2.18.2010

Stepping On Toes

Recently I had an issue come up where a fantastic blogger thought I had stolen an idea of hers. She emailed me about the problem and I hopped over to her blog for the very first time and saw that we did have very similar ideas.

She had worked really hard for few years to create such a cute idea – and the same idea had been in my family for a while – the problem was – she created her blog and posted about it first.

Then I came along and unknowingly posted the same idea.

Her feelings were hurt at the thought that I would cheat her out of her idea.

My feelings were hurt because I would never steal from someone and love to promote crafty bloggers and their ideas.

I feel awful about the whole situation and I hope she doesn’t hate me.
However, I can see her side. I have been on her side. I have come up with cute ideas, invited someone into my home and then saw my idea at their home claiming it was “their” idea.

It hurts – badly.

Everyone should be give recognition for their hard work and creative idea and no one should feel cheated out of it.

I have now sat on both sides of the fence and neither side feels very good.

I dislike being copy-catted without recognition that it was my idea. I complain about it to my husband often.

But I really hate (and hate is a strong word) someone feeling like I cheated them.

I would rather have people copy me all day long then have one second where someone felt cheated because of me. I have been thinking about this nonstop since she contacted me. Worried as to what I should do and feeling sick to my stomach.

I have had a million and one thoughts about this.
How do I fix it?
What if I post another idea – and someone else feels like I stole it from them?
How can I be sure this never happens again?
Can I never post another idea out of fear that someone else posted it first?
Am I paranoid because of this one situation?

Sadly, I can’t.

What is done is done and I can only hope that I made the problem a little better.

I can’t be sure it will never happen again because I can’t physically check every single blog and post to make sure no one has the same idea.

This problem has opened my eyes to a whole new world of crafts.

There are so many talented ladies out there who share some amazing ideas.
Ideas that may be posted one time and forgotten and other ideas that circle the blog world like bees in a hive.

I know that a lot of people love vinyl and sewing and stitching and wood crafts and building things and painting and cooking and refinishing and scrapbooking and card making and I could go on and on – but how can you be sure and I mean really sure you don’t step on any toes?

If I am out blog hopping and find a cute idea that I love –and make it – I always give credit to where I found the idea. I try to promote cute ideas and blogs with my Feature Fridays and hope that people would give me credit as well. It if is an idea that I have seen everywhere (like ruffles) I try to say something generic like “I have seen this idea everywhere” to ensure that I didn’t come up with the ruffle but the idea may still be something I thought up in the shower!

I want to open this up to discussion- So followers, lurkers, people passing by –
Has this ever happened to you?
Do you have strong opinions regarding it?
Do you worry about the same thing?
I am just overly paranoid now?

Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Please know that I am reading each comment so please be tasteful – it is my blog and I will delete it if I feel it is unnecessary. I just mean I don’t want comments like “Well “so and so” stole my idea so I told her where to stick it” you know –stuff like that.

And if the blogger who inspired this post happens to stop by, please know that I am really, truly sorry and can see your point of view and I hope you don’t hate me. You really are very crafty and if I ever take something from your darling blog – I promise to link back!

20 comments:

The Harris Family said...

I had something similar happen to me only I used a name I thought was just a generic name to title my tutorial post and it ended up being some lady's online store name. She e-mailed me and I changed it. I felt pretty bad and embarrassed.
The problem with craft blogs is there are so many and so many similar ideas. It would be impossible to make sure every idea you had and posted were original. One reason I love craft blogs and have one is to find and be inspired by other people. I think you are doing the best you can by promoting other blogs and giving credit when you really do use someones idea. Keep up the good work.

-Crystal

Melanie said...

Dude! Just today I noticed a tutorial from a popular blogger showing how to make something I did a tut for weeks ago. BUt you know what? I know that since I'm probably dust in the wind still to her, she didn't copy me. So many blogs are out there like that... They are better known than me! They have better ideas! They totally deserve the recognition. Someday I hope to be a recognized blog name. In the meantime, yeah, I totally think people need to link to their original inspirations. And, if you happen to notice someone did something really similar, it is ok to give a shout-out on your blog to their similar project too!
Crystal, who commented before me, did a project once and posted it while I had a nearly identical project in the works! It was crazy. But fun at the same time, it is like we'd be friends in the real world because we think alike :)

Christie said...

Hmm, I wonder if I know who you are talking about because my friend was just saying her friend had this happen and was really upset. We talked a long time about it. My sister read that maybe people should be flattered if you use their idea. We also talked about how if you don't want people to copy you, then don't post it for the world to see. I think that is the reason I love craft blogs--because people tell me how to do it! I agree, I want credit where it is due, and I give credit where it is due if I am sure I didn't think of it, but people totally DO come up with the same ideas--like in your case! Anyways, I think your blog is wonderful. I don't think people should be upset--there are so many blogs and so many creative people that yah, you might be a little sad that you don't get credit, but who is ANYONE to know who the VERY FIRST PERSON is to do it, right??? Anyways, that is all I have to say! Honestly, sometimes I am afraid to even search for something that I thought was an original idea because someone has always thought of it first, it seems. With very few exceptions!

Jennie said...

Okay, this is too funny! (not really, but you know...) I was just burning up about a little something like this. Then I thought, "Wow, they thought my idea was great! I had to take it as a compliment, so I would get mad! Anyway, We are all fabulous crafters and great minds think alike! We WILL come up with a lot of the same ideas...there's just too many of us! We are all here to share are we not? We show eachother what we know and make our homes a better place because of it. I think if we can give credit where we can and forgive those who don't, the "craft blog world" will continue to be a fun place. I just need to tell MYSELF, "What a compliment! They used my idea!"

Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

Melissa said...

This is a tricky subject mostly because of the pure saturation of the crafty blog-arena. I should know, I am but a fledgling blog just trying to get noticed.
I have yet to have this happen to me and really, I don't even know if I would have the cahonies to confront them because do I really have a leg to stand on? I also know that I have not laid claim to an idea or technique that was not my own.
One thing I try to do is NOT GOOGLE anything about my idea if I am going to 'tute' it, that way any similarities to someone else are purely coincidental. So far so good.
I am new to your blog, but I do enjoy it and I won't even hold this bit of plagerism against you ;) (Totally kidding. About the plagerism. Not the holding it against you!)

Kelly @ Make It Sparkly Mama said...

Gosh it would be all but impossible to never accidentally make a similar design to someone else. I only have one idea that I have never seen anywhere else and I am sure that is out there somewhere. I stick by the "I have seen this all over blogland" line if I have seen it elsewhere multiple times, and if I ever did make something knowing that I had gotten inspiration from somewhere in particular I would for sure link up. You were not in the wrong in any way, some people are just a little too sensitive or a little too new to the bloggy world to realize how easily this kind of thing happens everyday.

Free Pretty Things For You said...

You did such a wonderful job on this post :)
DOnt be fearful..like all the other wonderful ladies above me said.. you really cant help it sometime.. There is SO much talent out there and this old saying is so true in blog land.. great minds think alike.. Keep doing your thing love!
XOxO
Keren

Bobbie said...

I had this happen to me awhile ago. It was another person living in the same area as me. They threw a huge stink that I am stealing their stuff. When I did not. Even at a craft show a few months ago the husband came and made a huge scene at my booth about it. Well, to tell you the truth I could care less. I know it made my customers uncomfortable. It just makes them look bad.

I know that this happens all the time. I know that there is really nothing that we can do about it. I know that the only thing that I have control of is myself so I will do my best to make the blogging world and my life the best that it possibly can be. I only have control over me and my attitude so I just let stuff go like that otherwise it just eats me up and it is not worth that. I would rather piece of mind

gail@myrepurposedlife.blogspot.com said...

follower here...I'm really sorry this happened to you and her. I think that most of us are on here to share, that's why we do tutes! I thought one time that I had an "original" idea, only to find out about 2 months later that someone else had also posted it. (about 3 weeks before me) I did not copy her, but it certainly could have been taken that way. And I was so proud of myself for repurposing something! :)
My point is, almost always, someone, somewhere has done what you are thinking of doing.
I agree if you were to do a "book wreath" you have to say "I've seen this all over blogland" b/c there is no way to know who blogged about it first.
Don't beat yourself up over this. It's bound to happen at least once, and maybe this is your once! :)
take care!
gail

Michelle said...

I totally know how you feel. I have posted many things and then found that someone else had similar ideas and posts during a similar time period. I always give credit when inspired by someone else and know that you would too! You are no cheater. It's true that there are just so many of us out there in blog land that ideas are bound to overlap especially when it has to do with something trendy. Sorry for the drama. You are amazing!

Lorie said...

It is a hard place to be and I am sorry that you have been stuck in the middle of it.

I wouldn't worry about it though. I am 100% positive that whatever the idea was, there was a person who did it before both of you. It is very rare that a COMPLETELY new project comes along.

Honestly I think you just have to choose to not let things bother you. Work on a new project, keep yourself busy so you don't drown in the sadness or anger of it...

Okay, I am totally rambling, but hopefully that makes a little more sense!

Lynn Osborne said...

Your genuine concern over the situation shows that your heart is in the right place. I have been a crafter since childhood and through the years, I have come to believe that "there is nothing new under the sun." Don't get me wrong, there are new versions, new twists, new applications, new color schemes, and new techniques. But I don't think you can trace the origin of the basic functional aspect of a crafted item. So try to shake it off and keep sharing and keep giving credit when it's due! Blessings to you!

RedHead said...

Difficult situation! I agree with everyone who said that we are all here to inspire each other and make the world prettier! Otherwise, what's the point?? I'm a teacher by day, and we have a saying that we always "beg, borrow and steal" ideas from other teachers because the big picture is to benefit our students, I think the big picture here is to create an inspiring environment and be happy with our surroundings. Keep your head up and keep on keeping on!

Homesick Cajun said...

Aww honey it's like you said, you can't go all over blogland and check every entry. Besides, you said the idea had been in your family for some time.

Does anyone really every "own" ideas? And if she had the item in her blog wasn't she in a roundabout way giving other people permission to "copy" it?

I just think that things like this happen all the time. I don't think that you did anything wrong. You shouldn't beat yourself up, or feel bad about it.

I'm with RedHead...keep your head up, keep going on, and keep creating!!

Angie said...

This is just completely ridiculous! It's extremely presumptive for ANYONE to think their idea is 100% unique and individual. Chances are someone else has had the same or very similar idea at some point in the history of time. If you want sole credit for something, get a copyright. Otherwise, deal.

Katie said...

Personally, I think this whole situation is plain silly!Its like a person being mad at someone because they used a recipe similar to their own! Okay. How would any of us have ever gotten in to crafting if we didn't want to try something that someone else had previously done? And what would the world be like if wayyyyy back when the women said, "ooooh her quilt is so pretty, what a great idea, she's so smart to think to do that but I'm not going to try it because that would be COPYING..." or if a woman said, "oh I see you made a quilt. Hm. Well fancy that. I just made a quilt.I don't appreciate you copying me, please don't do it again!" Boy, we'd have some chilly nights these days.
If this happened to me I would be happy that I thought of something cute enough for someone else to think of too. Hey, whatever happened to "Imitation is the best form of flattery"?? Sorry, I just get frusrated when I hear about stuff like this. Why can't we all get along?!! :)

mommypants13 said...

People have similar ideas, especially people who have similar tastes (as us crafty mama bloggers do). I had a friend tell me that we only have about 20 original ideas in our lives. Now that doesn't mean that we copy them from others, it just means that Great Minds Think Alike....

I'd personally be flattered to share an idea with you!

Much love mama!

Amanda K said...

You guys are great! Thank you for all of your responses. It is funny how once you bring up a problem you have had - it seems like a lot of other people have had similar issues. The problem doesn't make either one of us bad - it is just hard when you work on something and give it your all and you think you came up with a unique idea - like I thought I had.

And Angie you are right - I was dumb to think that I had come up with an idea that was all my own. There are tons of crafty women and I probably should have thought about that before I thought the idea was "all mine."

Andrea said...

The first time I heard of other people contacting strangers with complaints like this, the complainer was upset because someone had posted a tutorial on an item that the lady was making to sell. She didn't want everyone to know how to make the things, therefore thwarting her business.

Well, that got me thinking, and really, there are always people in this world who would rather try their hand at making something before they would pay someone else to make it. If it doesn't require expensive tools or extensive training, then yeah, other people are probably making it too!

Last I heard, just having the idea doesn't equal patent or copyright. I think we are all just a little sensitive because we are putting ourselves out there with our posts, using our time, and it is frustrating to find out we are not getting the appreciation we expected.

You are sweet in trying to resolve the issue. Don't fret. Just do what you enjoy doing. Blogs are more like journals we share with the public. It's your space, enjoy it!

Amanda K said...

I am closing this to comments now. Thank you to all who had something to say and voiced your opinions. Its nice to know that neither the other blogger nor I are alone on our thoughts and that we all agree that everyone should get the recognition for their hard work but that there are lots of fun ideas out there and we can't know them all.

I have just said what I wanted to about the subject and found some different answers and reassurances in your responses that I hadn't thought of before and now I am done with it. I hope no one was offended and now I am moving on!

I have lots of fun ideas that are in the works and I hope you will be happy with some of the "ideas" I have for my blog!

Keep crafting!
Amanda

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