What would you do?

rb-frontOK I need a little advise.  At convention this year I was involved in a 3D group swap.  I made 30 of these recipe books.  It was my original idea and they all had my name and information on them.  The idea of the swap was to get ideas for classes to do with your customers.  Since then I know two of my up-line have had a class for this project which is fine with me.  I too have looked at offering some of the ideas I got as classes.  I’ve displayed many of them at my events, but I think I have always tried to say that they were not my ideas and that someone else made them.  Especially when I was asked about them.

 In July Stampin’ Up! started a contest for class ideas.  I’ve had so many people tell me they loved my cook book so I thought I would enter it into Stampin’ Up!’s contest.  I missed the cut off for the last one, but because it is and on going contest I figured I would just wait until the next one to enter it.  However today when I was on the Demonstrator site they announced the winners of the last contest.  They also showed other entries into the contest.  I love to look at these and was excited to get the new ideas.  I was scrolling down through the projects that were the other ideas (not the winners) and to my surprise I saw my cookbook.  I was curious so I clicked on the link to the project instructions.  The only difference between her project and mine was the front cover.  She stamped the saying directly on the red and she rounded the corners of the chef picture.  At first I thought that maybe she just saw the idea and liked it so she created one similar.  Then I started to look closer.  I found she had used the exact same colors and I realized that she hadn’t stamped the words on the pages like I had, instead she just told you to do so in the instructions.  She had just one picture with the words stamped on it which I realized was actually a picture of my book.  I decided to do a little more investigating and was able to find her demonstrator website where I found a picture of the front of my book along with a caption that said “Convention/Swap Class.”  That was when I realized she had been in the swap with me.

To say the least I felt a little hurt and frustrated.  Not that she loved my idea and wanted to use it in a class, but that she used it for a contest and was passing it off as her own.   I have often created projects inspired by other ideas, and often created projects that are the same or similar to others.  In such cases I feel I have always tried to give credit for their ideas as I have seen many other wonderful demonstrators do.  I have spent many hours coming up with my own original ideas to enter into the Stampin’ Up! contests.  I love to share my idea’s with others to help you be inspired.  I want to continue to do so without being afraid that my original projects are going to be used to win a contest.  I don’t want to be the bad guy here but I’m conflicted on what to do and how to handle the situation.  I could really use your comments and suggestions.  Please let me know how you would feel if you were me and what you would do.  Thanks, so much for you help.  Candice

You can see all the pages of the book in my samples just click here.
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6 Responses

  1. Candice, that is so wrong for anyone to do. I don’t have a problem with someone teaching a class using something they got in a swap — I believe they should let people know it was someone else’s idea, but that’s not hugely offensive. The fact that she entered your idea into a contest is so WRONG! I would contact the person in charge of the contest. It is plagiarism — nothing less. I would not want that type of a person representing me or my company if I were Stampin’ Up. Another option: If you have her email you could giver her an opportunity to correct the problem with the contest and make sure you are recognized. If she doesn’t do that immediately I would contact the Contest personnel. I would not let this go, I think something should be done. It is dishonesty. Ideas are a huge part of what Stampin’ Up and the reps sale!! It has happened to me with Church stuff, that’s different — this is your business. Good luck — I’m so sorry this happened.

  2. Ouch! I am so sorry! I can’t believe that she did that. I would totallly contact her and tell her you know what she did. Let her know that you were upset by it and that she better NEVER do it again. If that doesn’t help, then maybe contact Stampin’ Up and tell them the situation?
    Sorry! Good luck!

    Christine

  3. You are totally justified in feeling upset. I would be too! I agree with Leisa that you should contact the contest personnel. It’s not fair that she is taking credit for your idea. You are so creative and have such good ideas. It’s lame that someone is trying to pass your idea off as their own.

  4. Candice,
    I agree – I don’t think it was right for her to do what she did. It might have been different if she’d completely re-done the pics and everything, but even then, it’s still not her “original” idea.

    I think I would try contacting her first. Then, depending on what she says, if she even responds, I would contact Stampin’ Up as well. (Have you contacted your up-line? If it was your up-line, I’d just go straight to Stampin’ Up.)

    I think the other ladies are right – I wouldn’t want a demonstrator working for me if they were plagiarising. Like has already been said, if credit is given where credit is due, then that’s at least acknowleding it wasn’t completely their idea.

    Good luck! Let me know what happens. You’re a great friend and demonstrator!

    Jen

  5. Candice, I think you have reason to be upset. Stampin’ Up! and other companies thrive on a culture of SHARING ideas but not STEALING of ideas. People need to be reminded that even when sharing it is nice to give credit to what inspired you. However, entering a contest by copying someone else’s concept is totally unacceptable. I think you should send a link to this blog to the gal who copied and also to SU and suggest that they actually address this problem on the website so with any contest they could link to that page. I agree with Leisa that she should set the record straight.

  6. I realize that not all people are honest when dealing with other people. I would ask her directly if she knew that taking other ideas even in a swap ideas class was clearly not honest. See what her reply would be. Is it possible she misunderstood how you would use these ideas from that class? If so possibly you should talk to Stampin Up and explain your situation then ask them to clarify how ideas from other demonstrators should be used fairly.

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