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When is it alright to accuse someone of copying your doll/someone else's doll?

Aug 16, 2007

    1. I've notice this a few times on DoA and on other doll sites.

      Examples have been deleted.

      What I'm trying to say is When is it alright to accuse someone of copying your doll/someone else's doll?
      Does it have to be just in eyes, wig, and make-up, or is it when their doll is dressed completely like yours, just with a different name?

      Then their's the question of whose is the original, if they were purchased around the same time. >.>

      Mods, please feel free to move this to the GD or delete it. It's just something that's been on my mind and I needed to ask.
    2. I'm a little leery to name names since I'm not sure if the debate thread allows it, but I'll follow Wolfie Pie's example in this case. If the names should be removed, I'll be willing to edit them out.

      Ilu has pretty distinctive looks so when I saw Iruka (the doll that resembled Ilu), I did think for a moment that it was Ilu instead. It might have been an unfortunate coincidence but I think it was enough to make people question what was going on. I don't remember completely but I don't think the people who commented did not outright accuse the owner of Iruka of copying either. I also don't recall the owner of Ilu leaving a comment on the pictures in question over here.

      In Kazakai's case, the character was based on a pre-existing anime character...so I'm not sure how that can be a problem? Clearly if a BJD is based on an anime character, short of the creator of the anime stepping forward, no one has the real rights to the character here.

      When it comes to the looks of our dolls, we don't exactly own the copyright or trademark to them. So technically, if someone copies an entire doll from head to toe, there's nothing much we can do.

      However, the forum does function as a community and some of us do know each other. What will likely happen is that members will start to voice their discomfort or unhappiness over the matter. I would understand people going 'hey, this looks uncomfortably similar to so and so' if the overall looks are the same on the same sculpt and if there are similar distinctive features. But only then, and not for any other general, random similarity.
    3. That's true, first of all, and thanks for mentioning it LKJ. While I'm a little miffed at being equated with Kazakai over this, I suppose I should just make some things clear since the incident with Ilú's been overtly brought up and Wolfie Pie's already admitted she doesn't know all the facts but has this particular incident named right there in the OP all the same. Facts are:

      • I never accused the owner of anything anywhere, just for the record.
      • The most I ever posted anwhere was a friendslocked LJ post that named no names or linked to any threads, where I expressed my discomfort with the situation and my decision to get over it ASAP. I got innundated with comments from people who didn't need to know the name since they'd already seen the thread and, in many cases, mistaken the doll in question for Ilú at first sight as well.
      • The owner was not new to DoA, and had in fact been around for a number of months (and already had another doll before getting the one in question)
      • I explicitly asked in the locked post for there to be no drama involved, and asked that people not accuse her without just cause.
      • I never in fact got in touch with the owner: she PMed me after getting comments from other people and we had a civil conversation with one another - I don't know why she left DoA since it seemed that she and I had gotten things sorted out quite amicably when she suddenly stopped accepting PMs and deleted the photographs.

      My own thoughts on the question are that of course there are only so many things that can be done with a doll, and being upset about, say, two dolls with the same sculpt, default faceups and the same colour wig is going too far. On the other hand (and I still don't accuse the other owner of intentional copying, by the way, and I have been very careful throughout the whole incident to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe her when she said it was co-incidence), I think there is also a line where co-incidences may pile up and it's justified for a person to feel somewhat uncomfortable. In Ilú's case, the other doll's similarities were:

      • Identical sculpt
      • Identical right eye (Volks metallic baby blue)
      • Identical left eye (Luts G.Violet glass)
      • Identical eye-positioning (iffy, this one, since no-one can copyright something as silly as this, Nonetheless, it still arguably contributed to the rest of the similarities)
      • Identical wig colour (silver) and style (mid-long with bangs)
      • Very similar faceup - which, since Ilú's was a custom job requested from Luts, only contributed to the similarities.
      • The doll was pictured wearing a witch-hat and outfit, similar to a witch-costume which Ilú owns and has been photographed wearing.

      In these sorts of cases I think a non-wanky response is the best - in my case I never would have said a thing directly to the other owner if she hadn't PMed me, and as I said we seemed to reach a good conclusion. Obviously I don't know if other people were PMing her with less-than-pleasant messages here on DoA, and since the whole thing made me uncomfortable I stayed away from the threads she posted the doll himself in, but unfortunately this whole thing has had the effect of reflecting badly on me (perhaps leaving people with the impression I organised a group to hound her off DoA, in essence, which certainly wasn't the case) and for that reason I think people who are uninvolved in these issues should leave them between one owner and another to sort out, since it's those people's reputations who are going to be affected in the end.

      This debate is one where people should really stick to talking about their own personal opinions on accusations of copying and when it should/shouldn't be done - please don't discuss this particular incident any further, since no-one but myself and the other owner are in possession of all the facts. It might be a good idea to avoid naming names here to begin with, as in these situations emotions do run high on both sides and the reputations of both members can be unfairly called into question.
    4. Well i only call it copying if some1 see's your doll and is like, oh i want that exact one and goes and buys it or so.
    5. I'm really sorry for bringing up the incident Xi-feng. I feel really bad now....

      I just used it as an example, but I'll take both of them down so no one gets in any more trouble...
    6. Like I said when you PMed me just now, don't worry about it (though I think I should leave my response up here, since I've certainly got nothing I need to hide :/ )

      I just think it's a good thing to remember in threads like this that actual names and examples should be left out unless the person posting actually participated in whatever situation they're talking about. There's too much room for misinformation otherwise, so keeping it general is for the best all round. ;)
    7. I must be not reading properly i never heard of this incident ^^"

      Although it's interesting. I have a friend that likes my Rae to pieces. She loved to give him a cuddle when she was in England (reminds me, i need to e-mail her soon) and she was getting a Mo herself anyway. Er when i asked my other friend how he would look like, she basically answered "More or less like Rae except brown haired not blonde"

      I don't reckon she is copying, i was flattered that she liked Rae so much and found him perfect. I suppose he is a bit different from other Mo's not as emo, not dark haired and his face up is custom not default. But it was slightly creepy, i need to see photos to be sure.

      But with situations, i don't know, i never like to have the same doll as other people. Even how much i like someone's doll i wouldn't do anything to make the doll very alike. Not intentional copying but i would still be a bit uncomfortable really. If it's based on the same character then i reckon it's fine.

      But we can't really copyright a doll's style simply because we migth all like similar things. But if the doll looks like an identical replica (almost as if it was sold as a full set) then problems would arisen. But everything sould be between the owners themselves.
    8. I PMed Sae to ask about about her Soony, Pandora (who is soooo gorgeous by the way) because I loved the customized lips and wanted to ask if I could use them. The thing is I'm also getting a Soony and although Sae said she was fine with it, which I was very happy about ^^, do you think it would be bad for me to ask for this kind of customisation?
      *moral dilemma*
    9. It's not all right to publicly accuse somebody of ripping your style. Take the matter to them personally. It's between the two of you.
    10. I would be extremely hesitant to accuse someone of copying my doll. I know firsthand how easy it could be to end up with a doll that looks alarmingly like someone else's. Over the past several months, I've been playing around with face-up ideas, wigs, etc. for a doll who is in the planning stages. I like non-realistic face-ups, and came up with no less than three rough ideas which I thought were interesting and fairly unique. After scanning the gallery and the photo-request threads, I found a number of dolls that had very similar face-ups to what I had envisioned for my new girl. In one case, it was so close that I wouldn't have blamed the owner for raised eyebrows had I gone ahead with it. :sweat My girl would not have been the same mold, but even so...
      I wouldn't go so far as to say that there are no new ideas out there. There are some wildly original dolls out there, and untapped new ideas waiting to be discovered, but one thing to remember is that a number of us in this hobby come from similar backgrounds in terms of the non-bjd things we are interested in. There are a lot of anime and manga fans here. There are a lot of fantasy roleplaying folks. There are a lot of sci-fi people. The visual catalogs in many of our heads come from similar places. Given that, what person A finds appealing will likely appeal to a selection of other BJD hobbyists as well. If enough people are scouring their mental image banks searching for the perfect look for their new doll, odds are that at least a couple are going to have things in common.
      If the mold is the same, the hair is the same, the clothing style is the same, the face-up is the same (and I don't mean default or even custom but "normal", I mean like you painted rainbows on your doll's cheeks and they did too...), plus if you're a frequent gallery poster, or if the copycat is local to you and has seen your doll at meet-ups -- then maybe you should consider approaching the owner and asking about the similarities. As JennyNemesis said, I certainly wouldn't do it in public.
      But then, if you question the owner and they say "No, I came up with it on my own.", what can you do? It sucks, but as has been pointed out, we don't own copyrights on our dolls' appearances. :roll: I may just be weird, but to me the biggest worry would be people seeing both dolls and perhaps thinking that I was the copier...
    11. I'm not sure there is a right time. It seems like a fairly immature thing to do in all but the most extreme of examples, IMHO. I'd definitely say, it absolutely positively must be your doll if you're going to. Don't go preemptively jumping in for someone else. They might not care, and they have that right. If someone were to copy, oh, say, my Tsukiko, down to the character and everything, I wouldn't be mad. Actually, I'd think it was hilarious. I would, however, jump on anyone who presumed to know my emotions in the matter and speak for me.
      I'd also insist on confronting the person privately.
    12. I say let the courts decide these issues. After all, the companies have pro--

      ... oops, wrong copying thread. :sweat ;)

      Seriously, though, I find this question fascinating. I don't know that I have a strong opinion about the original question, but I think it raises a number of other questions that get at the root of why we collect our dolls. Do you have a doll because you like it, or because you want approval from others? I think I'm more of the former; I don't know that I'd much care if every other person on the board had the same sculpt/wig/eyes/faceup/clothing as me. I've got my dolls; I can take my pictures and dress them as I want; I don't feel that they need to be unique, since they're unique already in that I own them. That's neither right nor wrong. The other side, I think, wants for a little more recognition from the community. Maybe the dolls they own are a part of their identity within the community. An identical doll compromises that identity-- it diminishes their presence somewhat, so they're a bit more protective of the unique identity of their dolls. Again, neither right nor wrong.

      Those questions aside, I'd be uncomfortable making a wholesale copy of someone's doll. I think at most I'd be inspired by a certain feature of a doll (eyebrows are a big thing for me, for some reason) and try and base something off that. If I ever did out-and-out copy the appearance of someone's doll, though, you'd never see it here or anywhere else (unless you came over to my house). I wouldn't want to step on someone else's toes.

      I do believe you've hit the nail on the head. Something this sensitive-- and this hard to pin down-- doesn't need to be aired publicly. Individuals may have different ideas of what constitutes a copy of another person's doll, and it should be up to the parties involved to find a common ground.

      Also, not to sound callous, but there's going to be a lot of common ground among the dolls here, based solely on the prevalent interests of the community. If you've got an effeminate vampire/fey boy that wears lots of black, you're not exactly staking out new territory. ;)
    13. It's a hard and touchy subject, this copying thing...

      For a while now I've been planning on getting a tan mini fee Lishe, and after months of trying to think of what I'd name her, I finally settled on the name Fox. Not two days after I picked that name, I realized someone on here already has a tan Lishe (though not MNF) named Fox. .... I dumped the name instantly.

      But it does show that sometimes - probably often times - people really do just come up with the same ideas.

      I've got a lot of ideas for dolls I want to get, and how I'd have them look if I could get them. But what do I do if someone gets the same doll and gives it the same look before I get a chance to? Do I change my idea a bit so it doesn't look like I'm copying? Do I scrap the idea altogether? Or do I stick with it, despite what people may say, because it was my idea too?

      As for when to accuse someone else of copying - I totally agree that it should be done by the owner of the potentially copied doll ONLY, and in private is the best way. But even then, I find it hard to justify accusing someone at all unless you have solid proof that your doll was indeed copied, which I'm guessing is hard, if not impossible, to get.

      So... that's my useless two cents. :sweat
    14. When it comes to accusations of copying someone else's doll, I am always reminded of that all-too-common scene in grade-school classrooms. "Teacher, she's copying me!"

      It's natural to borrow ideas you like. We in the doll community encourage and tolerate the sharing of neat ideas like using hot-glue suede, opening dreaming eyes a bit, using dark eyeshadow on the lower lids, and so on. Face markings, tribal tattoos, zombie mods, blind eyes, and other features are also common. When do these things cross the line from communal idea-borrowing to "copying?"

      I can see how a doll that is almost an exact replica -- the same mold, the same brand/color eyes, the same wig, the same clothes, the same/similar name, the same/similar backstory, and so on -- can be suspected of being a copy. But as we saw in the case outlined above, even then it's not necessarily an accurate label to use.

      We're all buying from the same range of stores and using the same range of supplies. There are only so many permutations of doll that can exist. Eventually there are bound to be similar dolls that show up, just as there are people in real life who look alike without ever having met. When it happens, we need to be careful not to make accusations unfairly.
    15. It's not - unless you do it privately and you need to be sure that they have really intended to copy you and if it is someone elses doll, well it has'nt got anything to do with you.

      I am constantly horrified to find that the ideas for dolls that have been running around in my head for ages are not unique to me and i find dolls that resemble my idea already posted in the Galleries here or on other websites - it's called 'zietgeist' or something, where individuals get the same idea at the same time.

      To be honest, unless someone is practically stalking you dollywise you can never be 100% they have copied you. I would'nt fret about it too much luv.
    16. Exactly. As more people enter the hobby and the number of dolls grows, probability and an ultimately limited pool of possible combinations of name, look and archetype do work against you.

      Given that, duplications are almost inevitable... Although when-ever that's brought up you usually see at least one person insisting that no, that's not the case and that every doll can be a completely original snowflake, no matter how many thousand others there are in the world. It's an attractive belief, but unfortunately it's simply not true. It's a matter of mathmatics; exponential growth of the doll population vs linear growth of available customization resources.

      All that said, I also think that people in this hobby can often be a bit over-eager to call "copy-cat", even when no real duplication is intended. That doesn't just apply to our personal dolls themselves, but also to new sculpts, outfits, and even photography techniques. The idea of parallel evolution and development... basically the idea that the same result can be reached via completely different and unrelated methods or adaptations... doesn't get much consideration.

      It seems like most of the time rather than hearing "Hey, look! Somebody else tinkering around with their camera has figured out that corner to corner portrait shots against a dark background look good." we get "OMG! You're COPYING MY STYLE! How dare you!" :doh

      That's not a Good Thing.
    17. It seems like accusing someone of copying your/their doll is very tricky. Some people may go around and say "Hey that is gorgeous, maybe I'll incorporate that into my doll" which isn't terribly awful, however once you copy someones doll to the very color of their "eye shadow"...well thats stretching it.

      Still what would probably ring some bells is if someone copied a doll to the T, then took the story connected to the doll and claimed the ideas as their own. Lets face it, few people are going to be that similar in thinking and creating.

      But in a hobby that is growing this fast, similarites are going to happen. There simply aren't enough sculpts and choices when it comes down to it. Plus when folks are deciding which doll suits their wants the best, they look at pictures of other dolls. It is bound to happen that one of the pictures of a sculpt is going to stick with a person. Thats life. If we like it, we'll find a way to incorporate it.

      In the end though, if you honestly know that you took someone elses doll as a strong muse for yours it is probably best to take into consideration the other owner. However many dolls on here are connected to characters or people and frankly that is what would be the deciding vote for me if someone was being a copycat. If the sculpt and the character are "eerily" similar, shoot away, but it needs to be done civily and with understanding. After all were all humans, not crazy mobsters. Though some dollies do look like crazy mobsters ^_^

      (Personal Bit though) If someone elses doll looked just like mine, I wouldn't think about it too much unless their dolls name was the same as mine. That would be a bit odd.
    18. Re the Snowflake argument-- As some wiseperson once told me, "The point isn't whether or not something has been done before. The point is whether or not it's been done by YOU before." In other words, you're never gonna be 100% original, even if you think you are. Nobody is. Even the snowflakes are recycled. The whole Universe is recycled. Conservation of matter, and all that. ^^ Considering other people first, before your own ideas, short-changes your Muse. And that's not a Good Thing either.

      In a nutshell. Another facet of publicly Yelling Copycat is, it's just tacky. It says to me, "I'm too chicken to confront this person on my own and talk to them about their copycat habits-- I think I'll just air it out in the open, and let the resulting Angry Mob do the work for me."

      I don't want to read someone else's catfight online. Put it all in your LiveJournal; your entire f-list will probably back you up, and voila, there's your mob.
    19. I think there are several factors.
      1. Was your doll based off of a pre-exhisting charecter?
      2. Is it a factory faceup with a common name?
      3. Is your doll inspired by another persons doll itself?
      4. Did you use the same faceup artist?
      All above could be situations where the doll owner might not be copying but just have a similar doll. I think if it really bothers you its best to approach someone in private and ask them about it. But in the end saying some one is copying your doll won't likely make them change the doll to something diffrent.
    20. I think that if you're questioning whether someone is literally copying your doll, then the time to say something is right then. Of course, the word "accuse" seems a bit harsh but most members of this community seem mature enough not to fly off the handle over what could easily be just a coindedence.

      However, I think it really depends on the doll. If you've put a lot of work in to physically customizing your doll then I imagine it would be quite a shock to see its doppleganger appear with claims of originality. I would think that the same could be said for a doll with an uncomfortably familiar backstory popping up, if you took the time to detail your doll's character. Very individualized dolls may inspire others to create a similar feel for their own doll, but taking someone's idea for something like a facup directly will always seem a little less genuine than taking the time to figure out what it is about that doll that appeals to you and personalizing your own version of the style.

      I have very strong feelings on this as an artist. It's not all right to excuse a person's feeling like their creative work has been essentially plagiarized by saying "people are going to do it anyway" or "there's no way to prove it" or, worst of all, "imitation is the highest form of flattery".

      Of course, no case is ever the same. There are conindences aplenty, especially in an area like ABJDs where we are all, as others have pointed out, working from the same basic handful of dolly parts. And by far, I haven't noticed as much blatant "doll-copying" as I have instances of people being honest when another doll influenced their design choices, and the owner of the other doll graciously accepting the other person's admiration.