Reader johnjac points us to a blog post from a guy who made some computer generated images of flocking birds, and was rather stunned when he discovered that a big time fashion designer had basically yanked one of his photos off of Flickr and put it on a sweatshirt
. While we hear so many stories of people freaking out in such situations, this guy's reaction is quite refreshing:
The more we looked, the more the neighboring details fell into place. Smith's version was mirrored left to right so I loaded the image in Photoshop and flipped it. "Oh my god! He totally stole my work!" I was dancing around the room. "Paul Smith stole from me!" I will admit it was a strange reaction. I didn't realize this until later in the day. I was actually thrilled that someone had ripped me off. Someone I liked.
Later on in the post, the guy, Robert Hodgin, admits that his own works are built off of the works of others, as well. And, that's exactly how creativity works: you build on the works of others. It shouldn't be seen as a crime or something to get angry about. It's a way to provide more materials for more creativity going forward.