VegasKev

Copying a design

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What are everyone’s thoughts on copying a design of someone else for personal use? I believe that it’s wrong to copy a design and sell it because in essence you are stealing intellectual property, but if there is no monetary gain I am not so sure.

I saw a side table recently that is beautiful and I would like to make one for myself, but I am a little torn on taking someone’s design even if it’s just for me.

Thoughts?

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For me it touches on the difference between inspiration and duplication. I'd say an absolute duplicate is in ethically gray territory. However if you take aspects of the design and transform it you're in safe territory to my mind.

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Would you have a problem playing a song on the piano that you heard on the radio? How about recreating a dinner that you had at a great restaurant? Very few people have the ability to create 100% from scratch. We take ideas from things we see all over the place. I see no problem in copying someone's design as long as you're not taking any income from them.

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I agree that if it's for your own place and not for gain, no worries. Definitely not for resale, unless it's your "take" on someone's work (ex. Maloof style rocker). But, I would encourage you to study the aspects for what you like about the piece and possibly use the inspiration to design your own. There is a lot of satisfaction in that.

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every time i have tried to copy some one elses work for (example i made a keep sake box )even though i planed on making a replica by the time i was done it didnt look much like that guys box. i made different handles i start with a dowl jointery and went to a miter corners that i put some keys into. if you can duplicate his table then i aplaude you because to match his style is realy difficult. Each wood worker has his own techneques and style thats why any crafted work can be identifies by experts because of certain tool marks, materials, finishes, favorite jointery, ect..... the trick is doing it long enough to make your own style.

im working on making a clock like marc's but instead of it being square im making it round on the lathe.

i say take what you love about the table and then take your own style and combine them.

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Would you have a problem playing a song on the piano that you heard on the radio? How about recreating a dinner that you had at a great restaurant?

I think this is a teriffic example.

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The challenge I think, is that too often we have people come to us and say "hey, can you build something just like this" (pointing to page 37 of the latest Pottery Barn catalog). Nope, sorry. I'm all out of brown paint.

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