Sunday, 23 February 2014

Plagiarism Begins at Home

Looking at the amount of copying that goes on with big companies these days got me thinking, the most recent being Louise Verity of Bookishly and M&S. I met Louise at a trade fair a few years back I remember the buzz around her work and I also remember seeing very similar prints to hers not long after at small fairs and markets. For a start, if its the copy seen and taken to the high street they might think its ok because its not someones living its a hobby.

The in-house designers presumably think that they can get away with taking an image from someone hidden on Etsy or a similar market place and they’ll never be found out meanwhile the bosses at the top would have no idea that any theft has gone on. Groups like ACID are there to protect the little people but what about the markets and groups out there. How many times have you been to a market and seen really REALLY similar designs or items? Surely the organisers have an obligation to step in?

I realise how hard it must be, I can see how close knit designer maker groups are but if you’re not going to fight for what’s right then how can you expect the big boys to play fair? I ran a couple of markets and if I had seen something similar and to the same audience, I would at least say something and depending on the case ask them to leave. How many times have we been to fairs and markets and said "oh that looks like.... " it might well be that that person was copied but if they were asked they could tell you and you could say something about it. Why do we leave it till it reaches the high street?! I've had similar things to mine on the high street I know exactly what happened but it does't bother me anywhere near as much as when someone on the same level does it.

I’m a huge fan of designer maker groups don’t get me wrong, but I do think that whoever the organisers are have a right to step in when they see a member copy or at a market – they should either ask for the items to be removed or for the maker to leave; if you don't you quite honestly are worse than the big companies because the ones that make the decisions have no idea what's going on. 

If you can’t look after each other, I can’t see how you expect anyone else to. 

Large companies, why can't you give people jobs that have ideas there are lots of us that have ideas oozing out of every blinking pore and have no brain space to even look at other peoples work. 

As for sellers, well if you can't come up with your own ideas you are just sales people not designers not artists I don't fall into that bracket that much I know.

Some of you might know that this is close to my heart and life traumatising and no that's not an exaggeration - theft of an idea is theft. I wrote this post well over a year ago and never posted it because I didn't want to upset people that I love to bits that run markets but when your life and child are affected then honestly I can't care if honesty upsets.