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

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Postby cheekymunkee » February 4th, 2011, 9:44 pm

Dated digital photos are proof of nothing. Any one can change the date on the camera. Any one can hold up an old newspaper & claim the date is accurate.


Huh? What crime, specifically?


In this very thread by more than one person she has been accused of hacking and theft.

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.


That is not a fair statement. She has said numerous times she is standing up for her friend but wants to know the truth no matter who is telling it. One could also say the same thing of you Demo, you say you are impartial but it is blatenly obvious you are not and were not even before you saw the pictures. I just dont think it is fair to accuse someone of something if you are doing the same thing.

You say you have seen proof. You, Michelle & Noel are the ONLY ones who have actually seen this proof ( unless I am missing someone), no where else in this thread is there one bit of proof that Rebecca stole her pictures and research. A screen shot of an IP is not proof. A screen shot of a post on Facebook is not proof ( she didnt make the tag remember? She only purchased it). Screen shots can be manipulated. NOT accusing anyone of doing that, but it can be done. The proof that Rebecca stole anything is in Rebecca's computer & no one here has had access to that computer have they?

I too would like to know the truth no matter who is telling it. I dont know either of these ladies personally nor do I interact with either of them much online, and I have nothing to lose either way, I am just interested in knowing the outcome.
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Postby DemoDick » February 4th, 2011, 10:44 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:Dated digital photos are proof of nothing. Any one can change the date on the camera. Any one can hold up an old newspaper & claim the date is accurate.


If (there's that qualifier again) what Noel has said is accurate, the collar had already been sold, so the person who bought it could personally vouch for the date it was delivered and provide a deposition.

In this very thread by more than one person she has been accused of hacking and theft.


"Hacking" is not a crime. Theft is, but it has been nebulously applied here. I haven't heard anyone say that anyone should be going to jail. So claiming that anyone is leveling actual criminal charges against anyone is silly.

That is not a fair statement. She has said numerous times she is standing up for her friend but wants to know the truth no matter who is telling it. One could also say the same thing of you Demo, you say you are impartial but it is blatenly obvious you are not and were not even before you saw the pictures. I just dont think it is fair to accuse someone of something if you are doing the same thing.


If you want to know what my initial "in person" reaction was, as well as my evolving viewpoint as things started to unfold a little, ask Michelle. She was sitting next to me when I learned of the potential issue and saw/heard my reaction. I have been, and still am, open to the possibility that Rebecca might be in the right, and have brought up specific things to her in conversation that could actually explain Rebecca's collar and exonerate her of any wrong doing. Though at this point I am leaning toward's Noel's side of the story based on the pictures I've seen and a little background info. Leaning, and that's it.

My issue is more with the reflexive and shifting nature of the defense, which seems more about sticking up for a friend than considering that said friend might be in the wrong, as well as setting a pretty ridiculous bar for making a determination of whom to believe. Saying "If there's actual evidence it will come out in court" is really just a way to cop out and let your friend off the hook. We all know this isn't going to court. Lawyers will do their lawyer thing and send nasty-grams back and forth behind the scenes. Even if it does go to court, we are still going to have to make a decision for ourselves based on the totality of the situation.

You say you have seen proof.


I don't think I did. I have seen the pictures and said that they *appear* to corroborate Noel's side of the story. I'm open to the possibility that they might not be an accurate portrayal of what's going on. But I'm still leaning, in part because of the photos.

You, Michelle & Noel are the ONLY ones who have actually seen this proof ( unless I am missing someone), no where else in this thread is there one bit of proof that Rebecca stole her pictures and research. A screen shot of an IP is not proof. A screen shot of a post on Facebook is not proof ( she didnt make the tag remember? She only purchased it). Screen shots can be manipulated. NOT accusing anyone of doing that, but it can be done. The proof that Rebecca stole anything is in Rebecca's computer & no one here has had access to that computer have they?


You said yourself that the pictures are not proof of anything and I agree. I have seen pictures, and if they are accurate then they jibe with Noel's version of the story.

I too would like to see the proof no matter who is telling it. I dont know either of these ladies personally nor do I interact with either of them much online, and I have nothing to lose either way, I am just interested in knowing the outcome.


If I were in Noel's position, those IP logs would be my trump card and I would play them close to my chest. The last thing I would do is make them public.

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Postby mnp13 » February 4th, 2011, 11:06 pm

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.

So, Lisa, using this logic and what you have said repeatedly in this thread, I could start making collars that are a carbon copy of that "tuck in the d-ring" collar that you make, but make a teeny-tiny change in it and sell it and you'd have nothing to say about that? Nothing at all? I've seen a lot of collars, and that one seems pretty unique, though I can see how you arrived at the design just looking at all of the collars that I personally own. So, it stands to reason that I could have come up with the exact same idea you did and construct it the same way, right? No, not hardly.

now should Rebecca have known and told her she could not make it..well that is a different discussion to have I think.

Noel did that to me when I asked her to make me a farmhand. :|

If you want to know what my initial "in person" reaction was, as well as my evolving viewpoint as things started to unfold a little, ask Michelle. She was sitting next to me when I learned of the potential issue and saw/heard my reaction. I have been, and still am, open to the possibility that Rebecca might be in the right, and have brought up specific things to her in conversation that could actually explain Rebecca's collar and exonerate her of any wrong doing. Though at this point I am leaning toward's Noel's side of the story based on the pictures I've seen and a little background info. Leaning, and that's it.

Initial reaction? That Noel was blowing it out of proportion. After seeing the pictures? Not so much.
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 4th, 2011, 11:13 pm

If I were in Noel's position, those IP logs would be my trump card and I would play them close to my chest. The last thing I would do is make them public.


I completely agree. If I was spending my hard earned dough on an attorney I would not speak publicly on ANY of this. Just like poker, you dont show the other side your hand, ANY of it. You slap those cards on the table & surprise the crap out of them. Shock & Awe by gawd. Shock.And.Awe.
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Postby mnp13 » February 4th, 2011, 11:14 pm

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Postby cheekymunkee » February 4th, 2011, 11:29 pm

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Postby furever_pit » February 4th, 2011, 11:30 pm

NO doubt!
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Postby sfbullygirl » February 4th, 2011, 11:31 pm

mnp13 wrote:
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.

So, Lisa, using this logic and what you have said repeatedly in this thread, I could start making collars that are a carbon copy of that "tuck in the d-ring" collar that you make, but make a teeny-tiny change in it and sell it and you'd have nothing to say about that? Nothing at all? I've seen a lot of collars, and that one seems pretty unique, though I can see how you arrived at the design just looking at all of the collars that I personally own. So, it stands to reason that I could have come up with the exact same idea you did and construct it the same way, right? No, not hardly.

now should Rebecca have known and told her she could not make it..well that is a different discussion to have I think.

Noel did that to me when I asked her to make me a farmhand. :|

If you want to know what my initial "in person" reaction was, as well as my evolving viewpoint as things started to unfold a little, ask Michelle. She was sitting next to me when I learned of the potential issue and saw/heard my reaction. I have been, and still am, open to the possibility that Rebecca might be in the right, and have brought up specific things to her in conversation that could actually explain Rebecca's collar and exonerate her of any wrong doing. Though at this point I am leaning toward's Noel's side of the story based on the pictures I've seen and a little background info. Leaning, and that's it.

Initial reaction? That Noel was blowing it out of proportion. After seeing the pictures? Not so much.




yes that collar was an original design of mine just like the loop martingale was someone else's design that we all make now. If someone copies me or comes up with it and thinks they are the original creator, well not much I can do about it as I do not have a copyright. It has yet to be determined if you can copyright a collar as I think they fall into the below category. Paco collars has been talking about copyright and patents and such for 5 years but I do not think to date they have either, that I know at least.

Garment Designs – What’s Copyrightable; What’s Not

In evaluating what is protected by federal copyright law, it is important to distinguish between garment design (i.e., its shape, style, cut, and dimensions for converting fabric into a finished product) and fabric design (such as an original beach scene with people riding bicycles on the boardwalk). This is because garment designs (as defined above) are generally not copyrightable. Original fabric designs are copyrightable.

Garments are considered “useful articles” under copyright law. Useful articles have an “intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information.” 17 U.S.C. section 101. Copyright in the design of a useful article may be claimed “only if, and only to the extent that, such designs incorporate pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.” 17 U.S.C. section 101.

Courts have held garment designs do not meet the referenced test. For a thorough discussion of why garment designs are not protected, see Galiano v. Harrah’s Operating Company, Inc., 416 F.3d 411 (5th Cir. 2005).


I agree with you on point 2, if she knew the collar looked like someone else's design then if I were her I would have checked with that person to see if they had an issue with it and gone from there, but that is her call on how she deals with situations and did she or did she not know of Brad's collar that is the question.

Both Noel and Rebecca made a collar from a photograph as inspiration, this is Rebecca's I do not know what Noels is http://www.haynespitbulls.com/images/VintagePit1909.jpg, there are really only 2 changes to this collar, she used a single large dome spot instead of two and then used large pyramids at the back, other than that it looks like this collar. To me it is in the realm of possibility that if Noel did the exact same thing and used the same picture that is was a coincidence only because, Rebecca made like 3-4 or more collars that timeframe in this similar theme using all these materials but just moving the placement of the spots a bit.

Could she have found Noels photobucket and stolen the collar design sure, but it could also be a odd coincidence as well yes. Again I say if Noel has proof that Rebecca's actual IP logged in to her account and dowloaded that collar picture that you have seen then her attorney's can contact Rebecca's attorneys with that evidence and they can decide to either got to court or settle out of court. You can bet that collar will disappear from Rebecca's website IF Noels claim and evidence is accurate, if it not then the collar will stay up and remain for sale.
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Postby DemoDick » February 5th, 2011, 7:43 am

Again, copyright is a separate issue from the ethical question of plagiarism. Michelle didn't ask if there was anything you could do if someone copied one of your original designs, she asked how you would feel.

Applying Occam's Razor here, if collar maker A designs a very unique collar, posts pictures of it online that can be accessed with a modicum of effort, and shortly thereafter collar maker B makes an identical collar, we don't need hard evidence to draw the conclusion that the similarities are *probably* not coincidental.

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Postby sfbullygirl » February 5th, 2011, 11:55 am

but we are talking about copyrights in this thread not ethics I thought...or have we now transitioned to ethics. How would I feel...not sure..I do not reallly think I would care because people that like my collars will buy my collars, people that like the other persons collars will buy their collars. People that know me and my collars and like that particular style of collar will know they originally bought it from me. I do not have time in my life to worry about such things, this thread a good example of that as it has wasted lots of time. I have helped a few people get started in the collar buisness, gave them materials that are the same as I use, they make similar collars..do I care...no....there are enough dog necks for everyone.

Your next reply will probably be why then keep replying...because you are accusing someone I know of stealing photos from someones photobucket account and I do not believe that was done

"Applying Occam's Razor here, if collar maker A designs a very unique collar, posts pictures of it online that can be accessed with a modicum of effort, and shortly thereafter collar maker B makes an identical collar, we don't need hard evidence to draw the conclusion that the similarities are *probably* not coincidental"

I do like that you think that it took a modicum of effort for "alledgedly" Rebecca to find these photos and copy them I also find it suspect that Noel had her photobucket account unpassword protected since I recall years ago she used to use that account as her website if you will and had a problem so she installed a password..and talked about it on this very forum. So you are right I do not believe her story that her prized research and collar picures that are so valuable that she spent hundreds of hours on, and for this customer project that was so super top secret she could not even post the picture of the collar because we all would have been able to identify her super secret client, something is fishy in Denmark as they say.

Her secret website page sure would have been easy to access if anyone could have guessed that she added the word "true to the end of the website name..which sounds easy and all but if we want to play that game I can go make a hidden web page on my site and then you can try to access it since it only takes a modicum of effort and we will see how long it takes you.

I am sure Noel made this collar and it looks now like the one Rebecca made... now the timeline of who made what...well THAT is going to be the interesting thing to find out. For ANY of Noels claims to have merit she has to PROVE that Rebecca found her photbucket account and looked at or downloaded the picture of the collar and made her collar after Noel did, otherwise it is just a coincidence and another person trying to damage a reputation of another collar maker because they beat them to market with a collar design.
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Postby mnp13 » February 5th, 2011, 12:50 pm

sfbullygirl wrote:but we are talking about copyrights in this thread not ethics I thought...or have we now transitioned to ethics. How would I feel...not sure..I do not reallly think I would care because people that like my collars will buy my collars, people that like the other persons collars will buy their collars. People that know me and my collars and like that particular style of collar will know they originally bought it from me. I do not have time in my life to worry about such things, this thread a good example of that as it has wasted lots of time. I have helped a few people get started in the collar buisness, gave them materials that are the same as I use, they make similar collars..do I care...no....there are enough dog necks for everyone.


On page one of this thread the subject of "ethics" came up. In fact, in my mind, though yes I have posted about legality, etc, the ethics of the issue are bigger than the "legal side" of it. As was mentioned, OJ was found not guilty of murder (criminal court) but found guilty of wrongful death (civil court). So what does that tell us? That what's "right or wrong" is not necessarily an issue for the courts, and what's legal or illegal also seems to be in shades of gray.

Ethics and morals are not (generally) decided by a court of law. Just like someone copying and selling your "tuck in d-ring" design would be ethically questionable - and no, I frankly don't think you that you wouldn't care, of course you would care, you put time and effort into the development of a new idea, and you "wouldn't care" that someone else is now selling it? Would you do anything about it? Well, that would be up to you, but I do think you would care. Just my opinion of course, but how could you not care? :|

I am sure Noel made this collar and it looks now like the one Rebecca made... now the timeline of who made what...well THAT is going to be the interesting thing to find out.

hmmmm... let me add some emphasis to this...

I am sure Noel made this collar and it looks now like the one Rebecca made... now the timeline of who made what...well THAT is going to be the interesting thing to find out.

So you are reversing the timeline - Rebecca made a collar, Noel saw it, made an almost identical version, cooked up a story, and then made the whole thing public? That sounds even more outlandish than the original discussion.

This entire discussion started with a question of ethics, patterns of behavior, and an apparent copy of a very distinct collar design.

And I agree with you fully, it will be very interesting to see how all this pans out.
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Postby odnarb » February 5th, 2011, 12:59 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:Dated digital photos are proof of nothing. Any one can change the date on the camera. Any one can hold up an old newspaper & claim the date is accurate.



If there really were photos accessed from a photobucket account, I would guess that there would be records of when the photo was uploaded to their servers. That might hold up in court.

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Postby sfbullygirl » February 5th, 2011, 1:08 pm

The original "discussion" if you want to call it that, was brought up to lay a foundation for Noels subsequent claim not for any generic discussion lets not try to claim otherwise. I am not going to argue the merits of those issues I have stated what I know previously and those issues are between Rebecca and those individuals. I am only speaking about the specific claims by Noel. For the record , copying someone's work if done on purpose is wrong,that is my position on that issue.

it only sounds outlandish if you are on Noels side, from this side her claims seem outlandish..it is all our personal perspective I guess.

and yes Odnarb photobucket would have a record of when it was uploaded I would assume they also have the ability to see IP addresses that accessed or downloaded pictures since photo theft is probably a big issue there. I would also think they have a record of whether Noels photobucket page was or was not password protected.
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Postby mnp13 » February 5th, 2011, 1:18 pm

sfbullygirl wrote:it only sounds outlandish if you are on Noels side, from this side her claims seem outlandish..it is all our personal perspective I guess.


I agree 100%
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Postby BullyLady » February 5th, 2011, 5:48 pm

DemoDick wrote:Applying Occam's Razor here, if collar maker A designs a very unique collar, posts pictures of it online that can be accessed with a modicum of effort, and shortly thereafter collar maker B makes an identical collar, we don't need hard evidence to draw the conclusion that the similarities are *probably* not coincidental.

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:heartbeat:

(For practical usage of Occam's Razor.)
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Postby DemoDick » February 5th, 2011, 10:18 pm

BullyLady wrote:
DemoDick wrote:Applying Occam's Razor here, if collar maker A designs a very unique collar, posts pictures of it online that can be accessed with a modicum of effort, and shortly thereafter collar maker B makes an identical collar, we don't need hard evidence to draw the conclusion that the similarities are *probably* not coincidental.

Demo Dick


:heartbeat:

(For practical usage of Occam's Razor.)


Actually, lex parsimoniae is something that every cop with any amount of street experience understands and applies on a practical level daily, whether they understand the academic philosophy behind it or not.

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Postby BigDogBuford » August 31st, 2012, 12:08 pm

So I've been perusing the dog collar blog world and have heard that one of these collar makers has all but disappeared and owes customers money/products. Does anyone have any updates on this matter?
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Postby furever_pit » August 31st, 2012, 2:13 pm

I have heard the same thing. I got a nice collar and recommended that individual to some others who all had issues getting their orders although payment had been processed far earlier. I obviously no longer recommend that collar shop.
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Postby BigDogBuford » August 31st, 2012, 2:44 pm

furever_pit wrote:I have heard the same thing. I got a nice collar and recommended that individual to some others who all had issues getting their orders although payment had been processed far earlier. I obviously no longer recommend that collar shop.


Oh man, I'm so sorry about that. I guess we know who the thief is now.
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Postby amalie79 » August 31st, 2012, 2:57 pm

Been hearing it around on other forums, too, if it's who I think it is... I also did a little something that she had promised a gift cert. in return for. It was just time that I spent, not money, but it bummed me out. I seem to remember sending some FB messages, too, with no response.
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