What constitutes the theft of an "idea" or "design"?

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Postby TheRedQueen » February 3rd, 2011, 10:13 pm

DemoDick wrote:
TheRedQueen wrote:It's always much harder to have peaceful debates online too...no matter the forum/board/chat/list...people can hide behind their computer and say things that they wouldn't say to your face. Also, you can't read expressions, and sometimes things like sarcasm are lost in the reading.

It's funny because Demo and I butt heads here a lot...and for a long time I couldn't deal with him at all, but IRL, we get along quite well. :) (even though I'm a dirty hippie)


Shut up, hippie.

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Postby cheekymunkee » February 3rd, 2011, 10:16 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
DemoDick wrote:
TheRedQueen wrote:It's always much harder to have peaceful debates online too...no matter the forum/board/chat/list...people can hide behind their computer and say things that they wouldn't say to your face. Also, you can't read expressions, and sometimes things like sarcasm are lost in the reading.

It's funny because Demo and I butt heads here a lot...and for a long time I couldn't deal with him at all, but IRL, we get along quite well. :) (even though I'm a dirty hippie)


Shut up, hippie.

Demo Dick


Be nice, or I won't stroke your big gun next time I see you.


HEY!! It isn't sexy talk time yet dammit!
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 3rd, 2011, 10:34 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:
TheRedQueen wrote:
DemoDick wrote:Shut up, hippie.

Demo Dick


Be nice, or I won't stroke your big gun next time I see you.


HEY!! It isn't sexy talk time yet dammit!


*whines*Whhhhhyyyyyyyy not?
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 3rd, 2011, 11:16 pm

OK fine, just for you.....just please dont whine any more!!!!!!
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Postby furever_pit » February 3rd, 2011, 11:31 pm

Sexy time always comes after an argument.
Geez, get with it cheeky.
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 3rd, 2011, 11:32 pm

Hey, it's been a while. I thought arguments came DURING sexy time. :confused: No wonder I have been divorced twice.
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 3rd, 2011, 11:35 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:Hey, it's been a while. I thought arguments came DURING sexy time. :confused: No wonder I have been divorced twice.


Cheeky...do you need me to talk sexy to you too? :smileUp:
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Postby BigDogBuford » February 3rd, 2011, 11:45 pm

When Chris gets really stressed out he tends to talk in his sleep. He woke up one night and told me he wanted to ravage me like a Mongol horde.
At first I was all: :eye-popping:

Then :-?

On to :crazy2:

And then :dance: !

That counts as sexy talk, right?
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Postby furever_pit » February 3rd, 2011, 11:47 pm

:spit:

Great use of emoticons to boot!
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Postby mnp13 » February 4th, 2011, 12:49 am

I spoke to my sister about this tonight. She's a professional costumer, and has done work at the national level in theater and ballet. Her Civil War reenactment costumes are sewn on a 100 year old treadle machine. She is also the head costumer for renaissance faire, and makes historically accurate dresses based on obscene amounts of research.

She was also a law student at SU, so has a fair amount of knowledge about this exact issue from both sides - the artist and the law.

She read through the thread and is sending me an email about it... I'll post it when I have it.
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Postby pitsnok » February 4th, 2011, 12:51 am

I have been following this pretty closely since it started... and although it wouldn't be my place to say anything if I even DID know enough to speak on the specific argument that has been discussed, (plus I stay out of forum drama as much as possible!) I did want to say that I'm glad this thread WAS posted, just so that at least I could be aware of such issues...and I'm sure it will benefit others as well.
I have been saying for a while that I am going to start making copper tags once I have the resources...I see this unfortunate situation as a lesson learned beforehand.

As artists it is REALLY hard to be original... and as a matter of fact, in my opinion, nothing is ever 100% original... unless you are kind of a crazy person who actually has the capability of creating completely new ideas. I'm an artist...I do photography, small metal sculpture, mixed media, and I paint for fun. I used to really struggle with the idea of having to be original until I realized that other peoples' work is constantly influencing others. We all pull from somewhere, like it or not. I agree that there is a fuzzy line between "inspiration" and flat out copying. This is why in school we are taught to cite our sources, and with each piece I turn in I have to also include a portfolio with my artist statement pertaining to the piece, and more importantly the resources I used, and artists work that I viewed when researching the specific technique or style, etc. This is one of the problems I have with art, or craft as business. When it comes to making money it gets much more difficult, and people are obviously much more guarded with their concepts...(rightfully).

I guess with all this rambling I am just trying to say that this situation really sucks for everyone involved, but I hope it can be a lesson to the rest of us who plan on pursuing our craft in the future.
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Postby iluvk9 » February 4th, 2011, 7:29 am

I just have one more thing to say. This thread had better not pass "Joyce's Random Thoughts" thread. I have 194 pages, 3861 posts and 32,141 views. :dance:
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Postby TinaMartin » February 4th, 2011, 10:29 am

DemoDick wrote:
TheRedQueen wrote:It's always much harder to have peaceful debates online too...no matter the forum/board/chat/list...people can hide behind their computer and say things that they wouldn't say to your face. Also, you can't read expressions, and sometimes things like sarcasm are lost in the reading.

It's funny because Demo and I butt heads here a lot...and for a long time I couldn't deal with him at all, but IRL, we get along quite well. :) (even though I'm a dirty hippie)


Shut up, hippie.

Demo Dick

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Postby sfbullygirl » February 4th, 2011, 11:39 am

mnp13 wrote:I spoke to my sister about this tonight. She's a professional costumer, and has done work at the national level in theater and ballet. Her Civil War reenactment costumes are sewn on a 100 year old treadle machine. She is also the head costumer for renaissance faire, and makes historically accurate dresses based on obscene amounts of research.

She was also a law student at SU, so has a fair amount of knowledge about this exact issue from both sides - the artist and the law.

She read through the thread and is sending me an email about it... I'll post it when I have it.




I would be interested in this as well, not that I want to make vintage collars but it is interesting to see who has the "right" to copy someone else's work and who does not. I am sure Rebecca's attorney will also advise her on this as well one this gets rolling in court or during pre litigation discovery.

The issue though is still is not copying Noel's vintage collar..well it is , but it is that Rebecca found Noel's photobucket account and downloaded her collar pictures and THEN made the collar. So none of this really matters unless she can prove that she has the account with the picture that was taken before Rebecca made her collar AND that Rebecca's computer is the once that accessed her account and took Noel's picture.

Alot to prove and I do look forward to the outcome if only so we can all get a definitive answer on this subject from a true legal source and get back to our lives and not this drama, it is not easy for anyone involved.
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Postby mnp13 » February 4th, 2011, 12:03 pm

I have been a professional designer for more than 15 years. Anyone who creates designs of any quality has run into copycats at one time or another. Unfortunately, I have run into this issue several times. Only a few years ago a designer of questionable ability reverse-engineered a very specialized piece of a costume that I had spent many many hours researching and many more hours perfecting the construction technique. She tried to convince people that the design was hers and she had worked from the same historical references that I used. Unfortunately, that was theft of my design.

Here is why it was theft: the WORK was mine. I have all the references, the photos, the museum letters, the museum contacts, the prototypes I created when trying to perfect the techniques, and, most importantly, the DATED PHOTOS I took during the process to prove the work was mine. Just because I worked from historical references does NOT mean I "stole" the design from some designer who lived in 1580. I did the work necessary to create the item today. I translated the historical piece into current processes and procedures. This other "artist" took what I did and copied it while insisting the design was hers because she created it in white while I created it in gold. A color change is not enough to make the design hers.

Another time I was accused to stealing a design. Unlike the first situation this case was NOT theft. Here is why: both the other designer and I used a commercially produced pattern marketed by a commercial company (example: McCalls, Butterick, Vogue, etc). She made the dress out of velvet just as it was printed on the commercial pattern. I used the same pattern but changed the neckline, the sleeve length, the waist detail, the length, and the hem detail. Like the other designer, I also used velvet. The same commercial pattern available to anyone and everyone who wants to pay for it means anyone can make the same dress and there is no theft of design.

BOTTOM LINE: If the design was created by one artist and copied by another artist with only minor changes (color or minor detail) then IT IS THEFT. PERIOD.


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Postby sfbullygirl » February 4th, 2011, 12:29 pm

but it can only be theft if Noel had these pictures somewhere anyone could see them and she did not. She had them in a personal photobucket account that originally it was said Rebecca "hacked" into and then it was said that it was security by obscurity and that Rebecca "found" the photbucket account after searching for it and then downloaded it and stole the design. Noel never launched these designs or posted them anywhere to my knowledge and in 9 pages it has not been stated otherwise.

I take these charges very seriously becasue that is not just about copying a collar...this is someone accusing a person of criminal activity, this is not just a civil thing or a copyright thing it is allegations of criminal activity and that is a serious offense.

I cannot just take it at face value as I hope others would not..because if it can happen to Rebecca it can happen to them. This place is not a courtroom it is a dog forum and we can go back and forth on this all day long, but if Noel has this proof that Rebecca did in fact "steal" from her then she needs to be at her attorneys office and not on this forum leveling these so far unfounded charges and trying to tarnish someone's reputation.

If someone thinks I am wrong for speaking up on this so be it, but I am on the side of the truth no matter which way that falls, but that will never be discovered by anything that is written here.
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Postby HappyPuppy » February 4th, 2011, 1:04 pm

We are kind of in a similar situation with one of our offroad products. It was being made in a different country (country of origin, not outsourcing) and its concept has been stolen at least twice since it's inception. We are now embarking on making this product here in the US and have recently learned that the second party (not in the US) has some sort of US patent on ONE part of it; (the originator never got a patent in any country). So, technically, the product can still apparently be copied just without that 'one part' - and this is already happening by a 4th party already in the US. In our case, tho, we have recently talked to the originator who stopped making it becasue it was stolen from him - he said he was already selling into the US before the 2nd party obtained any patent... AND there are (yet to be confirmed) magazine articles featuring the product in the US prior to the patent being issued, so we think we'd prevail if it were to get ugly and ot would not make it into court (which we wouldn't have the money to fight anyway tho we will be meeting with a patent attorney). Patents, tho, unlike copyrighting, are insanely expensive and start at like $30K.... I had to get my head around all of this stealing - in fact the company we worked for (that went under due to financial mismanagement) stole the product from the 2nd party. Now that our parent company is dead, we are going to keep the product alive as it is a good one but we have been contacted by party 2 regarding his patent concerns... We have made improvements and by now we feel our product is an improvement over party 2's version - so we'll have to see how this plays out.

So, we, too, have been having a lot of discussions recently similar to this thread/issue. Both communities (collarmaking and offroad, for example) are pretty small, in the big scheme of things, so people pretty much end up seeing and knowing what others are doing at some point.... My husband believes that if it is not formally and officially copyrighted (or patented) that any and all designs are fair game (short of personal, ethical restraints). And I am not clear on how that can legally be enforced without copyrighting.... I don't like the copying - but we are different, in a way, in that ours is ONE product within an industry vs nearly unlimited collar designs. I actually think the issue HERE is really bigger than just the copying of a design - accusations of file theft, I think, is where the meat is (regarding legal enforcement).

Our parent company also had to fight at least 3 incarnations of another product with copies being made in China, Spain and I think somewhere else - so that IS a way of life in most industries, unfortunately. In that case, the patent is only in one country so the copycats in other countries are untouchable. Luckily, so far, the copies have been proveably inferior.
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Postby sfbullygirl » February 4th, 2011, 1:48 pm

HappyPuppy wrote:So, we, too, have been having a lot of discussions recently similar to this thread/issue. Both communities (collarmaking and offroad, for example) are pretty small, in the big scheme of things, so people pretty much end up seeing and knowing what others are doing at some point.... My husband believes that if it is not formally and officially copyrighted (or patented) that any and all designs are fair game (short of personal, ethical restraints). And I am not clear on how that can legally be enforced without copyrighting.... I don't like the copying - but we are different, in a way, in that ours is ONE product within an industry vs nearly unlimited collar designs. I actually think the issue HERE is really bigger than just the copying of a design - accusations of file theft, I think, is where the meat is (regarding legal enforcement).

.



I agree with this. To say that we collar makers are not aware of what the others are doing would be lying, we all frequent the same places for the most part and FaceBook etc where we would see designs. I do think in tems of leather goods, not fabrics or ribbons or those types of collars..but with regard to leather work most makes try to distinguish themselves from their counterparts and do not try to make copies, it would be fairly obvious quickly if all they did was copy others. There have been examples posted here of instances that involve prior issues with Rebecca..and one of those issues has prompted the customer to post on another forum that SHE is the one that came up with the design and asked it to be made that way and did not know of the other collar makers designs that were similar..now should Rebecca have known and told her she could not make it..well that is a different discussion to have I think.

There are alot more people making leather collars nowadays and with Paco Collars holding classes on how to make them and then people starting their businesses from that..see Etsy, a lot are on there. I think this issue is going to become more prevalent unless one sets themselves apart from the commercial material market..much like Brad has with is unique market segment and to some extent Noel with some of her leather designs.

Similar or inspired by or slightly different are all a fine line to walk and for people using the same materials on their collars and making the same styles one that will keep coming up until a definitve legal answer has been made on what you can and cannot copyright on collars.

The allegation of outright copyng or theft of images however is a much more serious charge that needs proof beyond the scope of the written word on a dog forum, and I would expect that Noel has provided that to her attorney and same for Rebecca as to her position.
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Postby DemoDick » February 4th, 2011, 7:28 pm

sfbullygirl wrote:but it can only be theft if Noel had these pictures somewhere anyone could see them and she did not. She had them in a personal photobucket account that originally it was said Rebecca "hacked" into and then it was said that it was security by obscurity and that Rebecca "found" the photbucket account after searching for it and then downloaded it and stole the design. Noel never launched these designs or posted them anywhere to my knowledge and in 9 pages it has not been stated otherwise.


She wrote that she posted them to what she thought was a private photobucket account and I believe Michelle explained how it was possible for someone else to access it. So in light of this, if both of the collars, which are incidentally new designs, look exactly the same, independent of IP logs, how would you explain the similarities? Coincidence? I can see if they look similar, but exactly the same?

I take these charges very seriously becasue that is not just about copying a collar...this is someone accusing a person of criminal activity, this is not just a civil thing or a copyright thing it is allegations of criminal activity and that is a serious offense.


Huh? What crime, specifically?

I cannot just take it at face value as I hope others would not..because if it can happen to Rebecca it can happen to them. This place is not a courtroom it is a dog forum and we can go back and forth on this all day long, but if Noel has this proof that Rebecca did in fact "steal" from her then she needs to be at her attorneys office and not on this forum leveling these so far unfounded charges and trying to tarnish someone's reputation.


She's already posted that she is in the process of litigation, and I have stated that the best thing for both parties to do is clam up and take it to the lawyers. As far as the charges being "unfounded", I've seen the collars and, if the timeline is accurate, "unfounded" is the last word I would use. "Possibly legitimate" is much more accurate.

If someone thinks I am wrong for speaking up on this so be it, but I am on the side of the truth no matter which way that falls, but that will never be discovered by anything that is written here.


Frankly, with the amount of protest you have lodged at this point, I don't think you're on the side of "truth, no matter which way it falls". I think you are on the side of "Rebecca, whatever happens". You are already stretching something fierce.

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Postby sfbullygirl » February 4th, 2011, 9:31 pm

DemoDick wrote: Frankly, with the amount of protest you have lodged at this point, I don't think you're on the side of "truth, no matter which way it falls". I think you are on the side of "Rebecca, whatever happens". You are already stretching something fierce.

Demo Dick



you can say this until the cows come home and I will say I AM in fact on the side of the truth. Prove that she stole the picture from this photobucket account and I will say that she stole it and was wrong..not so hard since Noel has stated she has evidence.

One of my main goals in posting in this thread is to keep it on the topic of the original charge and how she supposedly got this picture.

I realize if Noel has any evidence she would hand it over to her attorney just as Rebecca will do with hers ..so that means this thread about a specific person or incident should be at a close correct ? Maybe a new thread to talk the generalities of copyright should be opened if that is in fact the discussion that was supposed to be taking place.
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