Friday, August 31, 2012

Stardesign and copyrights

Someone contacted me about a problem she was having concerning Stardesign. She created a cute design featuring a well-known character.

This is common. Even though technically it is a violation of copyright, there are a lot of designs that feature characters that are owned by major corporations. On Stardoll, this has been going on for years, and I don't think anything is going to be done to prevent it.

But these characters do not belong to any of the dolls that make these designs.

The doll who contacted me was distressed because another doll who also made designs featuring this character was harassing her and telling her she had to stop making her designs.

My advice. Report the other doll for bullying. She does not own the character. She is out of line. Trying to use intimidation to get the other designer to stop making competing designs is against the rules. Let Stardoll handle it. They can send a warning and make it official.

Designers, keep in mind that no matter what you design at Stardoll, someone may copy it. And you do not have the right to make a fuss about it. My own designs have "inspired" other designers. And I have created items similar to what other dolls are marketing. We have a free market. So you have to take the good and the bad.

I had a similar problem. I was making a copy of the hotbuys jacket in a variety of colors. I added some buttons to make the jacket more like the original, and I added shading at the shoulder area to imitate the fringe on the original jacket. I also added 3 buttons to each sleeve.

Another doll had done something similar, and she got a little "territorial"when my jackets showed up on the hottest design page. She came to my guestbook and demanded I stop. She told me I had to delete my designs. Then she sent a bunch of her friends to say the same thing. 

This seemed particularly silly since her design was not original to her, it was an imitation of the original hotbuys jacket.

If this happens to you, it might be best to not respond at all. Just hit the report button on the post and let Stardoll know that someone is trying to intimidate you, to make you do something by making threats. Legally, this is called extortion. But it you want to put it simply, call it bullying.

Stardoll sent a warning to the doll and she (and all her friends) stopped bothering me. 

It is not against the rules to design something similar to another dolls designs. But it is against the rules to bully anyone.

This also applies to presentation designs. You can put a little © on your presentation, but that is just a typed character. An arrangement of color, type and text is not copy protected. You could not register it if you tried. As a graphic designer I designed many layouts for advertisements that were printed in newspapers and national magazines. If someone chose to copy my design they were free to do so. Once its out there, it is fair game. You have to let it go.

Fonts are copy protected, and hopefully you paid for the ones you use on your computer, but all rights for fonts belong to the designer of the font.

I hope everyone understands that anything they do on Stardoll can be imitated. Someone can imitate the way you decorate your suite, do your makeup or wear your hair. They can try to make their doll look just like you. There is nothing you can do about it. Try not to let it upset you. Trust that who you are is unique and special. The rest is just pixels.

Note: In the US, many forms of extortion are considered serious crimes. Be careful bullies, if you cross the line, you can get into big trouble. Read about it here:

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm so happy you wrote a post about this. My friend was inspired by one of Baby-lulu36's suite. Someone saw and told her about it. Baby-lulu36 then visited my friends suite and wrote a nasty message in her album comments telling her not to copy and my friend was unoriginal. My friend did nothing. One would think that coming from a person who design LV, Dior and other famous designs she wouldn't be so mean about it.