Influence or plagiarism?

There is, indeed, a fine line between influence and plagiarism. I’ll be watching to see what develops in the lawsuit brought by glass artist Dale Chihuly against Robert Kaindl, one of his former employees.

I haven’t had the time to compare the artwork, but I can’t even begin to imagine what would come out in a trial and the things you’d have to teach a jury about art and distinguishing characteristics.

Thanks to Julie Thompson for reminding me about this important topic.

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8 comments to Influence or plagiarism?

  • Speaking of Copyright – Artist Chihulyl Comes to Court

    Weren’t we just talking about Copyright Rights and Wrongs and In Betweens ? In the meantime I must have been unconscious not to have hear that’s exactly what’s making the news. The Seattle Times among others reports that glass master

  • Wrap Up: Blowing Glass and More

    These past few days have been unusually active for articles on plagiarism, copyright infringement and content theft.
    While theyve been great to read and to follow, there just hasnt been enough hours in the day to cover them all. There&…

  • I have seen Dale Chihuly’s work many times, over many years, up close, in particular at the Sandra Ainsley Gallery in Toronto at the Gooderham Worts Distillery- (huge show, fantastic, unbelievable work!) I visted the Robert Kaindl website just now (the artist who has been accused of plagiarism)… Without even leaving the front page of the site, there are obvious knock offs sitting right plum in full colour…Truth is, you can see the lower level of workmanship immediately…To my eye, these knock offs are obviously someone elses work…I see knock offs all the time, often by art students who are taught to copy in art schools as a means of learning technique…Occasionally they sell these works for a pittance, often with success…Once encouraged, they continue in this manner, until they step on the toes of a living artist…The rule(in Canada) is that a work has to be ‘significantly’ different to get away with the copying (the article about 10% is not correct internationally)…In this particular instance, the copies are so crummy, the work is significantly different to me, even in a photograph, on a website- I can see the difference…But, maybe to the general public, the differences are not apparent…France has legitimized the practice of copying by saying it is ok if you say it is a copy…I’m guessing they allow this because most of the great french art was created in the last century…Their economy is surviving on selling copies and prints of Monet’s Water Lilies etc. I suppose just because a knock off is poorly achieved, the sales of such should be abbreviated…Hope Chihuly gets his day in court…

  • Jers

    it’s funny the above comment says the allegedly infringing work is of ‘lower quality’. Neither CHihuly nor the guy he is suing make their own ‘work’ – they each work in the Italian ‘maestro’ style, where they head the glass team, and neither actually touches the glass. They work he is suing over is made by someone that used to make work FO R CHIHULY! For twelve years. So, glass made by the same person used to be sold as ‘Chihuly’ work, and now it’s sold as someone elses. All I can say is if Chihuly wins, it will have a devastating effect on the art world. Not good at all if people can’t build on others ideas… ‘IP’ is bad enough for pretty much every other industry, the way it is abused. “may he with the most money to pay lawyers win”

  • GlassGuy

    PONDER THIS: Have any of us truly dived deeply down the read the case, articles, and history of art glass… (not that I believe everything I read in the press) however… I believe that Chihuly should be accredited with substantiating Art Glass within the US and he has certainly enjoyed and capitalized on in the campaign for his own exposure. Chihuly self-professes to be a supporter of the Murano style works of glass teaming originally relocated to the US by Littleton…oddly it seems as if Chihuly doesn’t support any Artist who might have slightly more than creative talents unless that artist subscribes to or has been taken past the second tier of Artists that have been schooled at Pilchuck. Sue the threats, seems to be the new answer to competition… How is this happening? Mr. Kaindl, as an artist is attempting to defend himself in this lawsuit. Chihuly is spending (I imagine) millions of his dollars to now expose himself and his business practice’s to what originally was sought out to destroy the competition is now backfiring severely…Chihuly behaves as if he is a “victim” and that he has actively set out to hire and fire law firms to persecute any and all artists that are in his way… Now we know that Kaindl and Rubino “ARE NOT” the first to be involved in litigation or threats from this artist… Answer me this. How can an artist own the process for the effects of gravity in relation to creating a vessel with a fluted body, wrinkled sides, or elongated neck? How can an artist own and claim textured or molded surface designs from a mold that is sold in an art glass supply store that every glass artist can purchase to use? How can an artist own techniques for glass working / blowing that have been created originally since before the Romans wandered the Earth? As a few examples, In the18th Dynasty (1800 B.C.) King Tut’s mother “Akhenaten’s” famous gold funeral mask was adorned with cast glass of blue and yellow together similarly to what glass workers and artists are using as processes today. The Egyptians glass were accredited with using colored “cane” on the sides of there vessels along with the zig-zag patterns that are widely seen in art glass today. The Romans made glass cups and vessels with adding lip wraps to strengthen the edges there creations. The Romans are also accredited with creating the techniques for the body wraps and side-by-side body wraps that glass artists embellish today. In 1894, Louis Comfort Tiffany created a series called the “Persian” Rosewater Sprinkler Vessel. This “Persian” is a very organic shaped bulb’as glass shaped vessel that was stuffed in an mold then pulled by one side of the open lip to an elongated neck by the lip wrap. It’s beautiful. It looks very similar to what famous Glass Artists are doing now and claiming as there original ideas including the reproducing the name. Louis Comfort Tiffany is also known for popularizing the use of iridescent gold’s, silver’s, minerals, and oxide metals on Glass. LCT is also accredited for electroplating ceramic vessels to create the patina and sheen on surfaces of art. If an artist finds a similar artistic creation buried somewhere in history and then copies those pieces using previously establish techniques and then announces the replication processes, designs, concepts, names or titles as that artist’s now original ideas… What is that artist really doing?

  • GlassGuy

    Chihuly & Kaindl Lawsuit, Seattle Times Articles about Chihuly Inc., GAS Newsletter Article about the Lawsuit, and General Discussions. The Seattle Times 3 Day Exclusive “Series” starting on Sunday August 6th. 2006 “Chihuly, Inc.” has exposed interesting information that should include follow-up discussions on this forum. The Seattle Times also provides PDF files of the actual court filing on both sides for you to view… For those who haven’t seen the Seattle Times articles. Here is the link that will provide you with the entire 3 day and 9 page series of the articles, Lawsuit documents in PDF formats and sub-links. Go To: to go to the 3-day series and downloadable PDF’s. SEATTLE TIMES – Titles of the “Exclusive” 3 Day Series Include: PART 1: BUILDING AN EMPIRE “Inside the Glass Empire” What Do You Get When You Buy a Chihuly? Fax to a glassblower. “Here’s a little sketch but make whatever you want” PART 2: BENIFITING FROM CHARITY WORK “Chihuly Benefits from His Own Philanthropy” Taking a closer look at the artist’s affiliation with charities. KCTS discusses its relationship with Chihuly. PART 3: DEFENDING HIS TERRITORY “Chihuly Turns Up Heat on Competing Artists” “Billy” O’Neill: Dale Chihuly’s Right-Hand Man. Arkansas artist responds to Chihuly complaint that he’s making “replicas”. Six-page confidentiality agreement required of Chihuly employees. LAWSUIT DOCUMENTS [PDF’s] Copyright – Infringement Suit Robert Kaindl’s Counterclaim Bryan Rubino’s Counterclaim Chihuly wants to Seal Suit Kaindl, Rubino argues against it Again the Seattle Times 3-Day Series link is:

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  • Mary

    The truth that plagiarism now happen everywhere, it happen intentionally and unintentionally, at art sphere too 🙁 I always thought that these people (artists) always have fresh idea, but as I see, I was wrong! Why creativity disappear? Whyyyy? Can you give an answer for this question?! In my opinion in student sphere to detect plagiarism more easy, teacher can just use plagiarism checking service and discover exactly which sections, if any, are plagiarized. For example, my teacher use for this and how to be with the fact of plagiarism in art, I don’t know.