Author Options:

What can be considered plagiarism? Answered

Hey guys,

It's been a long time since I posted anything on instructables (school is really time consuming lately) But I got some projects which I'll be working on soon since I have a lot of free time in the upcoming summer vacation.

But while I was checking in here I noticed my video for my rubberband shotgun didn't work anymore. The problem is already fixed but it said at first that "OGG Craft" filed a plagiarism complaint on my video and it couldn't be shown.
Some of you may now OGG Craft on youtube. He is a japanese man who makes some excellent rubber band guns (I got referred to him by some comments on the same shotgun ible) and I have to admit one of his guns has a similar firing mechanism then mine but that's where the comparrison ends, the gun doesn't look the same, it doesn't even have the same ammo capacity. And I can honestly say I didn't know about it's excistence before building mine.

Now I decided to research these OGG Craft designs and I also came across some other Japanese people making rubber band guns, apperantly it's a sport there with it's own sportclub and everything!
I gained a lot of inspiration from seeing those guns and their firing mechanisms. I perhaps want to use some as inspiration for my own designs. I have no plans to copy someone's gun and mine will be my own design and everything.

But what I wanted to ask is, can using someone else's rubber band gun as inspiration be considered plagiarism? Even when yours is completely different and only uses a similar firing mechanism. There are just a few ways of firing a rubber band and I've seen a lot of people use the same technique's for it so I personally don't see anything wrong with it. All the bikes work in the same way and I don't hear anyone complain about that either.

So what do you guys think? If you see me posting a gun here that has a similar firing mechanism as for example ogg craft but other then that is completely different. Would you call it plagiarism or not? It's rather bugging me to be honest because I'm very proud of my rubber band guns and I'd hate to be called a stealer...

P.S.: Youtube investigated it and came to the conclusion that nothing was plagiarised and my video is still online.



8 years ago

since you were unaware of this persons design, the same rule applies to the inventors of the zipper!
despite both being identical in every way and both being made ant the same time, both are the inventors, and therefore neither can be accused of plagerism, though i think one of the inventors was later declared the real creator as the times of patenting were a little off.

plagerism is a deliberate direct copy of an idea. in the case of product design, its almost impossible to accuse someone on plagerism .even the pokemon card company (to my knowledge) cant accuse aonther card company of plagerism, of those cheap $5 boxes of pokemon cards with constant misprints you frequently see at chinese shops and market stalls ect.

theyll never get you on plagerism for this, and cannot take legal action either. i wouldnt worry about it much unless you actually just passed off their exact same plan as your own. but to be safe, mention the other persons name and say what you said before, that you didnt know of it and so on. the worst they can do is improve their design and make yours unpopular!


8 years ago

For a genuine plagiarism claim on YouTube, you would have had to use his media - images, sounds, script, plans - or used his original ideas without credit or permission.

It can be hard to prove with ideas that spread quickly on the internet (there was a lot of fuss over who invented bristlebots), or which have been around a while.

Personal example -I came up with my air horn as a miniaturised and modified version of a horn made on a BBC TV programme.

Two years later, Kipkay makes a video of an identical model.  It's video, but the layout of the shots are very similar to the layout of my stills.

Is that plagiarism?

I think it is, and Kipkay has a track record of that kind of thing, but where did he plagiarise it from?  Directly from my project?  Or from another website that has appropriated my images without my permission?

I don't know, but for some reason "flagging has been disabled" on the video in question...


8 years ago

It is hard to patent or copyright a common mechanism. In fact for most purposes not worth the effort i.e. for rubber band guns where you freely publish the mechanisms etc.

As far as plagiarism is concerned unless you ripped off their video and put your name to it I don't think they have a hope.

If that were the case NO instructable would ever get published as they are all based on common ideas or mechanisms - just someone's application or twist on the idea.