I think people like to flatter them selves too much as an artist on here. When the common person goes to buy jewellery they don't care who the artist is, they are interested in the piece it self, Unlike people who buy a common Tiffany's or Cartier pieces. They are more interested in the Artist (name on the piece), this is why Tiffany's plasters their name all over their work, so that the wearer may show off where they purchased their jewellery from.
Whether or not people seek out a particular artist/designer when
buying art or jewelry is relative to the market in which the creator
makes their work available as well as the quality of the work being
produced. If it is a bargain box store no, most buyers will not care.
If the work is unremarkable or poorly made no, most buyers will not
care. If the work is the opposite of these two things,
patrons/customers tend to want to continue to collect pieces from an
artist whose work they admire, in which case signing your work and
exercising your copyright is not merely an act of “self flattery” but
a pragmatic action to protect the integrity of what
patrons/customers have come to expect when buying a particular object
that you make.
I ask you how did they profit from you at your expense exactly? Are they selling more pieces than you? Are they taking away potential clients who you did not market to? Are they undercutting you?
People who deliberately copy the work of others profit by not having
had to invest the time or innovation that was required by the
original designer to bring their work to the marketplace. Since
people who have no qualms about copying from one artist are likely to
copy from many, finding a new product to offer is as easy as logging
on to the internet or buying some cheaply priced pieces for
duplication. Creators with integrity are therefore stymied by the
fact that they would not do likewise and may find their market
undercut or stolen from them and the reputation of their work
tarnished by poor quality knock-offs.
This answers the question. This isn't about protecting your creative genius and love for the art, you don't really care evolving your own art through experience. This is about money.
I can’t speak for the original poster, but this is highly
presumptive and smacks of the old romantic notion that an artist
can’t be an artist and be a business person as well, as if something
’sacred’ is lost in the equation. Both your posts seem to approach
the idea as if it were reprehensible to be concerned with the cost of
plying an artistic trade. Unfortunately art schools are packed with
instructors and students that believe and practice this hackneyed
faith to the detriment of the students who more than likely wind up
in a non-artistic career. Why shouldn’t Elkka be concerned about
money? The cost of materials? The rent? Advertising? The marketing
that you assume she failed to do? The irony is that you too made a
reference to yourself as a businessman, so from this I infer that you
don’t consider yourself an artist, but for those of us that are
artists, the sooner we cast off this debilitating mentality the more
we benefit and thrive.
As to your hypothetical ring question - since non-of us on the list
are 5000 + years old, none of us knows with certainty when the first
ring was forged, but suffice it to say there were no intellectual
property laws in place to protect its design into posterity. If
there were such a thing, it should be considered criminal, because it
denies the expansion of the public domain and the ability of human
society to build off of the innovations of its denizens. Current IP
laws allow an author/creator a defined period of time from which to
benefit exclusively from their own creation (fair compensation )
after which time the work reverts to the public domain for all to use
freely. I see this as a very small price to pay for the gift of a
person’s creativity. What is worrying is the lobbying some
corporations undertake to have the already generous periods of
exclusive copyright extended to well after the author/creator’s
death, this defeats the underlying incentive for copyright
protection, which is to encourage innovation for the betterment of