I say conundrum, but from my point of view there is no conundrum at all. I explain below:

Last night I got involved in a very heated conversation in a scrapbooking group on facebook. The original poster was simply asking that if you copy someone else’s layout, that you acknowledge and give credit. Not just taking inspiration, at the end of the day we all take inspiration form one another! The post was about copying someone’s design entirely and not giving credit.

The post got very heated actually, with people very angry and very sad too, as a lot of people thought that this was a personal attack. However, I feel like the original post was completely misunderstood (it made me wonder about people’s reading comprehension!!). Nobody was saying “do not copy”, just that if you do it’s nice to acknowledge and give credit to the person you are copying from.

Yes, there are no original ideas left anymore and all techniques have been done before. People post on groups with the hope to inspire others (at least I do!) and they say that imitation is a form of flattery. People save ideas from the web and forget to write where they came from. All of that is very well. Just don’t make it pass as your own original work.

Maybe it’s because of my academic background where plagiarism is a big no-no, but I honestly think that if you DO know that you are copying someone (and again, I am not talking about being inspired by someone – but copying a layout exactly) and you know who that someone is, why not give a little credit? No need to go overboard make a big fuss about it. Just a link or a mention will do.

I always do it. Even for just inspiration. I was inspired by Sarah Costain a few times with backgrounds and her use of ribbons, and I have always given her credit. I was inspired by Zoe Guest just the other day with the “super ice cream” layout, and I gave her credit. It is not difficult and a very nice thing to do. It seems like we have all turned into pirates in the internet world, where manners don’t matter anymore, because suddenly people are saying that when you post your layouts to groups you lose any rights over them. That maybe right legally, but why would people lose their manners and become pirates over something so simple?

Anyway, rant over. Just be a nice person and do the right thing. If you KNOW that you are copying someone and you KNOW who that someone is, a little nudge of credit goes a long way.

Peace out.

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