for myself as a new miniaturist (since 2012) that if it were not for the wonderful bloggers many problems I have encountered in creating minis would never have been solved. I am continuously inspired by others works. That said, I can understand when perhaps someone gets upset to see another person perhaps using their work and improving upon it. But if they do not want their ideas "stolen", then they are surely wrong to blog and not clarify that they prefer their work remain theirs. I blog about my work and ideas because I think it's actually great that I may help someone solve a problem or stimulate their creative juices. I feel it's a form of flattery. I even contemplated putting watermarks on my blog pics but thought, ah - who cares. I know it's mine! I always try to give credit to those who inspire me by directing others to an Etsy shop or at least to a blog to see an artist's work. Yes, we are artists, but if we plan to make a living off our work then we need to be clear about what can and cannot be borrowed. I can't imagine Monet or VanGogh getting upset with other impressionists because they painted the same way. I figure just be clear and less accusatory. It may be we don't know someone in the "real" world but that's no reason to treat them badly behind the veil of a the virtual world. (By the way thanks Pepper, I've got lots of ideas from you!!! But I always credit you too!)

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    1. Thank you for you comment, I agree with all of the points you make. It is so lovely hear from someone that felt inspired by another blogger and even better that you in turn are inspiring people with your discoveries =0)

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  3. Whoa...that was a mouthful. Speaking of copyrights. Would you mind if I put a link to this post on my blog? ;-D

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    1. ha-ha, of course I don't mind. Use what ever you like =0)

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  4. Hi Pepper! I agree with you about everything you wrote above. For me in person the problem is to write in English, especially the technical terms. It always takes me a lot of time for translating my blog posts before they go on my blog and even my comments before I put them on someones blog and still it is not perfect.
    For me, I just want to share my miniatures with the bloggers, having much fun in reading their blogs and admiring their work. But I do understand what you mean with this blogpost.
    Hugs, Ilona

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    1. Thank you IIona. I think you blog is a wonderful source of inspiration. I never have any trouble understanding your meaning and I'm amazed how well you translate it. I have no such talent for languages so I'm always in awe of those who do.
      =0)

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  5. Aunque en algunas frases, con el traductor no capto bien el sentido, en general estoy de acuerdo contigo. Creo que las personas que tenemos un blog , lo que mas nos gusta es compartir, enseñar, aprender y pasar un buen rato con nuestra afición.

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    1. Gracias por tu comentario Isabel usted. Es un pasatiempo maravilloso para ser parte de

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  6. I once was attached by one of these "well know miniaturist" because she with all her followers were bashing somebody that accordingly to her, had stolen "her" idea and made a tutorial on how to do it. The poor person didn't even know about all of that and I was disgusted how everybody was coming in leaving really nasty comments without even know the real story. Anyway, from the moment you post pictures or steps on the web, obviously people will copy or get ideas from your item. This is inevitable and if you don't want this to happen, then don't post. This is part of blogging and social networking: sharing. People share and use ideas from every where....even your blog! If you use my ideas or my design for your own minis, then I don't care, I actually feel honored. If you copy my stuff for selling than it's different, but usually people on the blogs, they just make things for their own pleasure. Not for selling.

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    1. Hi Simona, I really don't enjoy public humiliation of anyone. It doesn't help our hobby at all and if the person supposedly 'stealing' is so hard faced about it, then humiliation doesn't stop them. It is far kinder to contact someone and speak about your concerns. I'm sorry that you were harrassed for your opinion and I hope it hasn't deterred you in your love of a great hobby

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  7. Now that I have read both sides, I have to say there are unspoken courtesies in the world of miniatures. However, I understand how both sides feel. Maybe someone can speak to the young miniaturist and just talk about these courtesies. She may not even have realized she stepped on someone's toes and meant no harm. I think it is kind of ridiculous for people to say, "for personal use only" I never understood that. Was it that they think they should get a cut of the money or something?

    The seasoned miniaturist may have to make some changes on how they enjoy their hobby in the future. As far as the use of Facebook...well...not such a good idea. You asked so I am telling.
    There. I'm done.

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    1. Hi Grandmommy, and in your answer lies the problem. An unspoken courtesy...so how does anyone new to the hobby know? Do we get a leaflet when we open a blog? The expectation is that someone kind and more experienced would point us in the right direction. Most of the time it is a misunderstanding and the 'accused' doesn't realise how their post may be percieved. But there is also the question of artistic rights. I make beds with laser cut fretwork in them. Does that mean any future miniaturists doing the same thing have to cite me as a source? Of course not. It would be a towering arrogance to think that I am the only person to ever concieve the idea of fretwork in a miniature design =0)

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  8. I've also read both sides or the story. I can see how both parties feel, but I believe you are right. I wouldn't be able to make many of the things I do if it weren't for all of these wonderful miniature blogs. Most of the time I don't think miniaturists are malicious in their attempt to copy someone. I think it's a matter of "what a great idea, I think I'll try that". The more seasoned miniaturist should also remember that imitation is a form of flattery and admiration.

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    1. My sentiments exactly M4M. It rarely is malicious. Seasoned miniaturists should also understand that it is only by virtue of their age that they got there first. That does not, however, give anyone rights over a copy of a life-size design.

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    2. I mentioned the flattery sentiment to the other person. I hope it meant something to him.

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  9. I sell my mini work, and sometimes I post tutorials. I've picked up so much info from sharing back and forth with others, and everyone, for the most part, is so nice within the craft. And from what I've seen, people do try to give one another credit for their work. Recently, I was very confused and honestly a little offended when someone sent me a message about something I was selling, they accused me of copying them. It was such a generic item, mine didn't look like the ones they made, and to the best of my knowledge I had never seen the photo I was being told I copied-until the accusation showed up in my inbox. They just didn't like that I made something that at some point they also made. Miniatures are almost always "copying" to begin with, and I know quite a bit about Copyright, so (I tried) to nicely explain it all to the person contacting me. It was disheartening to think that this kind of drama is happening within such a nice hobby community though.

    Thanks to issues with my laptop I'm sort of out of the blogging loop right now, so I really don't know who's involved or what the whole deal is here, but it sounds like there are some very public and not nice things being passed around-How sad. I'm hoping this isn't a new trend amongst miniaturists.

    I am glad to read your post Pepper, I think you really hit all the points when it comes to "Copyright" and miniatures. Good to know that there are other people who get how it works. :)

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    1. Hi Kyle, unfortunately it often comes down to protecting an income. Money seems to send perfectly sane people into greedy louts when they think they might lose a sale to someone else. I'm sorry that you had such a nasty incident but I'm glad it hasn't deterred you from making your wonderful miniatures =0)

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  10. Very well spoken and I couldn't agree more!

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  11. Pepper’s couch tutorial was the first miniature I made. If it wasn’t for that tutorial I probably would not have gotten the scale right.

    I come to this hobby realizing that most of my ideas have already been done. However, I do try to cite the specific blog post or at least the name of the blog when I use an idea. I do it out of respect. There are many miniaturists who have been creating and making this hobby relevant who deserve that. And nothing is more challenging to me when looking at a miniaturists’ work and thinking…I want to make that. I could see how it could be frustrating if someone is continuously copying ideas and not acknowledging where they came from. People put a lot of hard work and hours into creating these miniatures. It should be a common courtesy to reference the source if you are posting someone else tutorial.

    This hobby brings me joy, that is why I do it. My blog is simply a journal of my efforts. And if my blog can be the source of inspiration for someone else, then great! I am so thankful for the tutorials and support that other bloggers have shown me. I learn so much and that’s what it should be all about, a community of bloggers supporting and learning from others. It saddens me that bloggers are bullied in this way. I too have run into some not so friendly bloggers (who take themselves way too serious). Why do you blog on one of the largest public platforms and not want people to comment on your page or use a tutorial? I could go on but it’s simply not worth it. Pepper great post!! It was timely and informative.

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    1. Hi MC. I am thrilled that something I did inspired you. It is the main reason I am here. It gives me great satisfaction to know that you, in turn, are now inspiring your followers with you amazing idea. Isn't that one of the main reasons we're here? Thank you for your comment =0)

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    2. Definitely agree with MC's post. Many of us (both newbies and seasoned experts) look at miniature blogs for inspiration and advice on projects. And I think many of us are respectful of each other's work that we do put credit where it's due. Plus, you're right Pepper -- if you post something on a blog, it's out there. (Excellent post btw - if you're okay with it, I'd like to share this post on my blog in turn. It's good food for thought).

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    3. No problem at all sweets, share away =0)

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  12. Wow! What a brilliant post. Love this perspective on things.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Suze

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  13. After starting four comments, getting me head into knots, and closing the window I'd almost finished a well thought reply. And then accidentally closed the window! Argh...

    So here's a short version:
    Times are changing fast. Especially online.
    Many people don't know about or understand copyright (or don't care: see The Stolen Scream: http://screameverywhere.com/)
    Laws are different depending on where you live (I only recently discovered that it's perfectly legal to sell 'replica' designer furniture in Australia!)
    I believe there's a huge difference between copying someone's original work that they sell themselves and selling it as your own vs creating something inspired by something else for your own use or to give to a friend. Although, depending on the copyright of the original, both could be deemed illegal.

    If you want to read more I recommend Lawrence Lessig's book Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (http://remix.lessig.org/ download the Creative Commons version of the book under the 'remix' tab) and Robert Levine's book Free Ride: How the Internet Is Destroying the Culture Business and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back. For a lighter and quicker read, Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (http://austinkleon.com/steal/) is good.

    On a related note, David Gauntlett's book Making is Connecting: The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 is well worth a read (http://www.makingisconnecting.org/)

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    1. Thanks for all the links TSS, you're determined to educate me ha-ha. Times are changing and there is a huge difference between taking an original, selling and claiming it as your own. Just a bit of common sense needed at times =0)

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  14. Excellent post, brilliant actually! :) I could not have said it better.

    When I stepped into the world of miniatures, my only source of information was online. I learned A LOT from tutorials, both online and from magazines. I'm really thankful to them and I always try to cite the source when I remember, lol... sometimes a technique it was learned and incorporated a long time ago and I don't even remember where I saw it. If it weren't for those tutorials, I would have never gotten so far, I wouldn't have gotten to the point I could make my own miniatures 'good enough' to apply for a scholarship at IGMA and learn there. Most of us just don't have the money to go to expensive classes...

    As I said, I often cite the source of inspiration and place links to them, I think it's called common courtesy :) But once it's out there, I have no control of what people do out of my tutorials or creations. And I don't care! :) Yes, I love when someone says they've learned something for me, but that's just the cherry on the top. As you said, what is important is that the torch has been passed on and more people are enjoying miniatures. The more, the merrier.

    What I've learned is basically that anything at all can and will be copied. Sometimes the copier will be better than the original, most times not half as good. So, the 'original' maker shouldn't worry. If his/her work is better, his/her clients will continue to buy from him/her. If it's worse... well, improve it! Either way, even he/she was the sole maker of a specific thing or technique, no one in the world would be capable of supplying the need of all customers in the world! There IS place for everyone.

    I also have a blog for divulging miniatures in general - not about my own work. Once I placed two pictures of a tutorial I saw on another blog: the before and the after ones. Then I placed lots of links to the tutorial, to the original blog and said multiple times: go there to see the full tutorial and more, it's a great blog. In other words: free advertisement. Next thing I know I got a 'cease and desist' email from the blogger, complaining I didn't ask permission and that I was stealing her post... Whaaat? Ok, if she didn't want the free advertisement and redirection to her blog, I was fine with that, I just deleted the post. And I learned the lesson, I always ask for permission, just in case. But the main lesson learned is that sometimes people really get overboard about 'copyrights', even when that's not the case.

    I can only hope more people will understand what you said here. THANK YOU for you post!!!

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    1. Thank you Evelyn, you make a lot of valid points. I love the fact that you started as many do...learning from others and getting to a point that you could apply for a scholarship. The IGMA obviously care not only about maintaining the excellence of miniature work but also reaching out to those who may deserve a scholarship but do not have the means. Thank you for taking the time to comment =0)

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  15. I agree with all your points and more. Copyright accusations in the miniaturist community are just plain daft. Unless someone has made a mould of your hand sculpted work, and then mass produced it in the far east, you don't have a leg to stand on with a copyright accusation. I saw one argument once about copying which could ultimately be traced back to the TECHNIQUE!! That I don't think the accuser had even come up with herself, and it was part of a free tutorial, which she has now withdrawn. Luckily I learnt about the technique before it disappeared, and hope one day to share it, but I am now nervous about doing that! :D

    The vast majority of my miniatures, wouldn't exist without the freely given help and time of others, and I am sure that those who accuse others of copying would find that also. I know that everything I have made has a number of people behind it and not just miniaturists either. I blog to pass it on, to make things clearer, show other uses for this and that and most importantly, to fill a gap in the free tutorial market for those of us not so well off :D

    And for the record, Pepper, if a number of your posts hadn't been written, I know a few of my miniatures wouldn't be here right now, would be in a different form or would have taken a lot longer to do! :D My key tutorial can be seen as an extension of one of your posts, in my mind!

    I think the main problem here is that people put a lot of time into making miniatures, for usually very little financial return, that even one threat of competition, is enough to make it unrewarding for them. I have no idea who these people are that you speak of, but I presume, based on other copyright issues in this hobby, that this is the most logical reason for the "problem".

    A problem I worry I might get is, what if I make a tutorial for something that very few miniaturists make to buy, will I annoy those miniaturists? Since they can command higher prices as so few people make what they make at present. I have even noticed quite a few miniaturists that can't keep up with demand, some share their techniques, some deliberately don't! The reason I now include tutorials is because I don't have a huge amount of money, and yet want the really nice stuff, so I like to "copy" the nice stuff, and then show how I did it, so other paupers like me, can also get the nice stuff :D I just hope any future tutorials, will never annoy anybody! At the end of the day though, I am just copying by using the same technique, but even that creates problems it would seem, though rare! Having said that, I haven't encountered any problems, but it is always at the back of my mind, and only because of the insanity I have actually witnessed :D

    I have noticed though, and its funny, occasionally a fashion pops up, for instance, I saw someone make a photo album, so I made one, then someone else made one, and they were popping up all over the place. A trend I would call it, maybe coincidence, I hope nobody thought I was copying them :D

    Flippin eck, that was a long comment :D I promise I will never go nuts and accuse anybody of copying me!!!!! :D

    Sarah x

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    1. Ha-ha. Plain daft was what I was going for but I couldn't think of the phrase ;0)
      You speak so much sense and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. It does seem that this problem arises when there is money involved. Of course you have to safeguard your business if it is your only source of income but there are thousands of buyers and a relatively small community of sellers...especially modern sellers. I'd hate to stop tutorials in case I offended someone, somewhere along the line. But I'm guessing that what I'm posting is nothing new =0)

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  16. Very well said! I think I agreed in everything you said =)
    I have no idea what this particular case is about, but I think you had good points in any case.
    Hannah

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    1. Hi Hannah,
      as is usually the case it was a whole lot of misunderstanding =0)

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  17. Pepper, may I link back to you on my blog and share my thoughts on the matter?
    -Sophie

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    1. Of course Sophie, no need to ask permission =0)

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  18. Thank you for putting this so succinctly! I always cringe when I hear of a blogger being accused of copying, stealing, etc., because, like you, I think there is very little truly "new" about anything we do! The hobby is ALL about copying something we have seen somewhere sometime. I try to reference inspiration sources... but often I can't remember whose blog I saw an idea on....! I am sure I am flattered if anyone "borrows" something I have shown on my blog. And like most of us, I am Hugely inspired by the kindness and openness of most of this community. I just hate to see anyone singled out and shamed for trying to make their own version of something someone else has already made. And as you have mentioned.... sometimes the supposed copying was not copied from the same source at all. I hope the new blogger continues to create, and has the courage to continue with her project. As most of us know, even with an intentional copy, it usually ends up being different and unique in our own style anyway, in spite of being inspired as an imitation.
    Thank you for speaking up on this topic in such a rational way!

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    1. I think that is the worst thing - to single someone out, publically, just causes a very unpleasant stink in the blogging world. There is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty on here, just a huge popularity contest. Thank you for taking the time to comment =0)

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  19. I normally steer clear of these types of posts only because I try to keep my online persona as one of a politically mid road, grey shaded, my gut tells me maybe...kind of thing..

    But... I completely agree with what you said. ..there goes middle road..

    I understand the years it takes for folks to gain knowledge and technique in a particular miniature skill and some of the more "seasoned folks" of this hobby do become what some of **my miniature friends** would consider.. unapproachable, unfriendly and unhelpful and basically..clicky with the "more seasoned folks"

    I have experienced this myself, just trying to get into the "click"..not gonna happen *LOL*

    I have seen these battles and call outs online and I also think its disheartening..just because you have been doing something for 30+ years does not make you the best at it or the owner of a particular thing. I see new talent from newbies that blow me away..daily!

    I think a dab of humility for these long term pros might be called for, where would they be without avid fans and folks wanting to create like them..followers..readers..copycats..

    Maybe I say this because, I came into the hobby with the ideas of sharing a interest, I tell people to copy me..try this at home..create the same thing if they want! I show folks how to make things and expect them to MAKE THEM..

    I for one want people to be encouraged to make things in mini and while your always going to get re-sellers and re-makers a style is so unique that even if you and I make something similar..they are both uniquely made..as long as we don't try to go item for item, same layout, color, printies etc...

    Keep the circle growing!
    ~J

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    1. Damn that was way too long..sorry ;)

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    2. Hi Jane,
      I totally understand why people steer clear. It's not a nice subject and it can all too easily end up being a point scoring exercise. Thank you for your comments. I'm always thrilled to 'meet' another miniaturist who loves to share and encourage. I'm inspired daily by some of the fantastic ideas the relative newcomers have. I never want to stop learning or being inspired.
      Thank you =0)

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  20. Here I come always days later.
    Thank you for this post Pepper! It takes a lot of confidence to express an opinion on a topic that is as hot as this one is.
    King Solomon the wisest man that ever lived, said that " There is nothing new under the sun", and that "everything that is done, has been done before". I certainly agree.
    A friend of mine had an idea to make something and scoured the internet to see if it had already been done. She looked a long time and then constructed her original idea. It was about a week later that she found that someone else had already done what she just did, and that they had done it long before she did. This greatly distressed her because although her item was distinctly different, and although she had really researched her project before hand, she was seriously concerned about being accused of "copying".
    The fact of the matter is that everyone has their own interpretations of nearly everything. ie. everyone who plays Mozart will play Mozart's music differently. Ideas abound and each of us brings in cultural backgrounds, levels of experience, natural gifts, available materials, access to equipment etc. into nearly everything that we do.
    What I find distressing is not being able to copy myself!!! Even when I try to duplicate something that I thought I did well, it always turns out different. Well, if you apply the same principe to someone making something that they saw on line and are trying to copy, they will have something quite unique to them by virtue of the fact that THEY are doing and not someone else.
    Now that is all I have to say except, that personally I owe a Huge debt of gratitude to all of those woderful on-line tutorials both in blogs and on youtube, that showed me what is possible and how to do it. Also to the many people whose work I so admire and who have proved to be so inspirational, especially in the last 2 years after I discovered the internet. I leave you with these words....

    "It is only through sharing that we can truly enjoy our hobby"

    I didn't think that up, by the way.... I stole it .

    I just wish that I could remember from whom? :(

    elizabeth

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  21. Oh I so wish this post had been around a few years ago, it might have saved me a lot of pain and despair to say the least! Such a well written post which I agree on in so many ways….now I’ve had a few years to learn the hard way. The subject of copying is a serious can of worms and will always be for so many. The obvious difference of copyright and copying is a legality and shouldn’t be confused and you haven‘t. Whether you are copied or you are accused of copying, there are two sides of pain and there are grey areas that aren’t easily explained especially if you are copied.

    Without boring you with details, being copied is awful…just dire. It doesn’t ’t matter if you are a hobbyist or artisan/seller you still need to be both mentally and psychologically prepared for it. I learnt the hardest way…

    If you don’t want to inspire or be copied, then do not post anything in the public domain…once it’s out there, it’s there for anyone to see! There are ways to to show items without showing the whole thing….it’s a work around that can work if you are clever. If I see an idea or method I always quote the source and add the link to the source.

    Overall, we can never be sure our ideas are original, we can never check every source known to man! Though this is where grey areas appear in my humble opinion…an idea for an item is not necessarily the same thing as an idea for a whole project which is several ideas put together to create one piece. Having someone copy one idea is bad enough and probably easily done (and by mistake) having someone copy a whole project is more blatant and obvious.

    Whatever we show out there in the big wide world….either give it away freely and happily and send it on its merry way….or choose not to show it at all….the choice is up to each individual on how they feel about it etc.

    Unless you have a legal and binding patent, copyright etc you don’t own it. It’s painful for those that sell and make for personal use alike…but it’s a sad and hard fact that anyone can just recreate what you’ve spent days and hours on.

    C.S Lewis sums it up best…..and I quote. "Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours."

    It simply means, whatever you own right now isn’t actually yours. No matter what you give away, buy for yourself, receive, or make etc., they all came from someone else's things or creations/ideas at some point…they are regurgitated in some way over and over.


    Michelle :o))

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    1. I meant to add that peeps close their blogs because of copiers too....either way (the copied and the accused) it's not a good thing! :o/

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  22. Sorry I missed this one last week! Excellent post, totally agree, have really enjoyed reading the discussion. Thanks for putting yourself out there on this topic, Pepper! xo Jennifer

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  23. I am a bit late too! I totally agree and the part that hit home the most was the bit about there are makers and buyers! I am mostly a buyer but when some of the prices or artisan stuff comes into play I become a maker! I know someone may have spent weeks perfecting an item and its priced to reflect that amount of work but I could never afford it so I make my own version! Or if someone makes a more affordable version very similar I would maybe buy that! Everything everywhere is an idea than came from somewhere and is ultimately not completely original! I agree if you don't want it on the net for all to see don't post it but then don't expect the exposure to your work you can't have it both ways sadly!

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  24. Hi Pepper!! Long time no chat! As always, late to the party :( this is a topic that had bothered me, and all the silly drama in the blogosphere with the fingerpointing made me stop almost completely in browsing blogs. That, and having the attention span of a gnat.

    Where was I? Oh yeah. I, too, wish this post existed as I was starting out!

    I have lots more to say on this, but it got too lengthy so I'll probably write a post on it.

    Thanks for sharing your insights!

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  25. .Pepper I think you make some great points, I'll say a little something on my blog too..no need to get all crazy pants on yours

    Hugs
    Marisa

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  26. Very interesting read - I love your site and thank you for so many blogs to read lol I know that was not the intent (but I love reading the blogs) however being new to this and not selling; just for my own pleasure I appreciate all the miniaturist who post tutorials or I could never do them (classes are to expensive) So thank you so very much to you and to all who responded

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