I find the concept of pinching interesting.
What defines pinching?
Well in my book most ideas are born from necessity and often refinement of existing ideas.
I have produced images that I have been inspired by others and I have inspired others with my images (to the point of explaining how to create a particular image and then see it executed to the letter by the photographer).
I also publish my findings and ideas on my blog for all to benefit. I like to stress the point "for all".
Like my documentation of electric bilge pump and magnetic switch (not my idea but now an extremely popular article that many access and use as reference) was promptly appropriated by a manufacturer and then claimed "Patent Pending" to secure the market.
Despite my best efforts of finding the Patent Application to this date there is no such evidence.
Patent application cost a lot of money and only true innovative applications are approved by the Patent Office. If there are prior exampled of such "invention" there is no patent awarded.
So, before a person applies for a patent it would be wise to check if any similar execution of the idea already exists.
I have "invented" a few things myself only to find out later that I was not the only one with the brilliant mind :-)
As for pinching images: those are direct work that I have created that unfortunately is not tangible but nevertheless unique. If anybody uses that image without authorization he/she clearly breaks Copyright Laws.
They are however welcome to create an image that is their own, even if “inspired” by some prior image.
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