Friday, December 28, 2007


Anyone who has read overthenet for a while will know we’ve featured two series of posts. One is called ‘look alikes’ and the other ‘copy cats’. You can see examples by putting either phrase into the Blogger search. We’ve usually found it easy to categorize with these two headers. Copy cats were just that. People copying other people’s ideas. Look alikes were given the benefit of the doubt. After all, ideas can come from anywhere and most of them aren’t exclusive. You can imagine then the discussion we had when we saw these patterns by the Netherlands design group, Studio Job, at Moss in Los Angeles. If they haven’t seen Richard Killeen’s work and particularly work of the late 70s like Black Crawlers (you can see it here, scroll down when you get to this page), then we’re Dutch uncles. It’s not impossible, just highly, very, almost certainly, probable. So then we wondered if the expression copy cat still makes sense? We’re starting to think maybe not. Perhaps it is all part of the end game of copyright as we know it. You can figure that when corporations are given copyright for colours, for instance Heinz has legal protection for the distinctive turquoise of its cans, that the concept is in its death throws. So we will no longer be using the series header ‘copy cat’. From now on they will all be headed Look alikes.
Image: Studio Job's bug covered lampshade and divan cover at Moss in LA