Some healthy debate: Copyrights vs Copycats
What's life without a little healthy debate? Everyone can't always agree but I do enjoy when people can intelligently discuss something. With this in mind I'd like start a little debate if you will.
Last week I received an email which said(and I'm paraphrasing):
I don't understand how you can be so protective of your copyrights but so clearly copy someone else's work, i.e. Missoni. Are you aware of the contradiction? You didn't just use it as inspiration, you copied the entire dress.
And the person later wrote:
It's just too bad that Missoni lost out on a sale and think if everyone that saw the dress just went out and copied it. That's why I think copyrights need to be protected
Before I tell you what I said, I want to say that I respect the person that sent it. Most people wouldn't pose the question at all. We had some discussion over the issue and I thought it would be interesting enough to continue the subject with all of you.
Now onto what I said and what I think (in list form for easy reading)
- My dress was made for personal pleasure and I do not intend to sell the pattern.
- If I decided to sell the pattern I could because by the legal copyright laws, you can only copyright a picture you have taken, instructions for a pattern (the written word), or a drawing but you cannot copyright a concept or design . You can patent a process/method of making something but not the idea of what you are making (I can make a spoon out of steel but you can make a spoon out of plastic). You can trademark a sign/logo but not a style
- By copying the look of the dress I have not enfringed on any copyright,patent, or trademark laws. I did not duplicate their process for making it (machine knit),use their design plans/pattern, or stamp it with a Missoni label.
- What you could call me is a copycat(my words) or a knock-off artist.
- Making knock-offs is not illegal and is the basis of most of the clothing you buy at retail stores.
Almost all low-end RTW (ready to wear) garments are a knock-off from a major designer.
(This dress is from Forever 21 and is the 2nd version that have seen of the dress above. The first I saw was an even better match.)
If you were to buy a sewing pattern, most of those are knock-off designs.
Heck, let's keep it all the way real. You, like I know, there are a few knitting patterns out there that bare a striking resemblance to my Ruby and Diamonique patterns, all of which surfaced after my pattern was released. Same idea/concept, different pattern, no copyright enfringement. No copyright enfringements, no complaints from me. It's the nature of the business.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't make a habit of making knock-offs. You can ask my sister how many times I refused to copy someone else's work. I think that it does show a lack of originality. However in this case, with the fact that I saved $1720, you can call me a copycat. I'll just be a copycat in the cute Missoni knock-off dress.
So what's your take on this whole thing? Agree or disagree, I'd like to know.