A common conversation that I see within our community is about copying and copy rights. I really enjoyed reading over the many varying opinions that Andrew Thorton offered on his blog. I also think that there is a whole lot of good solid information available on Strands by Melissa J. Lee. Most of these opinions are based around design ideas, techniques, etc that are being copied not for just amusement but to make money. Although I am in the same industry, we have a very different product to sell - beading wire, tools & supplies. So my view of the situation is a little bit different, but in many ways very similar. We take it personally when our innovative products & unique packaging concepts get blatantly copied by a competitor. I'm not sure where this conversation will go in the future, but I do think that if you are a designer that feels strongly about this subject matter in the design world - take a look at the supplier angle and think about where you are buying your products to create your designs.
What is that saying? Imitation is the finest form of flattery. I have heard time and time again that having someone copy you is supposed to be some sort of compliment. It doesn't really feel like a compliment to me. If the other beading wire manufacturers would stand apart and build on their own unique ideas and go in their own direction, you the designer would have a far easier time finding just what you need when you need it to make your design dreams come true. The copying of products and packaging just makes it confusing for new beaders and sometimes even confusing for the seasoned designer.