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  • Stealing Beadwork Patterns!!???

    I have a situation that I hope I can resolve. I am asking for some thoughts and help in this matter. I am truly bummed and don't know if I should feel this way and what I should do. *Please bare with me while I explain*

    Situation;
    I have been working on a new, completely beaded set of beadwork for about 4 years now and I just finished it!! I have not brought it out yet. This N.Tradish set will be my dance clothes for a long time. With all the beadwork I do for others, it will probably be the last set I will be able to make for myself. I wanted this set to be special. My 'ultimate' outfit so-to-speak.
    When I first started thinking and talking to people about making a new set, I decided to incorporate a horse pattern of some kind. I was raised around horses and they are a very important part of my life. I must have drawn up a dozen different variations of patterns, none of which I was truly happy with. I was talking to a friend, Lakota artist Tom Haukaas, one day about a Pipe Bag he had beaded. He won several ribbons for it (including one at Indian Market in Santa Fe). This bag was also featured in the book "Contemporary American Indian beadwork" by Jill Alden 1999'. Beaded into his Pipe Bag was a Horse Bust. It and the whole bag is incredibly beautiful.
    As I was talking to him about my plans for a new set of beadwork, and complimenting him on his work, he graciously offered his Horse design to me. I was ecstatic and felt very honored at the gift he had just offered to me and my family. THAT WAS IT! THIS WAS GOING TO BE MY HORSE PATTERN! Four years of beading (in-between other jobs) it is finished. I believe the set turned out great, and I am very happy with it. The Haukaas family is also very pleased.

    The problem and cause for my frustration and confusion;
    Over the last few months, I have seen 3 items listed on eBay with this same "Horse" pattern. I know they had to have taken (stolen) the design from the book where it was featured. This makes me angry that someone would steal another one's pattern. In fact there is a bag listed on eBay by seller "tsrelics" at this time that is a copy of Tom's bag. Linq ---- http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3955191084
    Now I am angry, frustrated, and confused. This horse pattern was gifted to me and my family. I have spent 4 years beading a complete set of clothes with "My" pattern. Now I am hesitant to wear it for several reasons, and this saddens me to no end. First, the pattern has been stolen and I feel raped! Secondly, I have not worn my new set yet, and what's to prevent others from seeing my outfit and thinking that I did the same thing as others have?!

    I don't know how to feel or what to do. I am sure most of you feel as I do in that our Powwow Clothes are our "second skin". They are so much a part of us that they become part of who we are.

    Please give me some of your opinions and feedback. I am not feeling too good at this time. I don't know if I should sell the whole set of beadwork and start over, or burn it and start over, or give up dancing all together.... I don't mean to over react, however, this set of clothes took 4 YEARS of blood, sweat, prayers, and excitement to make.

  • #2
    I am very sorry that someone has done this to you. You have every right to have such feelings. I cannot really say what can be done about something like this. Maybe talk to the original designer of the pattern and see what conditions were outlined when he agreed to have the design published. Since he personally gave it to you to use, than it is your right to look into how these people are getting away with using it without proper permission.

    ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


    Comment


    • #3
      Wow - you finished your set after all the hard work and long hours! Way to go!

      Wear your set proudly and know that you went about getting the pattern and doing the work in the best possible way.

      You have the artist's permission to wear it and a great "story" of the gift of the pattern. Should anyone ask about your set you can tell them.

      Advise the artist of your ebay discovery and leave the worrying to him - it's still his design.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Singing Eagle
        Wow - you finished your set after all the hard work and long hours! Way to go!

        Wear your set proudly and know that you went about getting the pattern and doing the work in the best possible way.

        You have the artist's permission to wear it and a great "story" of the gift of the pattern. Should anyone ask about your set you can tell them.

        Advise the artist of your ebay discovery and leave the worrying to him - it's still his design.

        Yes SE has a very good point.. girl you wear that outfit proud and you hold your head up when you do... youre the one that went throught proper protocol and the hard work, let the original designer handle the whatever it is he needs to do.

        ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with SE, the pattern or design still belongs to the original artist. Keep wearing your beadwork as you earned it and were given that right for the design. It sounds like a beautiful design and sorry that you spent so much time in your beadwork, only to find that others are also using the same beautiful design. I know what it's like to come up with ideas only to find others copying them. I've had ladies ask me to make items similar to some of the work that I have made for my outfit, but so far I haven't done it because it's nice having "one of a kind" items.
          Good luck with your situation, it's a hard lesson to learn and I really do feel for you. I've made several outfits and theres always that pride in accomplishing the artwork/outfit and pride in wearing your outfits into the circle or seeing others wearing your artwork.
          Prayers for you DWB

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry to hear about the copying, but I agree that the original designer should be more worried about it as it was stolen from him; you honestly earned the right to wear that design.
            On another thread similar to this one a ways back, someone suggested either trademarking or copyrighting patterns by the designers, that way you would have a legal recourse to take out the fakes. I've been told that Ebay will not allow certain designers' names be used in the descriptions b/c the companies went after them for infringement. This idea may eb helpful.
            Jerry

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            • #7
              It makes me feel good that you have such respect and care for your friend. But don't sell or give away those clothes. You did them for you with the permission from your friend to use the design and to give away or sell that design would be wrong. Wear it with pride! Unless they can say the same that they were given permission for using that design, then at least in your heart you know that you did everything right.
              I agree that if your friend would want to, he should at least at the very least pursue the person selling the copied bag! Alot of folks are guilty of "borrowing/stealing" designs for ourselves or to make a gift for someone, but to duplicate and sell without permission is total infringement and the fact that his bag was published and dated is as good as a copywrite logo. But then talk about it with your friend. It might not be a big deal to him. Sometimes we see things that we "just know'' are going to upset our friends and then they surprise you with the no big deal attitude, LOL. At the very least it shows him you support him.


              added in edit: just my thoughts, but if I gave someone permission to copy a design I did and they gave or sold it away because some jackasses copied without permission, I'd be more insulted by that than the jackasses.
              Last edited by Blackbear; 01-29-2005, 08:03 PM.
              Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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              • #8
                Thanks for the input. I feel a little better. I know Black Bear, that I mentioned selling the set. This was out of frustration at the time. I know that there is no way I could sell something that I feel so honored to be gifted with.

                I have looked into patents on beadwork designs, and I have found it can't be done. You can get a patent on Logo's, which to me, is basically a design. However, the government will not extend patents to "Art Work". They consider Beadwork in the same category.

                I was talking to an artist friend of mine a while back, and he pointed me to a site that was selling paintings that were reproductions of his work. His paintings sell for $4,000 to $8,000, and these copies were a couple of hundred. I have to admit, these copies looked pretty good! However they were not signed by the original artist because, although an artist's signature can get a patent on his name/signature, the painting itself can't.

                I don't know. Maybe I should bead Tom's name into the pieces of beadwork!!! LOL

                I thought I would attach a picture of the set of beadwork to give ya an idea why this is so frustrating to me. It was taken as I was almost finished. Just way too much work to have it be stolen or reproduced by people with no sense of respect and honor.

                ***By the way AngleFeather, I thank you with all my heart for your comments. However, I am all dude. ** And no Singing Eagle, "dude does not look like a lady" ( as Steve Tyler would put it)! :)
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Drippin With Beads; 01-29-2005, 08:23 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Drippin With Beads
                  Thanks for the input. I feel a little better. I know Black Bear, that I mentioned selling the set. This was out of frustration at the time. I know that there is no way I could sell something that I feel so honored to be gifted with.

                  I have looked into patents on beadwork designs, and I have found it can't be done. You can get a patent on Logo's, which to me, is basically a design. However, the government will not extend patents to "Art Work". They consider Beadwork in the same category.

                  I was talking to an artist friend of mine a while back, and he pointed me to a site that was selling paintings that were reproductions of his work. His paintings sell for $4,000 to $8,000, and these copies were a couple of hundred. I have to admit, these copies looked pretty good! However they were not signed by the original artist because, although an artist's signature can get a patent on his name/signature, the painting itself can't.

                  I don't know. Maybe I should bead Tom's name into the pieces of beadwork!!! LOL

                  I thought I would attach a picture of the set of beadwork to give ya an idea why this is so frustrating to me. It was taken as I was almost finished. Just way too much work to have it be stolen or reproduced by people with no sense of respect and honor.

                  ***By the way AngleFeather, I thank you with all my heart for your comments. However, I am all dude. ** And no Singing Eagle, "dude does not look like a lady" ( as Steve Tyler would put it)! :)
                  Dude - you are gonna be one sharp dressed man! Well done and sorry if I called you a lady!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I wonder if this person is a hobbyist? They're notorious for copying beadwork.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OOps Im sorry DWB... I do appologize for calling you a lady hehehe.. Anyway like everyone said here, its yours you wear your outfit proud!

                      ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know there are laws protecting artwork..... he could seek legal advice, it's usually free. But that's moot now. That's one sharp set of work!!! It looks so nice and neat and perfect! Yeah the first time you wear that out you are gonna just be smiling!!!!! Make sure you take pics so we can see!!!!
                        Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Drippin With Beads
                          Thanks for the input. I feel a little better. I know Black Bear, that I mentioned selling the set. This was out of frustration at the time. I know that there is no way I could sell something that I feel so honored to be gifted with.

                          I have looked into patents on beadwork designs, and I have found it can't be done. You can get a patent on Logo's, which to me, is basically a design. However, the government will not extend patents to "Art Work". They consider Beadwork in the same category.

                          I was talking to an artist friend of mine a while back, and he pointed me to a site that was selling paintings that were reproductions of his work. His paintings sell for $4,000 to $8,000, and these copies were a couple of hundred. I have to admit, these copies looked pretty good! However they were not signed by the original artist because, although an artist's signature can get a patent on his name/signature, the painting itself can't.

                          I don't know. Maybe I should bead Tom's name into the pieces of beadwork!!! LOL

                          I thought I would attach a picture of the set of beadwork to give ya an idea why this is so frustrating to me. It was taken as I was almost finished. Just way too much work to have it be stolen or reproduced by people with no sense of respect and honor.

                          ***By the way AngleFeather, I thank you with all my heart for your comments. However, I am all dude. ** And no Singing Eagle, "dude does not look like a lady" ( as Steve Tyler would put it)! :)
                          So.....yer with the KQDESIGNS.COM bunch aye?

                          I've seen the set there several times.....impressive to say the least.

                          I don't believe the pattern is anything original either. I seem to recall pieces that date the 1800's, with either Pawnee or Prairie tribal influence, that features that same stylized, horses head pattern on it.

                          I don't recall where I saw it, but, I do know I've seen one very old piece of beadwork, a pair of garters I believe, that we're beaded with that same horse head.

                          Besides. I think any beadworker who puts their work out there in public, needs to be aware of folks that are just flat out untalented and unscrupulous enough to go so far as to copy beadwork patterns. I have personally taken small elements from certain types of beadwork, but, have always reworked them into something new.....which I think is just fine. But, to flat out, blatantly copy ....that's just wrong.

                          I guess the only thing you can take comfort in is the fact that you have the verbal rights to the pattern, according to Mr. Haukass.

                          You do run into this sort of thing alot though in the business of making reproduction type work. Some artists are exceedingly talented and making 'ARTIFAKES' and there is a thriving business centered on this type of thing......but, I think the intent there is to make something that is suitable to the original, without the original being displayed.....or for collections purposes....where the original would probably break you financially if you tried to acquire it.

                          Anyway. Reproduction type work is a type of copying too.....but, typically, the artist who made it died sometime in the last hundred years or more, and is typically unknown. It's only until recently that beadworkers have begun to sign or lay claim to pieces they've beaded. Annonymity is not so much the norm today. A hundred years or more ago....I think the beadwork was just made, for family, an individual, or for sale or trade.....and it's maker was never known by the time it reached it intended user.

                          I think there's plenty of folks out there on the powwow trail that can personally attest to what you've just mentioned. I know Joe Bointy can probably attest to this, I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've run across beadwork that was obviously copied from his beadwork patterns...or how many times ribbonwork patterns have been copied by those that just don't want to sit down and make up their own.

                          ......it happens, but, I just don't think there's much anyone can do about it.

                          I know there are several books out there that feature beadwork patterns, family patterns and such....and you do find copies being made of them......but, in the end, all you can say is you made it, your family made it......and anyone else is just ridin' off of your own skills as an artist.

                          Love the kqdesigns site btw.....and how much for a blanket strip?

                          LOL
                          "This next song goes out to some girls in dot com. They don't know who they are, but, it doesn't really matter anyway."




                          "When the God's wish to punish us, they grant our prayers."

                          O. Wilde

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                          • #14
                            I do want to thank you all for your input. This issue of reproducing another's original art is not uncommon. I also know that reproduction work is a very big market. However, I feel as Mr Bo Jangles, it is just wrong to blatantly copy some one else's work. I especially feel, as most of us do, our personal dance clothes are rather sacred, and just that---personal.
                            I too have seen Joe's, Dwight Whitebuffalo's, Her-Many-Horses, Larvie's, and others patterns, duplicated out there. I just don't think there is a good reason for it. It just shows a complete lack of imagination on the bead workers/artists part. Or as Mr Bo put it they are-"untalented and unscrupulous".
                            I read an article, from a musician a while back, that said "there is no song that anyone can write, that has not already been written". I suppose that's true. There are only a very few notes and combinations of those notes that can be harmonically put together. The secret is to alter these combinations a bit, bringing in some originality. We all should do this with our beadwork. I have to say that I have designed some patterns in my life, that may have looked similar to others. We can only draw our creativity from all that we have seen in our life. 40 years of Powwowing have put allot of designs in my head. I guess this is one reason why I will draw and discard patterns many times when I am doing beadwork for others. Replications of historic pieces is ok...I guess... I just draw the line at copying contemporary, or family designs.
                            Oh well it's done, and not much to do about it. Thank you again for all your feedback and support!!!! I will wear MY new set of clothes and dance hard and proud!! I'll throw a picture out on the gallery when I bring them out.
                            ** Also, yes I do the KQ Designs thang'. Full time now, and I've never been happier. Thanks for the props on the site. I'll never get rich doing beadwork or making powwow clothes, but I will truly be content.**** Mr Bo, come talk to me at Gathering 'O' Nations about that blanket strip. We'll be set up out there this year!!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Beadwork rustler

                              Hay Michael (a.k.a. drippin with beads) Definitely I would not like to be in your shoes. I support your cause and my thoughts and prayers go out to you. Can you send me a personal email.

                              Don M

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