Copyright/Inspiration/Infringement in Dice Making
May 21, 2019
I recently observed an interesting discussion on copyright infringement on dice designs, there was a mixture of confusion and questioning about what is copyright and what is inspiration, or more apt, what is infringement.
This article is very succinct https://www.business.com/articles/the-copyright-question-the-difference-between-inspiration-and-infringement/ but as it relates to the dice world I think this might help.
When designing dice we have a few elements of choice:
Size of the dice
Particles added to the die for interesting light such as glitter, gold leaf, other resin products.
With these few choices it is very easy to overlap and create similar if not identical designs.
When I design dice I look for inspiration in nature, or concepts like birthdays. Is it possible to replicate what I did, you bet!
I have seen beautiful goldfish art made by painting layer on layer of resin and paint to make 3d images, I have also seen beautiful goldfish art by small resin goldfish, then inserted in clear resin. Could you say one was inspired by the other? Possibly yes, but knowing the artist and speaking with them their inspiration was from goldfish swimming in water.
I spoke with yet another handmade artist who also was inspired by fish in water, will their dice bear similarities, of course it will!
I believe, that the only true infringement and copyright an artist or other handcrafter of dice can actually do is to willingly and knowingly copy someone else’s designs for profit. We can be inspired by history, by nature, by feelings, by beauty and still make the same products.
It’s the limit of the materials, but every one of us who makes or creates will be creating their own interpretation of art. I’ll never have the skill to paint 3D images of fish in dice, but I love that thought, and I love that others do their best to make amazing art in the form of dice.