Sue, the case you mention in which your card was completely replicated and displayed without credit is exactly the situation that aggravates me. It doesn't matter what the CASE-er's reasons were - just as it doesn't in the larger venues of copyright infringement and plagiarism in music, literature, etc. The courts wouldn't and don't accept the "Gee, I forgot I got the idea from someone else" excuse.
Again, please be assured that I'm NOT talking about cards that draw from other cards, that use their layouts or a great idea for a focal image or a background or a beautiful handmade flower, etc. We all do that - that's what comes of being in the creative soup. Part of why we are here is to learn and be inspired. And I think the vast majority of us are very aware of when our work is "inspired" by others and when it gets close enough to warrant a nod and a wave to someone else, even if it is not an exact copy.
And I'm not talking about someone who CASEes a card they love and then sends it to someone for their birthday. It's a context thing. Once you upload a card to your gallery, you are proclaiming that it is your work unless you say otherwise. When you enter a card in a competition, you are presenting it as your own work, period.
I'm not talking about "similar". Yes, two people might make similar cards and who can say who thought of it first... and who cares? But what are the chances of two people making exactly the same card? Nil.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with CASEing. (And here I am using the word to mean an exact copy, not a "personal version" of a card like we do with our Featured Stampers.) But if you then put the card out into the public domain, you ought to credit the original designer. Anything less is not ethical.
I keep saying I'm not going to post to this thread anymore lest people start thinking of me as a hothead. I'm not, really and truly! And my greatest fear is that people will think I am being derogatory towards anyone who CASEs a card. Which is not my intent! At all!!!