Saturday, April 23, 2011

Design question...


I love all these Easter Eggs I see, and this question is sparked by them, and it really applies to any motif ...
 many many of these are very simple rings and chains, simply depends on the number of rings and chains you put together, and make it oblong, you don't have to save a copy of someone's work and count their stitches, you don't have to plagiarize someone elses work, you don't have to copy someone elses work they did from a book without  purchasing a book, you can make your own design yourself...

however, a simple design such as the one Tatskool has done here in purple, which she did do from a book, could be changed easily, to be made your own without counting or copying it from the one she did.  I am very inspired to make some of these, however, I have not yet, because I am iffy on the whole subject...   

If I am using the idea of say this particular design, but doing it from scratch, and using my own counts, am I borrowing, copying or making my own...  am I inspired, or am I  saying, I made this and it was inspired by.....
there are other  patterns I have seen that have really inspired me that I have used elements from, that I can truly say, I have made my own unique pattern from, so that has not been an issue, but something like this is such a common pattern.  

I can see with other eggs, such as this one done again by Tatskool where it is not as simple of a pattern, that it in itself is more individualized, more specialized,  but again, the first one is, in my opinion so common that it can be done by the most beginner of tatters without copying it to be altered to be individual.  

I hope I am explaining it correctly, 
I never sell my products, I never put out without giving credit where credit is due, and I tat for the pure joy of tatting.  But I am inspired by everyone, and do enjoy making beautiful patterns.  I also enjoy being inspired by other artists to try adding  new ideas my work.

Please please give me some feed back on this, I am really curious what people think. I have been thinking on this for a couple months now about several things I have been seeing. 


  1. I think if you are creating for your own pleasure, and not selling the work as yours, nor copying the work from someone else, then crediting the original design as having inspired yours is fine. The problem arises when one uses another's design, or elements of that design, and claims them as their own original design. Or sells that inspired work as their own design when it is not.
    If you change someone's original design only slightly, I believe it is wrong to credit it as yours. I think if it's similar to their design, and looks like their design, then any small changes does not change the fact that it is based on their design. Just my opinion.

  2. If you truly start with somebody else's pattern and modify it, then you should state exactly that: "Designed by ___, modified by Bri." If you are making your own design that is inspired by someone else's, then it is your own. However, it would be polite to say, "Inspired by ___." Just MHO.

  3. Bree, there is a lot of misinformation about copright Law among tatters - and indeed many 'regular' folk!

    Look on-line under copyright law and read to get the gist of it. Remember, you CANNOT COPYRIGHT AN IDEA.

    I you are uncertain if you have copied, and know you have used someone's work as your inspiration, just credit them by saying so!

    Usually, we have a pretty accurate idea if we are honest with ourselves, when the work is our own or if we have copied someone's.

    Remember: copying is just that - replicating someone's actual work. The IDEA of a thing is not under copyright, the actual work is.
    Fox : )

  4. I do understand actual copyright laws, and I do understand that you can not copyright an idea, that is where trademark comes in, which is a whole different kettle of fish. that isn't what I am interested in, , i was thinking more along the lines of what Suz was thinking also, if something is inspired by someone else, but you have only hanged it slightly then it still isn't yours, but only slightly changed, it is still someone elses, but altered.

    I always give credit and say, this is ----- or this is slightly altered pattern by ----- etc, my self being an artist of many years in different mediums, It is inconceivable to me not to give credit where it is due.

    I was just wondering some other peoples thoughts on how basic of a shared idea is something before it is someone's eleses work or how much of an alteration others believe is done when inspired before it is truly altered to be a new piece that was inspired by something else.

    everything we see in life inspires something, something are just a little more blatant about idea provoking abilities.

    maybe my thoughts just ramble a little too much, lol, i was just curious what others thought :)

  5. I think that it's nice to credit others when you know that's where you obtained the design, however...when you have something that is created from "just" rings and chains, there is bound to be overlap in design and usage of elements.

    I've seen a number of things out there that are credited/written down to/by one person or another that I KNOW have been done prior to that either because there is a similar example in my Grandmother's work or I have or have seen a close pattern to it in an old workbasket or other magazine. Some design elements are just so elemental to tatting that I don't believe anyone can really claim to have created one basic pattern or another utilizing those elements.

    An example would be the fact that my Grandmother must have done 15 distinctly different versions of a basic ring and chain cross bookmark that I am aware of. I've seen patterns out there for virtually the same things...recently published (last decade) and Grandma has been gone longer than that, and some of her work I know to have been done 30 to 40 years prior to her is that legitimate to write down and claim some design or another as your own work? I don't know.

    Perhaps, because that individual's WORK is the written pattern and Grandma certainly didn't do that, she just kept a box full of "samples" to recreate from. Yet I don't believe it to be Grandma's work exclusively either, nor that someone "copied" hers...she lived in rural Montana and didn't have access to all that many patterns nor to the internet.

    Somethings are just a part of tatting...once you've got the same basics in your brain you are bound to put them together in some very similar ways. Especially basic crosses, bookmarks, etc.

    Again, though, if I know I used a certain pattern or was inspired by an item done by another...I credit that...and the work of another is I always respect that.

  6. I very much relate to this post as I faced several issues when I started my be honest I still don't really understand it.

    Even the definition of modifying to be "slightly different" is vague ! what is called slightly ? What if the designer doesn't find your modifications big enough ?

    for what I know "A method or procedure is not copyrightable" from this source :

    So when you reverse engineer a work of art and create your own I don't think you have done something against any law.


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