Owl Rip-off??

22 Oct

Shop owner is now consulting with a lawyer and asked that I pull the original thread.


35 Responses to “Owl Rip-off??”

  1. Hmmm.. October 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    There is someone copying my work as well. It is so infuriating! I’m so sorry you are going through this!

  2. Gern Blanston October 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    I might be interested in ad placement.

  3. YadaYada October 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    In order not to be in violation of most basic copyrite laws, a designer needs to change a minimum of 6 points about a design–these changes can be small. While the designs do look very similar–and it seems like the other seller may be “inspired” by your original, they are not exact duplicates and as a result, while I know it is really annoying, you’d probably be better off putting your energy into other designs than pursuing any kind of a case.

    I think your record visitors was about the Adia thang. I’d support you if you wanted to make a buck, but probably wouldn’t advertize in case people confused me with someone they want to mark do not buy from.

  4. Jonesy October 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    I would be interested in an ad.

  5. Life During Wartime October 22, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    if this person is trying to copy you, her owls aren’t as detailed as yours. The ears are placed differently and the head on your owls has more shaping detail. I’m not a person who sews, but it looks to me like your pillows are more neatly put together. I don’t think there is anything you can do to stop another seller from making items similar to yours unless you have some kind of legal registration of the design.

  6. hmmmm October 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Do you hold the copyright to this design? That would be the only recourse you might have, but I can say, I saw these identical (but different facbrics) pillows in a shop in England back about 3 years ago.

    The Etsy shop ginia18 sells a pattern for a very similar owl pillow and there are some craft books with almost identical patterns.

    Target also sells an owl pillow that looks a lot like both of the above pillows.

    Without holding a copyright, there’s not anything you can do except keep making yours better (and they are)!

  7. hmmmm2 October 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Not to be confused with hmmm.

    I would be interested in advertising.

  8. Voice October 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    YadaYada, that’s simply not true. Unless you are a copyright lawyer, please don’t give out advice about copyright.

  9. dagnabbit October 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    ADs, interesting…..

  10. Redd October 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Wow, do they ever look alike! I’d be pretty pissed too!

    I’d probably advertise if you guys did PW.

  11. box of entenmens cookies October 22, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    I just want to say I am happy to have gotten a chance to see your shop! Absolutely adorable! Love the ‘shroomie guy!

  12. cmom October 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    There’s probably nothing that you can do about this other person making similar owl pillows. But do put something in your shop announcement about yours being “the original” owl pillow. And, by the way, they do look a LOT better made than that other shop.

  13. ladedah October 22, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Bummer. Although it is a disappointment, I do agree that I have seen this pillow before. Did you design the pillow? Not being rude. I just wondered if there was an initial pattern that you went by. If it is indeed your original, not finding it anywhere or in a craft book etc. I would definitely put it in your shop as such. You have a great shop! I am also glad that I got to see your shop.

    When someone says they would like to buy and add, what does that mean?

  14. Laura October 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    I’d be into an ad!

    Owls are freakin adorable!

  15. ladedah October 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    someone please tell me an add means? I mean where are you putting an add!

  16. Laura October 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    ad is advertisement

  17. Lindsey October 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Funny thing is I would love to see other people’s advertisements to see their lovely shops, but I would be hesitant to put my own up. Don’t get many sales anyway though, so it’s not like I’d be offending my customer base, haha.

  18. dagnabbit October 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    WEll, placing an ad here might be another way to get onto Etsy’s blacklist…..but who gives a shit? It sounds better the more I think about it..

  19. kitten October 22, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    cmom Says:

    But do put something in your shop announcement about yours being “the original” owl pillow.

    I think that sounds snooty when people put that and really is she the original, since others (including me) have seen pillows like this before.

  20. kimart October 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    It is such a shame that these designs are way too coincidently similar. I have faith that people will see the difference in quality of these pieces instead of looking at the price tag.
    (Obviously if you look at the pictures there is NO WAY the copycat’s can compare). I know if someone stole one of my designs off of etsy I’d flip out. Copying designs is so hard to prove, but these are SO similar is sickening. Unoriginality is simply disgusting..

    xoxo KimArt.Etsy.com

  21. ladedah October 22, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Your design is so brilliant others are just trying to cash in on your creativity. I am sorry this happenned to you. Definitely copies are inferior . Some people just have no talent and for them to make something they continue to reproduce without conscience. You are the original. Always keep that in mind!

  22. ArtfullyYours October 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm #

    There is a difference between.. “nothing new under the sun” and blatant copying. I’ve seen this time and time again.. (mostly thanks to this site hehe) new shops popping up with other’s designs. It just proves that the copiers apparently have no talent, nor the drive to sit down and think of something of their own.

    Try being a little bit creative, maybe it will work out better for you than a cheap copy.

    I think etsy should have a new section: “Handmade by me but copied from: LIST SHOP HERE”

  23. ninra October 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    it’s definitely a shame that this happened, and i would be absolutely furious. it is quite obvious that this person did take your design and copy it the best that he/she could. i have seen a vast amount of owl items on etsy and while some are similar to yours, this (in my opinion) is a blatant copycat. as far as i’m concerned those other owls are the big lots brand of owl pillows. hopefully etsy shoppers will see the quality of your work and be willing to pay the few extra bucks for it!!

  24. Sarah October 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Soo, I’m probably going to get burned for this, BUT… Competition is good. It hurts, but it encourages progress.

    I’m sorry, and yet I know I would *still* the extra for yours. Why? Because I love your choice of fabric, the detail. You do a great job. 🙂 If you ask me, I say keep going!! Keep exploring the fabrics you love, playing with your design… Go get ’em!

  25. Sabrina October 22, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    People buy ad space on Etsy Bitch and that blog doesn’t regularly post and when they do it just complains with nothing to back it up with. Call out at least is doing a good deed. I would be into an ad.

  26. Brett October 22, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    As stated the only way etsy can do anything is if you have the copyright on the design, if you don’t then get one now! And No excuses as It is very easy to do online and inexpensive. Time is of the essence here because if they decide to get a copyright on it when you don’t have one you are s*it out of luck even if you have been making them much longer.

  27. Sarah aka "devilsadvocate" October 22, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Call me “devil’s advocate”, but I’m not sure that “copyrights” are the answer. It’s a sticky issue, with deeper roots.

    It brings to question: What *is* truly original? Where do any of our “original” ideas come from?

  28. YadaYada October 23, 2009 at 3:19 am #

    Voice- I am a designer that works for one of the largest gift companies in the US, importing from China. Knocking other designs off is rampant in our industry. While I am not a lawyer, we have been instructed by our legal department about what is called “the magic six.” Sorry if you think that my opinion should not be expressed-I have only been in in the industry for fifteen years so obviously know nothing.

  29. michelle October 23, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    It can be infuriating when someone copies your designs. But that person obliviously does not have the ability to come up with their own designs. That said you can either spend your energy being infuriated, negative energy, or just keep doing what you do, do more, design more, make more and surpass them with your creative abilities. The best way to get past this is to come up with new things and charge on ahead. Bring positive energy in your work and come out with something new and awesome. People who copy are limited, people who design are not!

  30. Bunny October 24, 2009 at 8:53 am #

    Advertising sounds interesting….

  31. Fizzgig October 24, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    You don’t need to register a copyright. As soon as you have the design in a “fixed form,” on paper, on a computer file or in pillow form, you HAVE the copyright!!!!

    And I’ve taken a “legal issues in the arts” class and there weren’t any rules like “change 6 or more things and it’s not copyright infringement anymore.” The rule is whether or not a “reasonable person” would get the two confused, potentially losing the original creator (and holder of the copyright) sales. This is where it gets tricky in court cases because they have to decide what this imaginary “reasonable person” would think.

  32. larsen October 25, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    fizzgig, I second that, this is what I have been told during a “model protection” course by a lawyer specialising in copyright infringement cases.

  33. ohjoy October 25, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    i’ve had little problem (knock on wood) defending my copyright on etsy. it has become super easy to find the copycats and gather their legal information to serve paperwork as most of them have been my customers on etsy. so sad. they are unrelenting and you just have to keep up with new ideas, pictures and stay true to your branding. it is take no prisoners here when the copycats surface. you are going down, down, down….

    p.s. most of them are such wussies they cannot stick to one idea anyway, going which ever way the wind blows with products and branding. it shows in their shops!

  34. Unikat October 26, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    Yadayada, hate to disagree with you, but the guidelines available at the US Copyright office’s website do not say anything about 6 points. I also have many years in comercial art and have dealt with lawyers on this issue. People think there is a magic number that they have to change something and they aren’t copying. There’s not.

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