Can CM please stop handpicking copycat products!

I hear what you are saying Dianah. Creative Market is a dictatorship not a democracy. It’s a business that can do what it wants when it wants. It takes direction from it’s investors or owners and not the sellers on the marketplace. This of course would be fine if it was going from strength to strength but the opposite is happening. Sales, profits, and stats are down across the board. Confidence is low and future aspirations for the platform seem to be nonexistent. As sellers, we are also buyers and hence CM has a huge advantage of having a built in focus group that it could and should tap into for information on what buyers are looking for. Not promoting copycats would benefit the whole platform and would be easy to implement. I have offered my services for free as a handpicked curator.
I have a deep understanding of design trends and history, what buyers want and to spot quality skills and copycats. I predicted 2 years ago in my E-book before collage creators existed that collage creators would be a big new trend. I might just be the most qualified for the job. The reason i am so passionate about this is that CM was not just another marketplace. It was the marketplace that both buyers and sellers raved about with an amazing community. Just trying my best to keep it that way or get it back to something similar!

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just wanted to chime in and say that this thread is super helpful! i’ve passed it along to the curation team and shared some notes that reflect the sentiment in here. thanks to all who’ve given feedback! :slight_smile:

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@dianahlevnjak having worked as a professional designer for over 20 years I agree with some of your points, and have been there more times than enough with others creating derivative works. I don’t think that’s necessarily the point of what @NewTropical is getting at though.

The point is that these derivative works are being actively promoted. It’s not as much about who’s copying who (uploading work into the digital realm unfortunately, as you say too, opens it up to this kind of activity), but more about the fact that it’s almost a steady stream of similar products. If we can see they are ridiculously similar, surely so can the curation team. However, it seems more to me that it’s a case of ‘that ones been popular, lets promote a similar one and it will make money too’.

I’d love to see more diversity in the staff picks too, little we can do other than express our concerns. .

I’ve held CM in a higher regard than any other platform for years and I wish it was the thriving exciting place it once was, but it unfortunately doesn’t seem that way anymore. So many sellers are seeing huge and unrelenting drops in views and sales. The commission was raised to 40% to help increase traffic and sales, but the opposite has happened. I’m honestly not sure what is going on at Cm,but in all the years I’ve had a shop here, I haven’t seen as much disgruntlement or concern amongst shop owners as I have over the past few 6-8 months. Of course a pandemic plays a part, but there seems to something else happening. Hopefully it’s the dark before the dawn.

@Sofydoll_Designs ‘I personally love CM and have bought lots of products from the marketplace. To me, it’s not about blaming anyone but rather encouraging them to stay the top tier site they always have been’ This :slight_smile:

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This is they way the world works, if you make something popular, others will follow. Calling the followers copycats is a bold accusation. Sure there are thieves that flatout replicate layouts and letters but there needs to be a distinction between them and people who actually see a trend rising and jump in on the wagon. Be happy that you were a trendsetter and move on to set new trends. It’s only natural for CM to handpick stuff that’s in high demand.

Is CM’s curation perfect? Absolutely not but this complaint just sounds like a cry to get rid of competition out of fear for losing your spot on the top. If you see someone replicate your designs that you think is uncomfortably close to yours then file a DMCA.

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CM can create poll to designer for handpicked after selected by staff
It’s just idea may be advantage and disadvantage as well…

Thank you, this was exactly what I was trying to say, I am not sure were talking about a genuine concern for the marketplace. Especially because this is’t the first time that he did this. I still remember the complaint that everyone is copying his shadow overlay idea and that CM supports it by handpicking them. Ideas can’t be copied, it’s like saying that only Apple has a right to create smartphones because it was their idea. Doesn’t work like that.

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Creative Market has been promoting blatant copycats for years. I always found it so ironic because they claim one of the criteria to open a shop is to produce products that are unique. My personal favourite is when a unique, new, original product ISN’T handpicked but the copycat product produced a few weeks later IS handpicked. It’s happened to me several times, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced this.

I gave up years ago trying to point this out and now I just brush it off. These days when I launch a new product I have a little running bet where I guess how many weeks it’ll take before someone copies it. Originality is scarce and pride in producing unique products seems to be a dying virtue. Creative Market should take more care with which products they promote and make an effort to know their marketplace. If we as creatives can pinpoint copycats like @NewTropical pointed out then so should they be able to and not promote them.

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There is a HUGE difference between a follower and a copycat. Followers take a trend and put their own spin on it and produce a product that is unique but still within the trend.

A copycat on the other hand hasn’t bothered to apply any originality but simply made a version of the original without any unique qualities, and in some cases copy the product, the title, the images, personality of the product, colour scheme, text, blah, blah blah… But just enough so you can’t file a DMCA.

It sounds like you may never have experienced this yourself. And I think to say it’s a cry to get rid of the competition is a bit unfair.

Producing a unique product with an entirely new concept that takes weeks, sometimes months to make is a huge risk, you have no idea whether it will sell or not. Spending all that time testing and fine tuning takes effort and skill. Copycats on their other hand don’t risk anything and don’t need the skill, they just simply copy something that’s already selling and know the time they spend on making the copy will amount to sales, because someone else took all the risk and spent all the time, effort and research for them.

And spending hours creating product previews to find the best way to showcase your unique concept is just ripped off by others who didn’t spend the time figuring out all the finer details.

Oh, and while they’re at it, just copy the colour scheme too, because damn it worked for the original product, so it’ll work for theirs.

It’s bad enough to have to deal with piracy, but when your “fellow” creative literally steals your idea and rides the wave of your hard work and hours you spent is very disappointing.

So I really don’t agree that it’s a “cry to get rid of competition”. It’s a cry to honour originality and respect each other as creatives.

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It happened to everyone who had a popular product. It happened to me several times, some products are more easily copied, some are harder. Some require a certain skill set, like drawing, not everybody can pull that off. Some that are more simple in nature are more vulnerable.

I did sent DCMA and removed one such product that had all the things you mentioned: the product, the title, the images, personality of the product, colour scheme, text… and they removed it from the marketplace. I only found out about it because it was handpicked.
On the other hand, some that are being heavily copied, I can’t do nothing about, because they are just riding a trend and are different enough for me to do anything.

So you should try and send DMCA if you see a blatant copy of your work, because if the product really copies all that, with just small differences, it should be removed from the marketplace.

And it happened to @MehmetRehaTugcu as well.

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Did that, the product is still up. They filed a counter DMCA so without hiring a lawyer which will cost thousands my hands are tied. Creative Market just threw their hands up and said the counter DMCA is good enough to keep the product up. So it comes down to the artist having integrity which they clearly don’t or me spending thousands to file a law suit. So it’s not as simple as you make out.

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Hi @Glanz - I know at least one of your products that was copied and honestly, when I first saw it I thought it was from you (it was that close) and yes, it was in the handpicked section.

You have a genuine gripe. Your work is very notable and I know many designers like myself who really appreciate how supportive you have been, especially to aspiring artists. Jumping on the trend bandwagon is common (I’m sure I’ve done it) but blatant copying should be discouraged whenever possible and certainly not promoted (on any marketplace).

I hope you can get some justice on that front.

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@Glanz , that too happens, in my own experience, sending DMCA usually solves the problem, but sometimes the copycat is rude enough to actually fight you with a counter DMCA. I never said it’s easy, it’s tedious and I hate it as much as everyone else.

I completely agree that those types of blatant copycats shouldn’t be handpicked. But this complaint started with the words: They are not stolen fonts or DMCA issues, they are just taking popular products and slightly altering them to try and repeat the success.

To me, that sounds like a complaint on people following a trend. Because every single product on CM is taking a popular product/trend and slightly changing it. What about all those collage creators? It first started with one popular product. Then it was copied with a slight variation and then it was copied again with a slight variation. Then it became a trend, because customers responded well to it.

CM picked up on that trend and started promoting more of a similar products.

I respect every concern that has a legitimate reason for DMCA , but to clearly state that this isn’t such a case… what to do with that? Should CM ignore products that could bring them profit just because they are similar to the original product that started the trend in the first place?

It’s way more complicated, ideas can’t be protected, you can only act if you see your product being stolen or ripped off heavily.

I love original products, as a creative person, I get horribly bored when I see the same but slightly different colors, fonts, graphics etc… but customers are obviously not bored with that.

We will see if anything changes for the better on that front, but handpicked or not, these variations of the same thing will continue to happen regardless. And customers will continue to buy them, I of course would buy an original product every time but there are many different people out there and there’s a buyer for everything.

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The reason i made this post is that i think this request will make Creative Market a better marketplace. You can accuse me of all sorts of sinister reasons for this request. I don’t mind, I’m not offended. If CM keeps picking copycat products @Glanz and i will be fine. We are doing ok. But if originality is promoted over copycats or “trend followers” as you call them, maybe it would help CM grow rather than what is currently happening. As Lisa said: taking someones idea and slightly altering it without adding anything original or putting your own spin on it is not illegal but totally unethical and should not be promoted. I really don’t know how you can argue against that. Anyway i don’t have to convince you guys, Drew has got the message and passed it on. Job Done.

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This is not what we are arguing against, please don’t twist our words. We’re not happy with how our products are copied either, we’ve been selling here since the inception of this marketplace and have had our share of copycats. But once you ask CM to police this or claim you’re knowledgable enough to police it yourself, you’re leading things down a dangerous road. A road with wrongful accusations and conflicts of interests.

I would suggest inspecting other industries, gaming industry is a good example with Steam being a similar comparison to CM, to learn the intricacies of curation and promotion and how difficult it is to police your marketplace. This is not the only industry this happens and there’s a reason why these things are usually settled through legal ways.

I’m also not sure you guys realize the scope of your ask. CM doesn’t have the manpower or the know-how to look for similarities between products, the lines between inspiration and copying can be very blurry and need to be inspected on a case-by-case basis. Taking into consideration the vast amount of products posted daily, it’s an impossible task that even a team of seasoned designers would have trouble with.

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I think the situation at hand really is not so complex.

It is very clear when a product is original.
It is similarly clear when a product is inspired by, or is on trend.
It is also very obvious when a product is a flat-out copy.

All that is being asked, is that clear and blatant copies are not handpicked over their original or trend-based counterparts.

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Just went to educate myself and looked for Glamour Absolute in CM - the copycat fonts are even TAGGED as Glamour Absolute. The absolute cheekiness :joy:

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Just to bring this up in case someone forgot to consider the fact that design as well as trends repeat in cycles, it can be pretty intuitive to predict trend directions and styles. There are only a small amount of real innovations in the market. Nickys font is inspired by the 60s lettering designs from the past. Since the 60s and 70s are back (through the Y2K filter of the 90s to be precise) it makes total sense others are also inspired by this look and feel. Not everyone who makes or creates a similar font is a copycat. Not everyone who uses a popular tag for his or her font is a copycat. Repetitive influence by certain decades, styles and designs won’t bring innovation but because they always combine a newer point of view they will always bring new impulses to the whole design community. Taking something existing, old or trending (in this case something (A) that gets more acceptance from the community that the other thing (B) ) and create an own version from it is the way the humanity evolves. Otherwise we all would still sit around the fire and communicate with animal sounds. Just wanted to make this clear. Over & out :v:t2:

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It seems to me that while on the surface it looks like there’s a debate going on, there actually isn’t. Everyone agrees that products following a trend (which may have been started by a particular seller) are NOT copycats - providing they put their own spin on it. As @ana.yvy said, there are very few real innovations on the market and most everything has been done before.

Perhaps the ‘debate’ is in WHAT people consider constitutes a copycat. I myself don’t make fonts and probably wouldn’t notice if one font was so close to another that it could be considered a copy, unless it was extremely blatant. However, a font designer probably would.

It may just be me, but I feel like just these past few weeks C.M. has been a bit better in curating featured products. I notice they do still sometimes focus on the same sellers (at least in Procreate brushes) but if a product is good, then that’s fair. It also makes sense that a marketplace would promote products from sellers who’ve brought them business before.

However, as C.M. is a leading marketplace for design assets, I don’t think it’s unfair to offer the suggestion that it’s ok to sometimes step away from what’s trending if the product is high quality. This might also help lessen the chances that a “copycat” product gets promoted over a really good one (that may not fit the trend). Which, if I’m not mistaken, was the initial suggestion of the OP.

There’s always room for improvement (I include myself in this as well) and being open to critique is a good thing as it can lead us into self-reflection. Some will always just complain, but most I think are coming from a good place.

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I looked for fonts tagged “glamour absolute” and the first one I stumbled across was “Just Cosmic” by @SNIPESCIENTIST:
https://creativemarket.com/SNIPESCIENTIST/5619000-Just-Cosmic-Font-Logos

I really don’t think it’s fair to describe this typeface as a copycat product. While the designer undoubtedly hoped that the tag would drive people searching for Nicky’s product to their site, there’s a completely different feel to the font.

Alternatively, the phrase “copycat product” has been bandied about in this thread as a criticism of the lack of quality, the lack of originality and the lack of diversity in handpicked products.

I think we all agree that handpicked products should be of high quality and some of the picks in the past year or so really haven’t met even the most basic quality standards, never mind particularly high ones. So it’s not like I don’t understand where you’re coming from. But randomnly accusing other designers of copying popular products when they haven’t actually violated anyone’s copyrights and have managed to create perfectly decent, self-sufficient products that cater to a current trend seems both mean-spirited and pointless. It certainly won’t make a positive difference to the handpicked section.

I haven’t been handpicked in over a year its the same people getting picked over and over I agree the content is usually very similar to other content already created that did not get hand picked, I have a few items like that.