Three Links We Love

Images: Design*Sponge, Fly Art, Michael Stewart—WireImage

The theme of this weeks' three links: Originality. As makers, we often deal with issues of creativity, ownership, and yes, even trademark law. We recognize that this is a complicated topic, so, in the spirit of open discussion, we're offering links from a variety of viewpoints. Hopefully these will give you something to think about (and maybe make you chuckle, as well)!

50 Shades of Grey: Copying and Credit in Design via Design Sponge  This piece really raises some tough questions on what 'originality' in art is, and how to protect it. You may have heard before that nothing in art is new, and it's true that makers today are building upon a long history of materials, techniques, and products that they had no part in discovering. (For example, our new collection STELA features shapes and structures based on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.) This is a loose interpretation based on an ancient source, but it's part of a continuum- what about closer replicas? What about not-so-ancient sources? Grace Bonney brings up examples of less than clear cut instances of 'inspiration,' and offers thoughtful advice on how to deal with them.

Other Phrases Trademarked by Taylor Swift (via the New Yorker) Tay Swift made the news this week for submitting trademark requests for song lyrics such as "this sick beat" and "Nice to Meet You, Where You Been?" There's been quite a bit of backlash from those who see these as pretty common phrases. What's next, Swift? Trademarking "Breakups stink?"

Fly Art Fly Art is a line of clothing that combines classical art and recognizable hip hop lyrics. Together, they form a symbiotic union: the paintings elevate the lyrics to heretofore unknown levels of profundity, while the hip hop makes art seem more relevant and fresh. The founders call it an homage to the finer things in life. I call it my chance to get some Fergie lyrics and Degas on the same shirt!

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