For example, I have been wanting to do some more contemporary stuff in The Hand Tool School. I would love to build a Conoid chair by George Nakashima or a Maloof style chair. Is this profiting from someone else’s design if I build it on this site? What if I build it as part of a paid semester at The Hand Tool School? Using words like “inspired by” or “in the style of” gets into some hot water too as no matter what changes I make, the source will still be obvious. Or in many cases, the original design is just right and why would I want to alter anything?If I were just any old woodworker documenting one of his builds I don’t think this would be an issue. However, the Renaissance Woodworker persona and everything related to it has become its own business (and a full time job) so do I now cross a line by building a modern piece? I may be building a piece for my own use and enjoyment and not even trying to “teach” someone how to build the piece, but the fact that I broadcast it on one of my properties could be seen as profiting from the design. Of course legality is a major concern but there is also the gray area of perception. While I may be legally safe, now I’m a pariah in the woodworking community for stealing someone else’s work. I want to do the right thing but you can see how this gets a little hazy.
What do you think? Where do you draw the line between a direct copy and a piece “inspired by” someone else’s work?Google+ Profile