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Old 08-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default When is it really your own? Lengthy.

I have been asked to make some cards for a shop to sell on consignment. This is really stressing me out. I love to create cards, obsessed my family would say, but not knowing when something is my own (legally per say, you know enough to sell not just make) is really keeping me from being able to create. I am on this sight every day, and others. I get an idea here and there.
Sometimes my cards are seriously CASED, every thing the same. This I know I could not sell. But sometimes I use a layout I see here, but change the stamp set, even keep the same color scheme. Is this now mine? What if I use even one of the stamps, and change one or more of the others.

There are times I make a card and have no inspiration to draw from that day, but then realize I used elements I viewed at one time or another. (example: Ther hummer card in my gallery. The layout was actually a layout challenge on a yahoo group i belonged to, but forgot about, my mind however kept that imprint. I reallized that it was the same layout sometime later) How do I know if part of my idea came from someones art? I've been at this for years. My memory is failing...

Is it wrong to used a layout map you see here or else where? Would that be considered stealing from another.

Then there are styles of stamping. What if I made a card that resembles an artist style, but all the elements are my own. (color, stamps) Is that fair to sell. (Zindorf for example. Love your work )

I personally believe that when someone copies bits and pieces from another it is showing how much they like and admire that persons work. Flattering. Many do not feel the same tho.

Note: I would make sure all copywrite laws were checked on images and elements.

Please give me your ideas. I could really use the money, but the politics are driving me nuts.

Blessings,
Pam in IN
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:57 PM   #2
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I really couldn't answer that.

I often wondered if Andy Warhol got permission from Campbell's soup to paint his infamous painting.

Curious minds -
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:57 PM   #3
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This is a tough question to answer. I don't think using a layout or sketch as a starting point or an inspiration would be considered stealing. I think copying another's work would be stealing though, even if you changed a stamp image here and there.

However, I have seen stamps from different companies that resemble each other, in fact, they are almost identical. For some reason, that isn't considered stealing.

I don't have an answer, but I respect your concern about taking an inspiration from another source and using it for your own work.

Great thread - I'm interested in what others think about this.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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I'm convinced that there really are no original ideas out there. Everything is inspired in some way or another by something else - stamping and non-stamping things alike. I mean, think about TV shows. One could make a case that every police drama is the same - just a different set of characters.

Same with music. You can't copyright a chord progression or individual notes.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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I think you should relax. You know that you have not copied element for element and if you did you would not represent that it was all your creation, right? I don't think I've made but a handful of cards all on my own. Some element is copied. And usually the finished product is so far from the inspiration piece that no one would even link them together. Go for it!
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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I agree with Cathy. Of course, I doubt that anyone has ever cased one of my cards. The thing is that if you sit down and start designing a card, and you use a layout that you saw somewhere, that is not stealing. People get upset when they see the exact card that they made posted here without a thank you. I don't think they are going to walk into the shop where you are doing consignment, and say "She stole by layout, and is making millions of dollars off of my idea." I think you're fine. Just do it!
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:

Originally Posted by katestamps716View Post
I'm convinced that there really are no original ideas out there. Everything is inspired in some way or another by something else - stamping and non-stamping things alike. I mean, think about TV shows. One could make a case that every police drama is the same - just a different set of characters.

Same with music. You can't copyright a chord progression or individual notes.

I tend to agree with this.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:07 PM   #8
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Don't quote me on this but I think that somethign has to only be changed 10% to avoid copyright issues.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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i wouldn't worry either.. don't sell the ones you've copied EXACTLY, but the ones you haven't? go for it...

i teach scrapbook/card classes and when i have to pump out 20 classes a year i can't possibly have the time to fuss over being original.. a lot of my cards start from a sketch or a colour combo.

a color combo could NEVER be an original idea.. there's no way.. there's a colour combo site to prove that..

good luck and have fun!
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:05 AM   #10
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You'll know it if you sit down and make a card step by step copying someone else's. Failing that, don't worry about it! Make your cards, and I hope you rake in the dough, lol!
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Old 08-30-2008, 03:05 AM   #11
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Isn't it also true that if you use SU or any other stamp company you have to use there copyright stamp on the back of the cards made with the company?
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:48 AM   #12
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I'm also looking at selling some cards at a boutique in Cinci in the next few months. Here's my thinking:
1. I know the angel policy of the companies whose stamps I am using and follow that. This covers me legally and is the responsible thing to do.
2. If I feel that my card may be too close to someone else's card from the gallery here or a blog, I'll contact them and ask how they feel about it. I imagine most people would be flattered and happy that someone was using their work as inspiration and allow it.... I would! But I'd sure appreciate being asked, too.
3. If I sat down and made a card from out of my head, but suspect that it was inspired by a source I can't remember, I'll go ahead and post it on SCS with a comment to that effect in the description, and sell it in the boutique. If someone contacts me and tells me where the inspiration came from, I'll beg forgivenness if it's too close to the source.

Generally, though, my cards are just INSPIRED by a source, not copied exactly. And I get inspired by lots of non-card things, too. I mainly sketch layout ideas and color combos and freely mix and match. When you look at cards published in mags, you'll see a lot of recurring layouts or color combos or stamps.

Having said that, I'm gonna get me that coffee cup stamp JulieHRR used for her "let's venti" card on her blog and case that exactly. But I'm not selling it...I'm just sending it to select friends who need it!
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:13 AM   #13
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My thought here is whether the person you got the ideas from lives in your area and is also selling cards at the same store or a competitors store. Highly unlikely. So it is doubtful that anyone will come along and say, "hey, you copied that card" or "you are making money off my ideas and taking away business from me". I know everyone wants to come up with original ideas, but we get inspriation from everywhere. And if the folks who post their creations on this board didn't want to be cased, then they shouldn't be posting. The great thing about SCS is sharing all the ideas. I wouldn't worry about this at all. But if you really wanted to, when you are making the notes on the back of the card for copywrite stuff, you could also put a note that says, "original design by ABCstamper". That might make you feel better. I can't imagine any potential purchaser of the card would not buy it because it said that. I would guess that most buyers of handmade cards don't even look at the back and could not care less about the images being by one company.
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:28 AM   #14
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JMO - enjoy making your cards, without guilt, and good luck with selling them! I hope you're successful...
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:16 AM   #15
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My thoughts are that you are "overthinking" the whole thing. As long as you are using stamps that have an Angel Policy, I wouldn't even sweat the rest. I am not saying to intentionally copy someone else's creation and pass it off as your own...but if you are selling these in a local establishment, really...who is ever going to see these items and accuse you of "copying".
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:00 PM   #16
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There are no hard and fast rules. When you're going to profit from the work, I think you need to let your conscience be your guide. If it's a close CASE, I think it's very considerate to ask the original artist first.
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:39 PM   #17
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I really appreciate everyones imput. Some very good advise has been given that I did not think of and will put into practice. I know I worry too much in general, but hurting someones feelings unitentionally is not worth the monitary gain. I really like the suggestions given by Lateblossom and others. I thank you all for easing my mind.

I am working on some samples to take to show at the shop. I hope they like them. If they like my work and someone bought one I think I would be on cloud nine. Total warm fuzzy moment.

Blessings,
Pam in IN
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:57 PM   #18
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Good luck, Pam!
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:07 PM   #19
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Thank you!

Blessings,
Pam in IN
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:00 AM   #20
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Styles can't be copyrighted (nor can basic shapes like circles, squares, etc.). I think layouts are fine for copying. I agree with others that if you just put the copyright for stamp companies on the back you'll be fine.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:11 AM   #21
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I think that if the concept of copying and sharing ideas was a big issue for people, this site would never have become as big as it has over the last 4 years.

I find it quite flattering to have someone copy/modify a card I have uploaded into my gallery.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:22 AM   #22
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BearingFruit, and LateBlossum---

I was selling cards in our new boutique and ran into some difficulties... I would like to share them with you, just so you can avoid the mistake I made.

Late one afternoon I went in to the boutique to replenish my supply. The next morning I realized that I needed one of the cards I had in the basket, so I planned to just go in, take it, and get it mailed. I was so thrilled to see that a lot of cards had been sold! Woo Hoo!!!

Turns out that the cards weren't sold, they were stolen. 18 of them! At first, I was angry and then just sad; it was a lot of time and effort gone. The owner of the shop didn't take any responsibility. I took the hit and she even took her commission on the cards that sold. I removed the cards from the shop.

I have since learned things about the owner's "character". I might not have placed my cards in her shop had I known what I know now.

I have learned, too, that a written agreement is a must!!! I didn't realize that I needed one... So, please learn from my mistake, sit down and figure this out with the owner before you place your cards in the shop. Good luck to you both!

HERE is a thread related to my "incident".
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:24 AM   #23
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Good Luck to you and ENJOY what you're doing...Everyone's ideas sprout from somewhere...if it's all considered "copying" then boy, we're all in huge trouble with THE GUY UPSTAIRS because we use His color schemes A LOT! (actually, I'm quite sure He doesn't mind).
The work in your gallery is just beautiful, BTW
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