(Closed) DIY and ethics

posted 8 years ago in Paper
  • poll: How close is too close to your DIY inspiration? What is ethical?
    If I can recreate it, I don't (or wouldn't) feel bad copying 100% : (28 votes)
    29 %
    Changing a few words and phrasing is enough to make it my own : (9 votes)
    9 %
    Changing some of the layout/colors/asthetics/fonts is enough to make it my own : (21 votes)
    22 %
    Re-write it without looking at the inspiration, like you did when summarizing quotes in college : (13 votes)
    14 %
    It's okay to steal her words : (6 votes)
    6 %
    It's okay to steal her color scheme : (7 votes)
    7 %
    It's okay to steal her font choices : (5 votes)
    5 %
    It's okay to steal her layout : (4 votes)
    4 %
    Find your own darn creativity and stop stealing things! : (2 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    2858 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

    I posted almost the EXACT same quandary here about my Save-The-Date Cards:

    Make me feel better about this…

    Maybe the comments there will help?


    Post # 4
    3539 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    fine line, if you use her image.. and create it.. then there is a problem.

    If you use it for inspiration… and make it your own.. ie colors blah blah… then i think its a free for all, because its YOUR creativity..

    If you then pawn the idea off to someone else, i think its polite to say  when you pawn it that this was your inspiration.

    I would find it wrong, if you copied the idea then sold it on etsy.. Personal use.. I think fine.



    Post # 5
    229 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I agree with ccranetobe.  Just find a way to make it your own, and use the original as your inspiration!  Good luck!  🙂

    Post # 6
    175 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I agree with CCranetobe 100% – well said.

    Post # 7
    125 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I personally would copy as close as I could… You aren’t selling it, just using them for your own personal wedding!

    Post # 8
    3788 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I think that using the analogy to college is a pretty good idea — so her design has purple and lilac swirls? Yours can have plum and lavender swirls shifted ever so slightly to the left, you know? Major companies are “inspired” by other copyrighted things all the time (look at knock-off wedding dresses!), so I think that as long as you are very careful not to actually plagiarize her whole invite, you would be OK. As for the text, I’d google around, and if you find anything really similar, I’d use it anyway (like if it doesn’t seem to be 100% original). It’s not like she wrote a poem; I can’t imagine there being THAT many variations on invite text for hers to be 100% original. But of course, if it doesn’t seem like there is anything else out there close to it, then yeah, back to summarizing like quotations.

    But yeah, I would make your own as long as you don’t just rip them off.

    (I have no credentials to say this, but I don’t think personal use would apply legally here. It’s like when RCIA sued Napster. Technically, the music was for personal use, but it still denied profits to the artist, and that was the problem.)

    Post # 9
    2397 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    I think that if you change enough of the style and don’t copy her words verbatim, it’s ok.  Change some colors, some of the layout, etc.  In my opinion, the real ethical dilemma comes into play if you were thinking of selling these for profit. 

    DIY projects often times are inspired by others.  I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  Just make sure you are making it your own in some way 🙂

    Post # 11
    9053 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I agree with most of the other posters, that it’s totally fine to take inspiration from things you see.  Even if it’s pretty close to an item for sale, I think as long as you’re not turning around and selling it as your own it’s fine.

    Post # 12
    960 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    My feeling is that there really is no such thing as a completely original idea anymore. While not super common, I have seen invitations/STDs in the same vein as the one you posted from Etsy. Since you’re not planning on selling this design I think it’s totally fine to recreate it to fit your needs. You’ll put your own spin on it and it will look fabulous. Be sure to post them here when you’re done!!

    Post # 13
    3871 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Yeah, I agree, if you are buying that item from her, you are paying for her ideas but more importantly you are paying  her to make those for you. Since you want to do this yourself, there is nothing wrong with using her invitations as inspiration.

    Nowadays you can find almost anything on the internet.  You are the one who will have to make the layout and make it similar.

    I don’t think it is a good idea to email her and ask for any assistance. I highly doubt she is going to hand over a layout that she put her time and effort to make and especially for someone who is going to make her own.


    Post # 14
    626 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    You’re changing a few words already and if you change the colors to match your wedding colors I think you’re safe.  It’s not like you’re selling her ideas, and if you didn’t copy hers you still wouldn’t be buying them so she’s really not loosing out on any money.

    Post # 15
    972 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    You’re not making a profit, nor are you claiming it as your own. I think the only person that can tell you if it’s ethical is yourself, ethics are part of your core values and we all share different core values due to geographical areas or cultures. If it’s something you’re not comfortable doing then just gather inspiration and come up with better words and or phrases with the help of the bees. The words are unique but the design isn’t, I’ve seen it in hello lucky and it’s also not a copyrighted design.

    Post # 16
    1465 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Personal use does not apply. No one owns the wording or fonts as those are available to anyone. The artistic design however is up for discussion. If it’s a stock image or a rubber stamp for example, then they don’t own the design. But if the image is watermarked or copyrighted, then you may have a problem. If it’s on Etsy, chances are that they got the idea from someone else so it may not be completely original. In that case, I honestly wouldn’t worry about it. It’s not like your guests will be scouring the internet to see where you got the idea since they will think it was your own creativity. I’ve seen similar designs at Offbeatbride.com so you aren’t stealing the idea from this vendor. If you love it, use it and don’t stress.

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