What would you do

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Big E, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    Much like the TV show...

    A hobbyist flytier displays a picture and recipe for a fly they did on a public forum, much like what happens here sometimes when people post flies for comments, critique, or to share. Several months later our hobbyist flytier is purusing commercial fly catalogs and notices their fly being sold. Surprisingly, our hobbyist had never submitted said fly to this company and isn't collecting any royalty fees. For all our hobbyist flytier knows is that it was submitted by someone else who must have seen the fly and recipe online.

    What would you do if you were the hobbyist flytier?
     
  2. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    find the guy that cockroached your pattern
    and then start a post called the Beatin' of the Week
     
  3. NewTyer1

    NewTyer1 Banned or Parked

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    I would contact the people that put out the calender and find out who submitted that pattern. It may have even been the person putting out the calender who saw it on one of these forums. Unfortunately, it was not copy righted so, I don't think there is anything to be done even though it was underhanded. That really sucks for the tyer.
     
  4. NCL

    NCL Active Member

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    Eric,

    I am not sure if there is much you can do, the fly may be an "intellectual property" in which case you may have recourse through the court system. With that said I see three potential problems, first it was posted on a public forum so could that be interpreted that you are giving the property away? Second, is the fly just a varition of an existing fly, different materials etc. so the under laying idea belongs to someone else? Third, is the cost of retaining an attorney to pursue the matter worth it? I think the idea of contacting whoever put out the calendar is a good idea and attempt to determine who submitted the fly pattern and was there a connection back to the original posting.

    I have encountered tiers who will not give out the recipes to their flies even though it is being commercially produced, and this is probably the reason.

    Good luck with whatever comes of this situation.
     
  5. steve s

    steve s Member

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    I would assume that two different people came up with a similar pattern. I've tied several original patterns over the years only to find out that someone else had come up with the same pattern on their own, sometimes several years before I came up with mine. There are quite a few creative people tying flies right now and it is very possible that two people came up with similar patterns.
     
  6. Jeff Sawyer

    Jeff Sawyer Active Member

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    I would be flattered. Imitation is the most sincere form. And if you didn't want it to get out you definitely shouldn't post it on a public forum.
     
  7. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    It does say something about the character of the person selling it commercially. I know of one person like that and he did "steal" another's pattern and is now in the fly shops.

    The original tyer was selling his in a local shop but apparently didn't "patent" it.
     
  8. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    I understand feeling a little slighted, but ask yourself "Did I tie said fly to make money?..and if I did, why didn't I submit it somewhere?" If getting paid to come up with patterns is your goal,...well, you did it once,..sit back down and try it again.
     
  9. FT

    FT Active Member

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    As someone who has had this happen to him, albeit not from a fly I posted, it was from several flies that I had tied for only one shop when the owner (who is a friend and now retired) saw them and asked me to tie them for his shop, there is pretty much nothing you can do unless you had the fly copywrited, and even then you will have to pay several thousand dollars for an attorney to pursue it. Yes, it sucks, but it happens far too often. At any rate, I tied these several patterns I developed for him from 1992 until he retired in 2001. The first ones I saw being marketed that were being tied by one of the large offshoe fly companies was in 2003.

    I'm very sure someone had bought some from my friend (I only tied them commercially for him), waited a few years after my friend had retired, then took them to the offshore company as his. He made a few dollars, I made nothing. As a result of this, you don't see me post photos of any pattern I developed since I don't wish to have someone else make a few dollars on my fly.
     
  10. Josh Smestad

    Josh Smestad aka Mtnwkr

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  11. psycho

    psycho Active Member

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    In the last twenty years there have been very few new patterns , most are just variations on an existing pattern. Changing the colours of the body material, tail or hackle does not change a wooly bugger into a new fly pattern, it is still just a wooly bugger. There are lots of new named flies that are still just a wooly bugger when you dissect them.
     
  12. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    So how do you copyright or patent a new fly pattern, and establish your "claim" to it ?

    I have long wondered about this.

    I am more interested in how this done in practice than in abstract theory.
     
  13. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    My daughter is an attorney. She doesn't do that kind of law but I know thast most reputable law firms will give you a thirty minute free consult. If it bothers you that much, find a patent attorney and get a consultation.
     
  14. BThielicke

    BThielicke New Member

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    As a commercial tier over the years I have designed and tied flies for local shops which then became
    "massed produced" by one of the commercial giants
    Accept the flattery and move on
    Life is far too short
    You aren't going to make any "real" income
    Go create more
     
  15. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    It seems to me that a few of you overlook the ethics part of this. Maybe you are not part of an organized fly club but here is a clip from the WFFC webpage:
    An ethical angler does more than what is required and less than what is allowed. (author not known)

    To me a person who would steal a person's pattern and use it for profit would also tend towards the grey areas in the rules or might ask himself "is anybody watching" and do whatever suits him.

    My last on this topic as my wife says I don't have much subtlety.
     
  16. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Bill,

    You're right. Many folks are more than willing to overlook the ethical issues of stealing someone else's pattern. Just like many in the USA (and as we've seen at times when the topic comes up on heron feathers here on the forum)are more than willing to overlook the legality of possessing and using heron or owl feathers. The sad part is most of these folks think there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so because they want to do it and feel they have a right to do so since the probablilty of getting caught they figure is very low.
     
  17. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  18. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    Posting stuff on the internet puts it in the public domain. It's difficult to reclaim it after the fact, difficult to prove that it was yours first, and especially difficult to regain any money you might have made.

    Also, I know enough guys with commercial ties to know they're not making any real money. Even the ones who do get their royalty checks. Certainly not enough money to fund legal actions.

    And finally, occasionally people do arrive at the same place in the fly tying stratosphere. You can only assemble Lego's so many ways.
     
  19. Bonefish Jack

    Bonefish Jack Strictly FF

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    I wonder how many fly patterns offered for sale by any retailer are actually their "original" patterns? I would think the percentage is very low. And I think this is the industry standard for fly patterns, and has been for decades. This is simply how it works ...

    How many of you have an ethical problem with purchasing a Royal Wulff? Or a Dave's Hopper? Or how about, how many of you have an ethical problem tying one of these flies, without issuing a payment to Lee or Dave? Again, I imagine the percentage is very low. And again, this is simply how it works.

    In the fly fishing world, fly patterns are basically free to everyone. And in my opinion, that is just fine.
     
  20. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    What about if the Royal Wulff showed up in a catalog labeled "Al's Royal Wulff" when you were aware of the history of the fly? That would imply someone else created the fly.