Remember when we featured Lara Cameron's [of Ink & Spindle] collaboration with The Wall Sticker company? We applaud these two Melbourne companies who have worked their hardest at creating unique designs AND completely carbon neutral businesses. We heard that a faceless Etsy store was reproducing Lara's design without permission and keep seeing copycats claim other peoples hard work as their own…
Earlier in the year we discovered You Thought We Wouldn't Notice- a place for people to make it known when their work is ripped off. However, with the increase in blogging and sites like Etsy everyone is more aware of what others are doing, making the creative and blogging communities much smaller.
It seems we're not alone with our concerns about thieved designs- Holly at Decor 8 wrote a brilliant article about how DIY isn't Duplicate It Yourself and over on Poppytalk they started a great discussion on Copycats.
We're not sure anyone is innocent of this form of theft- before developing a 'design conscience' we were guilty of copying other people's good ideas, while it wasn't for profit it was to save us a buck or two. It's also not just the copying of a product or similar, we've seen many cases when blog posts or even entire blogs have been copied by someone and relabeled as their own.
While it's all good and well just to raise the issue- what can we do about it? Keep an eye out and an ear to the ground- if you see someones work reproduced, let the original designer know. When you hear of thieved works, spread the word. More importantly, support the original designer by purchasing their wares instead of the rip-off alternatives. Finally, if you've been inspired by a product or blog- credit it.
Have you ever been effected by a stolen design or idea?