We can’t help but be inspired by each other (even unconsiously). We can’t help but sometimes coincidentally getting the same idea as someone else, or seeing another creator make a design that we ourselves had in mind.
Mirabel top and necklace by FlurJewellery
There is a big difference in finding inspiration and copying, I think copying is okay when:
1) Recreating non-crochet items
You are recreating a regular design and making it in a crochet version. I’ve done that with a few of my designs – if the design is simple I don’t see anything wrong in making a crochet version of it.
2) Asking permission from the designer
If you have been in contact with the designer and asked if you can recreate their work and they said yes!
3) Mentioning and tagging the designer
If you are not are to ask permission then at least mention or tag the designer or write in the caption: “Design by…” or “Inspired by…”. This way people seeing the design will know who made it.
THE PROBLEM WITH COPYING (AND NOT GIVING CREDIT)
Imagine there is a creator that has made a unique design. One of their followers recreate this design and post photos of the creation on their social media (wihtout any credit).
The people following this person see this and have no idea where the design originated from. These people might then either repost the photo or recreate the design for themselves, and suddenly the designer is forgotten all because one person didn’t credit.
The same goes if you recreate another’s design and sell the design to a customer. If the creator doesn’t give credit to the designer, the customer of the creator will only give credit to the creator, this way when we are at the 3rd or 4th or 5th link people will have forgotten all about the person who actually designed the item.
The person who is recreating or copying the design is responsible for mentioning the desginer (and also giving this information to their followers/customers so they can give credit too). This is so important to protect the work of the designer, this way people will be able to find their way to the source of the copied design and the desginer gets the credit they deserve.
Yes, you made their design and you did it beautifully – but someone else got the idea, made the drawing, pattern writing, measuring, trial and error and they deserve the credit.
This is also important when you make another creators design from pattern – mention or tag the pattern designer so people will know who the designer is!
Think about big brands like H&M – the only time you really hear about the designer is when celebrities design a collection. The designers working behind the facade you never hear about. Neither do you hear about the factory workers creating the clothes. It’s so important that we all get the credit we deserve.
It makes me so happy when I see someone post a creator’s work and also mention the designer! This is only possible if the creator mentions the designer too, let us make sure that at least the 3rd link from the designer knows who the designer is!
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE STEALS YOUR WORK
I’m not gonna say “see it as a compliment! your work is so good, that people are recreating it!”. I hate that, I’m not gonna appreciate someone crossing my boundary. I’ll take is as appreciation when they credit me. Let me just say this: it’s not embarassing to mention that you copied/recreated/were inspired by someone else – we all are! better to say it too much than not enough. We won’t be mad for you tagging us all the time, on the contrary! it’s a win-win – it’s nice to be appreciated and to appreciate others.
1) Leave it
If you don’t care about it, just leave it and focus your energy elsewhere. We can’t avoid copy cats completely.
2) Reach out
You don’t have to be rude or get mad at them (maybe they didn’t intend to copy your work or maybe it’s a coincidence), but a simple: “Were inspired by my design?” or “I just want to let you know that if you we inspired by my design it would be great if you would mention/tag me”.
3) Create more
See it as a motivation to just create more designs – maybe create something SO unique and special that whenever someone copies your work most will know that you’re the designer.
4) Get design protection
It’s expensive in Denmark and needs to be done with every design, but if you want the extra protection it can be a good idea. This way no one can make or sell your designs.
5) Ask for support
Reach out to your followers or family/friends or post a story or photo in your feed about your experiences. Many people will relate and want to support you!
6) Copy cats won’t have success
Relying on others work for success, relying on other’s creativity and hard work and not coming up with idea or being creative yourself? So sad!
The worst is the people who try to get appreciated for making someone else’s work, I find it so selfish and mean, that some people won’t even admit they have copied another’s work, because they’re so desperate to be liked themselves. If you are getting likes and compliments for copying another persons hard work, then that must mean that the designer did a great job – so why not compliment them by giving them credit?