Something came to my attention today that I thought I should talk a little bit about. Sorry in advance for the slightly negative and serious entry this time. This is kind of a hard entry to write, but I’ll try my best to do it properly.
This morning, I was browsing the internet and ended up at the FB page of someone who takes custom orders for doll clothing and spotted something very familiar. Even from the tumbnail it was clear to me whose design it was because, well, I have made several of such outfits myself. I wondered why it was there and opened it up for a closer look, which actually made me more upset.
My outfit design had been used to create an outfit for another doll. It’s sligthly altered but it’s still clearly the same style, shape and colour (kind of combined from three of my outfits). This is one of the designs that is quite personal to me, because it was specifically made for mine and mizya‘s characters. I designed it with inspiration from Noblesse (manhwa) but worked very hard to make it uniform-like and yet not base it on existing outfits that I know of.
I contacted the seamstress, and the matter is resolved on that part. She’s apologized and the images have been removed from her portfolio online. She should’ve never accepted the commission but mistakes happen. It’s done, it’s happened, it can’t be changed anymore. Please, no blame on anyone anymore.
I’m sure this not super uncommon so I’d like to say this, and this is speaking generally to everyone, not to one person:
To avoid upsets like these, the original creator should always be contacted first. If it’s not clear who it is, the design shouldn’t be used. If the original creator refuses to relinquish the design, they should be respected and not sent to some other seamstress to make. That seamstress also should not make it, if it seems from the reference images that it’s someone else’s design (or at the very least contact the original creator and ask if it’s okay to duplicate it).
This is important.
It does not feel good to see something you’ve designed, made by someone else and profited upon. In this case, if I had been contacted first about the design, while I don’t make these particular uniforms for others, I would’ve offered to design and create a similarly themed outfit that would be different enough to be called a design of it’s own. I’ve done it once before.
I’ve included some photos here, just to clarify that this isn’t a case of something ‘generally like it’ or ‘kind of similar’. I’m not overeacting. Continue reading “Copyright, commissions and the like”