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gin bottleWhilst doing some competitor research recently, I came across a website using my images of flattened bottles. Now, there is nothing unique about flattening a gin bottle, lots of warm glass makers do it, but the way I present my flattened bottles is a bit different.

I wanted particular styling and then paid a photographer to take the images. So, when I see another maker using these images, without permission, I consider that to be stealing.

 

Am I being unreasonable? Judging by the reaction of the people I told, no, I'm not. I contacted the other maker and after being told various stories about how he happened to have the images, they were taken off his website. It still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth though.

Judging by the amount of online discussion (check out this excellent blog post on plagiarism by
Helen Bottrill of Kindred Rose) this happens to all types of makers regularly, so what is the answer?

Here is my little checklist:

  1. Be absolutely scrupulous in your own practice – if you are influenced by another maker, credit them. If you want to make use of any aspect of their output, contact them and get permission first. If permission is not given, respect their decision.
  2. Research the market you are in and tackle anyone that you believe to be using your images or designs, directly.
  3. Make sure your Ts & Cs are absolutely clear and that permission must be sought and given to use any of your images

If you have other suggestions to add to my checklist, do let me know and I will tweet them.