Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Plagarism!! Reply To: Plagarism!!


OP: Copying a style is not an infringement (unless that person has previously shown to have committed an actual copyright violation). That happened in the UK, where a guy who had previously stolen images from a photographer started copying his style instead, and was slapped again with infringement. If you’ve already shown to be an IP thief, you need to keep “arms length” from the victim or it shows bad faith, which cannot be construed as coincidental. (That’s the red bus case in the above post.)

There are exceptions to styles, such as trademarks, but that’s really unlikely to stick regarding a style of photography… plus you’d have to trademark it and have a product… and I just can’t see it happening in reality.

The only real solution you have is to own the style better and produce a better product … and an attitude adjustment would help a lot. When I say “own the style”, I mean that you should produce copious amounts of work in that style and make sure all keywords searches will find your huge portfolio first. As far as attitude adjustment, see it as a compliment. Don’t rake muck, but if anyone asks about the other guy you should happily (not angrily) reply that he’s been copying your style for X years. Add something funny like “When people started copying my style, that’s when I knew I was a real photographer!” The more bitter you are, the more of a turnoff it is for potential clients.


But make sure you actively do something to own your style. If you don’t, it could be lost. As Picasso said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” Don’t let him become a great artist at your expense.