First and foremost, I will admit that I've copied others' ideas, myself, in the past. FWIW, I feel terrible about it. 

Every person who ever lived has taken- consciously or subconsciously, ideas from others, of course, but I'm talking about using actual or near-virtual reproductions of others' art/designs/logos/etc., applied to cbg's, etc., for whatever reason.

What do you think using someone else's art (without permission) on builds?

A. Are you kidding?? I'm a Google-Fu master! I've elevated stealing others' stuff to an art form! :D

B. Well, yeah, I've done it now and then, but only because...
1. I'd hardly ever sell one of my guitars if I didn't use someone else's art.
2. Some mistakenly think it was my idea, and I dunno... but that makes me feel good.
3. A lot of people do it.
4. I have very little imagination.
5. I've done it a few times, but like you, I feel lousy and remorseful about it.

C. No way. Stealing others' art is w/o permission is low-life and immoral. Period.

D. Other (Please elaborate.)

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D. I will literally look at a box until it tells me where to go and what I should do. That being said I think we all subconciously rip off ideas. If you are a song writer and you find a cord progression you like it's because it familar to you subconsciously. It's art and stealing all at once.....brillant!

A tough one, I don't sell guitars, so that makes it a bit easier, I freely follow  ideas from others, but so far i don't think i've copied any 1 build all the way, i've also had the opposite, where what i thought was a great idea,someone else has done before i did mine, which meant i had to drop off that project as it would feel like a blatant copy, using a cigar box as a base, themes are gonna recur often, it's the arrangement that makes 1 special over the others, some people just have a better picture in their head, and can visualise what they are making better than others, neanderthal's like me, need all the help we can get

D.  it depends on the artwork. some is in the public domain so its free to use. some may have a licence where you are free to use but you must say whos it is. some other guys dont care and will let you use it if you ask them.  i made a 3d model of a space ship for a game and the whole ship was my work. it was based on the original and looked like the original . in testing i used artwork from a cardboard model of the same ship. before i published my model i contacted the guy via emal , explained what i was doing and asking for permision to use the art. he said yes and saved me a lot of work as i am no

bottom line try to ask if you can use the item you want. if its and old art or of a product no longer made copyright may have expired..

B6 - I try real hard to stick with public domain, expired copyright, free use license, or fair use doctrine, but have nagging suspicions I'm not perfect at it....

(A) Artwork or a complete build...I'll copy it all...IF, big "IF" it's for me, not for sale. Here's my thinking, if I like an idea, some artwork, or a complete concept, if I can make it, and it's something I want, I'll make it, I'm not going to profit off of someone else ideas though, I may borrow techniques, small designs not completely unique to the creator, when building an item for sale. Example, you can see millions of the same car, same color, same options driving down the road, so many people can appreciate the same or similar items, some manufactures...aww, who we kidding, many manufacturers copy each others ideas, that's why we have copyright laws, but they only require a percentage of the original idea to be different, you'll find this in any market place, if an idea works, it's almost immediately copied by their competitors, I'm not going to make a Taylor like guitar and call it a Taylor, but if I liked some of their designs, I'd incorporate it in a build for myself.

The CBG industry...that's right, "Industry" is no different, what was once thought of as and still naively by some that CBG's and the many old school instruments being made played and displayed here and abroad, are Nostalgic or time long over, many people and professional builders alike, even mass producers, saw the writing on the wall, and are making CBG's in droves, it happens everywhere, nothings pure anymore, it's sad, but unmistakably true, profit drives everything into the obscurity.

I guarantee, if you make a truly unique instrument, and enough people like it, say a video or picture goes viral, if you look hard enough, you'll find someone eventually producing it, and most assuredly, without your permission with no intentions of even caring whether or not you would have given it..

Sounds's the world we currently live in, driven mostly by profit. You want proof, tell me you can't find CBG's for sale for $200-$300, $500, $1000 or even more, it's total crap feeding on a frenzy that started as a tribute to the history and appreciation of it all.

Hell, a lot of them even sound like modern instruments any more.

interesting topic. Absolutely ideas come from everyone and everyone uses others ideas and tweak it a bit, however, if something hits the mark to look exactly like someone elses work, I would never think to call it the same thing, but I would give props to those peeps that inspired me to "make one like they have".

I have thought to make a lowbow style CBG, but never would I call it a lowebow or of course have all the same exact specs and hardware, same goes for Swamps, Swamps are a great looking guitar and one of those ideas that make ya say 'why didn't I think of that', but never would I call my build of that style a swampwitch.

This all being said, I was inspired by Shane about woodburning something of a larger scale using copy paper first and so I did this with my current build I am making. Thanks for the ideas to Shane and everyone else.


I know artists. This is a really bad way of getting yourself into a lot of unnecessary hot water. If you are making the guitar for yourself it might be overlooked. Selling them? Trouble. You could end up getting fined and your work confiscated. 

The only way out of this is to do what everyone else does. Be inspired by the artwork and make a likeness with a few changes. 

in a nut shell, exactly, never sell someone else work as your own.

Richard > Exactly. Even if one doesn't have any art ability, so what? At least they'd be producing something that's honest, something they can “call their own” (a term that's thrown around a lot in this biz).

Hey, most little kids' art is immature and totally unrefined, but it's wonderful! The innocence of it IS its beauty.

 Anyway, enjoy/display/promote, etc., something that's an obvious counterfeit? Frankly, I couldn't even look at the thing, never mind actually own it.


the cbg confiscation police!

C for me. I'll "steal" a build idea. Something like putting the neck through the box at an angle, or a John Nickel's idea of a bass string and 3 open tuned strings (NOTE: He's fine with you doing so, he shares his ideas freely). Someone posted Star Wars box guitars and a friend of mine asked me to make him one. I bought a tin online, built the box, and built/fretted the neck my usual way. So depending on the eye of the beholder, I "stole" this man's idea.

But if someone creates art work like a painting or sketch, I would never, ever take that without express permission from the artist.

hahaha, you crack me up Kirk, in the same breath you picked "C" followed by "I'll Steal" not more than 6 character spaces later...yeah I read the rest, just found it amusing.

now, for some originality if i may post it here, hijacking the thread a little but keeping with the theme of the OP, check these 2 out, the first one, will call Axe 1, stealing an idea from Dean's Currant axe body style, but should be enough of a difference being a cigar box and a 4 string, plus the head-stock design will be as noted in the bottom of the pic a medieval spear/axe point. Besides, my last name is Dean, I'll take some liberties lol.

Now, the second design, and some of you may recognize my head-stock from my other post, "Build #2", is a bit dark, not sure which blade I'm using which is why 2 different, but leaning towards the top one, flames licking up to the numbers, blades will be a slate blue/silver with red on edges and red splatter, there will be 2 humbuckers with a single pup sandwiched in between with a 5 way switch, still a cigar box in the most basic of ways, this one I'll sell as I don't want my head to burst into flames for attempting to play it, I may also make solid body 6 strings of these designs, awww, who am I kidding, I know I will....opinions, to scary/dark for this site? lol

click on pics to see full view



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