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What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing designs?

dollyanjuli

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This is a thread purely based on my curiosity. I am hoping lots of people will reply with their opinions as I am really interested in others thoughts.

Recently a well known jeweler used on PS posted on instagram a photo of a ring that was an almost exact copy of another designers work. A flurry of messages and thoughts from various posters (pricescopers and others) ensued on the photo and there was a lot of conversation about potentially sending out a cease and desist to the jeweler who made the copy.

Here is what I am wondering: One of the most popular settings out there is a "Harry Winston style halo". Every single jeweler and designer has a version but they are essentially copies of a quintessential HW piece. Same with "Tiffany style solitaire" or "Tiffany soleste style double halo" or even the Tiffany Diamond by the yard necklace. These are of course just a few examples , but you don't really hear people saying " oh it's so wrong to copy you should get the original if that's the design you want".

However, when it's less well known jewelers getting copied (even if the original is $$$) it seems that people get a lot more worked up. For example, a single stone setting is extremely expensive but very high quality. They have designs that are specific to them. If you had a bench jeweler create a "single stone inspired" setting that looks very close to the original (but isn't the same quality), do you think that's wrong? Or is it ok because the original is way out of your budget? When, or is it ever, ok to copy a design that is known to be by a different jeweler?

I have no problem saying I am guilty of this. I have gone on pinterest or on PS and found pieces I liked and sent them to my jeweler and said " this is what I want! Make this please!". I have actively seeked out pieces that are copies of Van Cleef or Tiffany in style. However, I have never asked my jeweler to make a copy of a specific independent designers piece, especially if I could afford the original, but I would not have thought it would be different from asking for him to copy a Tiffany design. Now i am starting to think very differently, at least with some more independent designers.

What are y'alls thoughts ?
 

Gypsy

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

This is a complicated question more suited to long time members than newbies. And I think you'll have more luck on Hangout. I would ask the moderators to move it.
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Good thought on moving to Hangout, will ask mods to shift. Re: long time members versus newbies I would be interested to hear thoughts from all jewelry enthusiasts.
 

Gypsy

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

There is a difference between a newer member and a complete novice out of his depth (most of RT) .

My thoughts are below.

Many designs, like the Tiffany solitaire you mentioned are in the public domain. They are not protected by Copyright.

Additionally some designs are so generic, that despite being newer they don't meet the standards for copyright protection.

You can do whatever you want and copy those exactly. No moral, legal or ethical issues there for me. You can only STEAL something if someone OWNS it. No one owns these designs.

So that leaves work that IS copyright protected. A copyright protected design is a different thing. SOMEONE holds that copyright, that is their PROPERTY and that CAN be stolen. And THOSE are only protected in the US and other countries by treaty. And many countries (like those in Asia do not recognize our copyrights, that is why they have thriving markets of exact copies of all kinds of stuff freely and without fear of retribution).

Designs that I considered "inspired by" are one that have a minimum 20% deviation from the original COPYRIGHTED (not public domain) design and so are a NEW design of their own, while being inspired by the original.

I do not advocate copying any copyrighted design. I do not approve of it morally either.

HOWEVER there is a "loophole" if you will. If two designers INDEPENDENTLY (without knowing of each other's work) come up with the same design BOTH are protected and there is no infringement. And no moral issue for me either.

Here's the crux of it though. There is very little that is NEW in the jewelry world. We had a poster here "Harriet" that had a very lovely ring made for a Tsavorite of hers by Leon. She claimed it was a "completely original design" and Copyright protected as a result. I found almost a very similarly designed at Langs in an antique piece with an emerald center stone. That kind of blew the wind out of her sails and her argument.

For copyright protection you have to prove that something is original. That's VERY hard to do with jewelry. So legally proving infringement is a very expensive proposition with very little return on the investment on the horizon.

There are some designers that have a shot at it. Take Erika Winter's designs. Some of her designs are pretty damned unique and her aesthetic is very much her own. I would not be okay someone copying several of her most unique designs. Even if could be done legally, morally I think it would be wrong. But if someone did an 'inspired by' design based on one of hers and made the requisite 20% change to the design to make it their own, I wouldn't have a problem with it morally either.

But for me, moral and legal are intertwined. That is not the case for some people.

Someone made a copy of my original halo by Ocean shortly after I got it. It was a very poorly executed copy. I just felt sorry for the person who got such a poor copy of my ring. If they had done an exact copy I would have been happier honestly. I am more offended by poor execution than I am by someone copying me. I am not possessive of my personal designs because I do not make a living off of them. NOW, if I DID start designing, like Erika, for a living-- that would be different. I would not be happy if someone ripped off my designs exactly. Especially if they were poorly executed to boot!

Not everyone sees things the same way though. If you are a long time member you will remember the "ring that shall not be named". A poster (who I shall call DQ) bought a VERY beautiful VINTAGE ring at a dealer in CA. She had the ring serviced by one of the Pricescope vendors. DQ had literally DOZENS of pictures of her ring posted on PS, a public site. Lots of HUGELY ZOOMED DETAIL PICTURES that showed every single detail of the ring. Another poster (who I shall call PVDQ) called up the PS vendor and asked them to duplicate the design of the VINTAGE (not an original design) ring. The vendor did. Now, the ring looked VERY VERY little like the original. Why? The original boasted a very LARGE checkerboard crown transitional. The copy had a very modestly sized stone. And part of what really made the original such an "OMG" piece was the ratio of the proportions. Which the copy did not capture. Now the copy was a VERY pretty ring in its own right. But it wasn't a threat to the beauty of the original. DQ threw the biggest fit you can imagine over the "infringement" of her nonexistent copyright on the vintage ring. She withdrew from PS, had all her pictures removed and has never graced us with her presence again (though who knows, maybe she lurks).

I frankly thought it was a great deal of unfounded drama. The ring was a vintage piece. She didn't own the copyright, and you can't steal something that NO ONE owns. And the copy looked very little like hers to boot. But... for her it was clearly a HUGE deal.

To each their own. You would have to hurt something TANGIBLE and ALIVE of mine (friend, family, pet) to get me that ticked off, frankly. OR, alternately, I would have to be in the trade making a living off my designs and you would have to steal MY designs, that I actually held copyright on, for me to get mad. People vary.
 

Gypsy

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Old threads that describe, in detail, the drama described above:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/does-anyone-have-a-photo-of-surfgirls-single-stone-ring.168931/page-3']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/does-anyone-have-a-photo-of-surfgirls-single-stone-ring.168931/page-3[/URL]
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/imitation.103965/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/imitation.103965/[/URL]

However, please do not rehash the old drama. Let's just stick to the topic at hand. I only used the example to illustrate that things like this are viewed differently by people.

People vary.
 

dk168

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Not an expert and I am still a youngster compared to the other old times. However, I was a long time lurker before I started posting a couple of years ago, and can remember some of the "dramas".

My take of the subject matter is that, I trawl the web for design inspirations, and have a massive collection of freely available jewellery images from the web, including images of jewellery pieces that belong to members of PS.

When it comes to designing my own rings and other jewellery items, I would normally go back to my collection of inspirational pics, and come up with my own design to suit my lifestyle and very strong personal taste.

As far as I am aware, I have yet to ask a bench to make an exact copy of a ring or other jewellery item for me, as I have very specific colour and setting preferences (bezel set main stone, chunky plain comfort shank, white metals)

I post my finished pieces on PS, and would be delighted if they inspire others to have something similar or even an exact copy made for them.

I come up with ideas all the time, whether it is work or hobby related.

To this day, I would like to believe my idea of a custom paint job on my new car back in 2002 (a MINI Cooper with Chilli Red body and Lime Green roof and wing mirrors, the car is affectionately named Apple; new MINI was launch in late 2001) inspired many enthusiasts of the brand to follow suit - to throw away available colour options (white, black, or same as body) and pick colours that they liked. Other brands that offer whacky colour combos in the past 5 years or so are late to the party, IMHO! :naughty: :bigsmile:

If I were to live on my creativity alone, then I may feel differently about others copying my design ideas. However, I would like to believe I would feel flattered rather than to get hot and bothered under a collar - life really is too short!

DK :))
 

soxfan

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Original setting:



"Inspired by" copy:



Just so everyone can see the pic/post in question before it was removed. Draw your own conclusions.....

img_9038__1_.jpg

img_7527__1_.jpg
 

arkieb1

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I can think if two examples where Mike R designs were ripped off by two of our well known and loved vendors. While it's no doubt unavoidable to rehash a popular halo or a Tiffany copy when making rings because lets face it they are a staple, ripping off a hand drawn fairly unique design I think kind of crosses the boundaries....

And a number of P/S rings seem to be rehashed as "inspiration" on a regular basis, for the people that purchase stones that shall not be named on this forum...... Lola was copied identically by one of the popular P/S vendors not long after it was made by Victor, for a stone that shall not be named.

I kind of think vendors should change it a bit and make the new owner something unique to them, it just I dunno, feels better for everyone involved. So be inspired by, but change it a little people, copying something that was handmade and hand drawn for someone specifically if you are on receiving end sucks, for both the original designer and the original owner as well if they helped with the original design, or thought they were forking over thousands for something unique.
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Gypsy, those original threads were- wow. They did touch on a few points I had.

It seems there are three different "buckets" if you will that have various reactions.
1) someone has a piece you admire. You ask a jeweler to make a version of it for yourself. It was designed by the original purchaser.
2) you see a designer piece but it is out of your price point ( Tiffany, Tacori, whatever). You ask a jeweler to make you a copy. It is not identical to the original but very very close and the intention was for it to look the same
3) you see an image that is unique in style to a particular jewelry maker ( We can use Erika Winters for this example). It is recognizable by finish and style. For whatever reason (out of budget, different country. Etc) you decide to have someone make you a copy based on pictures you saw online vs purchasing the original

To me, it honestly seems like the end purchaser ( the one asking someone to create the copy) is more at fault as they are purposefully asking someone to create a potentially copyrighted design. That said, the general feeling seems to be it's more ok if it's a "big brand"
Being copied vs an independent artist. And that for those that want to create rings based on an individual's design (not a jeweler) it is personal as to whether the person is offended or flattered. And lastly, using the recent example of CVB's design being copied, it was the jeweler who made the copy who people are offended by, much more so than whomever took pictures to the end jeweler and said "make this exactly please".

I understand that the copyright for original designs exists but enforcing it is truly difficult.
But then why are so many people ok with copying Tiffany and HW designs? Those too should be protected, and while it is certain that the versions out there probably don't have the same financial ramifications as it does for Independant designers, at the end of the day doesn't it amount to the same thing? I think that is my hang up more than anything.
I never thought twice about buying a diamond by the yard necklace that looked as close to the original Tiffany design as possible. But I would feel badly asking a less expensive jeweler to make a close copy of a CVB.

As Soxfan posted, that is indeed the item that spurned my late night ramblings. I am dying for a CVB piece and its on my bucket list. If I worked with Caysie to design something and then another jeweler made an exact copy of it, would I feel worse than if someone had Caysie herself make an exact copy for their use? Probably not. But I know Caysie would be upset and rightly so as a lot of work goes into designing bespoke pieces.
 

yssie

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I'm a long-time member. My views on vendors stealing other vendors' designs are well-known and I have been lambasted many times, publicly and privately, for my strong views and my thick black line in the sand at this beach. I have less than zero patience for thieves, and in my opinion someone who copies someone else's intellectual property is a thief.

The question of what is "unique" and what isn't is a huge topic in and of itself... For this thread I'll use the criteria Gypsy laid out:
- If you can find a <20%-different version that was made by a person or shop before your version existed, it's not unique.
- If you can find a <20%-different version that was made by another vendor with no prior knowledge or collaboration, it's not unique.
- If you have a copy made of a piece by another vendor who doesn't stand to lose profit from your copy, it's not damaging and it's not theft.
In your case, dolly, DBTY designs have been around for hundreds of years - Tiffany did not create them, Tiffany has no exclusive intellectual property over the design. So Tiffany's version of the DBTY, the Tiffany solitaire and the HW halo? Well, much as people like to claim they've found the closest copy, the "closest copy" is exactly that - these copies are generally going to be sufficiently different without much effort on the jeweller's part because they're such basic designs to begin with. The more unique the design the more that has to be changed to meet that "20% differential".

One particular vendor - the vendor who produced the copy here, and who has copied any number of other boutique vendors' uniquely identifiable custom designs with utterly minimal (if any) changes - has somehow managed to acquire a remarkable amount of popularity here on PS in the past couple of years. Part of the appeal is very attractive pricing; it is worth pointing out that design takes time, artistry, and money, and there are financial benefits to eliminating that overhead. The bigger issue, though, is more complex...

PS is a community. A big, far-reaching community. PSers have discovered new vendors, the Ps community has brought vendors to greatness, the PS community has brought vendors to their knees. The PS community has the power to do that. When many PSers choose to work with vendors whose business practices directly undermine other PS vendors' businesses, those other PS vendors are going to withdraw from this community, slowly but surely, and our community will sorely miss the loss. Most vendors flat out refuse to duplicate other vendors' unique custom designs. If CvB sees PSers taking her designs to one of the few vendors who will duplicate other vendors' works what's her incentive not to shun the PS community? What about - off the top of my head - LAD, EW, JbEG, Mike R, VC, Single Stone...

It's up to us to either support vendors in their efforts to create and inspire and provide an environment wherein those creations can be shared without fear of their audience popularizing a vendor who will happily copy them on the cheap... Or not. The shift toward "not" in recent years is extraordinarily disappointing.
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Thank you Yssie and Arkie for your thoughts, and Arkie for sharing that thread. I have only been active on PS for a few years so missed much of the old discussions, but since this is popping up again and with te advance of IG and other social media for people to share their work, it almost makes it easier for people to see a picture and say to someone "make this". I was genuinely curious to know people's feelings on this topic and these thoughtful responses are very much appreciated.

Also, Gypsy I did ask that this be moved by I don't think Ella has seen my request yet..
 

yssie

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I said JbEG in my original post - I meant JbG! I'm on an older phone at the moment and my autocorrects are out of date :bigsmile:
 

mrs-b

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Hi dollyanjuli

Just to add another dimension to what you're saying to muddy the waters even further....

For literally decades, I've wanted a round brilliant with pear sides. The ONLY person I've found who can do this with the precision, delicacy and organic, 'flowy' feel I want is Leon Mege. Working with Leon scares me. Consequently I don't, and probably never will, have that style of ring.

My point being, what sets jewelers apart is sometimes sheer skill - which is something people can't just duplicate, even for want of trying. People could copy that ring all day long, and it still wouldn't look like a Leon - sometimes for reasons that aren't even quantifiable.

I swear, after this amount of time of staring at his designs (about 15 years) I could pick a Leon ring out of a line up of thousands....
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

dk168|1472294651|4070515 said:
Not an expert and I am still a youngster compared to the other old times. However, I was a long time lurker before I started posting a couple of years ago, and can remember some of the "dramas".

My take of the subject matter is that, I trawl the web for design inspirations, and have a massive collection of freely available jewellery images from the web, including images of jewellery pieces that belong to members of PS.

When it comes to designing my own rings and other jewellery items, I would normally go back to my collection of inspirational pics, and come up with my own design to suit my lifestyle and very strong personal taste.

As far as I am aware, I have yet to ask a bench to make an exact copy of a ring or other jewellery item for me, as I have very specific colour and setting preferences (bezel set main stone, chunky plain comfort shank, white metals)

I post my finished pieces on PS, and would be delighted if they inspire others to have something similar or even an exact copy made for them.

I come up with ideas all the time, whether it is work or hobby related.

To this day, I would like to believe my idea of a custom paint job on my new car back in 2002 (a MINI Cooper with Chilli Red body and Lime Green roof and wing mirrors, the car is affectionately named Apple; new MINI was launch in late 2001) inspired many enthusiasts of the brand to follow suit - to throw away available colour options (white, black, or same as body) and pick colours that they liked. Other brands that offer whacky colour combos in the past 5 years or so are late to the party, IMHO! :naughty: :bigsmile:

If I were to live on my creativity alone, then I may feel differently about others copying my design ideas. However, I would like to believe I would feel flattered rather than to get hot and bothered under a collar - life really is too short!

DK :))

LOL DK if I ever see a Mini in those paint colors I will know it's either you or an admirer of yours ;-) thank you for sharing your thoughts!
 

yssie

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

mrs-blop|1472319350|4070600 said:
My point being, what sets jewelers apart is sometimes sheer skill - which is something people can't just duplicate, even for want of trying. People could copy that ring all day long, and it still wouldn't look like a Leon - sometimes for reasons that aren't even quantifiable.

I swear, after this amount of time of staring at his designs (about 15 years) I could pick a Leon ring out of a line up of thousands....
Completely agree - and honestly, I think I could too...


I think this is where the discussion of "how unique is this design?" becomes key. An inferior copy of Leon's three-stone isn't going to scream "I copied Leon's three-stone!" because the design is fundamentally commonplace - what sets Leon's apart is quality of execution, and the nuances of his signature style. Nuances that most other jewellers fail to comprehend, let alone attempt to copy.

When the design is sufficiently unique in style and non-nuanced detail... Copying that style and detail becomes exponentially more damaging IMO. I've seen newer PSers mistakenly believe the copy, inferior execution and all, *is* the original, which is the worst possible outcome for the original creator :(sad
 

dollyanjuli

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

mrs-blop|1472319350|4070600 said:
Hi dollyanjuli

Just to add another dimension to what you're saying to muddy the waters even further....

For literally decades, I've wanted a round brilliant with pear sides. The ONLY person I've found who can do this with the precision, delicacy and organic, 'flowy' feel I want is Leon Mege. Working with Leon scares me. Consequently I don't, and probably never will, have that style of ring.

My point being, what sets jewelers apart is sometimes sheer skill - which is something people can't just duplicate, even for want of trying.

I swear, I could pick a Leon ring out of a line up of thousands....

I totally agree with you Mrs. Blop! Not that I could pick a Leon out of a line up LOL, but that often times copies of truly unique or well made pieces just miss the mark. Consequently, they don't even end up looking like a copy but something else entirely.
 

jewels2

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I have a love for designer handbags as well as jewelry.
I have always thought of it in the same concept as handbags I guess. For instance if someone is selling a handbag with another designers label then it is clearly counterfeit, however, if they are selling a no name or their own name on a bag to me it is fine.
This is how I look at jewelry pieces as well.
 

soxfan

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Yssie|1472316140|4070592 said:
I'm a long-time member. My views on vendors stealing other vendors' designs are well-known and I have been lambasted many times, publicly and privately, for my strong views and my thick black line in the sand at this beach. I have less than zero patience for thieves, and in my opinion someone who copies someone else's intellectual property is a thief.

The question of what is "unique" and what isn't is a huge topic in and of itself... For this thread I'll use the criteria Gypsy laid out:
- If you can find a <20%-different version that was made by a person or shop before your version existed, it's not unique.
- If you can find a <20%-different version that was made by another vendor with no prior knowledge or collaboration, it's not unique.
- If you have a copy made of a piece by another vendor who doesn't stand to lose profit from your copy, it's not damaging and it's not theft.
In your case, dolly, DBTY designs have been around for hundreds of years - Tiffany did not create them, Tiffany has no exclusive intellectual property over the design. So Tiffany's version of the DBTY, the Tiffany solitaire and the HW halo? Well, much as people like to claim they've found the closest copy, the "closest copy" is exactly that - these copies are generally going to be sufficiently different without much effort on the jeweller's part because they're such basic designs to begin with. The more unique the design the more that has to be changed to meet that "20% differential".

One particular vendor - the vendor who produced the copy here, and who has copied any number of other boutique vendors' uniquely identifiable custom designs with utterly minimal (if any) changes - has somehow managed to acquire a remarkable amount of popularity here on PS in the past couple of years. Part of the appeal is very attractive pricing; it is worth pointing out that design takes time, artistry, and money, and there are financial benefits to eliminating that overhead. The bigger issue, though, is more complex...

PS is a community. A big, far-reaching community. PSers have discovered new vendors, the Ps community has brought vendors to greatness, the PS community has brought vendors to their knees. The PS community has the power to do that. When many PSers choose to work with vendors whose business practices directly undermine other PS vendors' businesses, those other PS vendors are going to withdraw from this community, slowly but surely, and our community will sorely miss the loss. Most vendors flat out refuse to duplicate other vendors' unique custom designs. If CvB sees PSers taking her designs to one of the few vendors who will duplicate other vendors' works what's her incentive not to shun the PS community? What about - off the top of my head - LAD, EW, JbEG, Mike R, VC, Single Stone...

It's up to us to either support vendors in their efforts to create and inspire and provide an environment wherein those creations can be shared without fear of their audience popularizing a vendor who will happily copy them on the cheap... Or not. The shift toward "not" in recent years is extraordinarily disappointing.

Well said Yssie. :appl:
 

shaggy1

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Long-time lurker here. I only recently created an account, in part due to the horrible treatment of the poster who copied the antique ring and got grief for it in her own engagement thread. (And then had her thread deleted, IIRC) .

So it's disconcerting for me to see it come up again because it had left such a bad taste in my mouth.

I have been guilty of the horrible sin of accidentally copying a a custom jeweler's design. When I married, I could only afford a small gold band. Paid for it myself. Thirty years and a nasty divorce later, I decided to buy myself a wonderful diamond for my right hand. I trolled the web and found two unattributed photos of a ring I liked. There was no site attached to the photos... They were on an anonymous image hosting site (tiny pic). Had a bench make the ring for me.

Years later, I discover to my chagrin that the original is an MWM design... One he doesn't have on his site. It's not the style he's famous for so I never realized it was one of his.

So what would those of you who are stickers have me do? Throw my ring away because it was inadvertently a copy?
 

kenny

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Gypsy|1472281209|4070491 said:
People vary.
Hey Lady, I own that copyright.
Send me a check.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

kenny

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I totally get it's wrong/illegal to steal property, be it physical or a copyrighted design.
I totally don't get, "Someone saw a pic of my ring and copied it. I'm so upset now."
I'd be flattered.

Companies around the world use pics I've taken of my fancy colored diamonds.
They are making money from my work.
It used to bug me a little bit, but no longer.
I don't even contact them.
I'm flattered.

Yeah, people vary.
Just saying how it is for me.
 

soxfan

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

kenny|1472327291|4070638 said:
I totally get it's wrong/illegal to steal property, be it physical or a copyrighted design.
I totally don't get, "Someone saw a pic of my ring and copied it. I'm so upset now."
I'd be flattered.

Companies around the world use pics I've taken of my fancy colored diamonds.
They are making money from my work.
It used to bug me a little bit, but no longer.
I don't even contact them.
I'm flattered.

Yeah, people vary.
Just saying how it is for me.
HARDLY the same thing. You don't make a livelihood taking pics of your colored stones. :roll:
 

kenny

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Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

soxfan|1472327807|4070647 said:
kenny|1472327291|4070638 said:
I totally get it's wrong/illegal to steal property, be it physical or a copyrighted design.
I totally don't get, "Someone saw a pic of my ring and copied it. I'm so upset now."
I'd be flattered.

Companies around the world use pics I've taken of my fancy colored diamonds.
They are making money from my work.
It used to bug me a little bit, but no longer.
I don't even contact them.
I'm flattered.

Yeah, people vary.
Just saying how it is for me.
HARDLY the same thing. You don't make a livelihood taking pics of your colored stones. :roll:
Sorry I was not more clear.
I'm referring to those who get upset that someone saw a pic of their ring online and and had a copy of it made.
I don't understand that upset.
Yes, of course, they have a right to whatev.
I just don't get it.
I guess a person could also get upset that someone else had the temerity to have a ring made from THEIR same alloy of gold.

Ownership is all in our heads, unless it is legally protected, as Gypsy has described.

I mentioned my pics because (like the wearer of a unique ring) I consider them to be my expressions of my ideas.
No I was not paid to take the pics and neither was the purchaser/wearer of the unique ring that was copied.
 

soxfan

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
4,795
Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

Sorry Kenny, that was snarky of me. What I mean is that Vendors lose business when another vendor constantly makes copies of their designs for less. If you sell your pics, it's wrong for others to use them. If you don't and you are flattered that people use them, it's different than if you rely on them to make a living...
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,455
Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I was waiting for the backlash from that IG pic--I was frankly surprised that he posted it at all!

I have potentially differing opinions on this issue that may be unpopular, so I apologize in advance if anyone is upset by them. I am not particularly bothered by "copying" when it comes to jewelry---maybe because I agree that very few pieces these days are unique enough to constitute an entirely novel design. But the biggest reason I am not super bothered by it is because of the skill level required to make an exact "copy" vs. an "inspired by/copy of potentially inferior quality". Now I definitely don't mean that the designer in question who posted the "inspiration" ring is unskilled--I think he is very talented. But frankly, I don't see him as being on the same level in terms of bench execution as the original designer of that ring. So to me, although it does look like a strong inspiration/copy, the difference between them is quite clear. I could pick the "original" quite easily if I had to. So I guess for me it's a matter of whether one is willing/able to pay for the original design (which not only means supporting the original designer, but also comes with a certain level of quality and execution). If one cannot (or is unwilling) to pay for the original, he or she will have to accept that the finished piece won't be of the same quality, or have the same "feel" (in the case of the IG post in question, I feel like the original looks much more fluid, better proportions, etc).

One example I can use from my own life is Yssie's famous 5-stone ring. That is one of (if not my all time) favorite piece. I love everything about it. However, there is zero chance I could afford to have it replicated by VC or DBL--and definitely couldnt use diamonds of that size and quality. So I asked Michael E to make an "inspired by" ring that used many elements from that design, but with sapphires instead. I knew it would be cast vs. having everything done by hand, and obviously knew it wouldn't have that signature "flow" that makes Yssie's ring so glorious. The end product looks (to me) totally different from Yssie's original since so much of it changed in 'translation' and with different work methods. Not to say I don't love it (I really do!), but the differences were ones I was expecting at the outset, given that I believe I spent less than 1/4 of what the setting price would have been from an entirely hand-forged bench.

Sorry that this is so long--but this is something I've thought about a great deal since coming to PS, so just wanted to share my views. :wavey:
 

soxfan

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
4,795
Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

kenny|1472328445|4070649 said:
soxfan|1472327807|4070647 said:
kenny|1472327291|4070638 said:
I totally get it's wrong/illegal to steal property, be it physical or a copyrighted design.
I totally don't get, "Someone saw a pic of my ring and copied it. I'm so upset now."
I'd be flattered.

Companies around the world use pics I've taken of my fancy colored diamonds.
They are making money from my work.
It used to bug me a little bit, but no longer.
I don't even contact them.
I'm flattered.

Yeah, people vary.
Just saying how it is for me.
HARDLY the same thing. You don't make a livelihood taking pics of your colored stones. :roll:
Sorry I was not more clear.
I'm referring to those who get upset that someone saw a pic of their ring online and and had a copy of it made.
I don't understand that upset.
Yes, of course, they have a right to whatev.
I just don't get it.
I guess a person could also get upset that someone else had the temerity to have a ring made from THEIR same alloy of gold.

Ownership is all in our heads, unless it is legally protected, as Gypsy has described.

I mentioned my pics because (like the wearer of a unique ring) I consider them to be my expressions of my ideas.
No I was not paid to take the pics and neither was the purchaser/wearer of the unique ring that was copied.

I understand now!! I posted too quickly- my apologies :angel:
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,175
Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

soxfan|1472328559|4070650 said:
Sorry Kenny, that was snarky of me. What I mean is that Vendors lose business when another vendor constantly makes copies of their designs for less. If you sell your pics, it's wrong for others to use them. If you don't and you are flattered that people use them, it's different than if you rely on them to make a living...
Granted.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,175
Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

soxfan|1472328755|4070654 said:
kenny|1472328445|4070649 said:
soxfan|1472327807|4070647 said:
kenny|1472327291|4070638 said:
I totally get it's wrong/illegal to steal property, be it physical or a copyrighted design.
I totally don't get, "Someone saw a pic of my ring and copied it. I'm so upset now."
I'd be flattered.

Companies around the world use pics I've taken of my fancy colored diamonds.
They are making money from my work.
It used to bug me a little bit, but no longer.
I don't even contact them.
I'm flattered.

Yeah, people vary.
Just saying how it is for me.
HARDLY the same thing. You don't make a livelihood taking pics of your colored stones. :roll:
Sorry I was not more clear.
I'm referring to those who get upset that someone saw a pic of their ring online and and had a copy of it made.
I don't understand that upset.
Yes, of course, they have a right to whatev.
I just don't get it.
I guess a person could also get upset that someone else had the temerity to have a ring made from THEIR same alloy of gold.

Ownership is all in our heads, unless it is legally protected, as Gypsy has described.

I mentioned my pics because (like the wearer of a unique ring) I consider them to be my expressions of my ideas.
No I was not paid to take the pics and neither was the purchaser/wearer of the unique ring that was copied.

I understand now!! I posted too quickly- my apologies :angel:
No problem.
Thanks. :wavey:
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,228
Re: What constitutes an inspired by piece vs. stealing desig

I'll just add that I appreciate Gypsy's analysis, particularly her noting that the question has both legal and moral components.

And, as mrs-blop noted, it's rare that an intentional replica actually replicates all the elements that made the original design drool-worthy to begin with!

James Meyer's wonderful platform ring designs hit Pricescope at about the same time that PS'ers discovered Etsy jeweler Julia Kay Taylor. It wasn't long before PS-ers started sharing James Meyer- inspired JKT designs.

The thing is, they were never (as I recall) intended to be direct copies. JKT used JM's main design elements - a bezel-set stone and platform held up with a split shank - to create unique "inspired by" rings. Ad infinitum, as I recall... in fact I have one of her rings, and I'm rarely an early adopter when it comes to jewelry!* When Tiffany's "key" pendants became popular she also made keys for several PS'ers. Again, each key was unique. In other words, the designer used some key (sorry about that) elements of the original and added her own creativity to the process to create a new unique piece that was more than just a copy of the original.

By the way, it seems that being able to use an "inspiration" piece as a jumping-off point to a beautiful and unique design is not a universal skill. II've also seen designers (who will remain unnamed) who seem to be able to turn out perfectly lovely unique designs, but seem to do a terrible job when asked to make a piece of "inspired by" jewelry...

(* it's a little different when it comes to cars... I also bought my MINI in 2002!)
 
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