Second, I totally agree with the majority of everything you all said! Brand new original ideas are few and far between. I think it is so important for people to put their own touches on things. I thought of a great example of this the other day! The flower rosette tutorial and projects that are flying around free online and even for sale on Etsy...you know what I am talking about? Can you imagine how Anthropologie and JCrew get irritated? Bottom line, there are still plenty of people willing to pay $80 for one of their shirts while the us budget living folks learn how to make a similar WAY cheaper version. The internet makes EVERYTHING readily available, easier to copy and at our fingertips.
I would never, EVER flat out copy someone's work. Inspired by...sure... my photographer asked me to create a more bucket type stork pouch (she calls it a kangaroo pouch and I have adopted that name too)...ask and you shall receive! This is about as close to "copying" as I get. I would be very upset if someone flat out ripped off my idea and turned around and sold the same pattern. Anyone with crochet knowledge and experience can most likely rip off plenty of patterns just by looking at them. It's a matter of them wanting to spend countless hours getting it right or pay the 3-5 bucks to get it all laid out and simple for them. I even buy patterns from time to time! I'll be honest and say I suck at making baby shoes and booties. Even with patterns they rarely turn out! I will probably never sell a pattern for them because I suck that bad. That being said, if I really looked long and hard at pictures I could figure it out. That 'long and hard' few hours just isn't worth the $5 I may spend to just buy the pattern and support another artisan.
For the most part I don't let the fear bother me. I try not to look online, especially on Etsy because I don't want my own creativity being overrun with visions I have already seen! I do get weak sometimes and check out the "competition".
What I am trying to say is Thank You! Thank you for all of the comments and support! I love what a great group of creative and driven women (I think most of us are women) I am surrounded by!
Here's to success for us all!