It has been an interesting an eventful day around here.
In some good ways, and some not so good ways. First... I got couple of cool new things started and some done. But unfortunately I am doubled over with a stomach ache due to either "girly" things or bad Chinese. So, I am being lazy and don't want to get the camera out. But I will tomorrow, for sure!
I was sent a link to this CLASS being offered at a bead show in September. I am sure all you hardcore "Kabs" followers will say... 'Hey! That is your Sandy Lanterns Bangle!'. I said the same thing when I opened the link. I sent emails to the class instructor and to the group hosting the show. The instructor doesn't feel that my design was original, says that she doesn't subscribe to SBS Wire Jewelry Magazine and that it is a simple design anyone could have come up with. I haven't heard anything from the group hosting the show. But I just find the whole situation terribly frustrating. I know I am not the be all and end all of wire working. I know 'bangles' have been around since the dawn of time. And I would have considered this coincidence if it wasn't for the lampwork beads being the same size and shape... the layout of the beads being the same... and those small spacers right at the ends before the coils. It is just too similar. I truly think I came up with something original when I made my Sandy Lanterns bangle. I'll give the artist the benefit of the doubt... maybe she didn't intentionally set out to make the same bracelet. Maybe she saw mine way back in Feb 2006 when I posted it on the B&B Forum or here on my blog even. Maybe she saw it in one of the wire forums where people have tried my project... who knows. But I think she was in one way or another definitely influenced by my project either consciously our unconsciously and it should be acknowledged that I am the original designer.
Now it has been argued that 'hey, you gave up rights to the design the minute you gave it to the editors of a magazine...' To that I say "take a look at what the editors' themselves have to say..." On The Bead&Button Magazine website you can download the following from the magazine's editor, Mindy Brooks.
When, if ever, is it acceptable to sell or teach another person’s designs? That’s a question we hear frequently at Bead&Button, and it tells us that many of our readers care about the ethical and legal issues involved when it comes to the money-making aspects of beading. Unfortunately, we also have firsthand experience with beading’s darker side – the dishonest few who cause heartache and financial harm by cashing in on another person’s original work. And when unethical people profit from ideas that don’t belong to them, it hurts us all. Maybe it was inevitable that as beading became more popular, people would look for shortcuts to exploit the growing number of lucrative opportunities, and maybe there is nothing one editor or one editorial can do to change that. So, it’s gratifying to know that my concerns about the ethics of beading are shared by the editors of other beading magazines, including Cathy Jakicic of BeadStyle, Marlene Blessing of Beadwork, Pamela Hawkins of BeadUnique, and Leslie Rogalski of Step by Step Beads. They will also be covering this topic in upcoming issues of their publications.
To address the question presented at the start of this editorial, Bead&Button’s position on copying designs is as follows:
1. It is unethical to copy an artist’s work to sell without the artist’s permission.
2. It is unethical to copy any work that has appeared in a magazine, book, or website and represent it in any venue as an original design.
3. It is unethical to teach a beading project that has appeared in a magazine, book, or website without the artist’s permission.
4. It is unethical to teach a beading project learned in another teacher’s class without the teacher’s permission.
If you agree, please help disseminate this message by including a copy of these statements with your class materials, your kits, and the pieces you sell. You can download a copyright-free version at beadandbutton.com. Mindy BrooksEditor, Bead&Buttoneditor@beadandbutton.com
I also wanna encourage you jewelry makers out there to read THIS ARTICLE also published by Kalmbach on the rights of jewelry designers, the rights of beaders (the magazine readers) and a bit about copyright law. I found it very informative.
Okay so that was a big chunk of my day. The other parts were spent running the kids around to doctors appointments... disabling blowout fights over who's turn it is on the PS2... and wishing I could make beads. I unloaded my football and soccer responsibilities for the night on Ron and I am gonna just lay down and relax.