Another year… another Toy Fair… Someone asked me if this is upsetting. Some thoughts…
i didn’t go to toy fair this year, but this is interesting to hear (and not surprising). As far as it bothering me, earlier in life, it would have, but now, not so much. Now, there are products at toy fair this year that are “based on” projects I’ve worked on/ or supported).
That being said, when issues like makers not getting proper credit comes up, i don’t mind helping a maker who simply wants proper credit (last year’s Bristlebot fiasco, for example, Scholastic and Klutz eventually did the right thing) – we didn’t need a lawyer, just a great community to rally. if companies break the law, other things might need to happen — and we’ll likely see or hear some examples as the DIY community gets larger and their ideas flow to and from more commercial ventures. For me personally, I really don’t want to compete on lawyering, I’ll move on to the next idea, hopefully :) a lot of maker projects are “based” on other ideas too, so origin can get complicated. Creative Commons, patents, trademarks, copyrights, are systems we all currently have access to — and although there are problems, it’s pretty exciting to be making things at the moment.
Many of us have seen our own projects “ripped off.” Now i consider it validation our work is both good and interesting. i can’t speak for everyone, this is just me of course — I also reserve the right to change my mind :) i think we’re all doing amazing things and the makers out there are leaders of a huge movement. Hobbyists, customers, makers, fans, and community will reward all of us. Sure, there might be sales that “leak” away to toy makers who don’t work with makers or give proper credit, but that’s always going to be true, taxation on being popular :) What we all need to do is provide the best value and customers service, that’s what cannot be commodified or cloned. And lastly, we can all try harder helping folks to choose makers and support makers via Maker Faire, Maker Shed, Maker’s Market, and companies like EMSL, adafruit, Sparkfun, etc. — PT