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TK

So, Ok. I know that by nature, all Tiki art is derivative. I also know that there is such a thing as "in the style of" I also know that anything done in a theme may look similar to other things done in that theme. But my question is this: If some one "borrows" your style or design, at what point does it go from "homage" to "rip off" If someone has done a fairly exact copy of one of your carvings, and is offering it for sale, with no mention of you, it seems to me that it falls into the rip off category. Here is an example. This is my carving, which can be seen in the Art section of my website:

And here is a carving I found for sale on another website:

It seems fairly obvious that this carver used my original carving as a template, rather than an inspiration. So what is the consensus? homage or rip off?


http://www.tikiking.com Neat Tiki Stuff
http://www.mp3.com/tiki_king Hear the King sing!

[ Edited by: Tiki King on 2003-03-12 09:49 ]

L
laney posted on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 9:58 AM

Sorry, but I think since this is a very traditional Hawaiian style carving, (Lono, Ku???) You have "ripped" off others. Who first carved these gods, I don't know? Gecko may know more. If it was a unique style of tiki I would agree that someone was stealing your style. Not in this case though.

Great work by the way. I wish I could make some of these-maybe soon as I'm messing around with some new tools. Keep up the good work, Laney

[ Edited by: laney on 2003-03-12 09:59 ]

TK~
A couple of questions:
~Is this the only one for sale on the persons website?
~Does the person state that THEY made it?
~It looks so exact that do you think that maybe someone bought it from you, and, for whatever reason, decided to sell it?

DaddyCaddySugar

I never sold this one, The one on my site (which is on my lounge door) is the one and only that I did of this one. As I said, by nature, all Tiki art is derivative. This is a "traditonal" design. It is in fact a stylized representation of lono. But I did it from my mind, rather than from a drawing or another carving. This copy is fairly identical to mine. Sure, if it looks like a Tiki, then its attributes had to come from somewhere, so no modern Tiki carving can truly be called "Original". Many of my carvings are inspired by others, but I strive not to directly duplicate another carvers work, be they modern or traditional. This carver seemed to pretty much just duplicate my carving.


http://www.tikiking.com Neat Tiki Stuff
http://www.mp3.com/tiki_king Hear the King sing!

[ Edited by: Tiki King on 2003-03-12 10:16 ]

R
Rain posted on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 10:55 AM

definitely ripped off.

sure, it's a traditional design, but the proportions, the lines, everything... it's all identical, except it looks like more work went into yours. (the cutouts, etc.)

Isn't homage a just PC way of saying rip off? Aren't they really the same thing?

NOT ripped off at all. You see these sort of things everywhere, and I'm sure they didn't all see yours first. Just because you did it from your head doesn't mean that they didn't do the same. Proportions Schmortions! I mean come on! Picasso and Braque's cubists works look almost identical at times, but they didn't whine about it! Just my opinion, which doesn't mean much...so don't take it the wrong way.

waikiki

P

Definite rip-off. Your pic was obviously downloaded and traced. Not really anything you can do about considering the style of the thing but I'd be a little pissed too. But then when you are an artist you learn to grin and bear alot of things. I would definitely ask the seller about it though. Just for some personal satisfaction. Just my 2.5 cents. ~poi

[ Edited by: PoiBoy on 2003-03-12 11:52 ]

Not to worry King,
Just take it as a compliment. Now if they copied your bar exactly....well, then let me at 'em.....why I oughta.....

CopyCaddyDaddy

P.S. before the thread goes further about "I'd be pissed" or "it's a rip off", has anyone heard of WAYNE COOMBS & HIS TIKIS? Maybe you've heard of SHAG?
There's a couple of guys who's been copied in the past and probably will continue to be copied in the future.

P

Yeah, the difference is when you are SHAG you have better things to worry about like counting your money. :P ~poi

[ Edited by: PoiBoy on 2003-03-12 12:05 ]

As an artist and musuem employee, I am sensitive to someone using someone else's designs without permission, especially if that design is being used for profit. This is an unethical artistic practice, as well as illegal.

In the case of Picasso and Braque, these artists were contemporaries, friends, and collaborators. They worked together and inspired each other. They had a very personal relationship. In Tiki King's case, his design has been stolen by a stranger.

Should he be feel complimented? Sure--the person liked his stuff enough to repeat it. But, is this copyist fair to Tiki King? No. Tiki King has the rights to this particular image as its artist and could sue the imitator easily for forgery.

Every image we use here at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has to have proper credit attributed to it. If the piece of art is a copy of, or "inspired by" another, we have to indicate this fact. If we dare suggest that it was an original, that's a legal case just waiting to happen.

I would suggest emailing the vendor with your observation. Tell this person that this type of practice is unethical and illegal. Maybe all you want if a credit saying that this work was inspired by an image on your website. Maybe you want the sale terminated.

Copyright and trademark laws would work in your favor in court, and you can always threaten legal action, if need be. This is an extre measure. But, it really is important that artists can protect their work. In this case, it's a small ebay sale. But, what happens if a huge corporation like GAP decided to use anything that Tiki King showed on his site just because they thought it looked nice? They would make millions and leave TK penniless for his creativity.

On any scale, copying someone's art without permission (especially to make a buck) is wrong.

[ Edited by: manic cat on 2003-03-12 12:59 ]

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ40.html
says you are automatically copyrighted at the time the work is created

there's a bunch of info on the web (government copyright, art, forgery, law, etc.)

So, thanks for all the input. It is hard to see things sometimes from the inside, which is why I posted the question. As I said before, Tiki Art, to be Tiki art, is probably going to resemble other Tiki art in one way or another, but, even if that work is based on a traditional design, it is hard not to be possessive about your own work. So here is the end of this story. I got an email from the carver who did the copy, and it turns out that it is in fact, a replica of mine. They said that a while back they were contacted by another person who sent a picture of my carving and asked them to make them some copies, but never paid, So they decided to sell them. I have worked out a deal with this carver, so all is well. But thanks to all who replied, as I value the view from another vantage point.
Cheers!
Tiki King

MC

That's nice to hear that the person was responsive, and respectful of your position. I'm glad to hear it end in a win-win situation.

[ Edited by: purple jade 2006-03-20 21:24 ]

G
GECKO posted on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 4:44 PM

evrybody copies evrybody or they will actually steal it. I would take it as a complament. I had a sign i maid for La Mariana in there mens room that was 2 ft long or more and someone actually took it some how?

look at this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3505635825&category=20157

G
GECKO posted on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 4:46 PM

oh, i personaly like the design you have. It would look great on top of one of my 6ft tiki panels i make.

M

Gecko: It freaks me out when you use proper english. Please go back to the pidgin.

Tiki King: More importantly, where the hell have you been?! You have been missed. Sorry we didn't see you on the crawl.

-martin

On 2003-03-12 12:30, manic cat wrote:

In the case of Picasso and Braque, these artists were contemporaries, friends, and collaborators. They worked together and inspired each other. They had a very personal relationship. In Tiki King's case, his design has been stolen by a stranger.

[ Edited by: manic cat on 2003-03-12 12:59 ]

Manic Cat,

I am aware of the situation between Mr. Picasso and Mr. Braque. That was not my point at all....the point was about style. In many art movements (from cubism to orphism to de Stijl) art works looked very much alike. Above anything it is about the iconogrophy in this situation. I have seen the same tiki carving TikiKing did (that were previous to his carving) so who is he ripping off? I mean if I carve a cross and then someone else does it too am I supposed to be pissed that they stole it from me when I stole it from somewhere else anyway. I too, (like everyone claims to be these days) am an "artist" and believe that art is all about borrowing ideas from other places. People do it subconsciously everyday as it is our nature to do so. MOMA has it's own problems with this I believe, I mean just because they attribute it correctly doesn't mean they should be selling post cards, shirts, bags, hats, over-priced books, etc. in the gift shop with "Impressionists" or whatever it happens to have printed on it. I think it's all bullshit, but again, that is just my opinion. I still think TikiKing should work out some "deal" with the ancestors that he stole his design from.

waikiki
(just sharing my opinion...that's all!)

A

I sized and compared the two pictures. I turned Tiki Kings photo into Greyscale and cut out the mouth, eyes and head-dress. I then superimposed TikiKings's greyscale image over the copy image. as you can see the copy is identical:
The feet
the ankles
the wrists
the elbows
the eyes
the mouth
all line up perfectly. The head-dress is larger in the copy. this tiki was copied from Tiki Kings original.
Mahalo,
Al

HH

BUSTED!
you go Al.

Proof from Al that it was "borrowed". Hey it all turned out well though.
I borrow designs also. I borrowed Bosko's Kukohewa mug design to carve one of my 6 footers if anyone noticed, with his permission. I gladly gave him the credit. It's very important to be ethical in business dealings, otherwise there's no trust. Without trust, ya got no business.

DeJaVu!!!!!!!!!! Been there, done that, waste of time. All we can do is to give the guy a bad name for rippin you off(although it all worked out). I don't have enogh fingers to count how many times I've been shanked! Burn baby Burn!

K

"evrybody copies evrybody or they will actually steal it. I would take it as a complament. I had a sign i maid for La Mariana in there mens room that was 2 ft long or more and someone actually took it some how?

look at this:"

You mean this is like the sign you made? I don't understand.

Kentiki

TK

"I still think TikiKing should work out some "deal" with the ancestors that he stole his design from."

I have. The deal is this. I do not do line for line copies of the work of the ancestors.

"I have seen the same tiki carving TikiKing did (that were previous to his carving) "

Am I stealing designs from others? If I am, show me the work that I have line for line duplicated, and that Artist can have my carving to do with as they please. I agree and have said in every post that no Tiki art is truly "original", it has to be inspired by something. Here is the image that insired my carving:

I think my version is fairly stylized, and a little different.
But, in the case that I brought up, the artist freely said that they duplicated my carving. And the deal I worked out with that carver? they are sending me one of the copies. I think that is fair. I did not try to destroy or defame them, as you may notice, I did not ever mention who it was. The reason I started this post was to get an outside opinion as to if I was being too sensitive and possessive of my work. Some say yes, some say no. I think it may be that both are right. Waikiki Tiki, It would seem that I ofended you the most, but for what it is worth, thanks for your opinion.
Cheers!
Tiki King


http://www.tikiking.com Neat Tiki Stuff
http://www.mp3.com/tiki_king Hear the King sing!

[ Edited by: tiki king on 2003-03-20 09:41 ]

"MOMA has it's own problems with this I believe, I mean just because they attribute it correctly doesn't mean they should be selling post cards, shirts, bags, hats, over-priced books, etc. in the gift shop with "Impressionists" or whatever it happens to have printed on it."

The museum (and no longer the artist) owns these Impressionist artworks, and legally can reproduce them on a mug, t-shirt, etc; except, for artwork created within the past 50 years--permission from the artist or artist's estate would be needed.

Copyright is divided into two areas: protection of Idea and protection of Design. Obviously, TK's idea of a carved tiki image is not his own. But, let's say that TK came up with an "original work of authorship" whose design is automatically protected by copyright. As shown by Al, the design of this artwork was duplicated, and done so without TK's permission.

OK--now the argument--is TK's design really his own? Well, someone who does have legal ownership over an image of this tiki would have to show how the design of TK's artwork is not "original" because it is firstly, recognizable as their artwork. If the design really looks like someone else's, that person can claim you copied them. What's "really look like?" Well, if you haven't changed your design 15-20% from the original design, then you are a copy-cat.

I think that TK's image uses a tiki as reference material, but does not duplicate its design. There are differences in style, detail, 2-d graphic quality vs. 3-d sculptural/figural quality, which make it more than 20% original. (What a silly quantative method to understand art!) I don't think it's necessary to bring out the ancestors and permission rights for his design.

Thanks for all this food for thought. I've been learning alot through this conversation!

G
GECKO posted on Thu, Mar 13, 2003 1:14 PM

kentiki,

no da bosko look alike was not made by me. I was jus using it as an example of how peopo use otha peopo style. the sign I made was a tiki bar sign with a tangaroa face on it that was stolen. kinda like da wun you see in my "carvin a tiki from scratch" post.

my seller id is "dabigpuka"

hope dat clears it up fo ya

G
GECKO posted on Thu, Mar 13, 2003 1:17 PM

martiki,

ey cuz sorry fo da non pigon talk ya. dis mo betta?

shootz

S

Oh.

This'll teach me to get more than 24 hours behind on my Tiki Central reading.

And to not know every piece of Tiki anything ever created.

Sometime back, I got two of the flat pannel carvings from the person in question- having no idea they were anyone's design other than his.

At the time I thought they were a GREAT interpretation of that particular syle, and really creative- a really keen eye applied to a traditional style. 'Cartoonish' in a way, but really BUTCH too- expressive, and capturing the style perfectly.

I love the little fellers- which is why I picked up two- they're at the top of my back bar- to the left and to the right.

Little did I know.

Which just leads me to wish I had dug through Tiki King's site a lot harder a long time ago. Credit where credit is due.

Thing is, I don't remember, I could have even have seen the carving on Tiki King's site and never realized that his was the original- I may have just thought- oh, he got one, too.

So now I'm saddened. Saddened that these Tikis that I really love, have come via someone 'from our Tiki community' misreprenting the work as his own, or more importantly, leaving their origins unstated and leaving me to assume he was selling orginal artwork.

I make a point of trying to support Tiki artists where and when I can in this process of building my bar- in part because I'm so impressed by the caliber of work that people are doing these days, and in part because I want to do what I can to support our Tiki family.

Tiki King- you've been absolutely a class act about this entire thing- I'm glad you've managed to 'work something out' with this fellow- but you never should have had to. The absolute minimum that should happen here is the design be listed as yours- and I don't see that yet.

So now what to do with what feel akin to my 'ill gotten Tikis'?

Mainly I just feel disappointed. 'Homage to' is one thing- outright taking is another.

Tiki King, it's your design, what do you want done with them?

TK

What do I want done with them? I would like it if you enjoy them.
What is done is done.
Cheers!
Tiki King


http://www.tikiking.com Neat Tiki Stuff
http://www.mp3.com/tiki_king Hear the King sing!

[ Edited by: Tiki King on 2003-03-13 17:37 ]

S

Tiki King- you're pretty amazing.

Being a sculptor myself, I just know how I might feel if my work were floating around the universe like this.

After taking a few deep breaths, though, I hope I would be able to stand back and say similar, though.

They got here because they were loved. Now they'll be loved and their history fully understood. (Which is after all, what urban archeology is about.)

Mahalo :)

....if they made a mold of it, and it was an "exact replica", then you could do something legal. But, that doesn't mean you will collect after you win. So, I've learned you just have to deal with it and they have to deal with the karma that follows; it's always bad.

MC

I'm a little bit confused--are you saying that a replica made from a mold is the only case where copies/forgery/ image theft is illegal? If so, how can an artist protect her/his 2-dimensional works (drawings, painting, etc.) for example? I'm under the impression that the design is protected, and it doesn't matter in which way it's reproduced.
But you are right-- I think that lawyers really are the only ones who would really $profit$ if taken to court (maybe unless you went up against a big corporation, like Tom Waits getting 2.6 million from Frito-Lay for voice misappropriation--stealing his vocal design.)

[ Edited by: manic cat on 2003-03-14 09:27 ]

TK

So, in a "private" message I recived the following:

"Interesting that you are all worked up over being "copied" when you ripped off Duke Carter from "Taboo:..." pretty blantantly. "

If anyone feels that I am ripping off another Artist, I encourage them to contact that Artist and let them know, and they can persue it as they wish. As I have said over and over, if it looks like a Tiki, then its attributes had to come from somewhere, so no modern Tiki art can truly be called "Original", as it was inspired by something. Sure aspects of my pieces are inspired by others, there is no way not to be. But, I strive not to directly duplicate another Artists work, be they modern or traditional. If anyone thinks I have stolen someone elses work, by all means, let them know.

MC

I agree--let your voice be heard. Art is so subjective that it's important that everyone submit an opinion, because what one person sees another person may not.

That's pretty funny king. Someone actually telling you that.

Let's sue everybody!
Did Pepsi copy from Coke or Coke from Pepsi?
Did Chevy copy from Ford or Ford from Chevy?
Hewlett-Packard from IBM or IBM from HP?
Kmart from Target or Target from Kmart?

Sue'em I say! Sue'em all!

SuingCaddyDaddy

I think Target copied Gemco
which copied Kmart
which copied Zody's
which copied....

G

did the gecko on gieco copy gecko?
or did gecko copy gieco da gecko?

my momma bigga den yo momma!

I copied the Afleck duck.

Afleck!

what I'm saying is that small time artists don't have the "Legal Backing" when it comes to a copy. We have to rely on Karma!

p.s. a "mold" would be an "exact" replica. 2d, 3d, DD, A.D. wateva. So, if I eat Frittos will my voice be all scratchy?

[ Edited by: RevBambooBen on 2003-03-15 07:30 ]

Tiki King,

At the end of the day (THE phrase beloved of our British sports reporters), take it as a complement. Perhaps fire him a brief missive showing that you know his game and you are onto it. A simple 'Cease and Desist' note. (American lawyers please back me up on this).

Both Bong and I have had our Tiki Central names ripped off. Mine for commercial purposes, incredibly enough. My lawyer is on the case already in the eventuality that this person continues to trade using my name,
but I advise giving a little slack. Once may be a coincidence. The second time is a lawsuit.

Trader Woody

G

Sista Sabina, That was a very nice ting you sed about da mans work and evry ting else. You're a class act too!

Aloha and nice to see your name on da board.

K

This is such utter bullshit. Bosko lookalike? Ever check out a place called Oceanic Arts!?

Oh but I suppose if you're on the "A-list" here, whatever that may be, it's called "inspired by" not ripoff.

I
Ikit posted on Thu, Mar 20, 2003 10:39 AM

It seems like there are a large amount of Tiki artists out there. There are probably more artists now then at any one time during when the original creations were constructed. You can tell what area a lot of the “original” art comes from by its look, style and construction. With the Internet people have access to a lot of access to other people’s works. This is a good and a bad thing. You can have a guy in Greenland carving just like a guy in New Zealand. The guy in New Zealand can be basing work on traditional Hawaiian art.

It is sad that Tiki’s have lost their entire regional flavor but it is good that there still remains some great original Tiki art and artists out there.

As far as stealing goes I saw a thread below where a guy was stealing wood from a park to make Tiki’s with and everyone was supportive of him. If stealing is wrong stealing is always wrong. Be fair.

As an artist it sucks to get ripped off but when I see people talk about software and music they generally do not care if they are downloading MS Office or Pearl Jam’s latest CD from the Internet, often before the release to the public. People do not seem to care about that either.

M

I know this topic has been worked over, but here are some new examples of "Inspired" designs. I sell a line of Hawaiian style stickers. My designs have been ripped off repeatedly by other sticker makers. Each time I have my lawyer send them a letter and they all stop immediately with some excuse that they didn't know better. "Isn't the whole internet public domain?"

Here is my tiki design that up until a few days ago you could have heat transfered onto your "Wet Okole" seat covers, by a company called "Autographz". They stole 21 of my sticker designs and sold the rights to Wet Okole to put them on their seat covers. Jeeez

These appear to me as direct rip-offs that I don't even bother with. What do you think?



Rip-offs or inspired by?

P

Aloha Maui Tiki!

I see your great design everyday as it is on the back window of my tiki-mobile.
It's a shame that people have ripped you off - in Florida the lawyers would tell you: "They're just agressively marketing your design and you may or may not get any money from them depending on the judge. Now give me 1000 dollars."

Anyway, your design is very cool.
I wish you had some license plates and other car stuff for me to buy.

and that's not all...if you check their auctions, you will find other copies of shag's paintings.. who would like the honor of whistle blower on this???? any takers??

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