Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery or is it something else?
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Imitation is the sincerest flattery.”
This got me to thinking. Pinterest, the rapidly growing social media website targeted to women my age (older), is based on this very notion. Find ideas you like — pin them (attached to your electronic bulletin boards) — recreate them yourself — then re-share the ideas with the world.
For those of you avid Pinterest followers the “time suck” can be mind boggling, but the creativity is utterly inspiring. I have to admit to spending many an evening sifting through thousands of tiny photos searching for home decorating ideas. I even recreated a few myself this past holiday season.
However, I bet the developers of Pinterest didn’t find it all that flattering when a competing social network, (Pinspire), flat out copied their business model. It’s kind of ironic that a site based on sharing/copying other people’s ideas was itself copied.
But, this makes me wonder how or if copyright laws will change to keep pace with this rapidly changing technology. Can anyone truly protect their original ideas anymore?
I found this recent Forbes article interesting:
Column: Pinterest’s success inspires “radical copycatting”
The success of Pinterest has given rise to “radical copycatting,” with a site called Pinspire emulating the social image-sharing site’s model, writes Tero Kuittinen. Successful social sites always inspire copycats, but most make a show of seeking to improve on and expand the original site’s functions, Kuittinen writes. “Pinspire attempts nothing but recreating the Pinterest experience with complete fidelity. The audacity is impressive,” he writes. Forbes (1/22)