I was at Dazzle, one of the most famous shops for women’s clothes, and saw a bag that was unquestionably a Louis Vuitton knockoff. Of course, the monogram was entirely different, so I couldn’t say it was counterfeit, but more on the lines of being cute, but it still raised questions in me just where the lines of copyright come in when it comes to cyberspace, especially designing in SL.
Now that I have started making my own clothes, I am undoubtedly inspired by my favorite designers, but as to where I take that inspiration, I’m not sure just what the limit is. The other day, I saw a marvelous Dior couture dress and I saved a photo of the dress because I loved the texture, but then when I thought about it, I suddenly got scared and wondered whether or not I was stealing from John Galliano.
But then, even artists copy from each other and no design is truly original. Why even Gogh copied paintings of Hiroshige.
Sometimes I see some very original artwork, furniture, or architecture in SL and I wonder just how original it is. I’ve seen things that seem very original, like this frog chair, for instance. But if you think about it, certainly copying someone else’s work is not something that is overly difficult, if you have the skills. But then, if copyright becomes so unimportant, I believe I would be left with a sense of futility and be discouraged.
But perhaps that is the way of the world. Sometimes I see that articles published in our paper are rewritten with almost no changed under someone else’s byline for some other publication. But being a media in a small country, there are limits to what you can do about it. In the end, it all comes down to ethics, but not everyone has the same standards or sense of what is ethical and what is not. So if you can’t prove your financial or emotional damages- you basically don’t have a case. It’s just a bitter pill you have to swallow.