indigo-v3.png

Here is a description of your company. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut dapibus, felis id malesuada blandit, turpis lacus vehicula risus, quis rhoncus libero.


Counterpoint: Nobody Owns Their Ideas

Counterpoint: Nobody Owns Their Ideas

“Good artists copy, great artists steal,” said Picasso… and now Janne. [Image: Janne Kyttanen]

“Good artists copy, great artists steal,” said Picasso… and now Janne. [Image: Janne Kyttanen]

We recently published an article based on a well-known artist’s experience in seeing her work stolen and sold without permission; now we’ve heard from another well-known artist who essentially says there’s no such thing as design theft.

When Melissa Ng saw 3D design files for one of her own masks from her Lumecluster business for sale, she took immediate action. She contacted the repository and had them taken down. She shared her experience and her frustration with us.

Stealing an artist’s work is stealing, and stealing, as we’re all taught from a young age, is wrong.

...Right?

Following our coverage of that instance of design file theft, I heard from design veteran Janne Kyttanen.

Janne has been a designer for more than 25 years, developing both a name in and a deep familiarity with the 3D printing industry.

The gist of his argument “may sound harsh and unjustified” but we’ll leave you to be the judge here; he says:

“My point is that nobody owns ideas nor their files.”

This isn’t a quick statement to stir up debate; he believes in this stance so firmly he’s writing a book to dig more deeply into his sentiments.

A History In Design Copying

Janne explains:

“My work has been copied, stolen, licensed, sold etc without me knowing about it from the day I started in this field 25 years ago. I can also say that I have perhaps created more designs than anybody in this field in the course of this time period. When I started, I thought content will be king just to realize content is free. When one grasps that, a new (financial) gear will start shifting in these artists brains.

Attached is a classic example. One day I walked into a bed linen store in Amsterdam, just to see my renderings on bed covers. Not a copy or a replica, but the actual rendering. I know the image by the pixel, because I made it. I approached the company and after a few emails going back and forth, they admitted, it was an intern who had downloaded the images from our FTP server and they simply didn’t know. There are 2 ways of going about it. I sue you and you give me money…or hey, you seem to like my work, let’s collaborate. I ended up creating graphics for their collections and made royalties on sales vs us battling it out in court.”

Janne’s design as depicted on a bedspread [Screenshot via Janne Kyttanen]

Janne’s design as depicted on a bedspread [Screenshot via Janne Kyttanen]

“The point is, that copying also means different things in different cultures. Asians see it totally differently, which is just part of their culture. One can either respect that, get creative and learn to benefit from them and work together or go home and cry about it.”

“Here is an example of what I mean by ‘Good artists copy. Great artists steal’. On the bottom you see an injection molded variant of the Adidas Hypercraft 4D midsoles. Production costs are perhaps $1. If the Asian variant boosts better performance, is cheaper and faster to make, you be the judge what this means.  Personally I just love the Asians, because with limited funds and resources, they always get creative and find simple ways for improvements. Thus in a sense, you don’t always need a spacecraft for buying milk, when you can just walk to the store,” says Janne.

“Here is an example of what I mean by ‘Good artists copy. Great artists steal’. On the bottom you see an injection molded variant of the Adidas Hypercraft 4D midsoles. Production costs are perhaps $1. If the Asian variant boosts better performance, is cheaper and faster to make, you be the judge what this means.

Personally I just love the Asians, because with limited funds and resources, they always get creative and find simple ways for improvements. Thus in a sense, you don’t always need a spacecraft for buying milk, when you can just walk to the store,” says Janne.

“I went as far with this as when I sold my company to 3D Systems, it was the largest 3D printable design library in the world at that time. My only conditions for selling was to be able to give it all away for free for people and we can boost the industry together. The files are still buried.”

That seems like a good place to take a quick breather before we look a little more into this seemingly unusual philosophy; in this followup Q&A with Janne we dig deeper into his main points on this topic.

Via Janne Kyttanen


Janne Kyttanen Explains How Design Is Fundamentally Changing

Janne Kyttanen Explains How Design Is Fundamentally Changing

Design of the Week: 3D Printed Particle Accelerator

Design of the Week: 3D Printed Particle Accelerator

+