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Ethical issues with copying

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Forum topic by mwill87428 posted 05-07-2018 05:28 AM 1331 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mwill87428

47 posts in 2345 days


05-07-2018 05:28 AM

Several months ago my wife asked me to build her a dresser/storage cabinet. I told her to look through my Fine Woodworking magazines and find something she liked and I would build it for her. I have almost completed the project and was thinking of posting it in my projects but I am having second thoughts about that now. What is the general consensus on this? Is it OK to post something that you have built but didn’t design yourself? Any input would be appreciated.

thx
max

-- Max


16 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1905 days


#1 posted 05-07-2018 05:31 AM

Most would acknowledge the source. Aside from that. Your hands built it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12842 posts in 2799 days


#2 posted 05-07-2018 07:29 AM

What is designing? Does it mean you have to be 100% original without copying any prior art whatsoever? Or does it mean you can be 35% different and be original? What if you make a Shaker table but use the Golden Ratio, is it original? If you copy an Anna White table but use walnut instead of walnut stain, can you call it your own?

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16142 posts in 3038 days


#3 posted 05-07-2018 10:16 AM

You copied a magazine piece? Isn’t that why they’re in mags such as Fine Woodworking?

Enjoy your cabinet!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View jmos's profile

jmos

916 posts in 2789 days


#4 posted 05-07-2018 11:41 AM

I wouldn’t give it a minutes thought. Especially if the project was from an article where they are telling you how to build it! If you really want to be kind to them, you could order a copy of the plans, if they have them, and give them a few extra bucks for tier help.

If you were ripping of a design to produce in quantity for profit, that’s a different story.

-- John

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JayT

6226 posts in 2630 days


#5 posted 05-07-2018 12:02 PM

Post it.

I agree with Fridge and Smitty. The plan was put in the magazine to be used and it’s good to credit the source of the idea in your project post. Beyond that, however, it is your skill, time and talent that built the project. Just because it was done from plans doesn’t take away from the craftsman’s execution.

I have several projects posted that have been copied or inspired by others, many of which were posted on this site. I have given credit and in pretty much every case the original poster has left a positive comment and a thank you for the mention.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1905 days


#6 posted 05-07-2018 01:19 PM

Imitation is the finest form of flattery :)

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1932 posts in 1023 days


#7 posted 05-07-2018 03:57 PM


Is it OK to post something that you have built but didn t design yourself? Any input would be appreciated.
thx
max
- mwill87428

Without a second thought. The post might start with “From issue XXX from XXX Magazine” just as a courtesy, but mainly as a reference so others can do the same. That’s the reason the mags publish plans.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

8820 posts in 3262 days


#8 posted 05-07-2018 05:22 PM

Max,

Thomas Moser used to repair furniture while going to graduate school. He says he learned the construction of furniture this way. When he started building furniture for real he built shaker pieces. When he met one of the last remaining shaker women he asked her what she thought? She said “imitation is the finest form of flattery. ” Thinking on that and having learned his craft he started to integrate his learning and experience into what evolved as the Thomas Moser style of furniture. He still integrates from other cultures such as Japan, and early Danish Modern.

Looked back on your projects and found a comment I made about an Art Deco mini piece you did in walnut.

Like Moser I think your thinking about the evolution of your work? Give credit where it is due and always cite your inspiration for your work. It is the story of the piece that adds to it.

I always give credit to my master Murphy! LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1583 posts in 3486 days


#9 posted 05-07-2018 08:50 PM

Back in the beginning, I worked mostly from plans. Now, I look at something and generally go with it, and I’ve never found a set of plans that i liked 100%, changing a little something here or there. Never felt guilty about posting it, and don’t see why i should.

I did see one set of plans I inquired about from the source and they dude told me he would let me “buy” then plans but it was only license to make 1 copy. If I wanted to make more than one I had to buy a set of plans for each one.

I said well thanks, but I’ll pass. I could have bought the one set and said ok, i’ll do what i wanted, but that was his requirements and I honored that. Did not buy the one set either.

I think you are fine. Post the pic’s I know I personally love to see the pictures myself.
Cheers!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View mwill87428's profile

mwill87428

47 posts in 2345 days


#10 posted 05-07-2018 09:40 PM

Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. Unfortunately this project was not created from a set of plans in a magazine, I would have no problem with that. It was created from a photo of a craftsman’s work in Fine woodworking’s’ Gallery. That is why I’m having misgivings about posting pictures of pictures of my attempt of creating and almost copy of someone else’s work.

-- Max

View DS's profile

DS

3197 posts in 2840 days


#11 posted 05-07-2018 10:07 PM

I did a design/build of a kitchen for a home builder some decades ago, who, unbeknownst to me, was preparing to open a new cabinet shop at the time.

I built him a really nice Island with large custom legs and bow-front ends that was really nice.

A few months later, I see one of his cabinet shop brochures with a photo of my Island prominently featured on the front. He basically took credit for having done all the work (design and build) at his shop.

Why is he using my product to promote his shop that is in competition with me?

It still chaps me to this day.

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

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1932 posts in 1023 days


#12 posted 05-09-2018 03:51 PM



Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. Unfortunately this project was not created from a set of plans in a magazine, I would have no problem with that. It was created from a photo of a craftsman s work in Fine woodworking s Gallery. That is why I m having misgivings about posting pictures of pictures of my attempt of creating and almost copy of someone else s work.

- mwill87428

No difference. Mention where you saw it to give credit, then build away. Every chair is a copy of the “original” chair. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2335 posts in 3364 days


#13 posted 05-10-2018 06:41 AM

My inspiration for the dove tails I used was

My inspiration for the lap joints I used was

My inspiration for the tenon and mortises I used was

My inspiration for a chest of drawers was

My inspiration for a picture frame was __

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1067 days


#14 posted 05-10-2018 11:04 AM

I agree … copy away. As long as one is not building counterfeits, I see nothing wrong. Just give credit where credit is due. Surely Peter Follansbee will not show up in my shop and say … “STOP!”
 

 

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1443 posts in 2530 days


#15 posted 05-10-2018 02:40 PM



I agree … copy away. As long as one is not building counterfeits, I see nothing wrong. Just give credit where credit is due. Surely Peter Follansbee will not show up in my shop and say … “STOP!”
 
- Ron Aylor

No, but he might offer you a job. Those look fantastic.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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