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I had it first!- Dealing with Copycats

Thursday, September 25, 2014

how to gracefully deal with copycats

I wrote this post ages ago and never did publish it but I feel like its very relevant and something that we all have to deal with at one point.

I very rarely post personal and negative stuff on my blog. I hate to do it and I don't really know if I will post this. I like to keep this blog has a happy place, a positive retreat for myself and for you but I wrote this at least to vent my irritation and hopefully to help any of you that has to deal with copycats.

This has happened to me a few times and I'm sure it's happened to you. A while ago, it happened on a pretty big scale. I came up with a really awesome thing that no one else does and someone else totally ripped it off and passed it off as their idea. I was pretty angry- mainly because I feel like this person has been watching my every freakin' move.  I felt defeated.

I wanted to chew them out. I wanted to leave a passive aggressive comment. I wanted to call them out. But I did none of these things.

I did have a nice long rant with two close girlfriends about how this person has no original ideas. And I might have used a few *ahem* unladylike words.


Why I didn't do anything
Screaming at someone or being publicly nasty wouldn't have done anything except make me look like a jerk. It's hard to rise up and be the better person sometimes but you have to- to protect the brand and reputation that you have built for yourself and because being a jerk never gets us anywhere.It makes matters much worse.

We all borrow ideas
Whether or not I want to believe it, we all borrow ideas from each other. I'm sure I've borrowed ideas too. The truth is, there are really no new ideas out there. Even if I was the first person that I am aware of that came up with an idea, someone most likely did it long before I did. If you do borrow an idea from someone, make it known that this person had the idea and that you were so inspired, you decided to follow suit. At least give them a true compliment and be friendly.




I have had plenty of people take my ideas and put their own spin on them. I think it's great when a community tries things together because we all have something unique to add to the cause. I'm never upset by that. I'm flattered and thankful and when they give me credit, I enjoy seeing how others use my ideas to solve their problems.

In the age of the internet, there's so much to see that it can be hard to tell where your ideas end and someone else's begin.

Let them motivate you
When someone steals your newest great idea, let them take it! They have no good ideas of their own so they have to be a copy of someone else.  You came up with that great thing and you'll come up with many more. You are not a one trick pony! You're a fountain of creativity and unique thoughts.  While they will certainly continue to copy you, you will constantly crank out the next big thing and by the time they copy you again, you'll be moved on to something even more awesome.



Be Careful Who Inspires You.
When I was in middle school, I'm proud to say that I was a trend setter. I always did crazy things that no one else did because I love to stand out in a crowd! There was a very sweet girl that I was friends with who one day started doing everything I did. It drove me crazy! I pride myself on being an individual and I want others to enjoy the same freedom.


One day, I had enough and I came to school with a pretty good looking fake nose piercing. I wore it for days and everyone thought I got my nose pierced. She backed off and finally confided in me that she wanted to pierce her nose too but her mom wouldn't let her. I took it out and she saw that it was fake. I told her. "Yeah, my mom wouldn't let me pierce my nose either. And I wouldn't want to anyway." Be careful who you emulate because while some people may look like everyone admires them, they don't always make the best decisions. In fact, some of what looks like their good ideas could be your downfall.


When it really comes down to it, no one can take what really matters.
Your passion
 your insight
 your talent,
your creativity
your long term plans




16 Responses to “I had it first!- Dealing with Copycats”

  1. That really sucks but unfortunately that's the internet for you. I personally loathe anyone who lacks originality. :/ Hopefully they'll get their comeuppance....

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  2. Oh, poor you. That is truly annoying, but I suppose your true fans know the original from the copy. ;) I know the feeling, my sister in law has copied me for 30 years now, claiming that she has had the idea for long. I get so damned tired. I stopped telling her any of my ideas. The fun thing is that she is very creative herself, so why did she copy me all the time? Son experience the same thing from his nieces (her children), I've told him that it is good to be an original, and that he just have to think "ok" and move on. Wishing you a lovely weekend, dear. Love the new look of your blog. :)

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  3. I know the feeling.... it sucks.... I have the same thing now, not on the internet, but something I made last year. People found it nice but were not very enthousiastic. And now.... EVERYBODY is making the same and saying to another woman what a great idea she had....
    Very good practice in personal grow i guess...
    But, something nice now: I am not following you for long, but I am really liking reading your blog, love your new layout and I am always happy to see you wrote a new post.
    Keep on the good work because I think you are the great!
    Best wishes from the Netherlands!

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  4. It does suck when someone steals your idea! And then doesn't even have the grace/chutzpah/integrity to acknowledge their inspiration, i.e. you!! Some people aren't even aware they're doing it, they sort of live in a bubble of passive ignorance grrrr. You have the right idea though, being the better person is good for your soul and creativity, carrying round any bitterness about this will be a killer. I freakin' love your blog dude, keep up the good work and thank you for your fantastic writing and ideas, have a great weekend!! xxxx love from Melbourne xxxxx

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  5. I think you turned a negative situation into a very positive and inspiring blog post (love the bit about the fake nose ring - I did the same thing when I was in high school).

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  7. Great post, I find your blog truly original and pretty inspiring. I can't imagine being inspired by someone who rips you off. Keep that in mind, they can copy but they just cannot inspire, so in the end it's just a poor reflection, like looking into a dirty mirror. People will see through it in time.

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  8. good post! The reason, I think, that most of us vintage lovers dress the way we do is not only because the fashions were lovely, but because it's a way to stand out and be original without being...er..lady gaga-ish. It's a way to be different in a completely fresh and lovely way. There's a big difference between being inspired by someone and just plain old copying. For instance, you did a tutorial on Rita Hayworth's hair, and if she saw that I'm sure she would be proud and flattered. But if someone were to, say, have a blog, and one day copy an outfit of yours piece for piece. Then give you no shoutout or credit, it would be very annoying. Copyright laws have been turned upside-down by the internet. It's almost impossible to keep ideas, and even the big music companies with all the copyrights in the world can't keep their songs from being all over the internet for free illegal downloads.

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  9. Take the other blogger's theft as the biggest complement! :) The idea had to be great. And as an old german wisdom says: you always meet twice... or as Sun Tzu put it: “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.” Every bad deed will bite your nemesis in the a*s :). Keep on the great work and post more, more, more!

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  10. I'm so sorry that happened to you. =( I admire you for posting this and for handling it so calmly and awesomely (in public anyway, haha!). While there may or may not be any such thing as a truly original idea, that doesn't make it right to completely pull the rug out from under someone who got to it before you did or purposely not give them credit.

    I haven't had anyone steal an idea from me (I don't get them often enough, LOL), but I've seen a few people copy my hairstyle exactly (which is very uncommon and, IMO, pretty unique); one woman even lied and said she'd had hers that way for 7 years, when I'd seen her the month before and it was definitely not anything like the new 'do. I think she gave that answer thinking it would be a much longer time frame than mine (I'm 29, but have actually had this color combo for 13 years) or that I didn't remember her. In the end I had to laugh, because 1) she likely won't be able to maintain it well (it's super high-maintenance) and 2) hers looked, um, less well-done than mine and 3) she felt the need to copy someone else's physical appearance and then fib about it, which strikes me as kind of pathetic. She hasn't come around to the shop since then, but every time I see her name on our file I can feel my blood pressure rising, LOL!

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  11. UGH! I feel your pain. I have someone who does the same thing! I have to wonder if they have an original thought in their pretty, little brains.

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  12. I once created a special hat for my daughter and posted about it. Some weeks later, I was told by a friend who had spotted an exact copy (even the same color combinations) of my hat on another woman's blog. Of course she wrote a long story about the super hat she made, of course no word about the fact she "found" the idea and design on someone else's blog. I contacted her and told her (as gently as possible as you can when you're all set-up) that "stealing" ideas from someone else and selling them as their own is not very creative nor nice. She kind of apologised (not really, saying she had "forgotten" to mention it") and promised to change her post, but instead of doing as promised she just added an info in the comments that the idea for the hat was found on my blog. Of course, somehow it's flattering if your work is so great it's getting copied, but then, being creative means also finding an individual way of creating a thing. And ASK in advance if it's OK to make a copy, and if you make one, say thank you, name the source, and add your own style.

    So I totally DO understand how you must feel. It hurts, even if you tell ousel they're just poor person with no style and no manners. It hurts just the same.

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  13. As one who hasn't had an original idea in her head since I don't know when thanks for the reminder to not plagiarize and always, always give credit where it is due. Thankfully I learned that way back when in school and it was reinforced while studying on the graduate level.

    Cheers,

    Lyroc

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  14. Wonderful and timely blog. I sew vintage, swing dance and write fictionally about it and I'm so nervous to put out my first collection of stories. I hope I've put a new twist on some classic horror tropes and wrapped them in a nice vintage package. LOL! Thanks for the great blog post!

    ~ Tam Francis ~
    www.girlinthejitterbugdress.com

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  15. ...years ago (and I mean years) I drew cartoons and did graphics for a newspaper, and came up with a lettering font that was pretty unique. Fast forward: I see this font on a sign in a store. I see it again later that year in another shop window, and ask the manager about it. I track it down to a guy who digitizes fonts, not for sale mind you, but for fun. And by the time I get to him, it's been 'stolen' by a bigger company.

    All the while, I keep noticing that maybe this font is not so unique, I see bits of it here and there. I have kids. And THEN I see it: it's Dr Seuss! Who definitely predates me. At least I stole well.

    Keep working. Make better. I hope I always remember to give credit where credit is due, even if it takes me about twenty years to figure it out.

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  16. Great post!

    This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it is SUPER difficult to deal with. I often throw a hissy fit in the privacy of my own home, vent to my husband, mum, dad, anyone who will listen, huff for awhile, then remember that I published all of my stuff on my blog, and it shows that there is a timestamp pretty much that shows when I came up with the idea and move on.

    xoxo
    -Janey

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I read every single comment (even on old posts) and they make my day! If you have a question, please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com. Thank you for reading me!