A few days ago, I posted this photo on my Facebook page. It shows how Etsy - which was a unique outlet for handcrafters and artists - has become an outlet for mass producers. I need to acknowledge that they are not alone in this trend or the trend of the non-original idea.
To be really fair, I also have to say it occurs in both camps - the makers and the manufacturers. For every manufacturer that rips off a design or idea from an artist, there is a maker capitalizing on Dr. Who, Disney or Hello Kitty on their site. I find both practices equally as abhorrent.
Has the internet made ownership so fleeting and piracy so easy that it is now the "norm". In just the last month, besides the continuing Etsy issues, I have had two other very personal events that bring this all close to home, and make me angry!
What has happened to originality and respect?
The saga of the boots....
I had been drooling over UGG boots for a while. I had been to their site often, and was waiting to see if any would go on sale around the holidays. Of course, that meant that my Facebook page was now regularly plastered with boot ads. One day one appeared for UGG boots on 30% off. YIPEE. it was "officialUGGonline.com" so I went there. sure enough it was the UGG site - the same one as I had seen many times before, but with "sale" banners! So I ordered some boots. SCORE!
I bragged about this to an on-line group and another person went there and came back to tell me that when she went to pay she noticed something fishy. I checked my Credit Card, and saw the charge was NOT from UGG, but from "EnjoyShoppingCenter, Beijing China". Turns out they had cloned the UGG site and were selling counterfeits. I confirmed this with UGG and called my credit card company. They said they had had MANY such calls and the counterfeiters were on-line in full force during the holiday season. All is now settled, and my CC company has been fantastic. But UGH!
And now to today's story...
I am not naive enough to think this will stop, but it still ticks me off! Globalization makes enforcement of copyright almost impossible. I also know that sometimes the same idea happens two places at the same time. BUT I am also old enough to remember when product design and development involved hiring someone to research and come up with original ideas for the marketplace. Many of those jobs have virtually disappeared (pun intended) as the internet makes searching and stealing so much easier and cheaper.
I grant you that I am becoming a crotchety old woman. I will also grant you that with all technological advances come challenges. But if we as citizenry do not require better of ourselves and our society, we get what we deserve. We can not all do the right thing all the time every day, but think about it the next time you get a "deal" or create something base on another's idea. The line is fine sometimes, but when you can see it try not to cross it.
Steps off soapbox for a cup of coffee.
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !