Copyright Issues

Friday, June 22, 2007

I would like to take this opportunity to make some clarifications regarding Beoriginal’s claim that I’ve copied from Karin. I did not and would not copy from Karin’s and/or other bead maker’s artwork. This is against my personal principle, regardless of whether there’s a Beader’s Ethics.

I have clarified the issue with Karin. Karin is indeed upset, but not with me. For awhile already, she has been upset with some other beaders who have indeed, in her own words, “copied her colour combination, her flower canes and her way of doing businesses”. These people have also copyrighted their bead designs even though they are not the first to think of the designs. Worst, she is upset that those beaders actually contacted her existing customers to ‘steal’ her business. Now, I recall that some time ago, I was also approached by someone to buy from one of those beaders. I also remembered responding publicly that I prefer to buy from Karin. Period.

Regarding the copyright issues on making polymer lentil beads whatever the shape (except the heart shape), I would like to state that I have tried to seek permission from the pioneer of swirl lentils/beads, Barbara Farjado, to use her technique to make lentil beads for sale or use. Her reply to me is that techniques cannot be copyrighted, so the implication is that anyone can make swirl beads for whatever use. Just like what Karin has also clarified on her blog, she is also not in the position to grant permission as making swirl beads did not originate from her.

Also, since the swirling technique would eventually produce similar looking beads with the same key feature of swirling in the centre, then it’s not right to simply/generally say that one is a copy of another - unless we are saying that the exact colour combination and exact canes are intentionally used to produce the same shape. Even then, it’s common to see similar colour combination (not with similar canes though) in our artwork, as being jewellery artists or other artists or even non-artists, we have in us the natural ability or even common sense to know what colours go well with what colours. So, there’s a thin line to be drawn here.

On Beoriginal’s comments that I should not be airing my reasoning to her, someone totally divorced from this copyright affair, I must said it’s important for her or anyone concerned about this issue to first have some basic knowledge about the technique and process of making beads, in order to know/decide what’s copying and what’s not. Hence, my explanation to her is also meant for others who wish to decide for themselves where their stand is, all the more for those (i.e. my customers in particular) who are also completely divorced from such copyright affair. So, the learning point is that before one makes any accusations, one should have the patience and courtesy to check the facts and get them right first. The last thing this community wants is discouragement from experimentation and in the process, restriction for new artists to grow to become unique artists in their own rights.

However, having said all that, I would still like to give credit to Karin for my clay beads because the truth is that her beautiful beads did motivate me to learn how to create my own. Hence, I have put her link on my blog as a way to acknowledge her great talent and for being my inspiration in bead making. I have also put Barbara’s link on my blog to acknowledge her as the pioneer/the originator of swirl beads as a form of education and fact for those who would like to know more and to avoid future similar incident from happening here.

So, I would continue to do what I love and enjoy, one of which, is my experimentation with bead making. However, for the time being, I prefer to just create beads for my own use in my jewellery. For those who indicated their interest to buy my beads, I’m sorry that this option is currently not available. If you like my handmade beads, please buy my jewellery. If you like the swirl beads alone, please buy from Karin or Barabara for they are truly the talented artists who deserve the reward for their creativity and effort.

Thanks for reading this very long clarification. I need to make it as this incident has questioned my integrity. If you would like to comment or engage in further discussion with me over the above issue, please email me instead. Do not ‘spam’ my comment box as I would like to keep that for customers making enquiries. Anything that is irrelevant in the comment box will be promptly deleted.

On a happier note, I’ll be uploading a few lovely limited earrings soon. Do check back later. God bless you and have a great weekend ahead. Cheers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well said.. m also a designer and my feelings goes with you. I had hate emails too when i first started out. Don't let those comments keeps you from learning and having the joy of crafting and designing. keeps the ethics going on. I like your website. U too have me motivated.
God Bless!

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