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Artistic Feelings?


#1
   Would it not be better if there were no cheap hack rip-offs but
rather high quality rip-offs? 

Are you actually serious with this statement??? Theft of Copyrighted
material is theft. Plain and simple. Those artists who work within
our legal system to protect that which is theirs, exclusively and
proprietarily, deserve the full protection and respect that our laws
afford them.

If your work is generic, and not protected by any applicable laws,
such as a Copyright, and if you wish to invite others to freely
manufacture your design, that is your prerogative. Please don’t,
however, assume that you may advocate this attitude towards the
artwork of other artists. No one’s skills and abilities (not to
mention ethics) are improved through copying that which is not within
their rights to duplicate, and such activity in no way improves or
enhances either the sales of fine jewelry, or the reputation of
’jewelers’ in general.

Michael David Sturlin, jewelry artist msturlin@uswest.net
http://www.geocities.com/~jdpn/gallery-sturlin.htm Michael Sturlin
Studio, Scottsdale Arizona USA


#2
           Would it not be better if there were no cheap hack
rip-offs but rather high quality rip-offs? 

Michael, This was stated a little tongue in cheek and personally I
don’t copy other artist’s designs and I tell my customers that when
they come in carrying all their little advertisements. However,
copyrighting jewelry designs, in my mind is a little iffy, at best,
and criminal at worst. The prime example I always come back to is
David Yurman. I respect Mr. Yurman for producing a high quality
product, and personally have no interest in ever producing "cable"
jewelry. However the concept that he came up with the idea is absurd.
“Cable” type jewelry was being produced in the middle ages, long
before Mr. Yurman was alive. Somehow, however, he has convinced the
copyright people and the courts that he did. It would be a little
like me copyrighting those face earrings I mentioned and then suing
everybody who put a face on an earring, because I was the first person
who decided to copyright the idea. Yes there are some excellent
jeweler/artists out there who produce truly unique looks, and I will
not copy their work, nor do I propose that everyone go out and do
that. However, if you are a jeweler interested in the long term
survival of the jewelry industry as a whole it would be better for us
all if more of the jewelry produced was of a higher quality and you
will only get that when we have a full and open exchange of ideas and
techniques. Did the Japanese masters of mokume gane not teach their
students all their techniques so that the students would then go on to
produce an even better product? Daniel R. Spirer, GG Spirer Somes
Jewelers 1794 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02140
@spirersomes http://www.spirersomes.com


#3
 No one's skills and abilities (not to mention ethics) are improved
through copying that which is not within their rights to duplicate,
and such activity in no way improves or enhances either the sales of
fine jewelry, or the reputation of 'jewelers' in general. 

I must disagree here. We learn by copying, how did you learn how to
talk, write etc. you copy. It is monkey see monkey do. By copying
some one else’s work you can learn a great deal and improve your
skills. Is it ethical to sell such work probably not, certainly not
without disclosing that it is a replica and further it may be legal
if the work is copyrighted or is design patented. But you know there
were whole schools of painting that were just that, copying of a
"Master" painters work. And they are considered great works now.

Copyrights and design patents are only about  MONEY and EGO . It is

all about protecting your pocketbook and suing the #*%#!! that had
the gall to copy your work !

We have become a very litigious society. There was a recent news

article about David Yurman suing a firm that was allegedly copying
his work. I did not see the copy’s so I do not have an opinion on how
close they were to Yurman’s work. But the article implied that his
twisted ropelike forms were what was being copied. It said that he
won because the other company was violating his “trade dress” that
is they made work that looked like his but were not exact copies. He
won the case and it was in the penalty phase and the amount of
damages was unknown when the article was written. Now I understand
protecting ones work from people knocking you off but how do you make
the judgement about where copying begins, Trade dress is a very
subjective thing. To my eye Yurman’s work is highly derivative of
Celtic work from ancient Europe. Did he violate their “trade dress”?
Just because someone files for a copyright does not make the work
original or non-derivative it just gives them the right to take
someone else to court and try to convince a Judge and possibly a jury
of their ownership of the works design . So the lawyers make lots of
money and maybe the copyright owner gets an injunction and rarely
some damages. But it still only shows whether or not you have a good
lawyer and lots of money it has very little to do with the the
designs uniqueness or originality. They don’t have art history majors
as judges in these cases.

Your best protection for your reputation is to continue to do

innovative and new work and not spend all your time trying to protect
your old work. Because in the end all design work is derivative to
some degree otherwise it would be incomprehensible,

I’ll get off my soapbox now :slight_smile:

Jim.


jbin@well.com
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601
510-533-5108


#4
 Did the Japanese masters of mokume gane not teach their students
all their techniques so that the students would then go on to
produce an even better product? 

It is best not too confuse technique with design, as they are quite
different. We were addressing the issue of design infringement, which
usually has very little to do with the applied technique.

Respectfully,
Michael David Sturlin, jewelry artist msturlin@uswest.net
http://www.geocities.com/~jdpn/gallery-sturlin.htm
Michael Sturlin Studio, Scottsdale Arizona USA


#5

James – I feel you are right in that reproducing another jewelers
work to learn (not as a matter of business) is quite different from a
true copycat designer who does this as a way of making money off of
other peoples work - anyone with a concience should know the
difference. And yes while all design is derivitive of something ,
whether a natural or manmade form we should be able to discern the
difference between stealing a design and getting inspiration.I find
the Art Nouveau and Japanese art forms of particular interest, and my
work shows it- but I have made my own way in the arts knowing that
what comes from my heart naturally seems to appear similar to these
styles and I use them as my inspiration. I have worked with other
artists. A flow of ideas are constantly being exchanged and
collaborations are even formed. But we are all able to keep from
stepping on each others creative toes, we even help each other (at
this point I must let you know I was not so successful in this
endeavor while working within the jewelry design industry). I freely
exchange thoughts and ideas with Bob Rachenbergs people, some
inspirations work better with their work and some with mine. Oh, James
I started doing some mokume work (thanks to taking your course)
–silver/ copper and gold/ shakido (bad spelling i think
)Marty…www.simonestudios.com


#6

One of the ways to avoid copying other people is to have several
teachers, instructors or mentors across a broad range of techniques,
and combine what you have learned. Cross pollinate in several jewelry
programs- one of my studio mates went to both Parsons and FIT, and has
the resulting benefits. While imitation may be the sincerest form of
flattery, innovation deserves respect. I’ve mentored two kids; I teach
them basic techniques and then facilitate their concepts- occasionally
lending a hand but mostly pointing them to the books that might help.
The teacher that I had that I admire least couldn’t get beyond his own
work to recognise his students efforts unless they mirrored his own
work. Pretty sad, I thought at the time. I hope I’ve done better by my
students.

Rick Hamilton