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Rip-offs from designers Answered

We've all seen it, and for a lot of people, it's why we're here: simple, neat, easily-executed ideas presented as high art or grand design, and sold at jaw-dropping prices.

The latest example I've come across is these coat-hooks.  Cut from brass and stainless steel, they are going to be "launched" at the London Design Festival but Visuallyod.

A launch event.  For coat hooks? Cut and bent from a bit of brass sheet?

I shudder to think of the price as well - there's no price on their own website, but they charge £490 ($750) for some sticks cast in pottery and tied together with old string.

Anyway, rant over (for now).  What examples of rip-off design have you seen?  What examples have you copied?

EDIT: Sudden thought - even if you haven't made them yourselves, what are your favourite examples of Instructables recreating designer rip-offs at budget prices?


.  Assuming that no one is holding a gun to the purchaser's head or saying the object has magical properties, how is it a rip-off to charge astronomical prices for Art*? A Picasso is just some pigments and binder on a piece of canvas, yet it can sell for millions of dollars.

*I don't consider brass coat hooks to be Art, but I'm just an Arkansas Hillbilly.

Oh, I'm not complaining about people buying them. If met somebody who thinks their level of style and taste is measured by the number on a check stub, I would happily slap a few zeros on a price ticket.

If they are stupid enough to pay so much, who am I to deny them the pleasure.

What offends me is the insult implicit in the price tag - like these designers think that Joe Public is ignorant of the cost of materials and labour.

(The stuff I'm talking about is not art, it's design - it's not original, it's stamped out by the dozen, and can be replicated by anybody who can work a screwdriver.)

Is the cost of materials/labour anything to do with it? You aren't paying for some brass sheet, you're paying for the words that go with it. Ultimately, I suppose, you are paying for the fact that these stamped-brass coathooks had their own launch party.

To my mind this is little different from how I perceive all modern art that is about "statement" rather than making an aesthetically pleasing object. We could easily fall down the pit of discussing "what is art", but to me this represents the logical extension of 90% of the value of clothing lying in the badge attached to it (which we don't often quibble with when it coincides with a marginal increase in quality.)

If forensics labs need to use chromatography and whatnot to determine whether the painting on your wall is worth hundreds or hundreds of millions, then the value of the object clearly isn't inherent to the object itself. You are paying for... metadata.

If you want to talk about people who think Joe Public is ignorant of the cost of parts and labour, find a cowboy builder :)

£1,000,000,000 or best offer.  Cr@p, I think not.


Is your shed like the batcave and that's where you hang up your super-ibler costume?

*cough* I actually do own a special ibling jacket...

But the ensemble is not complete without a pair of flameproof smartypants.

A flying disc, I made one out of a coke bottle, when they're normally $30.

We wee wondering (today) whether that classic Che picture is copyright or not - how many times have we seen that used?


Our youngest has a version of that on a t-shirt, with the face altered to look like a chimp.

It says "Vive La Evolution!"

(Curse you, Primark, for not making it in larger sizes!)

(that's exactly what we started on for "is that copyright?", no surely not)



I think, if the image itself is new (even if it is just a bunch of free clip art images bolted together), then the image is copyright of the person who created the copyright.


If somebody else makes one like it it, similar, but not completely similar, then copyright is not infringed (pop into any pound-shop and look at all the toy robots that are not quite Transformers).


If an existing image is modified significantly, then the modifier gains ownership of the new image (think: Warhol and Monroe).

"Passing off" isn't quite it, it's a bit grey...


It's funny you should ask, I'm currently waiting for some steel to make something I didn't want to spend £10 on. :) See PM