A different view on plagiarism

Over the past few weeks there has been quite a bit of uproar about plagiarism of patterns on facebook. Well, at least that’s where I picked it up because it’s the forum I use most frequently.
There was Kim Guzman’s stolen Paper Dolls Shawlette, which she wrote about in her blog post Copyright Infringement 101.
My fellow South African designers have also been up in arms about plagiarism, theft and copyright infringement (which are pretty much all the same thing).

My hubby and I had a very heated discussion about all of this on Friday and I want to share my new view on plagiarism with you.

Hubby and I are both huge Apple fans and so it’s no surprise that a Steve Jobs attitude is the basis of the following idea.
Jobs basically held the view that, if people steal stuff from you, you must be (excuse the language) shit hot!

You should be flattered!

At first I was like… NO! If someone steals from me I’ll go kick their butt and then eat lots of chocolate!

But then I started to see the point….
It’s called spinning: spinning a bad situation to your favour.
That’s what Jobs did when Microsoft stole the graphical user interface (GUI) from Apple’s Macintosh computer.
And they stole it really badly because Microsoft could never get it to work as well as Apple could on the Mac!

Jobs told the world that Microsoft stole the GUI, so he did shame them!
BUT he also told the world that it was Apple’s invention and that they did it 100% better.
So, if you, as a customer want the real deal you should buy a Mac.
In fact, if Apple hadn’t come up with the GUI we would probably still be typing a bunch of code into out machines, instead of having an interface that pretty much anyone can use.
So thank Steve Jobs and Apple for the GUI on your Windows machine 😉
It’s easy to relate that attitude to crochet, or any other product actually.

Yes, name and shame.
Call the plagiarist out!
Tell everyone that your pattern, design, idea has been stolen!
Make a big stink about it!
Get really mad at the audacity of unscrupulous, unimaginative, unoriginal losers!
Losers who can’t even come up with their own stuff, they have to steal it from someone else!

And then call people out to support you!

Tell them that you are the shit hot designer of the pattern!
Tell them that you have a head, six notebooks and ten sketchbooks full of even more brilliant pattern designs!
Tell them that they should support YOU because YOU are the scrupulous, imaginative, original genius!
The genius who can come up with their own stuff, and who will never sell you stuff that is not theirs!

And lastly…
ask them to be honest and BUY it from you, instead of steeling it from somewhere else.
You see, that is the one point I don’t agree with Kim Guzman about.
She is now giving the shawlette away for free because she thinks it’s unfair to still sell it, seeing as it’s available for free on the internet.

I think that she could make much more money by asking people to be upright and pay for the design from the original maker.
When it comes down to it people want to support the underdog!
They want justice to prevail!
They want good to succeed!
Honestly, I would much rather BUY Kim Guzman’s plagiarised pattern from HER than download it for free on some other site!
By giving away plagiarised patterns for free we are giving the thief the power!

Apple didn’t stop shipping the Mac with it’s GUI just because Windows copied it!
They still sold it because it was the original and because it was better!

I know plagiarism sucks, and I just posted to some facebook crochet groups about the unethical use of photos because I still do believe plagiarism is wrong!
Ask any of my past students (I taught art and English for seven years) and they will tell you how passionate I am about getting rid of plagiarism!

What I have changed my mind about is my reaction to it.

No longer will I mope about people potentially stealing my designs!
No longer will I, the legitimate owner, take a hit to my creativity because of plagiarism!

I will stand up and say that I am the shit hot designer and I will call people out for stealing my stuff!
But I will make sure that I WILL come out as the winner, and NOT the plagiarist!

21. October 2014 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: BizzTalk | Tags: , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. as a poet/writer, if someone uses my writings and claim it as their own they are STEALING!! They take money out of my pocket, food out of my mouth , gasoline out of my truck etc. So plagiarism is a CRIME in my view!

    • I never said that I do not think that it is a crime.
      I am totally against plagiarism, however I do not believe that we should sit in a corner and pity ourselves if our work has been plagiarised.
      Call the plagiarist out!
      Take them to court, if you can afford it.
      But do not sit in a corner and pity yourself without standing up and shouting to the rooftops that you are the original creator of the work and that people should come to you, if they want more of the same stuff.

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