Support BladeForums! Paid memberships don't see ads! OK, there is a lot of back and forth bitterness. I'm going to throw in my two cents as someone who designs and sells jewellery, and as someone who's looking to start selling knives more consistently in much the same way. I'm trying to start a business by designing and making knives for sale alongside my jewellery. I have a decent (for my scale) capacity for output while keeping everything in my shop. I'd like to speak as to my experience with making and selling jewellery, some of my recent experiences with knife making and dealing with intellectual property and design work, which I believe is very relevant to all of this. Most of my jewellery making work hasn't been hampered by many problems dealing with design ownership, probably due to the fact that up until recently I only made custom work to order. Typically, I would meet with the client to discuss what kind of piece they'd want (pendant, bracelet, ring, etc), nail down a design, and begin work. Once the piece is completed, it is sent to the customer after the final payment is made. However with work I make in batches and sell later, obviously the overall cost is reduced and I can afford to do a little bit of advertising. If I were to find out that someone was copying my designs, custom or not, and producing what would be called "clones" in the knife community... if they kept overall appearance and function, but lacked my maker's mark, I would still be very upset. I rely on selling my designs in order to make a living. What do you think would happen if someone were to reproduce my work, and produced it at a capacity that I could not match, and could sell the work at prices I couldn't afford to sell at? They'd be able to undercut me for what initially appears to be the same product to the end consumer. So while a lot of customers who are already educated as to why custom or otherwise high end jewellery can be the prices they are, have some familiarity with value/cost of materials, or just shop with the reasoning that they don't want to buy anything under a certain dollar value (and there are a decent amount of people like that out there!), there is a far greater percentage of customers who simply want a given design for the lowest price possible. This means that I'm potentially losing out on a lot of business, based on the misuse of my hard work, and this remains true even if the hypothetical reproducers made work at a rate similar to my own. I've recently also been on the opposite side of this equation, sadly enough. Someone who I was fairly familiar with at that point approached me to do some custom work for them. He wanted a set of knives made, and he sent me a design he wanted resized to better fit his hand, among other adjustments that we agreed upon. He told me that the original designer was a knife enthusiast who drew up a very rough design but never made any, and who had given permission to replicate it. He sent me the design, and I began making some adjustments for fit, altered the blade shape to something I believed was more useful, and then started making the knives. It took a long time because I was still just getting familiar with a new CNC machine, learning the limits of the tooling on steel while going to college at the same time. I thought it was a good deal as the guy wasn't in a hurry, and this afforded me a lot of practice to get the knives right. However, it was only once I was done making the majority of the order that I was made aware of the real origins of the design. Turns out, the design was actually part of a series that was produced in limited numbers through a major American manufacturer, whose name I knew, but whose products I was largely unfamiliar with. I may have used the design as a starting point and made various changes which I saw as improvements, but at the end of the day, it wasn't mine to use, nor did it ever belong to the guy who commissioned the work. I was furious. I was mislead into making a variant of another designers work, believing that the design was available to use; after all, my modified design contained several key elements whose combination could only really be found in the original knife. I would have sold these knives whose design was hard work done by someone else with my makers mark on them, before I had even made a real name for myself. How would that look if someone were to find out about the design origin? I'd be known as a thief, and I would have no real defense. One of my first knives sold, and it'd be an unethical rip-off. Beyond that, I view this as a question of respect, both for myself and the other maker/designer. I respect other makers out there enough to at the very least not outright copy their design barring a few changes. I respect myself enough to try to take inspiration from other makers, to be sure, but to do my own legwork. To design and produce knives I can stand behind with a clear conscience, that clearly show my designs and ideas as a knife maker. EDIT: lost my conclusion. At the end of it all, I view the production of clones, "Jango Fetts" or whatever else you want to call them, largely a negative thing in the knife community. I do not believe that I would be doing the right thing, were I to reproduce another's work that didn't belong to the public domain, and for me it does boil down to a question of respect for fellow makers.