why?? why?? why??

after 30 posts I have managed to steer clear of one of my most burning topics.. copying in the Kids Decor & Accessory industry.today... I must finally say a few words- OK, more than a few. this entry is not going to pack the PUNCH I had hoped - but I need to get this off my chest just the same. I decided against posting the images of the "other artists" works side by side to mine - but WOW! you should see ... it is CRAZY!
For all you die hard COPIERS out there... you are correct. no one owns the rights to a bird, a branch, a crown, a stripe or a Harlequin - INDIVIDUALLY - but we can and DO own the rights to the "essence of the design" - the combination of color, elements, icons and sentiment portrayed - a combination of these concepts is what makes each piece unique and original. The above pieces I feel violate that. They are COPIES of each other - they are NOT examples of inspired design - I believe they are intentional produced to replicate the "essences" of the other.


there seems to be two parts to this issue -


Legal and Moral.


( and a possible 3rd of "laziness and lack of creativity")

Legally I have done all the right things. each of my designs are protected by U.S. Copyright laws. Filed or otherwise - an original, published piece of work (written, painted, or otherwise) upon "publication" is protected by law. I'm learning that legally this means nothing. I mean folks, really, if Gucci, Chanel, Rolex and Louis Vuitton can't stop copy cats and knock off products, how will I ? I'm sure they all have teams of lawyers working to protect their designs - but it still happens - and look-a-like products float all about. It does not mean that I don't notice, don't care or don't keep track of each and every example - because I DO.

Morally- just because you CAN... doesn't mean you SHOULD!

  • why do artists copy?

  • why do artists who claim they have been creating & designing for 20 years even need to slightly borrow an icon, color, design scheme or theme from another??

  • why would another artist even want to TRY to look like another artist?? (a few times, I have been ready to release new designs - and then spotted something that kinda, sorta, might look like what I have come up with - so I change it. I go out of my way to NOT look like any other product or piece of art that exists. let's all try that - OK??)

  • why do store owners and e-tailers continue to promote these "look-a-likes" that just dilute the market with their poor imitations?

  • why do these "copy cats" place a "All Rights Reserved", "please don’t copy"… or “original art – these images are copyrighted..”?? isn't that funny?

  • WHY do people BUY this stuff??
One company is in the process of introducing a "once upon a time collection" of name plaques - each available in a variety of colors, one looks just like our "Circus Bloom" name plaque (horizontal black stripes, details on alternating stripes, gold scallop frame, oval center with 3 roses - and even then SAME font as we use - "Hello people... there are 1000's of fonts out there to use!!!" . and another of their new additions just like our "Fairest Girl" plaque (variety of color stripes - vertical on this one - what a coincidence!, a crown, and again - same font)
these 2 are drooz designs...

I also need to add that this is not a "boo hoo... woe is me post"...I feel for ALL the other artists out there who work so hard to discover new ways to design and offer fresh ideas to the market - and are repeatedly ripped off by the the copy cats. Yes, in the above "copy cat collage" there are MANY examples of drooz studio work - but that is because I am most familiar with my work and the pieces that i feel "imitate" my designs. I did try to include as many examples as time allowed for that showed the work of other artists in the industry - trust me- what I have shown is, unfortunately, a very small sampling of what is going on out there!

design integrity - this a a phrase and concept that I hope to see more of in the future.

The growing problem of knock-offs in the design industry led to the creation of the FFDI as a means to fight this unethical practice.
The Foundation for Design Integrity is attempting to create awareness about the problem of knock-offs by participating in educational events at design centers and colleges around the country - offering such seminars as "Originality Counts: Protecting Original Design in an Age of Knock-Offs".

I believe no design is truly original - all new designs are inspired by something. Each crown, bird on a branch, vintage truck, trio of roses, harlequin pattern, and pirate is possible to have a uniquely owned "look"...

However, I do feel that it is up to the artist to take responsibility for their design.. THEIR DESIGN. does it look like the style of another well know artist in your field? does it use an icon or combination of icons that you have seen used in your field? might someone mistake your work and or design for that of another? does it have the same dimensions,background pattern, and title as a similar piece of artwork in your field? have you cut and pasted the description of your work from the website of another artist?? ( don't laugh - it happens!)

these are all legitimate questions that each artist should ask before they release new products!!!

OK artists... DESIGN INTEGRITY - learn it, love it, practice it!

( I have not totally lost faith in the idea of "new fresh design" and my next entry will share some of my favorite artists in the industry!)
oh , I forgot last week when I posted to share this link..... but please check out my friend Jamie's blog and her post about "copying".
... she's brilliant!

7 comments:

  1. Bravo Ms. Devine Kennedy! I give you major "props" for you pointing this out (I think I have made it pretty clear how I feel about it!). Your examples are HARD to swallow, and hard not to see the very, very close resemblance. I hope that everyone can move on, take a deep breath and stop doing this!

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  2. I TOTALLY feel your frustration! I know where you are coming from and have experienced it myself. If you want to copy something, keep it to yourself - don't promote it as your own. So lame.

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  3. Amen. I really get disappointed when I see people copying. I will be honest...I copied the stuff that was out there to PRACTICE and get a hold of what people were interested in...but only as PRACTICE!!! After doodling with what other people were doing, I had the confidence to branch out and discover for myself who I was as an artist. But i think it is confusing...do people think that be copying popular art, they will make moeny? NO! They are oversaturating the market! Do they think they will find satisfaction artistically? no! They are not branching out far enough to get their ideas! So sad. The compliments go to you though, for never giving up. You are the TRUE creative for always doing more, and creating more. That is the ONE thing that no one can copy, because you then become impossible to keep up with:) Keep creating!

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  4. Hi Shelly, I agree completely! It is amazing to me that people feel they can do this. Unfortunately it costs time and money to fight it, and I would rather put my efforts toward creating...even though it is hard to ignore! LOVE your blog! Kelly

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  5. Amen Sister!! Don't you just want to tell them to get a brain and think on their own! You are creative, and believe me, I CAN tell the difference between yours and theirs. My hubby always tells me that crazy line about imitation is the highest form of flattery. But.... we are not talking something you buy at a store for your home, or clothes, we are talking creative thoughts that come from you!

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  6. Well, Mysterious Mr. or Mrs. “Industry Ombudsman”…

    Yes… the bunnies in the drooz studio design “Alfresco Bunny” do look like the bunnies in the P.Kaufmann fabric that you have shown. I was commissioned to design an art piece that could be sold with that specific bedding collection as a companion to that bedding set. It was a beneficial arrangement that allowed more of each product to be sold – the products were not competing against each other – they were working together.

    I did not copy exactly the design – but it does coordinate. I did use the fabric as inspiration. Never did I try to hide that the “Bunny Toile” was my inspiration.
    As a matter of fact, it is usually shown online right next to this bedding.

    As far as libel… I did say that I’m not accusing anyone of anything. Like I said…who knows who copied who? Right? But it really is hard to dispute, when looking at the side by side pictures, that someone did.

    As far as removal of the images… I’m looking into that. As far as I can tell the use falls under the copyright “Fair Use” copyright laws. I am not trying to sell or profit from these images. I am not trying to deface or claim these images are mine (as in plagiarism) I am using the images to show a point, in an “editorial” way. I actually added the images as an after thought – after much research I was really amazed at the comparisons that could visual be made. I meant no harm, and this a personal blog entry was not to initiate a “fight” with anyone – it is meant to honestly call a truce to these repeated violations that pop up industry wide.

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  7. Sounds like TIO needs to do some research before he lashes out! IMHO those who get so defensive on this issue usually have a guilty conscience and those that hide behind fake blogs and names are hiding something else!

    I only wish I could have seen the photos before they were removed.

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