|BurOakStudio on Etsy - Copies my Smashed Knitting Needle Bracelets|
When I first put these on the market, I sold enough each month to pay the mortgage on my studio. Now I'm lucky if I sell one every other month.
Appropriation with out Consideration
This kind of appropriation happens all the time, especially from the Internet. Sites like Pinterest make it so easy to re-pin and share that the original source gets lost within a few pins, much like the original message got lost in a game of "telephone."
What is more disheartening is the presentation by these "artists" that they just "came up with the idea". When I know they saw my work online and conveniently forgot.
Before I started there were no "smashed knitting needle bracelets". Knitting needle jewelry existed, mostly from smaller needles like these from Sassafras Creations.
These pieces are much more professional than BurOakStudios work, shown below.
|BurOakStudio misshapen needle bracelets|
I was sad to see that Sassafras is closing shop soon. I wonder why? Is she having the same problem I am, that of appropriation and undercutting prices?
What do you do when you're full of ideas and others just steal them? Can you protect yourself without withdrawing and withholding completely? How is the Internet affecting creative people's (artists, writers, musicians) standard of living?
Copyright and trademark protection is there, but only for those who can afford to register, document, keep track of and pursue infringers. Those kind of resources belong to corporations, not creatives. I put my copyright on every image I upload to the web, it seems to make no difference at all without a staff to pursue it.
I've even had an infringer copy this necklace, published in a magazine blatantly. Make 7 copies, post them on Etsy, claim them to be their work, and pay Etsy for top placement ads.
|Copycat from Etsy listing 2013|
|Christine Marie Davis - smashed button necklace published in|
Lapidary Journal Jewelry Arts magazine Dec 2012.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well they are wrong.
I have stopped feeling motivated or safe sharing my ideas and images of my work, especially online. This greatly saddens me. I want to keep creating, I want to share, I want to inspire others but I need to make a living and not give away my time, energy, ideas and work. How is this possible?