What Does Copying Mean in 2019?

We all hate to be copied. Nothing sucks more than having an original idea you came up being taken and used by someone else. I have gone through that and I sure plenty of other people have too. But when original ideas are scarce, what does copying even mean anymore?

Earlier this year, instagram models Cindy Kimberly and Iris Law had a feud over an apparent photo copy.

On August 11th, 2018 Iris posted a photo of her in white sheets sleeping. Six months later, Cindy posted a similar photo to Iris that showed her sleeping on white sheets. Instantly, Cindy got comments saying she copied Iris. (Apparently, Iris said this too but I can’t find the screenshots for it. I’m just going to assume she did. If anyone has the screenshots please dm me.)

View this post on Instagram

Still asleep

A post shared by Iris Law (@lirisaw) on

Iris Law’s post.
View this post on Instagram

sundays

A post shared by Cindy Kimberly (@wolfiecindy) on

Cindy Kimberly’s post.
Cindy Kimberly’s response to the copying rumors.

While the photos are very similar, is it fair to claim Cindy was copying when Iris didn’t invent or popularized taking pictures with white sheets. Especially since another popular model named Sofia Tsakiridou posted another very similar post in 2016. Thats two years before Iris and three years before Cindy. Also not to mention the countless amounts of pictures of girls in white sheets that live on Pinterest.

View this post on Instagram

Good morning 🌞

A post shared by Sofia Tsakiridou (@matiamubysofia) on

The official Merriam Webster definition of copying is “an imitation, transcript, or reproduction of an original work (such as a letter, a painting, a table, or a dress)”

In my humble opinion, unless you invented it or popularized it to the point you’re associated with it as much as the creator, then it’s not copying. Like I said earlier, 100% original ideas are rare. Everything we say, do, and create has been inspired by something we’ve seen or heard earlier. Even if we don’t realize it.

Youtubers are another great example of this. About two years ago, a young youtuber named Emma Chamberlain started to become very popular among teenage girls. She is known for popularizing excessive editing. Once she started to really become one of the fastest growing channels, all of sudden a ton of youtubers started to edit this way too. Which is fair. Like any popular trend, everyone is entitled to try it out too. She didn’t invent this editing style and she didn’t claim it as part of her YouTube identity. But did that stop her fans from commenting on random Youtuber’s videos that they were copying Emma? No.

Emma Chamberlain

Also, if you really think about it, Emma Chamberlain’s persona isn’t unique by any means. She a basic girl who likes iced coffee and Brandy Melville. I don’t mean that as a ‘diss’ in any way. It’s just the truth. Emma Chamberlain was like any other YouTube girl, she just used an unpopular editing style. To claim she is being copied by anyone is unfair and frankly untrue.

Besides, to say someone is copying doesn’t really have any weight anymore. Unless you’ve copyrighted it and made it yours, there’s not much you can say if you see someone do something similar to you. At best, maybe it was a misunderstanding and they didn’t realize it was similar to you. At worst, they meant to do it but you can’t really publicly say it without looking a bit narcissistic.

While the feeling of being copied doesn’t change, the actions do. You can’t really call someone out anymore unless you have full proof you invented it or trademarked it. There is no universal line of whats copying and whats heavily inspired. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on that. While it does suck to feel copied, it’s best to either privately contact that person and confront them or move on completely. If you have ever been copied, let me know in the comments or tweet me. I would love to know and hear your opinion on copying.

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