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robert wise & pat hicks - thank you for your concise &
to-the-heart-of-this-matter posts. yes, it is hurtful & stressful -
when i opened the largest gemstone & findings wholesale catalog this
spring & saw my signature design ripped of by a mexican supplier
(according to the wholesaler) it was a very 'davida & goliath’
feeling. it hurt because my whole religion is 3 sentences: “what is
hateful to thee do not to thy fellow man. all else is commentary.
that is the law” & i could not imagine doing that to someone just
because they are were smaller - especially a company that preaches
its ‘strong people concern’. discussions are still in progress.

if it should happen again i will probably rip out the transgressor’s
achilles tendons through their eardrums & then apologize for my
uncharacteristic behavior.

people: think!

Some time ago on Orchid we had this long discussion about
copyrighting jewelry and the same issues keep cropping up.Quite
frankly, someone copying one item, one time, is not going to be sued,
be it right or wrong. However what came up the last time and
everyone is continuing to skirt around is the issue of what happens
when two people independently think up the same design—or someone
with huge money backing him up like David Yurman copyrights a design
that was actually developed long before but only copyrighted
recently. Please refer back to any historical jewelry book that
covers Celtic jewelry to see all of his designs represented 1000
years before he copyrighted them.

Ive how do you know that someone else didn’t see the same thing you
did in his/her mind’s eye and create the same object. This does
happen all the time as there are only so many variations of circles,
squares, triangles and twisted wire that can be invented (I am not
insinuating that your designs are this simple, merely noting that
there are some common elements of design that we all utilize in our
work. For that matter I have never seen your work so it might be true
that someone directly stole your work.) Because we are jewelers and
there must be an element of functionality in all of our pieces (a
ring must be wearable, a choker can’t strangle a person, earrings
can’t rip someone’s ear lobes off) there will inevitably be some
overlapping of design and it is quite possible that someone else
thought up the same damn thing. Your egos are all too large if you
think you are the only person who can create a unique design.

For that matter in the last 30+ years of jewelry making I would say
that I have only seen a half dozen truly unique, immediately
identifiable, new design ideas come into being. Everything else
relates back to stuff that has been made over the last 4000 years of
man’s civilized existence. I have seen many jewelers who create a
large body of work that is recognizable as their own work, but I
would not say that many of them fall into that handful of people who
have truly created something unique. It is interesting to me that
often the people who scream the loudest about copyrighting are the
ones (like Mr. Yurman) who’s work is derived so dramatically from
someone else’s.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140