Saturday, 9 October 2010

Some thoughts on copying other people's idea...

Day 22 - A picture of yourself

This is me dressed as an Orion Slave Girl :) This was quite late into the night and my make up had started to melt which is kind of a shame.

Kind of a coincidence that today's picture is of me cosplaying (essentially copying someone else's design).
I chose to write this entry in response to this entry on the EGL livejournal group.
Basically someone entered a design into the Bodyline design contest, didn't win, but they are still using the design without crediting her at all.
Now it's common knowledge that I refuse to buy from Bodyline due to ethical issues I have with them, and them doing things like this in the past.
From what I can gather it appears as though no terms and conditions were ever posted on the Bodyline site for the competition,  Bodyline issues aside, this would have put me straight off entering.
I know terms and conditions are boring, but you should read them because if somebody screws you over and what they did was mentioned in the T and C, but you didn't read it, there's nothing you can do.
If you enter a competition with no terms and conditions you are essentially giving the organisers free reign to do anything that they want with your design.
It's crazy that you have to do this, but with any art or design competition I would always recommend keeping time stamped copies of your image(s) for every step of the process, that way should the organisers break their own T and C, you have proof of it.
If you are working digitally (Photoshop, Illustrator, GIMP etc), there is a time code embedded in he file when you save, if you are working non digitally take photographs of the entire process, most cameras have a time stamp option but this can be manipulated, so if you buy newspapers, place a newspaper with the date on it somewhere within the picture. This to can be manipulated, but it would require an insane amount of planning to buy issues of a newspaper and then store them away until you do your painting/whatever.
If nothing else you have some nice progress shots to share with people (I tend to upload my progress shots to Facebook for people to see how I work).
Bodyline aren't the only people to have done this, so it would be unfair for me to make a giant hate post about them when they aren't alone in doing this.
Basically, I have major issues with anybody who makes money from somebody else's work without paying them for the design, or at the very least giving them credit for it (this is why I refuse to buy replicas), it seems incredibly greedy and unimaginative to do things like this.
In closing, that's not to say don't enter contests, but to say make sure you know what you're entering. I have entered contests in the past where the T and C state that even if I don't win my design can still be used, but I read the T and C and made sure I was happy with this before entering.
If you ever do find that your designs have been ripped off unjustly the foll wing blog ( clicky ) may be of some help, they have links to copyright laws in the sidebar on the right too.

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