Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deja Vu...All Over Again...Really?

For those of y'all that read me on a regular basis, you already know most of my...ahem...brilliant ideas come either during a semi-conscious state in the wee, still hours of the morning or at night...as I'm soaking in the tub.  I'm thinkin' in the morning 'cause I'm still half asleep and at night, 'cause I'm running water instead of my head.  Basically same difference...I'm not talking for a change...I'm listening and He seizes the opportunity to get a word in.


Last night as I was steppin' into the tub, the word Pinterest flashed through my mind.  While relaxing with Mr. Bubbles and dreaming of all that Pinterest has to offer, my thoughts drifted in another direction...plagiarism.


Right about now I'm willing to bet a dollar to a donut,  I got y'all wondering what the heck is she talking about and how does Sweetie Pie figure into this...correct-o mundo?  She doesn't.  She's just my favorite pin-up gal (get it...pin-up...pin-it?) and if you hang with me...I promise a caboose to end this train of thought!

Pinterest is this fantabulous, visual social network that has exploded over the last coupla years.  It didn't take long to figure out it allows us to do pretty much what we do on Blogger...with a lot less work...and no need for spell-check.  (If you ever get to wondering where me...and everybody else...is hiding out, check Pinterest first.)  It dazzles the mind with all the talent that's out there and if they ever add scratch and sniff...oh mylanta...I'll never leave!

We can share ideas, words, comments and a whole mess of stuff with a click or a "pin it", but...and this is a huge but...it also allows us to borrow (a nice way of saying copy) another's brain child.
This is the conundrum I'm wrasslin' with.

At what point does it steer off from borrowing into flat-out plagiarism.  By pinning something, does it then become public property or is it still protected?

(We're not gonna even address using it as a marketing tool, 'cause that's a whole 'nother can of worms!)

 
Trust me...I'm not pointing fingers here...'cause if I did...there would be three pointing back at me.  I see ideas, displays, and words I fall in love with.  I go there for inspiration and leave with tons of ideas I'd like to incorporate into my work, but I'm afraid of crossing the line and being labeled a copy-cat.

So-o-o...I'm asking y'all...what is the line?  Is there an etiquette at play and what is and isn't up for grabs?  By helping ourselves to ideas, are we following our dreams...or chasing another person's?  Are we truly admiring their work...or pinning our hopes on them?  Does the end justify the means?

In all fairness, if I put it out there to be admired, wouldn't it be foolish to think it won't be stolen used by others?  More importantly...do I care enough to stop or do I need the admiration...even if it's double-edged sword?

If I'm gonna be honest here...sometimes I wish I had the morals of a politician.  If I did, I could just steal someone's ideas or words, claim 'em as my own...and keep moving with nary a pang of guilt...but I'm just not geared that way.  Not to say that I haven't inadvertently used someone's cleverness...just never on purpose.  I've been found guilty of reading something, filing it away in my head, and using it later...not remembering where I read it.

(Hmmm...could this be a form of selective memory...or another manifestation of my Squirrel disorder?)

Most of the time, I do try and research out a clever phrase...just to be sure it's not a fluke and really my idea, but some do slip by me.  It's important to remember words are an art form too and while we can't copyright them or the way in which they are used, we can try to make them our own.  As much as I study the writing of others, I can't capture the rhythm, imagery, or style and it's their uniqueness combined with originality that keeps me reading.

(I sure wish I had wrote all this down on paper last night instead of on the tile with a loofah...'cause it read so much better and made so much more sense than I am now!  I keep telling Cat Daddy I need a small tape recorder to carry around....water-proof natch!)

It's been said imitation is the highest form of flattery and I see the mega-talented get flattered out the wazoo constantly and yet...with style and grace...never utter a peep.  I guess if I'm gonna be a copy-cat...I need to start with adopting this attitude...and thereby answering my own question.  I have to be my own watchdog, hold myself accountable, give credit where credit is due...and let all the others struggle with their conscience.

(Although I'm pretty sure those with no remorse are the same ones who came up with the whole "imitation...form of flattery" malarkey!)

I apologize for my rant y'all.  Consider this a lesson in why one should never leave a child...or an old woman...unsupervised during bath time.  One...they get all pruney, two...water gets splashed everywhere, three...they leave their towel on the floor, and four...they have way too much time to stir up a tubful of crap trouble bubbles.

(Now let's just wait and see how many copy-catters flatters Pinterest and it's success has to fend off.  We all know it's just a matter of time, but we'll remember where we saw it first!)


 
   

24 comments:

Olive Cooper said...

Call me behind the curve, terribly old fashioned or whatever you must but I have resisted the urge to join that site. I spend way too much time blogging and cannot do it elsewhere even if it may benefit my blog. I also refuse to make my blog a Facebook page because I truly believe it is of the devil. So now you know for sure I am crazy definitely and not out to be a super star. The fact that all those sites are interconnected worries me to. In a sense we have always taken inspiration from shelter magazines and this is taking it to the new techie level. xoxo, olive

Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

Oh, Deb, what a fab post.

I totally get it about the loofah, it's a lot easier to create, pen a thought in your head, than it is to put it on paper or make it a reality!!

It's funny that you brought this up as recently I have noticed that some photos that I have posted on my blog are showing up on Pinterest from people that are obviously following my blog but have never commented.

I have often wondered if I'm talking to myself, if anyone is reading me, but apparently they are and I guess they like what the see, enough to PIN it, LOL

At first I was put-out, and I thought, WHY!? I posted it, I blogged it. Maybe b/c it is my own photo and my creation (and I have a please do not take my photos without my permission) but it is linked back to my blog and once you put something "out there" there is no controlling what happens to it.

I suffer too from the, geeze, I shared that, and now someone is making tons of them and putting them up in their Etsy shop, I was going to do that, now I best think of something else, LOL.

I have all sorts of things I want to say, perhaps I need to write a post instead of hogging up your comment box!!! LMAO

I dunno, girl, if you or someone else has the answer, let me know!?!

xoxo
Marsha

Rebecca said...

Well now you've opened a can of worms :) It is tough... I myself love pinterest because it is a way of organizing and seeing what I am attracted to and I can see what interests me at the moment and of course to be inspired... but on the flip side when you see so much of the same, the very thing I love loses it's luster when you see 500 of something done 500 different ways. A while ago I almost quit and that goes for the blogs too because I thought it was influencing my artwork too much. Do I have a original thought left in me??? It is hard to be unique anyway let alone when you see something you truly love--how does that not influence your work... and then isn't that the whole point?
Now aren't you sorry you brought this up...ha
PS Did you understand any of that?
R

Donna said...

Too Funny! Me and Miss R must have reading this at the same dern time but she reads faster and got to comment first! Rats!
Just kidding....you know I love her and you too to pieces!
Okay, I lost my train of thought and had to reread your post! Hah!)
I am completely addicted to pinterest! If I have 5 minutes...that's where you will find me! I also see my home and garden on their ALL THE TIME...it's a little freaky, but I think of it as a compliment since this means that there are folks out there that like the same things I do!
I use pinterest as a tool. It helps me keep tabs of my ideas. Things I want to do, things that inspire.
I love looking at each board to see my vision. I haven't (yet) copied anything and honestly I doubt that I do...My boards are just inspiration!
It is also just plain fun!
What I have learned though...is not to post on my blog or pin boards anything I plan on doing...until I've done it!
Loved your post as always...you make me smile and think!
hugs from here
Donna

Nancy's Notes said...

I joined for about a minute, did not know what I was doing! Had trouble getting out of it, I'll have to go see if I'm still on! If so, I've not pinned one thing. Have no interest.

Great post!

Janet said...

well, girl, you just pinned my pet peeve! I've been reluctant to join the craze. I don't read magazines, I don't look through books, I don't "research" ideas and I don't walk through a show and take notes mental or otherwise! I don't like to be copied and I don't consider it flattery. I consider it wrong and I've recently lost a dear friend over the matter.

at the end of the day what you see is what you get and it comes from the one creative cell in my brain that God gave me!

now having said all of that...you didn't think I was finished did you? there are very few original ideas in the world. we are all influenced everyday by everything around us.

take an idea and copy it...no. take an idea and put a dose of "me" in it...yes. that's what I call "artist interpretation"!

taking a bow and stepping off my soapbox! thank you for your time and attention!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Well, I don't know what to say other than I've been guilty of being a copy cat, seeing someone's style and wishing I had dreamed it up but I truly try and give that person credit. But isn't that what pinterest is, the ability to pin someone's photo, again hopefully giving them credit. Just last night was searching and saw my photo's there on the site, I'm grateful the person did give me credit and even mentioned it's one of her fav blogs to read, made me smile. Just as I always do when I read yours...

Sue said...

A very interesting post my friend! I would be so embarrassed to copy anyone. Yet, I've got another store pretty close to mine that resembles mine very much. I've got another store a bit further away that uses all my sold, hold, and away tags. I use pixs of cats with smiles. I even have a dealer that steals all my photos of my blog and posts them on hers. Again, I would be SO embarrassed to do that. i usually just try and rise above it all but every once in awhile? It really pisses me off!!

Take care, Sue

Gracie's Cottage said...

OOooohhhwheeeeee! First of all, I love the pics in this post! But don't you worry; I'm way too lazy to copy them. :D

Pinterest is a sticky wicket; I guess if I blog it, I assume that it's out there for anyone to copy, so I don't normally blog my occasional 'inspired creations.' But if someone else takes a photo of my booth or something I've created and then posts it, my fudge would melt if it wasn't at least credited back to me.

One FB page that frosts me is filled with zillions of lovely photos, none of which are credited. The info says the page owner uses photos from "the internet". Really? guess she thinks algore invented it just for her.

Jan

Cindy Craine said...

Well basically some people just weren't raised right! If you post about it, or re-make it and resell it, give the original creator credit! You're going to get busted sooner or later. How hard is it to say oh I saw this design by a girl, Deb in Texas and just had to make some of my own to sell. Do you really think that's going to keep that person from buying it, NO!

I think what it boils down to is EGO. I think that by not giving credit where credit is due and taking all the credit for yourself means you're just waiting for the compliments about how creative you are, how wonderful you are, bla,bla,bla.

I love Pinterest and pin what other people have created, but I pin it so I can create it for myself! Retail is a hard exhausting business, I don't know how you do it. But for those out there that see your creations on my boards, man don't worry a bit, no re-selling for this girl!!! xox-cindy

FRENCH LAUNDRY said...

OK, really? I must be SUCH a nerd...I copycat and I ADMIT it in as many words (see my post dated 2/5). I keep track of my blog's "pins" out there and am absolutely thrilled when someone pins me because I actually think (a la Sally Field) "they like me, they really LIKE me." must not have the sense to be offended. I do wish there were an option to have some pinboards private because sometimes, it is just my own inspiration, not really wanting to share with the world or be "repinned", but I guess that's what my computer hard drive is for if it is really important to me...that little "pin it" doodad is just SO darn handy though. Oh well, must try to do the sleep thing. If you haven't seen me in blogland, I too, can be found on Pinterest. Just what I needed, right? ANOTHER time suck...

Hugs,
Judy

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

Hi Debra, great post. It was nice to read what other people are thinking on this subject. I have mixed feeling about Pinterest. I love being able to pin all of the beautiful things out there that I love, whatever it may be, home decor, fashion, pets, etc, and love to put my things on my board also. I would never pin someone's things and not give them credit for it, but it did upset me when I saw my purses on someone's site and they have not at all credited me, it looks like they all belong to them, but I am working on getting them to credit me for them, or take them off of their site. Loved all of your pictures!
Hugs~~~ Daphne

Clutterconqueror said...

Dear deb, I just found your blog recently and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing.

As for today's post, I felt concerned about using Pinterest. Originally, I figured if I was going to pin something I should ask permission. In the end, I just ended up repinning things that were already there. I felt less guilty, but I'm still not sure it's ethical.

Pinterest is such a wonderful site to be exposed to so many websites , artists, recipes that you would never find on your own. I can't remember how I found your blog, but actually could have been thru pinterest.

I suspect that those people who play loosy-goosy with using other people's ideas are going to do it no matter what. Unfortunately, the nature of the Internet just makes it easier.

Clutterconqueror said...

I posted something that I guess didn't make it so I'll try again.

Re: French Laundry's post. I found something called Springpad, which is similar to Pinterest, in that you can save things to a folder from the web, but it is less visual. You can also save your own photos and your own notes. But it is private.

Yaya Chique (home of debi lynn designs) said...

Okay...I usually don't comment on blogs, but I saw this and have to share what I experienced on what this "new" social media networking did for me and my company(or should I say...against me?)

I had been advised by my PR firm to join this and post some of my pics. Well, the pics I posted were all paid "model" shoots and are protected by copyrights.

I posted a few of them, said where they were from, etc., etc....and OMG within 5 minutes ALL my pics had been "pinned" WITHOUT giving credit where credit was due!

I then proceeded to contact all 30 people that had pinned them within those 5 minutes telling them that they had not given credit or a link back to my site except one lady. I even went as far as to "report" each of them to the so-called "main office". (Never did hear back from them.)

But, one lady sent me 7 emails in a row, accussing me of not appreciating "free advertising, "I should be honored", etc...All I told her back was "How can it be FREE advertising, if someone doesn't give credit as to where it came from and who it belongs to?"

Needless to say, I immediately deleted all my pics and deleted the account! And that my friend...was a lesson learned with "social media". Next time I better put "water marks" on the beautiful pics, if I ever dare to venture back into those waters!

xo....

lisa Moran, Bilancia Designs said...

You know I come by often, and when I feel the urge to comment, I do, (it is rare I comment on anyone's blog). What an interesting and very valid point you make, Deb--in a way, I might add, that no one can explain quite as "creatively" as you do (you need to be writing your own column!!!! My God do you have incredible talent -LOVE LOVE LOVE your writing skills).
I've "benefited" greatly from folks who came by my site via Pinterest and ultimately ordered from my shop. One reason is due to our amazing friend Anne Lorys and her many posts on my designs. Anne is followed & admired by so many people and because she has included me in her beautiful posts, I reap the rewards from her huge popularity on Pinterest as well.
I can absolutely see where there is a fine line, however, to "stealing" (too harsh???) someone's creative genius, and grabbing it and running. However, Pinterest is a form of creative expression and is MEANT to express your "style" via pinning from other sites, regardless where the pin originated. It's an enormous world out there via the internet, and because of sites like Pinterest, you can't possibly be "protected" if you're willing to display your thoughts, wares, designs...whatever the case may be, on the web.
In my case, I believe pinning my designs is a sincere form of flattery---but that's MY opinion. If they'd like to try and REPRODUCE my designs, God bless them if they think they're worthy of copying.
Just as your amazing writing style is so unique, I believe my designs are...and that's where it ends for me.
Post, pin, copy...whatever. I design to make people happy and to share my talents with others... I sort of think that's the idea behind Pinterest. SHARE with others. Look how many people LOVE this site for ideas, inspiration, and just plain entertainment! The next thing you know, hours have passed by simply looking through all this site has to offer!
Trust me, if you're concerned with not being credited with your photo, design, whatever....if people really want to find out who is behind door # 1, they will. If not, who cares? You obviously just made someone VERY happy if they've pinned something you've created...
As always, Deb, your blog is one of my absolute FAVORITES. No one can write like you!!!! I ALWAYS leave here with a huge smile on my face because you are just an incredible lady.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Kim said...

I was just thinking about ya'll and decided I'd pop on over to the blog to see what you are up to these days. I was invited to join pinterest months ago but I've been busy and haven't gotten around to figuring out how to use it yet. Dang, I just kinda figured out facebook which seems to be alot quicker to use than anything that I have found, so I've been on that alot lately. Well, let you go - didn't mean to catch you soaking! Love ya'll Kim & David

Kathie Truitt said...

Like you, I try hard not to 'steal' anyones words and if I do then I make sure I give credit to whom I stole it from. However, there is nothing new under the sun, I don't believe. So, I really don't know if there any such thing as a 'new phrase' or 'new idea'. I think you can take the idea and put your own touches on it and that would be perfectly acceptable.

Counting Your Blessings said...

Hi Deb. I've been thinking on this one too lately. I think there must be a lot of digital artists out there that don't like Pinterest because it would be easy to save a photo from there, instead of buying the altered piece on Etsy or wherever. But I do like Pinterest in that it brings people to our blogs and websites. I'm embarrassed to say that I have copied or created similar things that I've seen on Pinterest but I do try to not sell that item in the same market and to give credit to the original pinner. I loved Elizabeth Maxon's post about THE Creator. I popped over here from here blog. I guess we'd all do better to focus on creating with Him each day, and behaving as if He's our business partner.

Sure miss seeing all of you at Round Top! We've been on our circuit here locally. It's a ton of work but God has been providing so we are happy to be doing what we love. But I miss our Fall trip every year and I miss seeing everyone. Hope you and the mister are well.

Blessings and ((hugs))... Polly

Theresa said...

As I read your post and then the comments, my head was spinning with phrases that I wanted to pin! I myself have to put me in a pinning timeout so that I don't get too influenced by all of the fabulous ideas out there. I get inspired by blogs, pins, and the world around me, and I certainly don't want to copy someone... but one idea spins off of another, off another..." I can tell that you made that, it is so you." I get a smile on my face when I find something of mine pinned but I think watermarking the photos would make me grin even bigger. So from now on, that is what I will do, today I am working on new designs and I will have this post rolling around in my noggin as I do. I wish it good luck squeazing in there with all of the other thoughts!
t.xooxoxoxoxoo

red.neck chic said...

Janet couldn't have taken my words any more than she did. Geesh... talk about stealing stuff! LOLOLOL!!!

I hate it when people blatantly copy (or worse, have someone make the product - then say that THEY made it when they SEW don't have the ability to do so) THEN get their feathers ruffled because they think someone (let's call them the THIRD person) is copying them - or worse yet - putting their (the second persons) product up as the THIRD persons!

I pin to pinterest - but I can't surf it because then I start to doubt where my insanity stems from. LOLOLOL

;-D (I love this post... and the comments are PRICELESS)

xoxo
robelyn

Miss Gracie's House said...

GREAT post...this is something we've all been thinking about, I think. Pinning is just so *easy*...for my own personal use it has helped me to identify what I really love...I can get so distracted so that when I see that I keep pinning the same thing or type of thing over and over...I can see that I must really love that style. But even with blogs and the million of ideas out there...I have to study a bit then walk away from the computer and just create with what I have and from my heart.
I do know that pinterest has really increased traffic to my blog...I guess I just need to know that it is being read...that is what keeps me posting.
But I also have the same questions you do...like is this even legal?
Not sure what the answer is...
Rene

Low Tide High Style said...

Such a great post, and one that makes you think...or it made me think anyway. I honestly don't get the whole Pinterest thing, but I'm still on there. I do try and keep track of my images...since those are my bread and butter, not my ideas, but if someone doesn't give you credit for those images then I do think it's not a good thing.

My images are copyrighted automatically the moment I push the button on my camera, the feds have taken care of that for all photographers, but that doesn't mean that people don't still steal them and try to claim them as their own.

As far as creative license and what you do for a living, that becomes far more murky and I can see why you would worry. It's really tough to trademark and protect a style. The whole reason many designers and shop owners are as famous as they are these days is thanks to books, magazines, TV, and blogs...plus other social media outlets. By putting their ideas, designs, and overall sense of style out there they are asking people to emulate them, while still hoping that others really can't do it quite the way they do it.

I guess I don't have a problem with Pinterest so long as people do their very best to give credit where credit is due...and even I have had trouble when it's a photo I grabbed awhile ago and didn't note where it came from. I've found that when I see something pinned by someone, I immediately try and find the source for it, and I try and follow the paper trail so to speak so that I find the real McCoy and not the copied version of it.

Ok, done rambling, thanks for giving me something to do for a few minutes this morning when I should have been working!!! ;-)

xo Kat

Anonymous said...

Someone alot smarter than me once said that there is no such thing left as an original idea---everything comes from some idea with a new twist on it-so don't be so conceited as to think you all have a lock on original ideas. If you sell your wares (in essence your? ideas) than you should be grateful for the free publicity--you can't afford the worldwide advertising that someone puts out there for everyone else to see. If you are so concerned then don't have a blog or an annual show like you have. You were not the first to do shabby or chic or paint everything white so what is the big deal. Be flattered that people like what you put out there and quit whining.