Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You Call It Imitation, I Call It Theft

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition.2002.

Man, if nothing chaps my hide more, it's someone stealing my work. I knew it would come to haunt me sooner or later and now I've had to call on my IP attorneys to police my work. Bleck. Folks think that by changing something 10% makes it "theirs." I've heard excuses ranging from:

"I've given my cat an eye!"
"My line work is scratchy!"
"My line work is thicker!"
"My cats have whiskers!"

Stop. Just stop. I know you like my work -I like my work. It's taken me over 40 years to develop this style and I'd appreciate it if you would take your thieving black soul somewhere else. I'm not inviting you to steal from someone else, just stop and please just go away.

Moments ago, I got an invite from Cloth, Paper, Scissors to submit "Your Studio Mascot."
Hmm... where have I heard that before? Last Fall, I submitted my studio photos to their call with links to this blog to see more; YSM had been developed & designed prior to the call. The YSM announcement & graphic button had also been uploaded to this site.

I'm sending Cate, the CPS editor, a note about how disappointed I am in their editorial direction and lack of IP consideration. I'm sure this very public idea served as inspiration for their article and it would have been nice if my efforts in creating YSM were cited as inspiration.

Not sure how to do research to see if someone has already come up with the same idea? A quick Google search for "your studio mascot" shows my site at the top of the page. Puhleeze. E'nuf said.

I should also cancel my subscription to Cloth, Paper, Scissors.

UPDATE: Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence...
We had a talk with the publisher of CPS today who was understanding of our concern and he was apologetic regarding the issue of "Your Studio Mascot." He indicated that this is a phrase his wife has used for quite some time to reference her studio pets and that's how it got into their magazine. He did acknowledge that my site "Your Studio Mascot" was published and public long before their article came out and he is going to see if there is a way -on a very tight deadline- to reference the site in their upcoming issue or Web site. We appreciate his candor and his sensitivity to this matter and look forward to enjoying Cloth, Paper, Scissors for years to come.

I really do love their publication as it was one of the first crafty magazines that holds my attention and is worthy of subscription.


Jeanne Rhea said...

It is so hard for me to believe that two people would come up with "Your Studio Mascot". In fact, if one considered all the possible combinations of names for one's studio pet, I would think that would not be the first on the list. I can see where someone may have come up with a similar idea---but it is going too far to think they would also name it the same as yours. Anyway, I think you are doing the right thing by bringing this to their attention. The least thing they could do would be to apologize and offer to do an article about you, your blog, your art!

Jean Skipper said...

I agree with Jeanne. I have a studio pet, Coco, and we fondly refer to her as our "Shop Dog". I like to think that I'm reasonably creative and the term "Studio Mascot" never crossed my mind.

I admire the way you're handling this, Lisa. I hope that CPS will respond in an appropriate manner. Their target audience assumes that they act with IP integrity, and I hope that they'll rectify this situation with that in mind.

I've shared your blog post with the members of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild. We love our CPS, and I know everyone will all be interested in hearing how things progress.

Good Luck! And please keep us posted.

Michelle said...

I agree with both Jean and Jeanne, and I'd add that in this day and age where the ability to "Google" any bit of information, large or small, means there's no excuse for not getting an attribution correct, CPS should be ashamed.
An apology is in order at the very LEAST.

Jeanne Rhea said...

Glad you at least got a response and sure hope they can get something in the next issue. I have not seen the issue in question---still have a hard time believing that someone else used YSM. If I was writing for myself, I would call it My Studio Mascot. I'll definitely buy the next issue!