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Regarding A.J.'s recent post about imitation, I have spent a great many years writing articles on how to make things. There are a number of others who have taken this path as well since it is a good way to get exposure and, at the same time, wring a few extra bucks out of the project at hand.

It is pretty much understood that when one publishes such work, the people who read it are going to make the piece. So there are probably going to be a lot of whatever the piece is floating around out there. I once had a visit from a guy who showed me a portfolio of furniture pieces that looked exactly like mine. It was a bit disconcerting but, as A.J. mentioned, kind of flattering at the same time.

But one day, while surfing the Internet, I happened across the website of another well known woodworker. There, on his home page, was a chair that was an exact copy on one of my previously published designs, presented as his own and offered for sale, made to order.

This is a whole different situation. On the one hand you have a guy building your designs in his home shop on the weekend, for his own use and acknowledging the source of inspiration. On the other side is someone ripping off your design, presenting it to the buying public as his own and not giving so much as a nod to the actual source. That's called plagiarism and it's not only unethical, it's illegal. There is nothing flattering about this kind of blatant… well, let's just call it like it is and say theft.


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