"Copying" Other LJs Work...Stealing? Rude? Okay? Just Give Credit?...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by DamnYankee posted 04-02-2012 07:34 PM 3077 views 2 times favorited 90 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2524 days

04-02-2012 07:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Question for my fellow LJs…

How do you feel about copying another LJs work?

I’m not talking about “inspired by”. I’m talking about seeing a project, adding it to your “favorites” and eventually making one as just like it as you can based on the pictures, discription and your skills.

I’m also not talking about just another box, cutting board, etc. I’m talking about a creative idea, such as the design of a lamp, the design of a table or box, etc. While not necessarily unique in that you’ve never seen a box before, but rather the design is original, original enough that you can pinpoint where/who the design came from.

How about if you know the fellow LJ sells the said item?

Personally…I think the fact that we post our projects (let alone the ability to “favorite”) opens them up to copying. Arguably invites others to copy. However, I personally would not want a fellow LJ to copy one of my ideas, post it to LJs and NOT give credit to where they got the idea.

What do you think?

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

90 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17299 posts in 2969 days

#1 posted 04-02-2012 07:43 PM

i think its all in perspective, for me, being a novice at best woodworker, if someone were to copy something ive done i would be flattered. Now on the other hand lets say i was a woodworker whom does this for a living. If my works were copied and sold in that sense id be angry.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#2 posted 04-02-2012 07:56 PM

I pretty much agree with you. If I post a non-copyrighted design on a public internet forum, I’m pretty much giving up my rights to it as far as I’m concerned. If another LJ copies it and sells it…. well, if I was going to have a problem with that, I shouldn’t have posted it in the first place.

I’d probably be at least a little annoyed, though, if someone copied my project and then posted it here as though it were their original design.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2227 days

#3 posted 04-02-2012 07:58 PM

I think the fair thing to do in the case of any original design is to ask the creator/maker/whatever for their thoughts and permission on using it. Some people are fine as long as you ask and, of course, give credit. Some don’t even want credit. It all depends on the person.

As a modern furniture junkie, I have watched some of the manufacturers and designers go after knock-offs in a very determined fashion. Some would like no less than suing knock-off makers out of business to insure it never happens again.

While the person may not care or ever find out that you copied them, you open yourself to the possibility that something may come of it or someone may notice and give warning to others of your practices. It’s best just to ask the person first before it ever comes to that.

That’s my opinion.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3317 days

#4 posted 04-02-2012 08:01 PM

have had my work copied and I have copied others… no big deal… nice to be acknowledged and equally important to acknowledge the origins of the work…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5802 posts in 3157 days

#5 posted 04-02-2012 08:04 PM

I posted my answer to your question in my thread…....

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3199 days

#6 posted 04-02-2012 08:07 PM

I’d be flattered if someone copied my work. Most of my work is a derivative copy… My main tool is a gunstock duplicator. I’ve got a Fajen catalog from the 1960’s and one of his designs was advertized in his catalog as the most copied stock on the market.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View DS's profile


2894 posts in 2383 days

#7 posted 04-02-2012 08:09 PM

It seems to me, that every once in a while, an idea gets hot and gets copied all over the place.

When I was designing high-end custom kitchens, I would see some of my work pop up in the local trade mags—usually by the builder I did the job for who was advertising his services. For me it was flattering, but, by the same token, by him advertising it, inevitably, many copies and derivitives would turn up shortly afterwards.

I think it is unavaoidable. Even I’ve been asked to copy, or use inspiriation, from existing designs in new works.

The only time I felt wronged was when some of my work was attributed to a builder who later opened his own shop and advertised the piece I did for him as one of his own pieces. (He even had the nerve to put my work on the cover of his shop brochures.)

Usually, a hot idea has a lifespan – Sometimes weeks, months, or a few years. The classic hot ideas have a lifespan of decades and centuries. I wouldn’t mind if some of my work obtained such notariety and recognition, but, that really isn’t why I do this work.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

4901 posts in 3923 days

#8 posted 04-02-2012 08:14 PM

I’d be pretty danged proud to have something copied.
Let’s see…....What about all the rockers that have been inspired by? (Maloof.)
There’s another guy named Underhill who has led me to build some stuff after his show.
Now IKEA? That’s another issue.


View john's profile


2370 posts in 4344 days

#9 posted 04-02-2012 08:25 PM

I get lots of people copying some of my work but it usually cost them $ 10.00 per plan . I would have a problem if they were building them to sell . Thankfully they do give me credit for being the designer .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2766 days

#10 posted 04-02-2012 08:29 PM

I agree with what Larry said. I, myself have many, many favorites of LJ’s projects, because that’s what “favorites” mean. Projects that I look at, and like well enough to “copy”, (I would never “copy” exactly), I would call these/this “inspired”, or be sure to mention whom, and or where the original idea came from, unless it was my own. You’ve gotta give credit, where credit is due, and that’s common sense rule. At least that’ how I was taught. I also agree with what chrisstef said.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3284 days

#11 posted 04-02-2012 08:40 PM

I think when one posts pictures and descriptions of projects online they are opening themselves up to being copied. However, that does not mean that the person who created that object shouldn’t get credit, they should.

I think it would only be polite to say that a cutting board was in the fashion of Degoose or a box was the design of Ventura.

I know that in Ventura’s books she goes as far as to state that her designs are hers and that no one has the right to use them to make money. I’m not sure how well it would hold up in court but it would surely be the ultimate in rude to take credit for something that was obviously someone elses unique design.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3315 days

#12 posted 04-02-2012 09:11 PM

I get ideas from other things I see and incorporate what I like into my projects. When I’m thinking of making something I look all around, books, furniture stores, where ever. Like right now, I’m getting closer to finally building that work bench I’ve always wanted and bought a bunch of books and magazines and picking out what I like. And keeping an eye out for what others have done here. When I post something I’ve done it is in hopes that others will learn or see something they like in them and do the same thing.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2449 days

#13 posted 04-02-2012 09:28 PM

Ecc 1:9:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

To have the arrogance to think that you are the first person to come up with an idea seems to me to be a great folly.

At what point does it become plagiarism to put some sticks together so the ends of vertical sticks are on the ground and there is a place that is horizontal to place your behind?

When does that same piece become a table instead of a chair?

If you are speaking of different ways of making an item, ask yourself this: did you invent a new way of cutting the wood you made the project with? Did you invent a new router bit to make a profile that was never seen before?

Good luck with being angry that someone did the same thing you did. Did they do it better? did they let you make it and steal your work by calling it their own?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View MoshupTrail's profile


304 posts in 2443 days

#14 posted 04-02-2012 09:36 PM

I would always give credit. If the poster is selling the item and posts it, I don’t have a problem making ONE. If you post it, you’re giving that much up. I’d give a credit and a URL link. But I wouldn’t make more than one without the originator’s permission.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View angrybird's profile


13 posts in 2217 days

#15 posted 04-02-2012 09:39 PM

i guess people should give credit where its due, but on other hand , if people want to copy to sell, they should make it there own by changing what ever they copy to fit their own taste and skill. just my two cents

showing 1 through 15 of 90 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics