How would you feel if somebody copied your doll?

Nov 6, 2019

    1. (Forgive me if this is in the wrong place, or if it's been asked before. I couldn't find another thread discussing this exactly. Feel free to let me know if I've committed any forum faux pas.)

      To make one thing clear from the get-go, this isn't referring to r*casts. That's not up for discussion.

      Somewhere when I was surfing the 'net (I can't remember what site), I saw some people arguing over their dolls that looked similar, saying that one person had 'copied' the look of the other person's doll. In my opinion, it was a silly argument, as the dolls clearly looked different to me, but the fact that the person claiming they'd been copied was offended surprised me. Being raised with younger siblings, I was always taught that imitation was a form of admiration. If I drew something, and my younger sister then drew something similar, or if I had an outfit and my sister wanted a similar one, I always viewed that as them admiring me or my style. Today, if I were to do a faceup on a doll and give them a certain look, (wig, clothing style, etc.) and a person copied it for their own personal doll, I don't think I would be offended at all, even if it were a complete replica of my doll. So long as they weren't claiming that it was their own original idea, or stealing my dolls' character, it wouldn't bother me at all. But seeing these people argue made me realize that this may not be the case for everybody. So I'm curious; how would you feel if somebody 'copied' your doll, but still made sure to credit you? Why do you feel that way?
       
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    2. The full text of the popular Oscar Wilde quote is "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” I guess I'd know I was very on trend?
       
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    3. The central part of my bjd crew are all characters based off the anime/manga Outlaw Star (7+ years after). I'm working on some Ranma 1/2 characters too. I've added some original character's Aliens mostly. I'm planning on adding an online avatar in resin form, a Betty Boop & an Earth Chan eventually. I have some based off people I know (as well as two versions of myself) and a character version of my cat in memory of him.

      Even my original bjd's aren't all original. I pull inspiration from several places. Face up, wigs, clothes, names, each one is crafted from several google searches and asking people's input or opinion lol. If someone thought I copeid them, okay they can think that and feel how they feel. If someone copies me with or without credit, okay. Lol I'm pretty easygoing.
       
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    4. If someone "copied" any of my dolls, I'd laugh and laugh and possibly make myself start hiccuping from laughing. Oh, that poor person with such limited imagination and questionable taste.

      If I were an artist trying to make money on particular handmade clothing sets or props or faceups and someone started trying to duplicate that look for sale, I'd have problems. Since that's not the case, having hurt feelings about a doll being "copied" is childish.
       
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    5. There's a fine line between inspiration and imitation! As an artist by career, I wouldn't mind if someone was inspired by my work and did something with their own spin on it. However, a complete replica would definitely set me off. That's pretty much art theft / plagiarism, in my view. That being said, most of my current complete dolls aren't too unique, but I do have some rather unique dolls in the works...
       
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    6. I personally would be really upset if someone obviously copied one of my dolls. My crew is based on my original characters and each is unique to me and dear to my heart, and I wouldn't want someone to copy something so close to me. It would feel to me like someone taking, say, a story I wrote and just changing the names and places. I put the time an effort into these characters, and they're mine.

      There's a spectrum of "copying," I think, and there's a difference between being inspired by something and copying it. For example, if someone made a selkie character because they were inspired my my boy Ilya, that'd be really cool. However, if that character had a similar backstory, similar styling and faceup, all that stuff, I'd be upset. Ilya is my baby, my favorite original character, and having him copied by someone else would feel like a punch in the gut, especially since he's so recognizable. A lot of my dolls are pretty unique, so having something obviously similar without having straight up copied some aspects seems kind of difficult to me.

      Different characters with the same sculpt can look similar, that's just how it is sometimes. But it's generally easy to tell the difference between inspiration and copying. And I'm not okay with the latter.
       
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    7. I don't mind if someone copies my dolls for their own personal use. I mean it might be kinda weird if they copied every little detail, but as long as they aren't making money off my I ideas then I'm not bothered. But if, for example, I designed a custom outfit for my doll and someone copies it exactly and starts selling it, then we'd have a problem.
       
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    8. I take inspiration from other hobbyists on DOA, on the bjd amino, and on instagram, but I would never, ever try to replicate someone else's doll. I would hope no one else would do that to me, either. I would be hurt by it.
       
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    9. One of my dolls has a faceup from a smaller faceup artist that I meticulously picked for the character, all the way down to the piercings and tattoos. Several months later I saw that the same artist painted another doll identically to what I had requested. At first I was a little annoyed, as it was pretty clear to me that the reference for the faceup was my doll's completed look. However as I thought about it more I calmed down, as nobody really owns a certain aesthetic. I could tell that the doll was "copied" but I don't think anyone else would have noticed. I think that's the most important thing to remember. Knowing that you weren't the first person to use a certain aesthetic and you definitely won't be the last. With that, though, I do think imitation can be taken too far. Copying someone's doll by having an exact replica would definitely feel like the character is being stolen.
       
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    10. There is a difference between being inspired and copying. I considered buying a body and setting it up in a manner similar to one I saw on display. Though I've always been concerned to the point I never got to it, and bought something else instead.
       
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    11. People can copy my dolls (why, though - do these hypothetical people think it'll make them rich or popular?), but, they can't copy my mind or my imagination.

      They'll still have to rely on their own, ultimately.

      Other people's work can only carry them so far.
       
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    12. I saw a doll eerily similar to one of mine on here not that long ago. Like same style, almost the same face up minus the mod work I did on my doll, and it was the same sculpt. I was shocked because I only have a little over 100 Instagram followers and that was the only place I posted pics of the doll on. I personally was shocked, because it didn't just feel like inspiration, it was way too similar for my liking, but there's nothing I would or could do about it. I even took a pic to send to my partner to see if I was crazy or overreacting but he was really shocked about it too and saw a ton of similarities. It kinda sucks because I'm not popular at all so to have that happen is baffling.
       
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    13. I’m actually hoping that someone copies my doll idea - the black and white one, that’s if no one else has done it before either. Because that will make it more popular. And if they say I copied them... well, I have proof. Let people do their thing if it makes them happy. They saw something you did and they liked it.
       
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    14. I'm an awful photographer, and I really don't like social media much, so very few of my dolls have ever been seen on the web - and most of the ones that have were not particularly unique. If I did post one of my OCs and someone copied it, I suppose it would bug me a bit if they went out of their way to take personal credit for an identical 'look' that I had meticulously put together...but it wouldn't bother me at all if they gave credit to source of their inspiration. I'd actually feel a little flattered that they loved it so much.
       
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    15. It really depends. Most of the copying drama from afar makes me think "really?". A while ago someone whined someone had copied his basic looking MNF gal. Not only did the other MNF look nothing like his, both MNFs were nothing special. Natural blushing, dark lashes, light eyebrows. No elaborate designs, make-up or whatever. You see those a million times on Instagram. I'm confused whenever this happens, because how can someone think they have a right to basic concepts like natural face-ups?

      However, a couple days ago someone cropped up who 1:1 copied Looloo's Crispin. As in, same doll, same clown face-up, same concept, same name. The other doll really looks like a bootleg version of the original. The copycat also only posts this doll in the Russian comm, because on Instagram people of course would quickly chew her out if she would post it there among her other dolls. Doing something like that just feels extremely weird to me, and if that would happen to me I'd be very uncomfortable. I had something like that happen early in my hobby days actually. Also same doll, same name, same story, a lot of same small details, and the person actually admitted she was copying my doll. It was awkward, but mostly because other people contacted me about it and even approached me on doll meets. Until that point I had mostly ignored it, even if it felt a bit weird.

      I know I'd feel bad if someone would copy one of my chess dolls, because I put in a lot of time and work into them and they are the only ones I have that are somewhat recognizable. So if I'd see a copy of, let's say my Mr. Black, then I'd definitely be miffed. Especially when the person copies even smallest details, gives him the same name and story and so on. It's just very unpleasant and I don't see anything flattering in taking someone else's design work/OC design, skip the difficult steps and then maybe get praise for it on top as if they came up with that. Make up your own stuff.

      On top, if it goes as far as people asking "isn't this your doll?" it's also this idea of impersonation. Some people have extremely recognizable dolls that are like their trademark (like Looloo's Crispin). If someone posts a doll that looks like a carbon copy people might mistake it for the real deal, going as far as the original owner getting into trouble for things they didn't do. That was one of the reason I felt awkward on that meet. People were mistaking her for me and that's just...no thanks.
       
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    16. I was ok with it until the person (it actually did happen, amazingly) kept doing it to almost every if not all of my friends’ dolls as well. And by copying, she bought them in exactly the same sculpts (after asking them directly about the sculpts’ names), then had them dressed in the same way (same wig style, same wig colors, tried to make/copy the dress style 99% similar, or order the same clothes, etc.) and tried really hard to be “better” than the ones she was copying. When all done her final step was to keep showing photos to people, yes including the original dolls’ owners, and tried to give hints, indirectly told them that her dolls versions are much better than theirs.

      She did it to a few of my friends and I’d thought my friends were funny only until it happened to me. Slowly one by one of my dolls, I started to feel that was annoying. Especially when she kept showing up whenever I was around, posting photos of the “copied version” of my dolls, in their limited edition dress (which she couldn’t buy so she asked somebody to tailor it, adding more stuffs onto the dress), asking me if I think that was beautiful? So I blocked her, but from time to time my friends still told me that she didn’t stop hunting for the same doll sculpts I have. Yet still show pictures of the unique dress of mine that she copied. Since I blocked her, she’s also been copying more from my other friends..... I guess I get less bothered now by her, but everytime I recall it, it’s mixed feelings. Oh well some people out there may just have absolutely no style. Perhaps their life is boring (?) and trying to “look better” in BJD appearance, showing off that they “have more financial ability” to look after the dolls, greater taste etc will help them feel better in their non-exciting lives.
       
      #16 SarahShuiLian, Nov 6, 2019
      Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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    17. There's a HUGE difference in being inspired and outright copying. If it's too close to be coincidence, it's kinda rude and icky.
      I'm very much the type to believe that there is no such thing as a unique thought, if you thought it, others probably have too, so there's bound to be overlap and similarities. For me, it comes down to intent and to what extreme
      If someone else had a doll that looked similar to my Oliver, who all in all has a pretty generic aesthetic, then it's whatever, loads of people have boys that wear pink and have his style. Or even if I had one that was unique and someone took inspiration (color schemes? Hairstyle?). But if it's the same story, the same outfits, aesthetics...That's too close.
       
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    18. It would probably depend on the circumstances and the outcome. My dolls are ultimately for me, and regardless of what someone else does with their doll, they can't "steal" my doll or my character away from me. However, I'm not a big name in the hobby, so if someone really popular copied one of my dolls very closely and got a lot of praise for it, it would probably hurt my feelings at least. Or if it came back on me somehow (as in people started accusing me of copying or something like that), then of course I'd be upset.

      But if someone just really liked one of my dolls and wanted something similar, I don't think I'd be upset. It's only if someone might in some way "profit" from my ideas that it would bother me.
       
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    19. As many have stated, there's a big difference with imitation and copying. This is an expensive hobby. We put a lot of money, time and effort/thought into our dolls. I agree with the person that said it comes down to intention and extent. My dolls characters get planned out for months and I research their faceups and wigs and all the little details. I write their backstories and rewrite them, trimming fat and fine tuning. Finding dolls similar to mine is probably not hard to do. But finding one the exact same head to toe, same name, same backstory, essentially my doll, I'd be furious. My dolls are not fullsets up for sale and that's pretty much it.
       
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    20. Happened to me too... From sculpt and to hand drawn face up by yours truly... I came up to the person and ask "are you happy?" And they got furiously offended... I think some people are obviously not happy to themselves and try copying other people's dolls thinking it will make them happy as the original customizer felt.

      Through out the years in this hobby, i learned just cutting out this toxicated type of people is the best(blocking them). We cannot really come up to them and say stop... Because art is universal and everyone can share the same idea.

      But it hurts more when few months later they sell the doll... Lol

      Seriously being stab twice through the heart
       
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