Friday, December 18, 2009

Mimic

I know that I promised not to dwell on this, but my copycat issue apparently runs much deeper than I had first assumed. Perhaps I was just so shocked that I didn't bother to take a closer look or maybe I have a had time believing someone would do this at all. Anyway, the Mimic has not only taken a design that I offered for free, but is now copying other pieces in my shop, I assume by counting stitches from my photos. It does not just end there though. The Mimics photos are styled to resembled my own including the border that I use to unify my images. Wait, there's more, the Mimic has also literally copy and pasted my store policies with the exception of available colors because I have more thread. This is ridiculous, blatant and tacky. Some of my policies indicate that I have had to recently change my policies due to fee changes at etsy that occurred before they even opened shop.

The mimic is easy to find, just search for tatting, I won't give them the satisfaction of a direct link. While the mimic has yet to garner any sales, the store has earned a few hearts. I am worried less about my possible loss of business than I am my reputation. It seems many of the Mimics moves are designed to fool my customers into thinking that the Mimic is me. I am not amused. Much of this is puzzling to me. Why be so dishonest? Why not use some of the great effort that is going into the ruse to simply make designs themselves? What motivates someone to do this sort of thing? Sure, if it had stopped with the Mimic thinking it was okay to sell the piece made with my pattern, I might have let the whole thing go. I might have accepted that that was my mistake, but this...this is not getting away from me. I have already sent off an email to etsy detailing the situation and I am preparing to send off a letter to their legal department as well if needed. Any educated advice on this subject would be well received.

I am of course complaining loudly here so that others know what is going on. I talked with other sellers who have experienced similar mimicry, copied item descriptions, policies, store announcements all along with copied designs. I even heard tale that one mimic added their victims name to the item tags in order to get customers that were looking for the original creator. Seriously, what is wrong with people?

I did manage a little progress on the mask despite the crap storm I just described. I decided to go with just a few split ring chains to attached the center motif to the outside edge. Though I might add a few more for stability, I think that that section will largely be covered with sequins anyway, so any design would be obscured anyway. I am supposed to try to create some large spiders to lay over the top, but I am beginning to doubt the practicality of that. The spiders in the original 'not a mask' were metal and jewel and I'm just not certain that I can do that with lace without it looking like a flea Market knockout. I'm trying to use that as an inspiration, so that the final mask will give the same basic effect as the 'not a mask', but I also want it to stand on its own as a piece.

I will likely try out some sequins methods today after I figure out how to press the mask. Then I think my blog posting might get sporadic. I'll try to pop in on a regular basis with updates, but my vacation from home school starts Monday and husband is home as well. Then there is of course all this holiday business, so try not miss me too much and so I don't forget, enjoy your holidays too!

12 comments:

Gina said...

I like the additional tatting for stability. It adds even more of a lacy effect. I also think it would be better for the recipient to add their own spider jewelry for accents rather than tatting a spider. A tatted spider would get lost in the thread.

Sewicked said...

For pressing the mask, do you have a tailor's ham? It's more or less ham-shaped (thus the name) with wool one side & cotton, usually muslin, on the other. It has a nice curved shape is often used to iron sleeve caps.

TotusMel said...

I do not have a 'ham', but I think if I put a towel around my mannequin that might serve the same purpose. Thanks.

Kersti said...

You should take some comfort from the fact that you look much much younger and waaaay prettier than she does. Superficial, but it counts!

I was tempted to heart her shop just to help me keep tabs on her - keep your friends close and enemies closer if you will. I decided to just bookmark it instead.

I have my suspiscions about this person and who she might be...

TotusMel said...

suspicions really? Well if you figure it out, you'll let me know...I'm sure keeping an eye on them myself.

Oh & thanks for the compliment;-)

artikaur said...

Hi totusmel, I have always liked your tatting. I do have to say it is a shame that the other person copied your instructables design and your shop announcement, etc., and I think you have a valid claim on those counts.

However, as to the other necklaces, while they do look similar, they aren't identical to yours, so I doubt etsy will remove them. They look like she tried to copy your style, but didn't have the exact pattern, so she may have fudged it a bit in places, which is why it didn't look exactly like yours.

As for the photos, they all look like photos she took herself, and I didn't really think she copied your style, cuz in your photos, you model your items with your face showing and stuff, but on hers, it's just like her neck and shoulders. Plus, anyone can use the photo editors to create that smoked out look I guess. Etsy probably won't remove the photos because they are her original photos, and not just copy and pasted versions of your photos.

I hope you will keep sharing your patterns, and not let a copycat get you down. It is so unfortunate that people do things like this :-(

plumpfairy55 said...

Hang in there TotusMel. How frustrating this whole mimic thing must be.

Your new mask is looking great!

Emi said...

Best of luck! It is unfortunate that there are such unscrupulous people out there but all you can really do is keep being way more awesome than them.
Your fans know the difference between artist and copycat. =)

ArtSnark said...

The mask is looking very cool.

Sorry to hear about your evil twin - been hearing this a lot from painters & mixed media folks lately

victats@gmail.com said...

Gina is right about the tatted spider- I don't think it will show up. I like the split rings on the forehead, it gives the mask more form. How are you attaching the sequins?
Can't wait to see the results!

TheZKitten*Chaoticlycreative.com said...

have you thought of fabric stiffener instead of wire?

AJ said...

Why do people do stuff like this? Because you already have a following. If they came up with their own ideas, they'd have to build their own following instead of trying to poach off of yours.

The mask is gorgeous... I like it as-is without any spiders.