What to do when you see someone stealing other people's soap designs?

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CMars

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Hi there,

This is more of a comment or question I guess about integrity. A soaper I follow on a social media outlet makes exact replicas of other people's soaps that I have seen on websites, and youtube, and copied one of my own soaps. Has anyone else heard of this happening? I can't really do or say anything, I guess I just want to know what you guys think about it.
 

shunt2011

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People copy others soapy designs all the time. There are only so many things you can do. You can find most of them on you tube. So, not sure what you are saying as far as copying. However, if you are talking photos that belong to someone else that's a different story.
 

TeresaT

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Shunt beat me to it. Copying designs is common. There are only so many designs out there. It's kind of like storytelling; there are thousands of versions of the same story out there. You can't copyright the story, just the words used to tell the story and every new version is going to start with "based on" or "inspired by" and give appropriate credit. That should be happening in soaping, too, but doesn't always. There's nothing "wrong" with copying someone else's work; however, not giving the insiration of your design the proper credit is kind of rude, IMO. However, posting a photo of someone else's work and calling it your own is copyright infringement and a blatant lie. It gives soapers a bad rap outside of the soaping community and really ticks off people in the soaping community. So far, I've come across nothing but honest and helpful people willing to share knowledge for free. For someone to take advantage of that generosity and steal from such a genuinely gracious group of people is beyond despicable. If you see photos posted purported to be the work of someone you know they are not, please contact the owner of the works (or whom ever you believe they may belong to) to notify that person their works are being misrepresented. Your kindness will be much appreciated by the owner and the entire soaping community. It only takes a few dishonest people to spoil things for a larger group.
 
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doriettefarm

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This reminds me of the quote 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' . . . some would call it 'copying' and others would call it 'inspired by'. I don't think there's much you can do to prevent others from copying your designs or techniques unless you limit what you share on social media. This is where integrity comes into play so it always makes me happy when I see credit given to the original source of inspiration.
 

CMars

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Yeah you guys are totally right, you only need to do a couple of searches on a soap and a hundred versions of it pops up, and it almost seems stupid, a soap design can't always be planned either right. Something about it really bothered me but it's hard to explain you'd have to see the pics. I just wanted to get another soapers thoughts on it. Thanks for commenting and the perspective guys :D
 

lenarenee

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There is something that can be done - by each individual. It won't fix things, or even change things very much, but each person who finds someone copying for profit without giving credit to the originator, can call the copier out on the carpet. Let them know they've been caught.

If enough people do this, then a standard is set. Sure; there will still be lots of copying and "cheating", but we don't have to accept it and we can work to keep the standards as high as possible.
 

IrishLass

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If you ask me, when it comes to soap design, it'll be difficult for one to be able to prove that someone really and truly set out to copy another's design. I came to believe this because of what happened to me a few years ago....

A few years before I ever started posting any pics of my soap on the web, I set out to make what I thought at the time was a unique idea- a soap with a snowy scene. Basically, I wanted to try making a soap in my log mold with falling 'snow' set against a dark blue evening sky with a pine tree in the foreground to go along with the Sugared Spruce FO I bought from WSP. In spite of such a scene being a common thing to be found on a gazzilion Christmas cards, I had never before up to that time seen anyone try such a design in the medium of soap.

So anyway, I made my soap and it came out better than I could have hoped, and it became a regular thing for me to make at Christmas for my family. Then lo and behold, a few years after I had been making said soap design, I happened to see 'my soap' on the internet when looking at soap photos one night. It totally freaked me out because it looked uncannily like mine, but yet I knew it wasn't mine since I had never posted pics of my soap before, and besides, the pine tree was just a little bit different than mine, and it also wasn't posted by anyone I could possibly ever know by however many degrees of separation that may have gotten ahold of one of my bars.

As wise Solomon once said, there's nothing new under the sun. Whatever soap design has been done before will most likely be innocently/unwittingly done again by someone somewhere else in the world, because as Theresa and Shari said, there are only so many designs one can do in such a small medium as a bar of soap.

I do agree, though, that intentional copying without giving some kind of credit to your inspiration leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and outright stealing of someone's photos and claiming them as your own is just plain sick and wrong, not to mention illegal.


IrishLass :)
 

newbie

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I have certainly tried to copy something about another person's soap that I really admired. We have had challenges based on copying another person's more or less signature swirl or look but credit is always given to the person we took it from, but even then it's difficult to know if that person was the originator; I find it unlikely that no one else has ever done X before in the soaping world. Part of the thrill/challenge of copying is to see if you can master the technique, which we all know is much more difficult than one would expect and you learn a ton in trying. Then you take that and you end up putting your own spin on it because soap generally reflects something about who we are and that's the cool part about it. I do think that if we copy, we should somehow acknowledge the place/site/person we took the idea from and if we spin it, it's also nice to acknowledge the inspiration.

I find it extremely irksome when people do not site the source or acknowledge the same or very similar technique was done before, if they can find it. I think it is unfair or bad sportsmanship or something along those lines to act as though we created something, to name it as our own, if there are clearly people who created something so similar that it's clear what you've done is not original, but I will say that I have not always found others in the soaping world to give a rat's behind about it. Pet peeve.

Taking someone else's photos of their soaps and passing them off as your own work is something entirely different, to me. That's more fraud.
 
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CMars

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I have read that post on Auntie Clara's blog! I just love her blog and I think about what she said often. She is an inspiration not just her soaps but her attitude :D I guess even though it's irksome to see someone copy your own, or someone else's, designs, in the end it's just soap (even if soap means a lot to me in the end it goes down the drain).
 

navigator9

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The only person we have any control over is ourselves, frustrating as that may be at times. Whether it's copying other people's designs, making false claims for soap, whatever. All you can do is conduct yourself with integrity, you can't make anyone else do the same. Sooner or later, people will figure out what's what.
 

Millie

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There is a soaper I follow on etsy who has a copycat - same packaging, same special ingredients, same soap names. It's to the point where I'm not sure which is the original and which the copycat. I feel outraged every time I see this.

I think copying is usually unintentional, obviously there are exceptions. If you like to use impression mats, you'll find someone using the same mats. It's ok, there are a limited number of good mats. If someone shares a new swirling technique, we're all going to try it out! But the joy of soaping for many of us is discovering our own style, from the look to the lather and the feel on our skin. My favorite soaping bloggers are those who have such a distinct style you could tell who made the soaps at a glance.
 
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