I started thinking about this last week when I watched a video post on how to recreate a dress from Mod Cloth. I don't want to give any specifics on the blog I saw this on. This isn't a post to call out specific bloggers or make anyone feel bad. Really, I just wanted to open up the discussion on when it is okay to copy. I'm sure if you spend time reading blogs, you have seen someone give a tutorial on creating a Anthropologie knock-off or a Kate Spade replica purse. I'm not talking about the ones where you recreate a current trend. I'm talking about the tutorials on how to create an exact copy of the store item. These seem to be quite common and accepted in the craft community. I myself have seen designer pieces and thought to myself, "I could make that so much cheaper."
|Scarf from Anthropologie. Image Editing by me.|
However, there seems to be a distinction made between large companies and independent designers. If I posted a tutorial showing how to create something from an etsy seller and linked directly to the etsy design, I would probably get some angry comments. I've even read blog posts on how wrong it is to pin an etsy product on pinterest under a board labeled DIY (example 1, 2).
So what's the distinction? Why is it okay to share these tutorials online? Is it okay because we aren't selling them? Even if a product is sold by a large store like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters, didn't someone have to design it in the first place? Is it considered okay because they are already so successful?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I'm honestly not sure what the answer to all of this is and would love to hear some other insights into it. I try to be careful about what I post myself, but I do read blogs with these kinds of posts and have even pinned the projects, so I'm wondering, should I stop?