billyO

Taking others' ideas...is it OK?

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I find I have to agree with all the replies above, which is a little strange until one realises not all are deliberating exactly the same points. I would never deliberately set out to replicate anothers work (even if I did have the skill ) but certainly have taken inspiration from others example, One thing I had never considered until I read a few of the threads elsewhere on these boards was a makers mark, Pondering on it I realise I already have the materials and the tools, will shortly have the facilities and hopefully have the skills to produce myself at least one usable punch and use it with pride, Should I ever have an original idea, then if others "borrowed" it, as a hobby smith I would only be flattered, but I would expect to see their mark on it.

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Whenever you monetize a craft, unless it is a craft that you alone have developed (like induction ice sculpturing), this question comes up.

Whether it is writing a thesis, quoting statistics, creating a painting from a reference piece or creating a bottle opener, the footnotes count.
When someone says they do a Merritt, Braseal, or Reinhart  Style ______, they are giving credit to the author of their inspiration; which is right and fair.  This gives someone, who wants to search out the origin of that inspiration, a trail to follow.  If you do not, then it steals the opportunity from the client to follow the origin and path of a derivative work.  It steals from the inspiring the honor of that inspiration, and it steals the dignity of the one who claims it to be their own.

Copyright laws were intended to foster innovation by allowing someone to create something and gain profit from it without fear of someone capitalizing on their hard work to make that idea a reality.  Making a bottle opener is not a money maker.  It's a way to pay for your gas as you evangelize the virtues of blacksmithing.  If you develop a way of making that bottle maker, document it in a book and sell that book to blacksmiths, then the book is copyrighted.  If someone wants to get a copy, they need to just buy a copy.  Innovation, however, is not fostered when fear of retribution raises its head for those trying to learn a craft.  This is why we have created fair-use laws.  

I will copy another's work to gain inspiration.  The process of figuring it out is a particular challenge that I thoroughly enjoy.  I will be found at a demo, however, selling nothing but a few spoons.  Those smiths that are teaching me their different forgings are often with me, and they are selling those items they have taught me to make.  Nothing even similar will be on my table.  My works that I copy for inspiration will go to family and friends while I learn my trade.  I will  not take money away from those who are teaching me, and I am unlikely to make money smithing.  I am okay with that because that's not why I am there.  When I learn enough techniques to create my own non-derivative works, they will show up on my table and I will be proud to show any of the other smiths how I came up with it and puff my chest with pride.

Etsy is the same.  I won't put something on the Etsy table that I derived directly from another's work... but I sure as shootin' will copy their work to figure out how to do something cool and neat.  With those ideas storming around in my head, maybe someday I will make some mind blowing works.  Until then I will create my utensils... they are all that I have really created by myself... and even that was with the help of concepts taught to me by others.

Just my take,
/\/\  - Redbeard The Grey

 

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I've run across a couple of instances where a fellow claimed he originated something I could prove had been done 500+ years earlier---usually not maliciously; but they just didn't have the research library or travel to various museums in Europe to have seen the earlier "originals".  

I remember one fellow at the Knifemakers Guild Show 30 + years ago who was going to do a knife where the centerline was a gun barrel and shot the tip; he was quite surprised when I said "like the renaissance wheellock one from the Court of the Medici?..." (Arms & Armor Annual; Vol 1).  A lot of good ideas/designs have been explored over the 2000+ years of blacksmithing.

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Have you ever made your own fire? Did you discover it on your own, we use a lot of others ideas.  The big thing to remember is that if you have seen someone else do it befor you give them the respect and don't claim it as your own.  Or learn something from it and make it better.

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Have you ever made your own fire? Did you discover it on your own, we use a lot of others ideas

lets see, how about hammers, tongs, hammer handles, screw drivers, forges, anvils and the beat goes on.  if it isn't patented or copyrighted it's fair game, not necessarily to me but to the world.  If you want to protect your ideas do it correctly and completely or don't show it off.     

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I think you had better look into copyrights here in the USA You don't need to do anything to copyright an item save defend it!

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I feel that this profession has been around for ages, and how many people have worked in the craft, and how many things have they made? its so old that I feel its very rare for anyone to come up with something that is 100% original. so if you make something you didn't come up w yourself at least give credit to where it is deserved 

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