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Using other's designs for projects to sell

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Forum topic by hasbeen posted 742 days ago 1842 views 1 time favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hasbeen

88 posts in 1270 days


742 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: selling others designs cutting boards question

Greetings from the socialist capital of America – California.
Why do you think they call it the ‘left coast’?

I have seen very little discussion of copying projects or of selling them. I have seen a number of posts crediting someone else for the design and thanking them. I am assuming that most Lumberjocks don’t particularly mind their design being copied/built for family/friends, but what about selling the items? Would like to know the general feeling on this. Is credit for the design enough? Perhaps a small fee? My main concern is cutting boards, of which there are literly hundreds of different designs on the site. I think it would be hard to come up with a new design that doesn’t copy (to some extent) someone else’s patern (However, I am reminded of the worker in the patent office in the early 1900’s who quit – saying that there wasn’t anything left to invent). Please share your thoughts.

Lee
Moreno Valley’s local has-been.
Servant of the Living God.

-- I may not have a lot of good ideas, but some of them are just incredible.


40 replies so far

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derosa

1532 posts in 1420 days


#1 posted 742 days ago

Unless you are swiping a truly unique design I wouldn’t worry about it unless you are exactly copying a board right down to dimension and wood type. For the much more exotic designs, I’d at least not try to compete with them in their markets and let your conscience guide you.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View hjt's profile

hjt

772 posts in 1722 days


#2 posted 742 days ago

Lee, I don’t think I have anything to worry about – no one in thieir right mind would want to copy my mistakes, I mean projects!

To answer your question, I would think that the lumberjocks post here to do just that – show off their projects. If someone sees a project they’d like to make and perhaps sell, so be it. It’s a free country, except for the left coast and parts of the north east… And after today’s ruling on health care… perhaps all parts in between.

I know that some sites I go to show projects and sell the plans. I suppose those jocks that feel they have a patent on their design could sell plans.

-- Harold

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Doss

779 posts in 849 days


#3 posted 742 days ago

You must have missed this one from not too long ago. There’s plenty of responses in it.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/36638

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

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dkg

30 posts in 1670 days


#4 posted 742 days ago

If the piece is not patented who cares? “There is nothing new under the sun” which means that the artisan who thinks he has an original was inspired by some one else or at the very least the natural by the wonders of the world.

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Doss

779 posts in 849 days


#5 posted 742 days ago

Just because an idea was inspired by something or someone else makes it no less original. Think about that.

I’m willing to bet that the person who said “There is nothing new under the sun” probably did so in response to someone saying they just copied someone else. :-)

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

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8475 posts in 2233 days


#6 posted 742 days ago

I have to DISAGREE with some of the previous posters – I post my projects here to share with fellow woodworkers. I DO NOT post my projects here for people to rip off the design and go duplicate them and sell them for profit unless I get some benefit out of it – after all some of the designs had to be worked on.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Doss

779 posts in 849 days


#7 posted 742 days ago

I agree with PurpLev to some degree.

For one, design is probably one of the hardest processes and many people discount its difficulty simply b/c they aren’t very good designers or they “borrow” heavily from others. There is a reason why there are schools dedicated to design.

Second, someone may copy you on here, some people will have a tough time with some of the more difficult projects or simply matching the craftsmanship of some of the originals.

The problem is, as soon as you post something up on a site such as this, you are pretty much resigning to the fact that people will copy or modify your design and produce it for themselves since there is little in the way of protection. While I think that is fine and good, I don’t think those people should commercialize your idea (in its exact form or significantly close to it) without your consent and/or compensation.

If you look at how big of an issue this is in the furniture industry, you’d understand why copying others sucks. This is particularly rampant in modern (mid-century) design where just about every design has been copied to exact likenesses.

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

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PurpLev

8475 posts in 2233 days


#8 posted 742 days ago

indeed Doss – I have no problem with someone copying something that I’ve made for their home/family/friends – In fact that is flattering. BUT if you are building a business plan around ripping off other’s designs as your own – that’s just wrong (unless the agreed upon scenario in which the original artist/designer/whatnot gets compensated for his design per sale, or by buying the design all together, or some other forms of compensation of course).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1099 days


#9 posted 742 days ago

I’m pretty sure that unless you’ve officially copyrighted a pattern, by sending in the detailed plans, pictures and any other requirements to your respective government, paid the fees, and have been awarded a copyright on anything you build, it’s free for the taking. You can say in your post “copyright, XXX, but I don’t think it would hold up in a court of law.
Trademarked designs are usually in the written or display realm, such as the MacDonald’s Golden Arches, and product names, and patents are for inventions or defined improvements of items.
I think you would be hard pressed to even get say, a table of some sort copyrighted. I suppose you could, but it would take forever, be expensive, and you would still have to try and protect it if someone from another country copied it.
I’ve actually been waiting to see my tonal chamber with inlaid pickguard copied on my guitars, I didn’t bother copyrighting that design. Ed Roman Guitars announced that they were working on a “Tsunami”, but he died before it ever materialized, and I think the project got dropped. But unless I want to jump through all the hoops, anyone can make one of my guitars.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8475 posts in 2233 days


#10 posted 742 days ago

“can” and “should” are very different things.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1099 days


#11 posted 742 days ago

I’m not arguing any of the ethics. I agree, in your heart you know it’s wrong, but some people will just proceed anyway. How many times can someone sell the “Lotus” bandsaw box, or any other bandsaw box design? But they still sell. And how many times have we seen cutting boards duplicated? Or the shell jewelry box, on and on. A lot of people can execute a design from just a picture. Doesn’t make it right but it is what it is. I would bet we have lurkers who just download pics of posted projects, whole portfolios of them, and they make and sell them. And I am guilty of walking a fair, and telling my wife, “I can build that for you.” And I did…maybe not sold it, but made one for her when I really should have bought the one on the table as a gift for her. Most of us have done that sooner or later.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2830 posts in 1071 days


#12 posted 742 days ago

Let me get this straight.
If I’m looking for an idea to buid a chair that I will be selling, and I look at 200 chair designs on different internet sites, then I modify them for my own application, is that plageurism?
I defy anyone who says they design completely inovative furniture without taking the elements of design from someone before them. Design is a function of the brain which means that any input that the designer has seen or interacted with is going to affect the new design.

The design of furniture, tools, cooking, building, plumbing, heating, cutting, butchering, mechanics, etc. hasn’t changed in thousands of years. It’s all got to do with progressions. 1st century designs gave way to 2nd century designs because the tools got better to make better designs with which led to better tools to make better designs, which….
What has changed is the execution of the design and the tools the designer uses to execute the design with.
As tools get better, design changes, as design changes, tools need to become more advanced. As tools and design become more advanced, the need for better tools and design are needed.
The common denominator here is that you can’t have one without the other and every design hinges on those that went before it.

Doss and Purplev, do your designs acknowledge the fact that your table needs 4 legs? Or the tool you design to make the particular molding you want has the same radius and curve of a tool or tools built before you were born?

Sorry, I will get off my soap box now.

I worked with a bunch of engineers and designers at one time and everyone of them gave me grief when I pointed out that their designs and ‘innovations’ had been done before.

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

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Doss

779 posts in 849 days


#13 posted 742 days ago

Tennessee, I think the last part of what you said agrees with PurpLev and myself, “copying for your own use.”

The part I have trouble with is using my design to profit without any agreement of the designer. While design patents and copyrights are great, they still don’t stop most people due to the costs of bringing these cases to court.

Yes, I understand those are shades of grey when it comes to right and wrong and copying, but that is a fair compromise in my opinion.

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

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1099 days


#14 posted 742 days ago

Dallas, I think they are referring to the outright copying of a design that they post as a project, and it goes to be sold. More exact copies than progressive forms. Like the office chair I am sitting on now, 50 years ago it might have been a wooden one with four legs, and if I was lucky, a thin pad for my behind. Then we got into swivel chairs, then roll around legs, (four of them), then the government decided that four roll-arounds was dangerous so they mandated five, then padded arms, and on and on. But if I take an existing design, copy it dead-on, and make and sell a lot of them, that’s just not ethical. Probably legal, but not ethical.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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PurpLev

8475 posts in 2233 days


#15 posted 742 days ago

Dallas – no it isnt. being inspired by other’s design is one thing, and if you modify your design based on 200 chairs – that’s all fair and square – since it is obvious you are WORKING on YOUR design.

But if I saw YOUR 1 Chair, and copied it to the details – is a whole different ball game.

not saying it’s illegal, not that nobody is going it – obviously a lot do… just saying it’s probably not ethical unless discussed with the original designer and agreed upon replication.

just bringing this up – since this was raised as a discussion, if we all do not approach and acknowledge that this is unethical, than the boundaries of ethics will soon be washed away.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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